Lebanese writer Hazem Saghieh on why progressives who support the Lebanese experiment in Arab democracy (a miracle that few Westerners even know about) can condemn Israel all they want, but they should also condemn Syria, Iran and Hizbullah, who hijacked Lebanese democracy a long time ago. My friend Mohammed (yep, that was his name!) who came over from Lebanon described it as a near-paradise before it was turned into a battlefield. Housing was cheap, society was tolerant, and the economy was on the rise. And then came the warriors...
I think we saw some of this dynamic yesterday, when both the Syrians and Israelis were gloating about their great military victories, while your average Lebanese citizen was crawling back to the rubble to rebuild their lives. If progressives should support anyone, they should support those average citizens and condemn the warmongers on all sides who would make them rocket-fodder in order to achieve some glorious end times that will never come.
Saghieh ends with the line "If Karl Marx knew that his followers had donned Iranian clerics' robes, he would be turning in his grave." Which assumes that all progressives are 'followers' of Karl Marx. Some of us progressives have found his followers to not be a hell of a lot different from religious fanatics you know. They've also been pretty willing to kill off innocent people to achieve some glorious 'end of history' that will never come.
That said, why would any leftist with half a mind carry around a picture of Hassan Nasrallah? Don't they know what he would do with our gay rights if he half a chance? Or our uppity women? Or our rock music? Or the rest of the things we believe in for that matter? I sometimes think that there are two types of progressive thinking, one traditional and one vulgar. Those of us who are traditional progressives tend to focus on issues while the vulgar progressives tend to focus on America. I can only assume this is why the vulgars champion religious warmongers like Nasrallah or proto-fascists like Che Guevara. But, in this case, it's not even a matter of 'no enemies to the left' because Hizbollah and Hamas are way off to the fucking right of us. I mean, they're to the right of the Moral Majority for Christ's sakes!
This isn't to say that our homegrown warmongers aren't just as sickening- forever promising a glorious end in Iraq no matter how many people have to be bombed to get there. But, it is to say that, in this Renaissance of warmongers, we're in a legitimate position to call them out, and we should do so across the board. Because when you listen closely to any of them, their 'end of history' starts to sound a hell of a lot like the start of hegemony.