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August 14, 2006


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Naming their campaign the “War on Terror” was probably one of the Bush administrations greatest mistakes. Starting a war on a type of war tactics seems diffuse, to say the least. The Right’s recent use of the term “Islamic Fascism,” on the other hand, offers the public exactly what it tends to desire: simplicity. Misunderstand me correctly, but it’s probably the warmongers’ smartest move in a long time.

I live in Sweden, but I follow the American news channels almost every day. I find it particularly interesting to watch Fox, and I’m not surprised that their rates are sensational. They have an aura of potency and self-confidence, and they take pride in their anti-intellectualism (one of O’Reilly’s standard comments is, after all, “I’m not the smartest guy, but…”). Fox is in the business of simplifying, and it does it better than the Left. Maybe because the Left cannot simplify without ceasing to be left?

The first time I heard Bush say that “we have to attack the ROOT CAUSE (in the war between Israel and Hezbollah),” I almost pissed in my pants; “Finally!” I thought. But then I heard the rest: “… and the root cause is that Hezbollah attacked Israel.” Okay. Where would a socialist trace the roots of conflict? 50-60 years of settlement and resettlement? European imperialism and redrawn borders without consideration for history and ethnicities? Oil? (Semi-)Apartheid politics? And then I haven’t even mentioned the big C-word that ends with apitalism. Would anyone listen? Or more importantly: would anyone understand?

Simplicity good, complexity bad. “Islamic Fascism” sounds catchy I’m afraid.

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