Uncharted | The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, October 25-26, 2013: Noted
Noted to Aid Your Morning Procrastination for October 1, 2013

No, Ralph Miliband Did Not Hate Britain. Why Do You Ask?

Ralph Miliband:

A subsidiary argument, which has… been used to justify some military interventions, notably the Vietnamese intervention in Kampuchea… is the argument that, whatever may be said against military intervention in most cases, it is defensible… in the case of particularly tyrannical and murderous regimes, for instance the regime of Idi Amin in Uganda and of Pol Pot in Kampuchea…. But attractive though the argument is, it is also dangerous. For who is to decide…?

There are other forms of intervention than military ones: for instance economic pressure by way of sanctions, boycott and even blockade. Tyrannical regimes make opposition extremely difficult: but they do not make it impossible. And the point is to help internal opposition rather than engage in military 'substitutism'…. Hitler's Third Reich was not only a tyranny. Nor was it merely guilty of border incursions against other states. It was quite clearly bent on war and the subjugation of Europe. But neither Uganda nor Kampuchea are in this order of circumstances…

So I would have no problem had the Daily Mail run a story about Ralph Miliband headlined: "The Man Who Hated Uganda and Kampuchea".

But "The Man Who Hated Britain" is definitely a rhetorical lunge too far. I suspect the Ralph Miliband of 1940 or 1994 would love modern-day Britain more than the Daily Mail of the same date would…