[Marxism] Re: Why is 'Out Now!' weak?"

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam1 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 14:25:35 MDT 2006

The entirety of Joaquin's argument against my viewpoint can be boiled down
to three words: Americans are stupid. Stupid people are of course are unable
to appreciate points (1-4), geopolitical, strategic, religious, and security
concerns; they just do what they're told. But there is a big difference
between stupidity and ignorance. Stupidity is like an empty glass into which
you can pour any combination of ingredients. But ignorance is a glass with a
toxic brew already simmering at the bottom, which will poison and distort
whatever else you add into the mix.

The problem we face here is one of ignorance, not stupidity. Why would
Americans support a free Iraq if they still support the general idea of
controlling the Middle East? That's always the bottom-line objection to 'out
now' raised by liberal thinkers and anyone who's got Democratic politics,
whether the concern is protecting from terrorist attack, or Iranian
expansion, or a haven for destabilization. As I already said, in the context
of general imperialist aims, leaving Iraq is  like giving a man a knife and
letting him loose when you've got his family being tortured next door.
Whether Americans are afraid because they think enemies are motivated by
hatred of our freedoms, or because they know deep down inside we've been
messing the area up, bottom line is their fear is not grounded in stupidity
- it is real and justified. It just also happens to be grounded in ignorance
because there are 101 steps to take to depressurize the situation and create
peace and security by putting the neoconservative agenda into full reverse
and making a clean break with imperialism in the Middle East.

As for the idea that hysteria over Communism was worse than that over
Islamist terrorism, (a) I said the difference was *also* attributable to the
ME being more valuable than Indochina, (b) I can see how more hysteria over
Communism was possible in a general sense, but not at a gut level of
personal safety. There was mutually assured destruction and a government to
negotiate with. That seems less scary than suicide bombers and various cells
plotting to blow up your planes and trains. Besides, Islam has been around a
lot longer than Communism ever lasted, so there is a huge reservoir of
historical enmity to tap into.

M. Junaid Alam

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