Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Euston Manifesto & al-Qaeda, there's a connection

I've just read a rather interesting article by one of my favourite writer's Brendan O'Neill, who argues (I think quite rightly) that the leaders of the Euston Manifesto actually have a lot more in common with the weirdy-beardies of al-Qaeda than they might think.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger Roland Dodds said...

Interesting article. There is a lot to talk about here, but I will pick out one thing that I feel he has missed the point on.

“One of the leading academics behind the Euston Manifesto, which has its official launch this evening, argues: "The new divide in politics is between those who confront evil and those who appease it"; Bin Laden also divides the world along such fairytale lines, denouncing the "forces of evil" bringing corruption and domination to the Islamist world" and calling on "good Muslims" to resist these forces.”

Generally speaking, I am a realist and I do not think the US should be getting involved in a conflict simply to spread democracy. As sad as it may sound, there must be a greater strategic importance, or we will be in a constant war in hundreds of spots around the globe.

I find it refreshing to see folks on the left actually defend the Liberal principles they claim to support, rather than the reactionary left that has taken root in recent years. It is not common to see folks who speak passionately about rights and liberty support Fidel Castro and other totalitarian Communist’s around the globe, and out of the same mouth condemn Israel of being a fascist regime.

The reactionary left also seems to see any type of western military intervention as inherently evil. I think this is a completely foolish stance to take. It is completely acceptable to always oppose war and the use of the military. But by taking that stance, one has to concede that great wrongs will be done in this world, and we will simply have to shrug our shoulders.

I do think that democracy has to be fought for sometimes. That position opens up a whole can of worms concerning what 'war for democracy' is acceptable, but it is one I am willing to stand by. I don’t think many of the Euston signatories think that we should wage a worldwide military crusade to establish democractic governments. Rather, that sometimes a big stick is necessary in implementing them. Has the Iraq ‘adventure’ undermined or advanced the cause of democracy? I am unsure yet…..It definitely is a lesson in the American peoples will to fight for a foreign nation’s right to a democratic government. But I digress…

I am likely making little sense at this point, but I am interested to see what other folks have to say about this piece. I think I need some coffee…


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