John Pilger is at it again. Who would want to read it? But you can often learn something if you look carefully enough. What Pilger is burbling about for the thousandth time is the sins of America: 'militarism camouflaged as democracy', 'the constitution... replaced by an emerging police state', and so forth. You might wonder why, with anti-democratic regimes and movements abounding, Pilger is only ever interested in America, America, America (oh, with Israel maybe thrown in now and again). Or why the man avails himself of the democratic rights enjoyed in those parts of the world that tend, according to him, to do America's bidding. He would say, doubtless, that it is more effective to be a critic of what is close to home. But that has never been a convincing argument. The international left opposed apartheid in South Africa; much of it opposes Israel to the point of obsession. It ain't just about near and far. There's something else at work in the sheer imbalance between the vituperation directed at America and its allies and the relative lack of it aimed at those regimes around the world denying rights and freedoms to those they govern.
The something else at work in Pilger's thinking - and representative of that part of the left to which he belongs - is revealed by him in a single sentence today:
The great unmentionable is that humanity's most dangerous enemy resides across the Atlantic.
There you go. It's a most useful criterion for mapping the contemporary left: there are the people like Pilger who think that America is the main enemy; and then there are others on the left who... don't.