Pulse Media


The Euston Manifesto

Euston Manifesto

My response:

I have read your manifesto.Not only do you use emotional language, such as "jihadist and baathist thugs" which could be compared to Bush's "islamo-fascists", but there are several instances in which you fail to point out or clarify the undemocratic tendencies of those countries you call 'democracies'
Among these are the following:
While it is possible, that some see 'antizionism' as an excuse for 'antisemitism', I have seen little evidence of this. I have seen open antisemitism and I have seen open antizionism. The fact, that certain antisemites have been invited by antizionists does not automatically mean the latter are antisemites. There are many Jews as well as Israelis (Meron Benvenisti and the 'binational state' movement for eg.) who oppose zionism as it is percieved today. This you have not clarified.
You also fail to clarify, that 'democracies' practice torture and support 'tyrannical' regimes. You allude to the former, by mentioning Abu Graib and Guantanamo, but remain vague. You don't (unless I missed it) point out Western support for Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and in the past for Saddam Hussein in Irak, militias in Central America, Pinochet in Chile etc.
You allude to the 'democratic' nature of the US and Western nations. It is for this reason, that most progressive thinkers and commentators criticise first and foremost the undemocratic actions of souch nations. 'Tyrannical' regimes are by definition undemocratic. That does not mean they should not be exposed, but, by shining the spotlight on such governments as those of the US, the UK or Israel, Western progressives are simply pointing out the hypocrisy 'at home'. We expect 'enlightened' Arabs and Muslims to denounce the crimes of 'their' leaders, and so, it is our responsibility to do the same, straightforwardly and without self-censorship.
It seems your manifesto is simply either an apology aimed at the reactionary right for being progressive, or a thin veil for right-wing reactionary tendencies on your part.
There is something to be said for logical criticism, and in particular for pointing out, that the undemocratic tendencies of the US government should not be blamed on all Americans, as is the case with Britons or Israelis, but the same goes for citizens of 'tyrannical' regimes. The glaring difference, of course, is, that the first three examples are 'democracies' in which presumeably the citizens can kick 'their' leaders out, which is presumeably not the case in 'tyrannical' regimes. I think we all know, that 'democracy' in our countries is much more limited than that, though.