Friday, 22 June 2018

Nil nisi bono - not necessarily

I do not like to speak ill of the dead, unless it is someone like Edward Kennedy, but I do not share the widespread admiration for American journalist Charles Krauthammer, who died recently. 

I have to say that he was on the important things disastrously wrong, not a conservative at all, but like many in the post-1952 Republican Party a right-wing liberal internationalist.

In a 2005 speech he called neoconservatism

"a governing ideology whose time has come."
He loved Mr Netanyahu but was, like almost all neo-cons, an ardent never-Trumper.

Donald Trump was right when he said,
"Krauthammer is a totally overrated person. I’ve never met him. He’s a totally overrated guy, doesn’t know what he’s doing. He was totally in favor of the war in Iraq. He wanted to go into Iraq and he wanted to stay there forever. These are totally overrated people."
It's very hard to be a conservative in the USA, whose conservative tradition was violently destroyed by 1783, but the neocons were certainly never conservatives. 

Mr Krauthammer had a great dislike and fear of genuine conservatism. He denounced antisemitism as the defining characteristic of European civilisation, while backing more (inter alia) Muslim immigration into Western countries. He saw no contradiction here.

Talking of Ted Kennedy, his ducal funeral Mass, given by a Cardinal and many priests in Boston Cathedral, brought to my mind irresistibly Belloc's little squib:

Here richly, with ridiculous display,

The Politician's corpse was laid away.

While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged

I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

But one should not rejoice at anyone's death and I was disgusted by the scenes of delirium in Washington DC when Osama bin Ladin was assassinated. They seemed Iranian. The man should have been captured and tried.

1 comment:

  1. The first column of Krauthammer's I recall reading, a couple of months after 9-11, prejudiced me against him so strongly, I never bothered to pay him serious attention. The US proxy force, the Northern Alliance, was struggling in its war to take Afghanistan from the Taliban, so this column Krauthammer advocated dropping warning warning leaflets in all the major Taliban-held cities and then bombing them flat.