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You don’t have to be anti-American to be anti- war. That’s just a right-wing trick. Words: Mark Brown
s the dogs and. in Britain's case. the lapdogs of war prepare to
descend on an Iraqi people already ravaged by sanctions and military
bombardment. the pro-war party is resorting increasingly to what it considers to be its big idea. Those of us who oppose George Bush‘s war drive are. they say. ‘anti-American’.
A recent. and particularly right-wing. report for Nouns-night went so far as to suggest that France's reluctance to support a United States-led war was based upon ‘anti-Americanism'. Were this to be true. it would make the French anti-war movement a very peculiar beast indeed.
While the bulk of the up-to—one million anti-war protestors who demonstrated in Florence recently were marching under the banners of anti- globalisation. socialism and international justice. presumably the French were proclaiming the superiority of the French language over American Iinglish.
They were. of course. proclaiming nothing of the sort. In fact. the global anti-war movement has many of its roots in a worldwide campaign of protest which originated in the American city of Seattle back in 1999. This raises the question of which America the right-wing commentators are referring to when they accuse the anti-war party of ‘anti-Americanism'. Like the vast majority of opponents of war in Iraq. I have the deepest regard for the America that acts in line with that countrst founding democratic principles. Bus" and
I love the America that asserts its t inalienable right to interrogate authority. to _ p hold it to account. to ask awkward questions and uncover uncomfortable anti-war
truths. The America of Noam Chomsky. . .
Malcolm X. Angela Davis and Martin aCtIVISt as a Luther King. The America of the freedom one-
riders. the Black Panthers and the anti-
Vietnarn War protestors. dlmeps'onal ()n a broader. cultural level. I find the fanatlc
suggestion that I. and many thousands of
people like me. hate all things American
laughable and offensive in equal measure. Bush and Blair attempt to paint the anti-war activist as some kind of one-dimensional fanatic who uses the US constitution for toilet paper. But those who are most internationalist in their political outlooks are often the most global in their cultural tastes.
In any given day it would not be unusual for me to listen to the jazz. of Miles Davis. read the poetry or prose of Maya Angelou. enjoy reproductions of the paintings of Mark Rothko. watch a film by Martin Scorsese or a play by Arthur Miller. As a socialist I remain as likely to point an interested young activist in the direction of American writer llal Draper‘s pamphlet 'I'lu' liw) Souls ome'iulism as I am to recommend the works of Marx and lingels.
Where. then. resides my supposed ‘anti-Americanism".’ The answer. of course. is that it resides only in the imaginations of Bush. Blair and their slavish media supporters. for whom it is an ideological weapon in a wicked and dangerous war for oil and strategic power.
10 THE LIST 12 Doc 2002 Q .Jar‘ 2001i
1 Sex and the City
TV The leery ladies are back to shock the sensibilities. Enjoy it because it could be the last ever series. See feature, page 18. Channel 4.
2 Duane Hanson
Art Thighs, abortions and tourists. The late artist did them all, as you’ll see in Sculptures of Life. See feature, page 16. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
Music Edinburgh‘s local heroes cap a great year with old faves and tracks from their latest, The Remote Part. See review of the year feature. page 24. Barrow/and, Glasgow.
4 The “no Towers
Film Part two of the Lord of the Rings extravaganza takes over the world. General release.
5 Give Us a Laugh
Comedy Dylan Moran, Julia Morris and Phil Kay are among those who will be doing just that. Queen ’3 Hall, Edinburgh.
6 Curve Foundation
Dance Triple bill including a modern take on Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chi/e. See preview, page 70. Traverse, Edinburgh.
Clubs FC Kahuna and Tom Middleton as support to the delightful Norwegian electro- pop duo. See preview, page 84. Barrow/and, Glasgow.
Music Glasgow’s psychedelic rock behemoths win more hearts playing tracks from The Blues is a Minefield. See preview, page 53. King Tut’s, Glasgow.
9 Dave Gorman
Comedy How do you put on a 90-minute show about a four-minute pop song. Here’s how. See preview, page 78. George Square Theatre, Edinburgh.
1 O Hogmanay
City Life Party like it’s 2002 as the central belt lets loose into 2003. See Glasgow and Edinburgh supplements. Various venues.