Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The decline and fall of "The Spectator" 

The name says it all - welcome to the Laugh Land, where John Laughland writes in the new edition of "The Spectator" that "[w]armongering will be worse under Kerry than under Bush, and real peaceniks should therefore vote for Dubya... Bush and Kerry agree on almost everything in foreign policy, but where they disagree, Kerry is more hawkish."

I kept reading the article, looking for the punchline or the joke revealed, but by the time I got to the end I realised that Laughland is actually serious. His John Kerry a Vietnam War hero who scolds Bush as draft-dodger, a voracious critic of the current Administration's war on terror strategy (it doesn't go far enough), a "wholehearted" supporter of the war in Iraq, and an unashamed apologist for the American military supremacy.

Is this guy for real?

Apparently so. In a longer piece he penned a month earlier, Laughland extensively elaborated on his theme of Bush and Kerry being just a two militaristic peas in an American pod. "Laugh-a-minute" Laughland seems to be so far to the delusional left that not only he can't see policy differences between the two presidential contenders, but he actually seems to think that Kerry is more neo-con than thou. So much so, that he seems to propose a bizarre conspiracy theory whereby the dreadful neo-conservatives will ditch the unpalatable Texan and elect the suave and internationally appealing Boston Botoxed Brahmin to covertly continue their militaristic agenda.

As if that wasn't enough, in another piece, Laughland attempts to whitewash Saddam's record, accusing Tony Blair of "sexing up" the claims of human rights abuses in Iraq.

You may laugh or you may cry, but the question remains - what the hell is a once-respected conservative flagship like "The Spectator" publishing this sort of absurd drivel?


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