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We are the world, we are the children... all together now, leftists and islamists!

Reader comment on item: Why the Left Loves Osama [and Saddam]

Submitted by Monica (Italy), Mar 20, 2003 at 16:39

You hit the nail on the head, again. I do not think that all, or even most, of the left is actually *aware* of that mechanism going on in their "arguments", it's more an ideological default, like you say - and beyond actual comments being made, it's so clear from any public manifestation and position that the left does consider it less of a crime to be dictatorships, murderers, terrorists and fundamentalists as long as it's anti-US, or rather, more specifically, anti-bush. (and anti-israel, of course).

But there's more direct links than inane post-9/11 comments. The protests in London on Feb 15 were sponsored by the strange alliance of the Socialist Worker party and the most fundamentalist Islamic organizations in the UK. Nick Cohen on the Observer wrote about that, and how those asked how they felt about this said it didn't matter to them as long as the goal was common - ie. protesting against the US (not the war really, but America as a whole. quite spooky in fact, to hear that admitted openly).

It is a tricky issue to deal with protesters and the anti-war left and imply they're doing something dangerous, but they are, whether it's intended or not. It sounds like delegitmising free speech, and all that. It's not really. It's just calling them to their responsibilities. People must know that the moment they come together in public as a mass, as an organization, as a political force demanding to be heard - even if they do not have appointed political positions, they are already committed to political responsibilites. So it's not just the leaders or "spokesmen" of the left and all the movements against the war - but also all participants, who should realise that what they're doing and saying does have consequences and that their more or less direct liasons with fundamentalists cannot be brushed aside with a "as long as the goal is common" and not even wonder about what that goal implies for terrorists.

I honestly think they do not fully realise that. They're in denial, a very typical trait of the left. Also, their supposed cloak of championing the rights of "the oppressed" is so patronising. I just got a sample copy of World Press Review, which I gather (I'm not in the US) is cleary leftist. On the back there's an ad for the magazine that pictures a few smiling faces from people dressed in typical easily-identified (and rather tourist-clich├ęs) costumes from Africa, Asia or Arab countries (headscarves, nepalese children with folk headgear, etc) and the slogan: "see the world through THEIR eyes". I can't explain why it does sound a lot more patronising than references to "them" by the Bush administration, but it does! It's like, see how good we are in bringing you the (extremely filtered) views of "them" poor people of these fancy tribes, this world of "them" where "they"re stuck in the stone age - implication: all beucase of the US empire plundering their riches, of course. We are the world, we are the children, and so on. All one big self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back for "giving voice" to the undistinct masses that just by virtue of not being American must be 100% entirely benign, and when they're not, poor things, they just got understandably angry at the evil empire, and ah, they fought back with the only means available to them, poor oppressed people with no huge funds to build proper armies, that's why they're "forced" to resort to terrorism - that is the classic line of defense of palestinian "militants" I hear from the anti-israel brigades within the left wing.

Who'd ever think the imams would find a pulpit within the west?
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