Sunday, December 05, 2004

Guardian Tries to Stamp Out Democracy

If this appeared in the National Review, I'd write it off as overheated mud-slinging: Anne Applebaum writes in Friday's Washington Post on the small core of British academics, and their supporters at the Guardian who are labelling Ukranian anti-government protesters as glove puppets of the CIA, with their strategy of "engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience". Another illustration, if one is needed, of the revolting attitude I regularly come across in British academia and wrote on yesterday.
The larger point, though, is that the "it's-all-an-American-plot" arguments circulating in cyberspace again demonstrate something that the writer Christopher Hitchens, himself a former Trotskyite, has been talking about for a long time: At least a part of the Western left -- or rather the Western far left -- is now so anti-American, or so anti-Bush, that it actually prefers authoritarian or totalitarian leaders to any government that would be friendly to the United States. Many of the same people who found it hard to say anything bad about Saddam Hussein find it equally difficult to say anything nice about pro-democracy demonstrators in Ukraine. Many of the same people who would refuse to condemn a dictator who is anti-American cannot bring themselves to admire democrats who admire, or at least don't hate, the United States. I certainly don't believe, as President Bush sometimes simplistically says, that everyone who disagrees with American policies in Iraq or elsewhere "hates freedom." That's why it's so shocking to discover that some of them do.
A diplomat also shoots back in the letters column today too:
Accustomed as I am to the Guardian's dreary catalogue of America's shortcomings, both real and imagined, I now look forward to reading an editorial, signed or unsigned, lauding America's efforts to work with others, throughout the world, to spread democracy.