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Israel's Challenge: From Arab 'Nationalism' to Jihadist 'Globalism'

Reader comment on item: Israel's Unnecessary War in Lebanon

Submitted by Joe (United States), Jul 18, 2006 at 15:33

I'm not going to take issue with the thrust of Pipes' argument. But I would point out that Israel is far from alone in not getting out in front of the dangerous cross-currents emanating from the Arab world as it transitions from a 'resistance' ideology based on traditional concepts of 'nationalism' to a resistance ideology based on Islamic jihadism.

The secular leaders of Arab nations where jihadism is rising (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia), the secular leaders of the West where jihadism has drawn blood (U.S., Russia, UK, France, Spain, Australia), and the secular leaders of India, have all failed to see that since the end of the cold war, it is pan-national, supra-national Islamic jihadism that has become the dominant resistance ideology, displacing the Marxists 'national liberation struggle' in the middle east and elsewhere.

If you want to see it through the prism of past threats to the west, think of pan-national jihadism (or Bin Laden-ism) as the 'Trotskyism' or 'Guevarra-ism' of the islamic world, in contrast to the Iranian flavor of Islamic 'Stalinism' that sees every Islamic movement as an extension of it's own imperial ambition. This contention between Islamic 'Trotskyism' and Islamic 'Stalinism' is an important contradiction for us to recognize and take advantage of in order to win the bigger struggle. It is playing out in Iraq today.

And what Israel has done with this war is to recognize the shift from a nationalist PLO to a pan-nationalist Jihadism has taken place on their border, and therefore decided to take the conflict to the sponsoring Islamic Stalinists in Tehran, and their clients in Lebanon (and perhaps Syria). The key for the west is to expand the dialog about the nature of our common enemy, and drive a wedge between Iran and the legitimate national aspirations of all people in the middle east. We failed to do it in the communist era and it cost us a 50 year nuclear standoff and millions of deaths in 'third world' liberation struggles where we should have been seen as the 'good guys'.

If Condi Rice is as smart as everyone says she is, she will begin elaborating on the transition from 'communist inspired' national liberation struggles to 'Iranian Islamic imperialism' in all it's forms. Isolate them first, sell legitimate 'nationalism' (not abstract democracy) as the alternative, and turn up the volume on Europe to begin expelling more of their jihadist immigrants before they become the 'elected majority' in a NATO country with nuclear weapons and digital links to our intelligence apparatus.


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