« fancying himself an emperor | Main | pushing the red envelope »

February 17, 2013



More fever: early in March I remember getting a knock on the door from the local Peace leader, enthusiastically brandishing a petition calling on our local MP to take various precipitous actions to stop the war.

He was a lovely guy but not much for logistics and I regret his crestfallen look as I explained that there were already three carriers in the Gulf with more steaming in, which in my estimation suggested it was all a bit beyond the ALP shadow frontbencher his hopes were pinned to.


George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the PATRIOT Act-signing, Iraq and Afghanistan war-launching, bank-bailouting bastards did not believe in government? Hrm. No. I'm not sure that was the problem.

organic cheeseboard

I think this is shocking stuff from McEwan. 'Saturday' is a novelistic justification for the war from beginning to end, and it's toe-curling that he's trying to be equivocal about it now. And this 'peace plan' is also a lie - McEwan wanted war in Iraq at the time, not peace. The novel literally says that attacking Saddam is the equivalent of performing brain surgery on someone with an inherited condition. He's said elsewhere:

just a little or maybe a lot below the surface in his confrontation with Baxter is an echo of the confrontation of the rich, satisfied, contented West with a demented strand of a major world religion

Also from the C4 interview:

There were voices, particularly on the left, that thought anyone who criticised Islamism was really criticising Islam

Martin Amis, McEwan's mate, specifically WAS, in interviews, calling all Muslims Islamists. This is on the record. McEwan and Amis can pretend otherwise but them's the facts. Amis said:

the only thing the Islamists like about modernity is modern weapons. And they’re going to get better and better at that. They’re also gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now [...]

'They' here are both Muslim and Islamist - the two words are interchangeable for him. Presumably McEwan didn't see this? Or maybe Mart was in 'adumbration' mood.


It is interesting that he is pulling back at this time. Perhaps he's worried about his legacy.

He could go down as the Sir Henry Newbolt of the Iraq War.


It is interesting that he is pulling back at this time. Perhaps he's worried about his legacy.

Or also, he is no longer worried about what Hitch might say.

john b

To his credit, Ian M was always careful in his own to distinguish Muslims from Islamists, as Cheeseboard's quote highlights. To his deficit, he was not exactly assiduous in criticising when the Chris & Marty Show did the opposite.

The comments to this entry are closed.

friends blogs


Blog powered by Typepad

my former home