Thursday, February 13, 2003

The Artistic Left

We have Sean Penn; the Germans have Gunter Grass. In a recent interview with New Perspectives Quarterly, the Nobel Laureate claims that George W. Bush is a threat to world peace but makes no mention of Saddam Hussein. As the interview continues, Grass notes that Bush, motivated by "hereditary compulsions," is trying to please his father by ousting Saddam. Grass ignores the fact that the elder Bush deliberately opted not to go to Baghdad and that all of Bush senior's advisors wrote OpEd pieces against junior's policy. At least Bill Keller of the New York Times knows that the younger Bush is more like Reagan than he is like his own father.

Interestingly, Grass does not distinguish between Iraq and Al Qaeda (either such considerations are not within the poet's purview or the Bush administration has made its case well). He justifies the terrorist attacks on the U.S for its supposed bullying in world affairs (he didn't bother to ask the Poles how they felt about Reagan's bullying of the Soviets). He also laments that capitalism is "left without a rival. And in this extraordinary situation it has emerged as an avaricious, above all suicidal, force bent on destroying itself. It thinks that it can get away with any and everything. What now transpires in the stockmarket is nothing more than destruction of capital. And along with it the destruction of employment, workplace and human resources."

One begins to wonder what the United States will be found guilty of next.


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