The pub crowd included Norm Geras, Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Manchester. In a recent article in Britain's New Statesman, Geras and columnist Nick Cohen described their group as "of the left."The manifesto can be found here, and Norm Geras' website is here
"Many of us were supporters of the military intervention in Iraq," Geras and Cohen wrote, "and those who weren't -- who had indeed opposed it -- nonetheless found themselves increasingly out of tune with the dominant antiwar discourse. They were at odds, too, with how it related to other prominent issues -- terrorism and the fight against it, U.S. foreign policy, the record of the Blair government, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, more generally, attitudes to democratic values."
The News Statesman article doesn't name names, but I'll wager "dominant antiwar discourse" serves as short-hand for the public rant of such "left-wing" luminaries as filmmaker Michael Moore, activist Cindy Sheehan, British member of Parliament George Galloway and websites like www.myleftwing.com (featured in a recent Washington Post article).
"The Euston Manifesto" offers an encouraging alternative "progressive" counter-point to the loud Left crowd. It rejects those who "indulgently 'understand' reactionary regimes and movements for which democracy is a hated enemy – regimes that oppress their own peoples and movements that aspire to do so."
Its smackdown of knee-jerk anti-Americanism is long overdue, rejecting "without qualification the anti-Americanism now infecting so much left-liberal (and some conservative) thinking." U.S. failings "are shared in some degree with all of the developed world." The United States "is the home of a strong democracy with a noble tradition ... ." The manifesto abhors "generalized prejudice" against either the United States or its people.
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