|How they learned to ignore the bomb...|
Blindness that excuses Iran's excesses
By Alan Johnson, December 9, 2011
Don't listen to the nuclear nonsense, screamed one of the main left-wing weeklies, the New Statesman, only days after a sober and authoritative International Atomic Energy Agency report had laid bare Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb.
Why do some of our intellectuals find it so very difficult to see dictatorship when it is clear, or to summon up the moral clarity to oppose it? This question has preoccupied me since 9/11. It led me to create the online journal Democratiya and to co-author the statement of principles for a new democratic left, The Euston Manifesto.
The Iranian revolution bamboozled left-wingers from the start. First, where class consciousness "should" have been, there was religious fervour. Second, because its world-view split the globe into just two warring camps - reactionary exploiting nations that must be opposed and progressive exploited nations (usually also romanticised as noble and authentic) that must be supported - the left struggled to see clearly the independent history and reactionary character of Islamism, or to grasp the importance of religion (actually, of ideas per se) in the modern world.
That revolutionary Iran could be a brutal and reactionary sub-imperialist power seeking regional hegemony did not compute to many commentators. The Manichean left could not even rouse itself to oppose the brutal tyranny of the regime because, when tyranny was opposed by America, it was miraculously reborn as "the resistance".
Article in full here.