Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Guardian (again) bleating for war

As Cameron, Hague and their international ensemble of crazies ready for yet another murderous, imperialist assault, an ever-timely Guardian editorial offers this 'sober' advice on the need to authenticate it: 
Here again, the shadow of Iraq over our politics looms large. There can be no disputing the seriousness of any use of heinous and internationally outlawed chemical weapons. Yet tomorrow's debate will only even begin to carry public credibility if it is based on clear and persuasive information about their alleged use by the Syrian government. That information may well exist – much of the evidence points in that direction. Yet the case has not yet been made authoritatively to the public.
All very cautious, all seemingly sensible. Yet the priority problem for the Guardian lies not in the actual waging of war, and extended human misery that will cause, but how best to secure public approval:   
Yet if Mr Cameron is going to shift the UK domestic debate in favour of military action of any kind in Syria he will need to win other arguments that have so far defeated him. He needs to come up with a clear statement of how military action in Syria will be proportionate, legally sound and, above all, foreseeably finite. Tony Blair may have persuaded parliament to go to war in 2003, but he later lost parliament's confidence because, in the end, things went so much worse than had been foreseen.
Did you ever read such queasy liberal moralising, such wimpish warnings, such shameful evasion?

Probably. For this is the same spluttering apologetics that helped rationalise and excuse the slaughters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Instead of outright denunciation of Cameron and his war-salivating ministers, rather than explicit exposure of their mendacious motives, we're asked to indulge this set of political psychotics, ruminate on Blair's prior 'mistakes' and kowtow to the great charade of 'parliamentary accountability'.    

True to form, it's all here in the Guardian, with its noble postures, tempered admonitions and guiding advice to Cameron on the need to persuade and carry the public. This is what passes for a serious, 'radical' response to scheming warmongers.

The Guardian could have led with an unambiguous rejection of Cameron, Hague and the whole R2P deceit they and their transatlantic masters are foisting on the public. Instead, we have this safe introspection, all serving to whitewash their crimes and legitimise the fiction of 'measured liberal intervention'.

When those cruise missiles start falling on Damascus, the Guardian will stand back and say 'we did our vanguard best'. It won't be remotely good enough. Such cowardly editorials are nothing but liberal bleating for war.    


rshiehyan said...

Isn't this editorial in the nature of an oath of allegiance to the elite, or as linguistic philosophers would say a performative utterance swearing loyalty and allegiance. Because they know very well that the apparent content of the text would not have any significance for the likes of Cameron and moreover the opposition to war is so overwhelming that any justification is useless.So it is just meant to express loyalty in the guise of well meaning advice.

John Hilley said...

Thanks for that interesting take.

Yes, "performative utterance" seems a most appropriate and meaningful term to use.

And, yes, given the widespread public opposition to war, the Guardian, like other establishment functionaries, must be careful to present this air of 'responsible caution', while always keeping faith with 'our' leaders and 'our' 'benign' intentions.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Israel is the stalking horse of the empire and/or whether Zionists just have a lot of pull in their client states.