19 April 2004


Paul Anderson writes:

Sorry, but I simply don't think it's true that "complex arguments over 'liberal intervention'" have been avoided by Aaronovitch, Cohen et al: they've engaged in precisely those arguments (as indeed have you and I) even if they have not been convincing.

I agree that they have sometimes caricatured anti-interventionists as appeasers of "Islamic fascism". But: (1) caricature is an entirely legitimate rhetorical device; (2) there is a strong case for drawing parallels between the ideology and practices of 1920s and 1930s European fascism and those of al-Qaida, the Taliban and Ba'athist Iraq (although I wouldn't for a moment claim these three are identical); (3) the organisational mainstays of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain have been the Socialist Workers' Party, which takes a classical Leninist revolutionary defeatist position on Iraq - as do John Pilger and several other widely published intellectuals in the anti-interventionist camp - and reactionary Islamists. Of course, this isn't the whole picture, but isn't it at least a significant part of it?

No comments: