Left, Right and Iraq war

By Ted Belman

In the comments to Worldview of Israel’s elites is gutting Israel, I challenged Felix Quigley to define his term “left”, “socialism” and “socialist”. He has yet to do this.

Now YNET has an article, Left, Right and Iraq war which agrees with me that “Traditional definitions of Left, Right no longer applicable”.

[..] President Bush’s rivals are accusing him of the war’s bloody cost, but they stay away from dealing with the ideology that guides it. Those espousing this ideology – categorized as an insane offspring to the family of right-wing views – believe that freedom is what all people in the world care about most. Give them freedom and they will sprout democracy, become peace lovers and prosper as do the peoples of the West.

Is this foolishness? Those reviewing the pages of history will find that this argument can be verified as well as refuted. Those who predict that the war will lead to disaster – will be right. Those who argue that an avoided war will inevitably lead to a war that inflicts a terrible cost will also be right. Had US policies been successful and had the Iraqis established an accepted regime, would the Americans also have regarded this war as principally wrong, or would they have praised their country for embarking on war to emancipate an oppressed people?

Not everyone has given up on the idea that guided the war. The hardcore of right-wing republicans still adheres to it, but are we not mistaken in classifying them as right-wingers? Yes, they do maintain right-wing ideology in certain aspects: They espouse conservative family values, they are religious and object to a “large government,” but in other important aspects they are more “leftist” than the Left.

Leftists unmoved by Darfur genocide

Isn’t the Left supposed to espouse the optimistic view that human nature is basically positive and that under emancipated conditions it will excel? Isn’t the Right supposed to be pessimistic about human nature, which in turn leads to its conservatism and opposition to aggressive acts that ground existing reality? Isn’t the Left supposed to guarantee the freedom of all people, whereas the Right is supposed to be entrenched in selfish national policies?

Isn’t it the traditional Right that believes there are superior and inferior cultures, the latter of which do not warrant advancement? Isn’t it the traditional Left that believes in the common interest of all people, which obligates the powerful to assist the oppressed in ridding them of the yoke of oppression? According to the classification of traditional views, it wasn’t supposed to be the Right but the Left that should have espoused the war in Iraq, and the Right should have opposed it.

The reversal of world views on which the battles of the last century revolved has been abandoned in every global arena. For example, the traditional Left denied the importance of nations and states and hoped for a world void of barriers, yet it is currently opposing globalization and seeking to strengthen the power of these states, and in the spirit of multicultural concepts it recognizes their most important values.

Enslavement of women in Afghanistan within the framework of an oppressive regime – of the worst type in history – did not prompt the Leftist movements in the West to take a single step towards protesting in the squares. The Leftist movements are not even shocked by the genocide in Darfur and are not calling on their governments to penalize the Khartoum government.

In the mythology of the global Left, the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939 was considered a shining example of assisting the oppressed. The good were on its side, it was written about the volunteers of the International Brigade. Had such a war erupted in our times, the global Left would have demonstrated in favor of the fascists.

March 31, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. There is no “right” in US politics, there is left and extreme left. The Republicans today are 1960s Democrats and the Democrats today are socialists and communists.

    This is pretty much the way it is in most free societies as we slowly drift off into socialism. The center has shifted to the left creating an appearance that is relative to the center while those who would adhere to true conservatives values fade from sight and are replaced on the spectrum by a compromised people.
    The same thing happened to the word “liberal” as has happened to the word “left,” – a liberal in the classical sense of the word would be horrified with those termed liberals today.

  2. Ted

    Thanks for bringing this up. To me it is the central question. I will explain it like this.

    We know Steven Plaut. I have long admired his attacks and exposure of these people like Pappe, who work out of universities attacking Israel and Zionism, full of lies.

    So why should I and Plaut not be together.

    Because recently he has written a different type of article. In it he is linking Leon Trotsky, and others, to Pappe et al.

    In it he says that Trotsky was promoting anti-Semitism.

    This is the problem. Plaut thinks he is right on this based on something he has read, I do not know what, because he does not say…it is general, I challenged him but he keeps to generalities.

    I have studied this quite recently. I KNOW that Plaut’s generalization DOES NOT ACCORD WITH THE FACTS.

    I think we are back to Jared and Francisco. I am not in full agreement with them but with their method I am.

    They always do the research. Then they draw the conclusions. Yes those conclusions MAY BE WRONG at times… because they are interpretation of the facts.

    But in that case you or I can chip in and say our piece, because they have put their evidence in front of us.


    I know you have a quick mind Ted and I know you see where I am going with this. It is that Plaut is actually using the SAME METHOD that is used by Pappe and all the other Israel haters in the Palestine Soolidarity etc . It is a method based on impressionism

    They do it all the time. Plaut did it in only this one case. There is that big difference.

    I will go into this in more detail later.

    YNET is right, the terms as used today are meaningless.

    I mean this Left is supporting Islam and is supporting Iran. That is the equivalent of supporting the Nazis…which Stalin did.

    When you and Jewish people look out all you see is people who call themseves Left or this and that, and you see at once with alarm they are enemies of the Jews.

    I also see exactly this but because I have read a little I understand better the history, and where they have come from.

    If only you could avoid learning the history it would be easier. But you cannot.

    This “Left” is very very dangerous. Let me try in my own time to explain what they are. It has to be done historically above all.

    Definitions are problematic. You know Marx said “I am not a Marxist”. He was fed up with his work being made into a dogma.

    I will leave at the moment with this thought. All of you must be very capable of grasping that a degeneration is possible.

    Let me pick a date…1940 the murder of Trotsky. Putting it no stronger that it is POSSIBLE that a degeneration has taken place inside the Trotskyist and socialist movement.

    You mention the Spanish Civil War. I have just started to put together some headings for a site in Ireland to try to challenge this anti-Semitism. And that is one of 5 categories I want to explore. The other 4 are Trotsky/Jews, Irish anti-Semitism, Srebrenica and Israel. In the last I intend to print some of Josephs 23 Reasons and put them into Spanish as well, I place such a high emphasis on historical truth.

    And that latter, historical truth, is the only answer I can give when you ask for definitions etc.

    We cannot go on our impressions. We have to study the history of this phenomenon…the present Fascist loving “Left”, what Jared called the Fascist Left, what Joseph suggested to me the Neo-left, what could be called the Fascist Neo-Left.

    In other words…This answer to you is a work in progress!

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