Monday, July 11, 2005
The response of part of the left, exemplified here and here and reliable pounced upon by Harry's Place - but see also Butterflies&Wheels here, is inadequate. Not just because it is dubious to the extreme that the Iraq war was a causal factor in all this - violent Islamic fundamentalism was rolling on well before 2003. That's not to say that Iraq may be one of the many causes here - but surely not the main one. But that's a political point, and one that should be met with argument rather than outrage. What is inadequate is that the bombings were not some kind of misdirected strike against imperialism, which happened to kill, goodness gracious, anti-war people as well (would the SWP and Galloway, who stress this point, condemn the atrocities less fiercely if the victims were staunch neocons?). This is not some case of good end + horrible means. The means are horrible, and so is the end. Islamic fundamentalism is a deeply reactionary, downright nasty ideology mortally opposed to the same Enlightenment values that spawned Socialism as well as Bush and Blair. And I would like to see a somewhat stronger position against it among the Left, instead of nihilistic (and dubiously opportunistic) "we brought it down upon ourselves!" hand-wringing.