Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The imaginary history of decentism

In the light of Milosevic's death, Dave is offering the world his thoughts on the genealogy of decentism today. For him there's a key moment when the sheep were divided from the goats, the neo-Orwellians from the Chomskybots (and Marcus has now posted at HP Sauce to endorse Dave's account). Well speak for yourself Dave. In Act 1 of the great saga of decency Dave places his trust in David Owen, Douglas Hurd and Misha Glenny. (More fule you, say I, since it was pretty obvious by the time of the siege of Dubrovnik, let alone the siege of Sarajevo, that Milosevic, Mladic and co were up no good.) When Ratko Mladic and his chums then slaughtered thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica, Dave suddenly woke up and declared "never again!" and decentism sprang, fully formed, into life and with its trusty sword confronted the crazed ranks of anti-American nutters.

The trouble with this story is that it is miles from the facts. Let's do a Captain Cabernet/Nick comparison to illustrate:

CCB: backed the Bosnian republic from the start and was pleased and relieved when NATO intervened in Kosovo (though not with some of the bombing in Serbia), thought the US was within its rights to intervene in Afghanistan against Osama, and if the Taliban fell that was all to the good, thought Saddam was a murdering evil bastard but that more harm than good was going to come out of the Iraq war, so opposed it (after a lot of hand-wringing).

Nick: Opposed intervention in Kosovo, opposed intervention in Afghanistan, supported the Iraq war. Now a paragon of decency.

In short, Dave's imaginary history of decency is simply a legitimating fantasy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Nick opposed intervention in Kosovo. He sort of supported it then sort of said it was being done wrong

3/14/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

Thanks to Berman, NC now 'understands' the essential part that western bombs play in the heroic struggle against (islamo)Fascism.

What i find most interesting is that in Decent doctrine undemocratic tyrannies only become "Fascist", and therefore ripe for bombing, when they oppose the west.

Take uzbekistan. It's clear that all the modern tryrant has to do to get away with murder, massacres and even boiling dissidents alive is to conjure up an IslamoFascist threat.

Given the Muslim angle of the Bosnian war, Slobbo should have waited a few years. he could've been a hero.

3/14/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Good point fatbongo, after 9-11 the Chechen's struggle for independece dropped of the Decent's radar, I'm sure Bosnia would have done the same.

3/14/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

after 9-11 the Chechen's struggle for independece dropped of the Decent's radar

Though it re-emerged after the Beslan massacre when they could paint the situation in Chechnya as merely the northernmost wing of the Islamists' project to establish a world caliphate, rather than a separate conflict with its own history.

But yeah, that's basically right. I certainly can't imagine the KLA attracting much Decent sympathy if Kosovo had flared up after 2001.

3/14/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Graham B said...

Aaronovitch claims that "Slobodan Milosevic, more than anyone else, caused a division within the Left and Centre Left, dividing the pacifists, anti-imperialists and anti-Americans from the anti-fascists and the internationalists." This hinges on a new concept of internationalism, or at least one honed by David A growing up in the Communist Party. For internationalists in Britain, the only legitimate place for anti-Americanism was inside the United States itself: the main enemy is at home.

3/15/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

I remember seeing some colour photos of bearded muslim fundamentalists holding up the severed heads of serbs. (if you really want to, you can see them reproduced here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/518380/posts)

Every time a westerner is beheaded in iraq, the Decent's use it to portray the entire resistance as barbaric, fascist terrorists.

I imagine that serbs said much the same thing during the bosnian war.

3/15/2006 12:52:00 PM  

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