The Null Device

LeCarré's seditious views

Veteran spy novelist John Le Carré says the USA has gone mad. And this in a Murdoch paper too; my, my.
America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.
How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting Americas anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election.
The religious cant that will send American troops into battle is perhaps the most sickening aspect of this surreal war-to-be. Bush has an arm-lock on God. And God has very particular political opinions. God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of Americas Middle Eastern policy, and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.

There are 13 comments on "LeCarré's seditious views":

Posted by: acb Wed Jan 15 13:58:05 2003

Fisk away, Mitch. I expect to see a point-by-point refutation of Le Carre's article here.

Posted by: alex http:// Wed Jan 15 15:51:56 2003

where exactly is this horse-eating commie rabble-rouser hiding, anyway? surely we can task a predator to 'reeducate' this radical.

Posted by: acb Wed Jan 15 15:54:31 2003

Begin saturation bombing of Wapping; it seems to have been taken over by al-Qaeda or al-Jazeera or someone.

Posted by: D.J.Wallace http:// Thu Jan 23 14:57:09 2003

When Western governments get over the Vietnam war cringe factor that still affects their ability to take a firm stand. When they are brave enough to tell the safe and cosy military protected peacenicks that the time has come. The Americans, supported by a few decent and smart countries, will go in, do their fighting very hard and fast, Saddam will go down, and there will be dancing in the streets of Iraq. And all the snobby guilt-ridden lefties will go quiet for a short period, work on their spin, and then come out with yet more twisted verbage, probably about something else so that we'll be distracted from America's successful bit of work on their behalf. Must be nice to be a blameless Leftie in a cosy cocoon.

Posted by: acb Thu Jan 23 15:36:03 2003

It must be comfortable to have such blind faith in the righteousness of your political leaders.

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Jan 23 23:59:20 2003

Yesterday, after seeing that Charlie Stross had completely endorsed this article in his blog, I thought, "Well, that's it. Time to accept that this is reality for a lot of people, time to figure out where that will take us."

Obviously, if the US gets Saddam and we do indeed see a TV parade of happy Iraqis, abandoned torture facilities, WMD stockpiles, records of terrorist liaisons, etc., anyone re-reading Le Carre's piece will have a lot to think about.

Posted by: mitch http:// Fri Jan 24 00:19:33 2003

... But what interests me is the "No War" scenario (one of three recently named by some economic forecasters, the others being "Short War" and "Long War"). There are some recent signs of US weakness (kowtowing to Kim Jong Il, Rumsfeld on TV virtually begging Saddam to take exile), which I ultimately attribute to fear, of nukes and smallpox respectively. If the "axis" regimes are all still there at the end of 2004, then US weakness will be confirmed. At the highest levels of state, on both sides, everyone will understand that it's due to the power of WMDs. But how will the people who believe it's all been about the Bush junta's quest for oil dominance interpret such a turn of events? They'll see it as good winning over evil, and it will strengthen their general worldview.

Posted by: Graham Fri Jan 24 00:22:07 2003

Considering the outcome of the last Gulf War (Kuwait was liberated, fine, shame about the rooting out Saddam part), and considering the rogues gallery of alternative Iraqi leaders-in-waiting, excuse us if we're a tad sceptical.

The last I heard, it was Al-Qaeda, reportedly supported by private Saudis or Iranians, that attacked America, not Iraq.

I'm not against wars of defence /per se/, just the stupid venal personal vendetta types of war. Like this one.

Posted by: mitch http:// Fri Jan 24 00:38:22 2003

... I suppose what I have in mind is something like this: A new era of Eurasian warfare in the post-USA vacuum of power, with the use and the threat of WMD terrorism playing a big role, and America itself consumed by a movement to punish the globalizing corporate warlords.

And then you have the opposite scenario: All the axis regimes gone by the end of 2003, Islam joins the modern world, China becomes democratic, and we all live happily ever after in Fukuyama's end of history. Presumably the real future will be some odd mixture of those two extremes.

Posted by: mitch http:// Fri Jan 24 01:13:50 2003

I think chemical and especially biological weapons are generally the clue to the world's dealings with Saddam Hussein. Why did Iran agree to a ceasefire in 1988? Because Iraq was sending missiles into Tehran, chemical weapons had just been used on the battlefield, and they were afraid that the next batch of missiles would have chemical warheads. Why did coalition forces not advance into Baghdad in 1991? Israel and Saudi Arabia were afraid that there would be a final volley of Scuds with unconventional payloads. Why did the USA not openly link Iraq to Al Qaeda and 9/11 in 2002? Because they'd have to admit that they would be defenseless if the anthrax in those letters was, say, sprayed from a cropduster over Washington DC.

Posted by: acb Fri Jan 24 03:21:06 2003

The USA stands for democracy only in name; the political system is owned outright by corporations who use it to further concentrate power and undermine democracy and self-determination. Which is why they've been foisting "free trade" treaties which remove governments' sovereignty to do anything that impairs branch office profits, cutting taxes for the wealthy (thus the poor pay more and get less from it). Meanwhile, except at the top, real wages have been declining, and the US is now approaching Brazilian levels of inequality.

Posted by: acb Fri Jan 24 03:26:19 2003

Mind you, as long as the media does its job (CNN/FoxNews certainly doesn't, but we have clown prince Michael Moore, and various grass-roots campaigns like the anti-sweatshop campaign), the oligarchy will remain a lot less brutal than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The difference is not that it's ideologically nicer, but that it doesn't have the power to crush descent. (Though things like Poindexter's Total Information Awareness, Ashcroft's techno-Stasi proposal, &c., are very worrying; imagine what J. Edgar Hoover could do with that.)

Posted by: Graham Fri Jan 24 03:44:44 2003

Anyway, what was that old saying about boiling a frog?

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