Why the Left Loves Osama
By: Nelson Ascher
Europundits.blogspot.com | Friday, February 11, 2005
Maybe we, or at least many of us, were too busy commemorating the fall of the Berlin wall in late 1989. Thus, we overlooked all those people who weren’t exactly happy with the outcome of the Cold War. Well, perhaps “overlooking” is not the appropriate term.
I, for instance, had an acquaintance (deceased since then), a hardliner Trotskyite who should have felt partly vindicated by the failure of the system erected by his hero’s archenemy, Stalin. But he didn’t look vindicated at all. It wasn’t easy for him, in that climate of euphoria, to give full vent to his disappointment, but still he managed to mutter a few words about the “wrong” turn events were beginning to take in Eastern Europe, and he was not talking about the looming shadows of the Balkan wars (which were clearly visible by then). No: he complained that those societies, instead of using their newly conquered freedom to correct their course and head full-speed towards the socialist utopia, were rather turning to Western style “alienated” consumerism.
But there were probably, no, not probably, but surely, those who felt utterly defeated at the time. They just didn’t think it was advisable to go public with their anger and frustration. Also, in the late 80s and early 90s, Western Europe was at the top of its economic and social performance. Western Europeans were then almost as affluent as the Americans and, so, some could console themselves with the appearance that the whole thing wasn’t basically an American victory, but rather a Western one - and that Europe would anyway soon eclipse the USA.
For Western Europe however, the next 15 years were a unidirectional stroll down the slope. It became less and less competitive compared to the US and both high levels of unemployment and low growth rates came to stay. And the growing, alienated, Muslim minorities didn’t become any more assimilated in the meanwhile. But, on the other hand, Bill Clinton asking non-stop the world to forgive his country’s sins and his reluctance to take decisive action after many terrorist attacks projected a re-comforting image of a repentant, humbled and weakened America.
Those whom the fall of the Berlin Wall had left orphans of a cause, spent the next decade plotting the containment of the US. It was a complex operation that involved the (in many cases state-sponsored) mushrooming of NGOs, Kyoto, the creation of the ICC, the salami tactics applied against America’s main strategic ally in the Middle-East, Israel, through the Trojan Horse of the Oslo agreements, the subversion of the sanctions against Iraq etc. I’m not as conspiratorially-minded as to think that all these efforts were in any way centralized or that they had some kind of master-plan behind them. It was above all the case of the spirit of the times converging, through many independent manifestations, towards a single goal. Nonetheless we can be sure that, after those manifestations reached a critical mass, there has been no lack of efforts to coordinate them.
And so, spontaneously up to a point, anti-Americanism became the alternative ideology that came to fill in the vacuum left by the failure of traditional, USSR-based communism and its Maoist or Trotskyite satellites. Before 1989, the global left had something to fight for: either the strengthening of the communist states or the correction of what they called their bureaucratic distortions. To fight for something is simultaneously to fight against whatever threatens it, and thus, the leftists were anti-Western and anti-Americans too, anti-capitalistic in short.
Now, whatever they wanted to defend or protect doesn’t exist anymore. They have only things to destroy, and all those things are personified in the US, in its very existence. They may, outwardly, fight for some positive cause: save the whales, rescue the world from global heating and so on. But let’s not be deceived by this: they choose as their so-called positive causes only the ones that have both the potential of conferring some kind of innocent legitimacy on themselves and, much more important, that of doing most harm to their enemy, whether physically or to its image.
We, well, at least I was wrong to dismiss the pre-1989 leftists as dinosaurs condemned to extinction by evolution. While I was looking the other way, they were regrouping, inventing new slogans, creating new tactics and, above all, keeping the flames of their hatred burning. The history is still to be written about the moment when the left made its collective mind up and decided to strike an alliance with radical Islam. It had been tried before, in Iran/79, but, threatened by the USSR to the north and by its Iraqi client to the West, Khomeini didn’t have much time for the local leftists, nor did he need them. The idea of such an alliance was probably (re)-born in several different minds and in several different places, and it would be as difficult to say exactly where it took place first as it is to say which grain of corn is the first to pop when one’s making pop-corn. All that can be said is that, right now, we have a “fait accompli”.
This newly ever-growing Western left, not only in Europe, but in Latin America and even in the US itself, has a clear goal: the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago. But it does not have, as in the old days of the Soviet Union, the hard power to accomplish this by itself. Thanks to this, all our leftist friends’ bets are now on radical Islam. What can they do to help it? Answer: tie down America’s superior strength with a million Liliputian ropes: legal ones, political ones, with propaganda and disinformation etc. Anything and everything will do.
In the same way as the murderers of 911 used the West’s technology against itself, the contemporary left will do its best to turn democracy into a suicidal pact. This is already being done, obviously. The fight for Guantanamo Bay is, in many ways, as important as that for Baghdad. And, whenever a British born terrorist is released and sent back to the UK, to be joyfully acclaimed by the pages of “The Guardian”, “The Independent” or through the waves of the BBC, that fight is being lost. Radical Islam is being given one more tactical victory and the left’s strategy is being vindicated.
There has been some talk recently about the probable inevitability of a nuclear attack on the mainland US in, say, the next ten or fifteen years. The Berlin Wall’s orphans are already busy creating the slogans, formulating the dogmas, writing down the articles and books that will allow them, when the worst happens, to lay all the blame on the victims, making retaliation as difficult as it can be. They’re carefully preparing their case and the court is already in session.
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