The Corner

Bad Company

Here, slightly belatedly, is an interview with Christopher Hitchens. Well worth reading in full, but this stands out:

“The United States was attacked by theocratic fascists who represents all the most reactionary elements on earth. They stand for liquidating everything the left has fought for: women’s rights, democracy? And how did much of the left respond? By affecting a kind of neutrality between America and the theocratic fascists.” He cites the cover of one of Tariq Ali’s books as the perfect example. It shows Bush and Bin Laden morphed into one on its cover. “It’s explicitly saying they are equally bad. However bad the American Empire has been, it is not as bad as this. It is not the Taliban, and anybody – any movement – that cannot see the difference has lost all moral bearings….The world these [al-Quadea and Taliban] fascists want to create is one of constant submission and servility. The individual only has value to them if they enter into a life of constant reaffirmation and prayer. It is pure totalitarianism, and one of the ugliest totalitarianisms we’ve seen. It’s the irrational combined with the idea of a completely closed society. To stand equidistant between that and a war to remove it is?” He shakes his head.”

Meanwhile in the London Spectator Frank Johnson, no supporter of the war of the Iraq, looks at the question as to why so many on the British left are prepared to make some sort of common cause with hardline Islam. The whole article is well worth noting, this in particular:

“We must always remember the Western radical intellectual’s wish to identify with the world’s rising and most frightening power. Coleridge spoke of Napoleon’s British admirers possessing a ‘prostration of the soul’. But British Napoleonists differed from British Stalinists, and were similar to today’s Muslamists in one respect. They did not want the foreign power to rule Britain. Byron said that Napoleon was his hero ‘on the Continent; I don’t want him here’. Those feminist columnists and academics — proclaiming Islam’s great past — do not want to have to go veiled in their native Camden Town or Islington. Their game is to use Islam to demoralise Western bourgeois life.”



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