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something strange is happening « Previous | |Next »
October 5, 2005

There is a disconnect between the Bali bombings, Iraq and the clash of civilizations, is there not?

The common discourse is that Islamic terrorism in London or Bali nothing to do with Iraq, or whathe Coalition is doing in Iraq. Jihadist Islam is evil ideology. The terrorsts are against our society. They are against our democracy. They are against our freedoms. They are against Australia. It is a clash of good and evil. The war against terror will never end.


Iraq has faded away from the media headlines and we no longer connect with what is happening there. Yet it is unclear what the Coalition in Iraq is fighting for now in the civil war that is destroying the country and its people. It seems that the Americans are fighting to prop up a client regime in Iraq.; or more accurately U.S. and Iraqi forces are battling a Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad.

As Robert Fisk observed: on Lateline:

I notice every time I raise the issue of the Middle East with you, we come back to Indonesia again. But there are connections between Indonesia and the Middle East - with Indonesia and Libya, actually as well. There are direct connections between al-Qaeda and Indonesia. You've said that on your program. We need the talk about the Middle East and we will not do so, and even you on this program - and with much respect, we're talking as journalists together - you don't want to make that connection, and that connection exists and unless we make it, we are in danger.

I'm not sure why we don't make the connection any more. History has become discontinuous.

One response is to say the the Left's understanding of the terrorism is flawed. This understanding pretty much blames Britain, Australia and the United States for bringing the attacks upon themselves. While the bombers and their agenda are denounced this position holds that we should get out of Iraq, bring home the troops from all points east, curtail support for Israel, develop a more sensible, and non-oil-based energy policy.

Sasha Abramsky holds that this is a truncated analysis that leads to a blindspot: It assumes:

"...that groups like al-Qaida are almost entirely reactive, responding to western policies and actions, rather than being pro-active creatures with a virulent homegrown agenda, one not just of defence but of conquest, destruction of rivals, and, ultimately and at its most megalomaniacal, absolute subjugation."

She says that goups like al-Qaida--- and we can add JI ---are seeking to subvert established social orders and to replace the cultural and institutional infrastructure of its enemies with a (divinely inspired) hierarchical autocracy of its own. That is the Left's blindspot.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)