As long as they’re anti-western

Picture of woman looking at coffins of men massacred at SrebrenicaLeft and libertarian right cohabit in the weird world of the genocide belittlers — George Monbiot, The Guardian (the version with references is on Mobiot’s website here.)

This is about a tendency among the political left in this country (and the USA) that really irritates me — those who whitewash any dictator or tyrant who could be seen as “standing up to western hegemony”, even if they are actually genocidal maniacs. There are, of course, plenty of good reasons to oppose intervention every time there is a human rights emergency in another part of the world, particularly in a very inaccessible part like Rwanda, but then claiming that they didn’t really commit any atrocities (or reducing them to supposedly slightly more acceptable levels) is both ridiculous and immoral.

I was anti-war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and pro in Bosnia and Kosovo. Bosnia, in particular, really was an ongoing genocide right on our doorstep, while Iraq (in 2003) was not, and those of the London soft left who supported the invasion seemed to be deluded that they could use the Bush war machine to their advantage, when in fact it was they that were being used and the US right that was in charge. However, I also found it bizarre that some anti-war activists (including Muslims) enthusiastically lapped up Chomsky and various right-wing libertarian anti-war types, who had opposed intervention in places like Bosnia even when a genocide was going on (and if that was not obvious, there were more obvious individual atrocities such as the setting up of concentration camps, rape, individual massacres and so on).

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