Hitchens and the Left

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Sun Sep 30 12:36:26 MDT 2001

> From: Austin, Andrew <austina at uwgb.edu>
> To: 'marxism at lists.panix.com'
> Subject: RE: Hitchens and the Left
> Date: Saturday, September 29, 2001 7:59 PM
> Xxxx,
> How do my comments make me something less than anti-imperialist? What I
> saying is that the left loses its credibility when it appears to blame
> WTC attacks entirely on U.S. foreign policy (which many of our comrades
> doing). Or worse, when it justifies the attack on that basis (which it
> sounds like we are doing). The left looks stupid when people like Chomsky
> pile up two stacks of bodies and then draw a moral conclusion. The left
> looks looney when it reduces everything bad in the world to U.S. support
> Israel.

On this list, we gave Marxist explanations of the rise of various Islamic
fundamentalist groups in the Middle East, pointing out two facts: 1) that
Islamic radicalism is a product of anti-communism- the same cold war
strategy used by the US to rationalize its war propaganda against Soviets.
2) the failure of secular regimes to fully incorporate the radical
religious elements into the mainstream of Islamic culture of their
societies and establish *left secular* nation-states. So religious
radicalism is ALSO problem of building a NATION-STATE IN A POST-COLONIAL
CONTEXT. For example, if you look at the political history of Iran you will
see that, even the Shah ragime, which was supported by American ruling
classes as being an example of MODERN IRAN, did not end gender segregation
in schools. Iran was heavily governed by Shii clergy in a manner informed
by *state religion* and patriachy. The US had long supported Iran for its
oil interests *despite* its semi-secularism. So Iran did not become a
non-secular regime in a night. John Enyang posted a nice article from Samir
Amin about secularism and religion in colonial contexs. Did you read it?

Also Islamic fascism is completely an inappropriate term to describe
Taliban from a class perspective. Fascism is a product of advanced
capitalist societies-- the highest stage of capitalism as Lenin put it. In
Afghanistan, the class origins of Taliban are rooted in pre-feudal
taribalism combined with Islamic reactionary elements (described by the US
as "freedom fighters" once)

today a Saudi diplomat who was being interviewed by Sam Donaldson on ABC
was saying that during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Osama was
thankful to Saudis for recruiting the support of "US friends" in the
struggle against Russians. Now that Osama has turned against the US is not
because US is sincere about secularism or human rights. It is because the
possible communist threat is over and the US is looking for an enemy to
rationalize its involvement in the region.

So nobody apologized the bombing of WTC. Do you have an alternative

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Ph.D Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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