The Betrayal of the Radical Left...
In a blogpost by David Zarnett entitled The Betrayal of the Radical Left the author provides a well written but in my view also rather old fashioned analysis of the historical drivers of the radical left and in particular that section which David labels "neo-Marxists".
The central tenets of David's piece can be summarised as follows:
1. Fundamentalist Islam is out to seek world domination,
2. The radical left is allying itself with this enemy of old, to further its own objectives.
As regards the first point, I'm not going to waste an awful lot of words on it. I believe the whole idea of Islam's perceived objective of Global Domination to be no more than the religious Far Right's wet dream of an all-ending clash with a centuries old nemesis, a modern day Armageddon, which speaks to the imagination of simple minds and is exploited by those who have vested interests in mobilising the cannon fodder for wars like Iraq and future ones to come.
That there exist within each religious group extreme elements dreaming of global domination cannot be denied but the fact that there numbers are too small to realistically wage such a conflict, is in my view hard to dispute.
Further elaboration on why I find the "Clash of Civilisations" idea rather laughable, although possibly a self-fulfilling prophecy, if we keep preaching and believing it, can be found at bin Laden and the Swedish Connection, How the West has Won the World, How the West was Wrong and Neo-conservative Nonsense.
So, it's really the second point that merits most of my attention. Again, my rebuttal of David's position can be found in the exchange of comments on his blogpost.
Let me first state that I'm not "radical left" (a long time ago, "radical chic" perhaps but that has nothing to with politics). Nonetheless, I feel that David is confusing issues here. The fact that many on both sides of the political spectrum reject the legitimacy of the war on terror as it's being fought in its present form, that they believe the idea of an impending International war between Islam and Christianity to be no more than a mirage and that al-Qaeda has far different objectives than to seek global domination for Islam, does not constitute a betrayal by the Radical Left, in the form of an alliance between the former and Islamist fundamentalism.
David appears very much stuck in "Cold War mode" in that respect.
Despite a rather amicable exchange of views, David then decided to unilaterally end the discussion, for reasons that remain unclear as yet. I can only say that the same once happened in a private exchange of views by email, which David also terminated without a further peep.
This is therefore my only opportunity to set the record straight and end my frustration with someone who writes in his closing statement:
I may be discussing this with someone who may be more radical and close minded than I initially believed.
I can only guess at David's reasons fro suspecting me of radicalism. Perhaps it was the mention of Zionism? It's my experience that those Jews living outside of Israel, for some utterly bizarre reason take exception to being called Zionists, when their brethren in Israel wear that term so often as a badge of honour. Call a spade a spade, and get called anti-spade as thanks for your trouble.
Perhaps I'm wrong and you're not Jewish, David, but if you are I see no reason for you to take offence at my referring to your perspective as "Zionist". Your views on Israel and Iran don't lie and you're perfectly entitled to them. And even if I'm wrong I see no need to apologise: Zionism and Jew aren't swearwords in my book.
Finally, your assertion that:
Experts on terrorism will tell you that terrorism and media technology go hand in hand. They are masters of spin and PR no doubt - like all political groups they must do this to spread their message. Radical Islamist groups in Iraq have a large internet presense to diseminate their ideas.
is risible. Who are the masters in media spin here: Al Jahzeera and al-Qaeda? Or the West. Oh, OBL spins very well indeed but in terms of media coverage the West can drown out just about anybody. And they do so.
And Iran's Internet presence? Well let's swap numbers about US/UK/European Internet presence and Iran's counter-offensive in that part of the world...
Keywords: Left, Radical Left, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Terrorism, War