Remember Margaret Drabble's Vitriol? Well


Remember Margaret Drabble's Vitriol?

Well now here's a response, an excerpt of which follows:

from an article by Barbara Amiel

Countering the arguments Drabble advanced to justify her pathology is easy. The lady is a fine fiction writer, but when it comes to facts or ratiocination, she should be put in care. The sight of the faces painted on the noses of American planes bombing Iraq led her to the conclusion that "a nation that can paint those faces on death machines must be insane".

There are 26,000 entries alone on the first search engine I went to on the web for "nose art", which is what aviation art is called. It appears to have been first used by the Italians in 1913, but its golden age was the Second World War, when the Germans and British, as well as Americans, used it to keep up morale.

The key to understanding Drabble's lunatic rant is her reaction to what she says she saw on CNN celebrating the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war. She describes an old, shabbily dressed Vietnamese man bartering for dollars. The horror of this moment - an "elderly, impoverished" Vietnamese man wanting that terrible currency, American dollars, for heaven's sake - just put the lid on it for Drabble. She writes: "The Vietnamese had won the war, but had lost the peace."

Well no, Miss Drabble. The Vietnamese fought the war for communism and they won communism. That, indeed, is why the old man is impoverished, shabbily dressed and bartering for dollars. In your deliberate obtuseness, you become blind to the most self-evident conclusions and an apologist for the appalling regimes that are so far removed from your ostensible values.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 19, 2003 12:52 PM.

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