"Last Friday a friend of mine in California drove to his local supermarket with a sticker on his car saying: 'Peace is also Patriotic.' It was gone by the time he'd finished shopping," writes an appalled John Le Carré. What an inspiring story. A Californian gives a lefty a dose of his own medicine? Great. Such right-wing table-turning is rarely seen in the Golden State. And how can Le Carré object? Since when has defacing symbols horrified lefties like him?
Phony pacifists usually don't mind a little violence as long as it is directed at conservatives. Violent world leaders don't trouble them too much either. The pacifists of the Cold War oozed sympathy for Soviet thugs. And pacifists still dine with Fidel Castro.
Le Carré whines about the "outrageous hypocrisy" of America while wallowing in his own. The Le Carré left can benignly interpret the motives of madmen even as it disparages the motives of its own leaders. Leftists say with dogmatic certainty that Saddam Hussein has no motive to war on America, and then say with equal certainty that George Bush has crass motives to war on Iraq.
"What Bush won't tell us is the truth about why we're going to war. What is at stake is not an Axis of Evil -- but oil, money and people's lives. Saddam's misfortune is to sit on the second biggest oilfield in the world. Bush wants it, and who helps him get it will receive a piece of the cake. And who doesn't, won't," writes Le Carré.
Saddam's misfortune? Such leftist sympathy is rarely extended to George Bush. Why do known mass-murderers excite little passion in pacifists while George Bush brings them to a war-like fever pitch? "Baghdad represents no clear and present danger to its neighbours, and none to the U.S. or Britain," declares Le Carré. But the U.S. certainly does: "What is at stake is not an imminent military or terrorist threat, but the economic imperative of U.S. growth. What is at stake is America's need to demonstrate its military power to all of us -- to Europe and Russia and China, and poor mad little North Korea, as well as the Middle East; to show who rules America at home, and who is to be ruled by America abroad."
The Le Carré left sees Hussein as a pacifist and Bush as a warmonger. Le Carré is convinced that the "imminent war was planned years before bin Laden struck." Le Carré calls the Bush administration a "junta" just itching for war so that it wouldn't have to "explain such tricky matters as how it came to be elected in the first place; Enron; its shameless favouring of the already-too-rich; its reckless disregard for the world's poor, the ecology and a raft of unilaterally abrogated international treaties." The left would rather war on Bush's America than Hussein's Iraq. While the left can even find a good word for Bin Laden -- à la Patty Murray -- it holds nothing but scorn for Bush. He can't do anything right. Even his overt peacemaking grates on them.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bush-backed "Shared Values" campaign -- television ads in foreign lands aimed at showing that America isn't hostile to the Muslim world -- has flopped amidst domestic criticism and opposition from Muslim "allies" who are in no mood to share values with the U.S. "The ads were extremely poor," said Youssef Ibrahim, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, to the Wall Street Journal. "It was like this was the 1930s and the government was running commercials showing happy blacks in America."
Le Carré would count this ad campaign as more "colonialist adventure." America's outstretched hand is always interpreted by the left as a clenched fist.
America ends wars it didn't start and the left calls it a warmonger, gives aid to the foreign poor and the left calls it greedy, loses thousands of lives to jihadists and the left calls it a holy warrior. "The religious cant that will send American troops into battle is perhaps the most sickening aspect of this surreal war-to-be," says Le Carré. "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." Moral relativists are never so certain as when denouncing America.
"America has entered one of its periods of historical madness," says Le Carré. Madmen like Hussein can always count on softheaded surrogates in the West to diagnose resisting them as madness.