As BenSix at Back Towards the Locus observes:
Our earnestness and energy is not, in many cases, produced by events but applied to them when it befits our whims and prejudices
Back to school, busy planning, getting to know the classes, etc, I’m not making as much time to post here as I’d like. However, BTTL and the article by Norman Geras to which he linked prompted a surge of energy and earnestness. Couldn’t just ignore it, as I normally do. Wound me right up, did Norm.
At some point, I will revisit/republish here the things I wrote 10 years ago against the impending wars in Afghanistan, then Iraq… maybe I’ll revisit the notes made in the years since, detailing feelings of profound misery, about the intransigence of the UK/US governments, the constant feeling that any second now someone was going to blow some shit up somewhere, then a news story noting that they had. Feelings of desolation, anger, frustration, alienation, rage or guilt (as Peter Thomas once narrated). This fading notion that instead of a springboard to constant conflict, the horrible attacks on the US in September 2001 could have been an opportunity to do things differently, better. Wasted years.
Yet war apologists and writers like Geras maintain this air of personal affront, aggrieved common sensibilities, which sounds more and more peevish as years go by, as their arguments for conflict ring more and more hollow, as things can only get worser. With his little digest, Geras merely lists straw man after slouching straw man. Citing human rights in defence of what we did to Fallujah is at best tasteless. The curiously contorted idea that democracy is crucial yet starts and finishes at the ballot box – point 5… MASSIVE global demonstrations, and “they” didn’t listen. One would expect some sort of acknowledgement, at least, but against urgent representations, logic, compassion and fact our governments went to war anyway. “Why should they go out to fight? They leave that up to the poor,” as Black Sabbath observed.
I can’t believe an actual Professor actually considers the facile points or arguments addressed in his piece as worthy of mention. That it was published as an “11 for 9/11″ kind of anniversary belch, a pop bullshit Greatest Moans, an excuse for tossing off some beermat opinions, just makes it worse, somehow. Geras using a solemn occasion as a crucible for more simplistic yet potent logomancy, the sort that has sustained just over a decade of war and global tension. It is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.