I keep recommending ‘Blog entries from Oliver Kamm—another Leftie with principles—to my friends. Coincidentally, today in another excellent entry, he links to Norman Geras’s ‘Blog, as I did yesterday. How many times do we have to explain it to you, you bigoted, anti-American pinheads?

Update: There is a problem with the link above. I think that, for all his erudition, Oliver Kamm might not have grasped the technical details of his blogging system. What I am trying to do is link to his entry from Tuesday, entitled “The Voice of Reason” which recommends Norman Geras’s ‘Blog and quotes him:

“Half the world stood aghast [after September 11], but in no time at all there was a great chorus of left and liberal opinion – the Guardian in Britain a prime representative site of this – saying, ‘Yes, terrible, appalling, but…’; the ‘but’ following so close upon the ‘yes’ as to squeeze out any adequate registration of either the significance or the horror of what had occurred. By contrast, the matter following the ‘but’ was so extensive and one-sided as to read like an apologia.

“What followed the ‘but’ was that the assault on New York and Washington had to be seen as a response to US imperialist policy and its effects: to America’s wars; its support for despots; the distribution of global wealth and power; ‘social conditions’ for which America was to blame; injustices likewise; Palestine; Iraq. The notion was of a comeuppance. However, except if you indulge the world-view of those who were responsible for the assault, there is an unacceptable slippage here. For it was not American imperialism or the US government that they struck at. It was a large number of (mostly) American citizens. It is no more a response to imperialism and its effects to massacre thousands of civilians at random than it would be a response to bad conditions in some inner-city for a person aggrieved about them to rape the child of a wealthy family or kill a few passers-by. It is an elementary principle, not merely of just war, but of ordinary morality, that the murder of the innocent is a crime. But to explain (it was said by some of those insisting on the need for context in this matter) is not to excuse or justify. The defence is not available just so, without more ado. To explain is not necessarily to excuse or justify. Yet it can be precisely that. It depends on the quality and substance of the purported explanation.”

But, if you follow my link and get Oliver Kamm’s other recent entries, about the terrible state of the Democrats in the U.S., about the oft-repeated lie that the Palestinians “already have a state” in Jordan or criticizing Thomas Friedmann for not being combative enough, you’ll probably find those interesting too.