The Radical Gardener

Spy novelist John Le Carre talked to The Guardian about his "radical politics" and the movie version of his latest book, "The Constant Gardener." Among his targets:

The Iraq War: "It destroyed our relationship with the Middle East and with south-east Asia and took us on a flight of fantasy about our relationship with the US. "

The American Media: "I believe that when the history of this is told, what will be perceived as most awful is the collapse of the US media as a critical voice."

The Pharmaceutical Industry: "Big Pharma, as it is known, offered everything: the hopes and dreams we have of it; its vast, partly realised potential for good; and its pitch-dark underside, sustained by huge wealth, pathological secrecy, corruption and greed."

His interrogator suggests that his views on contemporary politics lack the subtlety of his books.

What do you think?


By Jefferson Morley |  October 10, 2005; 5:00 PM ET  | Category:  Europe
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Frankly, I don't see a anything radical about his position. In deed, I see Bush and Blair as right wing radicals. I caught Blair on C-Span at a Labor Party Conference, and he was a clone of Bush pushing globalization and "Free Trade". In deed, the so-called Liberal/Left leadership in the Western world has sold out to corporate interests. They have all become right wing radicals. I see what they are doing to the United States and Great Britain, and,it is my personal belief that they are traitors to their respective countries.
I see myself as an American whose core political beliefs center on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent Civil rights amendments. These beliefs are what makes me an American. I am a patriotic American, and these people are lice.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | October 10, 2005 06:03 PM

He is correct. It is a sad day indeed when the truth - the truth mind you - is perceived as radical thought.

Posted by: Mark Esposito | October 11, 2005 11:50 AM

I watched the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck" over the weekend, but found myself very anxious from beginning to end. At first I thought it was the process of re-living a terrible period in our history, until I realized that my anxiety was coming from the actions of the present administration and the parallels between the two situations. To paraphrase, the present administration actively portrays dissent as disloyalty. I agree with Mr. Le Carre's comments regarding the US media failing to act as a critical voice. Who, if anyone, is the Edward R. Murrow of today?

Posted by: David Mitchell | October 11, 2005 01:53 PM

Mr. Mitchell is correct. There are parallels between McCarthy period and the Bush Administration. The hearings of the Senator Coleman's committe were a pale imitation of McCarthy. I watched Joe McCarthy on televison when I was in High School, and it turned me off as far as the Republican Party was concerned. I think what did McCarthy in was his attack on the Army. A lot of credit goes to the attorney for the Army, a Mr. Stevens if I remember correctly. McCarthy was a bully, and, like most bullies, he crumbled under Steven's counter attack. Further, It was poor strategy on his part to attack the institution in which President Eisenhower served, commanded, and loved.
Actually, when Murrow joined the fray, McCarthy had pretty well shot his bolt and was going down hill.
If I were to compare the two periods, I believe the Bush adminstration are better propagandists than McCarthy. Of course, they have more power and controlling the Executive branch, the legislative, and, fairly soon, the Supreme Court.
The similarities are the big lie, and the attempts to discredit or intimidate people who oppose their policies. The outing of C.I.A. Operative Valerie Plame would be an example of the latter two methods.
However, you have to remember Mr. Stevens when you deal with these people. They are bullies who will crumble under a strong counter attack. They are clever as opposed to intelligent, and they confuse tactics with strategy.
I believe Mr. Galloway used the same methods against the Coleman Committee. Good for him!

Posted by: P. J. Casey | October 11, 2005 04:46 PM

Sounds like he got it right.

Posted by: Johnnie Nichols | October 12, 2005 02:24 PM

John Le Carre is right, radical or not.
I agree totally that Blair and Bush are both enemies of their Countries and have held the people hostage through false claims, greed, bullying, accusing dissenters of being unpatriotic thus aiding the insurgents. I would be an insurgent too, if he invaded Canada illegally to secure our oil and water. A lot of insurgents in Iraq are just Iraqi's that hate being illegally invaded and occupied and having their options of freeing and removing their leaders themselves taken from them without any respect for their cultures or religion.
It's actually "quite disgusting" what Bush and Blair have done to their respective Countries. Most Global citizens want peace and dialoque pertaining to non-profiferation of nuclear energy not threats and bullying by the world's leading hypocrites.

Posted by: sherry | October 12, 2005 08:56 PM

I agree with him. When the Iraq war started I felt that the "embedded reporters" were "in bed (with the military and administration)reporters." There was no critical coverage.

Posted by: Dennis J | October 14, 2005 01:27 PM

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