Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What’s left? What’s new?

Oliver Kamm rips into Johann Hari for his critique of Nick Cohen and the "pro-war left" in general. There is more here.

Even when he was on "our side", I tended towards thinking that Hari was a fairly superficial writer. An example can be found in my post Global Justice. These comments were e-mailed to at the time.

A month or two earlier, Hari was found to have engaged in plagiarism (or nicking other people's words) by Chris Brookes ( 18.8.04 ... "Great Coincidences of Our Time: In The New Republic, dated 1 October 2001... ").

Sorry, this is starting to sound like digging up dirt. I am merely trying to say that some people had doubts about him, even when he was the only journalist on The Independent to break from the easy consensus on Iraq.
Nick Cohen has responded himself:
[My book] looks at how Anglo-American leftists took up the left-wing opponents of Baathism when Saddam was America’s ally, but dumped them in 1990 when Saddam became America enemy. Opposition to America was more important to them than opposition to totalitarian regimes of the extreme right
It's a shame he didn't read more Orwell, since that's exactly what he accuses "the Left" (or the greater part of it) of doing in its attitude towards Nazi Germany, at least until the Soviet-German pact was broken in 1941.
even the once-respected BBC has admitted to fixing competitions...
That's a trivial aspect to attack the BBC on.

"Bernard Kouchner’s foreign ministry in Paris" is a convenient formulation to mask the fact that he's working for a right-wing president.

Comments are closed. If they were ever open. I have e-mailed these comments to

The argument rumbles on...

Update (3 Aug) There are a couple of posts on dstpfw that are worth noting, the first on the threats of libel action, the second on the substantive issues, like the Iraq war.

On the first I have dropped the comment: 
By the way, there is a case to be made for the libel laws: George Orwell made it once. But I'll save that for another day.
On the second, Eric summed it up neatly.
Johann preferred a short war to an endless tyranny, he didn't sign up for a long war against people trying to impose a new tyranny.
I don't know if there is a word for this - choosing between two options that didn't actually exist (that is, one of them didn't). 

Update (3 Aug, 12:35) Will at a General Theory of Rubbish posted a new days ago about the "Great Coincidences",  but he doesn't give the source, as far as I can see. 


Anonymous Will said...

I posted that after I'd already posted the Stoat link in the comments thread on this post:

Putit up at my place because I wouldn't put it past Brooke to take it off his site now that him and the Bertramistas are now all buddy buddy with Hari arse.

and you also neglected to post a link to this post:

1:16 pm, August 04, 2007  
Blogger DavidP said...

I did read the get-out-of-my-office-youre-weak post. I did not intend to be exhaustive in the links I gave, as indicated by my "The argument rumbles on..." There is more at OK's blog and at the Virtual Stoa.

2:16 pm, August 06, 2007  
Blogger DavidP said...

Correction: the Soviet-German pact was broken in 1941, not 1942.

5:32 pm, August 07, 2007  

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