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  • Sunday, April 16, 2006


    We were liberals once and had dry pants

    Welcome to the middle of the road Posted by Picasa

    Updated at the bottom

    Expect the bedwetting set and their neocon overlords to attempt to make a big hoohah over the the Euston Manifesto for the next week or so.

    What is the Euston Manifesto, you might rightly ask.

    Well, since you asked so nicely, the Euston Manifesto grew out of a pub crawl where several "classical liberals", as they like to call themselves, discovered that they were held in eye-rolling contempt by some of their fellow leftists just because they thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq, kill its leader, and convert the people to a religion other than Muslimislamifarianism. In fact, they discovered that the liberals that they were at odds with had refused to trade in all of their deeply held beliefs on 9/12 for a new improved belief system that said it was okay to overlook a few minor discretions by their own government because other governments were, like, way badder. Worst of all, those same freedom-hating liberals got all of the media attention (and the hot chicks) and, in an egalitarian world, this simply could not be allowed to stand

    Therefore the Euston Manifesto was born and, useful idiots rejoice!, you have just handed the rightwing a baseball bat (okay, a wiffle bat) to ineffectually whack unhinged moonbats over the head with... and you didn't even have to move to Vichy. No Pétain stains in your underoos for you.

    Some hightlights:
    11) A critical openness.
    Drawing the lesson of the disastrous history of left apologetics over the crimes of Stalinism and Maoism, as well as more recent exercises in the same vein (some of the reaction to the crimes of 9/11, the excuse-making for suicide-terrorism, the disgraceful alliances lately set up inside the "anti-war" movement with illiberal theocrats), we reject the notion that there are no opponents on the Left. We reject, similarly, the idea that there can be no opening to ideas and individuals to our right. Leftists who make common cause with, or excuses for, anti-democratic forces should be criticized in clear and forthright terms. Conversely, we pay attention to liberal and conservative voices and ideas if they contribute to strengthening democratic norms and practices and to the battle for human progress.
    Fair enough
    The founding supporters of this statement took different views on the military intervention in Iraq, both for and against. We recognize that it was possible reasonably to disagree about the justification for the intervention, the manner in which it was carried through, the planning (or lack of it) for the aftermath, and the prospects for the successful implementation of democratic change. We are, however, united in our view about the reactionary, semi-fascist and murderous character of the Baathist regime in Iraq, and we recognize its overthrow as a liberation of the Iraqi people. We are also united in the view that, since the day on which this occurred, the proper concern of genuine liberals and members of the Left should have been the battle to put in place in Iraq a democratic political order and to rebuild the country's infrastructure, to create after decades of the most brutal oppression a life for Iraqis which those living in democratic countries take for granted — rather than picking through the rubble of the arguments over intervention.

    This opposes us not only to those on the Left who have actively spoken in support of the gangs of jihadist and Baathist thugs of the Iraqi so-called resistance, but also to others who manage to find a way of situating themselves between such forces and those trying to bring a new democratic life to the country. We have no truck, either, with the tendency to pay lip service to these ends, while devoting most of one's energy to criticism of political opponents at home (supposedly responsible for every difficulty in Iraq), and observing a tactful silence or near silence about the ugly forces of the Iraqi "insurgency". The many left opponents of regime change in Iraq who have been unable to understand the considerations that led others on the Left to support it, dishing out anathema and excommunication, more lately demanding apology or repentance, betray the democratic values they profess.
    So, let's summarize-

    If you opposed the Iraq invasion because you knew, you just knew, that the architects behind it would fuck it up beyond all recognition; destroying the Iraqi infrastructure, killing thousands of innocent civilians, and unleashing hundreds of years of sectarian and tribal hostilities that threaten to plunge the country into a devastating civil war...well, you're just being a big poopy head for mentioning it again. And everytime that you sigh deeply and make that jerk-off motion with your fist when someone in their comfy sitting room or office comments that this is really a good thing for the Iraqis (and eventually the good people of Iran) you are just being rude and you hate the freedoms that God gave to us all, including that one that allows us to say really stupid fucking things.

    The manifesto is available here in .pdf in case you want to print it out.

    I recommend twin-ply...

    (Added) Here they come. Michelle "Intern Them All" Malkin approves. The Eustonians must be so proud.


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