Sunday, January 25, 2009

Independent on Sunday reviews 'Liberal Defence'

"Richard Seymour is the blogger Lenin's Tomb. For the past five years, he has been following the war party, noting every suggestion of this group, and connecting their various journalistic musings to the shifts of power on the streets of Fallujah and Baghdad. Through his blog, Seymour has built up an audience of thousands of committed readers. For them and for him there must be a real pleasure at the predicament of the so-called pro-war left now faced with an Obama presidency. Atlanticist to their heart, they find that America has rejected them. At times Seymour perhaps takes too little care to acknowledge those other, precious occasions when liberals and others have refused the appeal of arms. But that quibble aside, this is an excellent antidote to the propagandists of the crisis of our times."

Update: This appeared in yesterday's Times:

"The Liberal Defence of Murder by Richard Seymour Verso, Eur16.99 Eur15. 29 In a powerful counter-blast against the monstrous regiment of "useful idiots" who, he says, have contributed in recent decades to the murderous mess of modern times, Seymour indicts not only the obvious suspects - the neocons - but the international cadre of liberal, left-leaning intellectuals and politicians, the "pro-war Left", who supported the War in Iraq for professed "humanitarian" reasons. In anger as much as sorrow, he examines the tropes they defend, such as "civilisation", "progress", "democracy", "freedom", arguing that their attitudes amount merely to an assertion of the status quo, supportive of neo-imperialism, Islamophobia and exploitation."