A reminder that not everyone on the anti-war left (and not all Trots) have forgotten the ABC of socialism comes from the Alliance for Workers Liberty. In the course of doing what Trots do best (attacking the SWP of course) they make some forceful points which would apply to many others who have lost their bearings so badly in the past few years:
Of course, British involvement in Iraq puts London and other British cities higher on al Qaeda’s target list than they might otherwise be. But to present these religious maniacs as people motivated by rational, secular aims – people who would behave differently if Britain left Iraq – is to undertake the role of a public relations agency for them.
Al Qaeda’s goal is not this or that secular measure. It is a world of Islamic dictatorship. In principle they are prepared to go on committing atrocities until they get the perfect “Islamic state”.
Iraq and Afghanistan are for them mere details. Immediate British withdrawal from Iraq, as a response to the London bombing, might lessen London’s prominence as a potential target, but it would vastly strengthen the belief of those who organised the slaughter in London that they can triumph. It would increase the likelihood that al Qaeda and its allies could conquer at least part of Iraq, and subject its peoples to their merciless savagery.
Socialists who give their voices to “rationalising” for these bombers, and to advocating an open-ended policy of appeasing them – beginning with the immediate abandonment of Iraq to people like them – are no longer, properly speaking, an “anti-war” movement. They are a pro-political-Islamist-terrorist, and for Iraq a pro-Sunni-supremacist, movement!
After 9/11 some leading SWPers boasted about the fact that the SWP had not condemned the attack on the World Trade Centre. Now the SWP is less gung-ho. After all, the dead are closer to home.
But the change is only in the pleading that London, as a special “centre of peace”, should be spared. The SWP still spouts the line that Bush and Blair are “really” or “solely” to blame!
The people “ultimately” responsible for the bombings are those who carried them out, and those who encouraged and promoted their attack.
Those who in retrospect rationalise for them incur some small vicarious share of responsibility.
Of course, the Iraq war created a climate in which political Islam is prospering. But to blame what the political-Islamists do “ultimately” or exclusively on “Iraq” is a bit like saying that we should have responded to Nazi atrocities by blaming not the Nazis but the Treaty of Versailles pushed through by Britain and France after World War One.
……Five years ago political-Islamist organisers complained that they could make no headway among Muslim youth in Britain. Now, after four years of excuses and apologies given to it by the left, different strands of political Islam have become very influential here. They are influential enough to make the London bombers believe that their suicide might attract more to their ideology; that it might shake some “soft” political-Islamists into seeing “martyrdom” as a better way to the shared aim of an Islamic state.
We need to ask why. And not hide behind simply “blaming Bush and Blair”.
The “left” should reflect on its failures, and accept that part of the blame for the rise of political Islam lies with itself.
……..The SWP denounced those who argued against political Islam. They accused us of being “Islamophobes”, despite the fact that most of those who have died at the hands of political-Islamists have been Muslims.
Over the last two and a half years, the political-Islamist militias in Iraq have been cheered and celebrated by dominant elements of the anti-war left as a heroic “resistance”.
Even while the SWP timidly distances itself from the London bombers, it continues to support the Islamist “resistance” in Iraq.
Murdered kids in Baghdad or Musayyib do not get the same sympathy as London commuters. Scratch a “leftist”, and you find, behind their shameful (though calculating) patronising of the political-Islamists, a species of British chauvinism.
Hat Tip: Will