Monday, December 22, 2008

What Effective Progressive Activism Really Looks Like

A glimpse, in today's Globe and Mail, from a profile of our pal Lauryn Oates, co-founder of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee.

Contrary to naysayers, Ms. Oates said, ordinary Afghans want international aid and intervention. "People have this incredible resilience," she said. "If they're willing to go on, we have to be behind them. The least we can do is stand by them. This is not about charity or pity."

For the opposite of progressive politics (the kind that animates the "anti-war left" in Canada today) and which our friends over at Shiraz Socialist have properly characterized as "a piece of propaganda for a fascist movement that would have been shocking six or seven years back, but wouldn’t raise an eyebrow now," you can read a thorough whitewash of the Taliban, if you can bear it, in International Socialism.

Shiraz notes that the IS apologist for the Taliban observes: ". . .almost all the feminists have collaborated with the occupation, or the NGOs or Karzai’s government. So have most former Communists, the returned Afghan-Americans, the ‘modernisers’ and the ’secular’ liberals." I wonder why. Could it be because they want a fledgeling democracy over fascist theocracy? What sellouts!

Better to just read Shiraz, so you won't feel soiled.

In a related line of inquiry, elsewhere today, the splendid Johnny Guitar from Belfast has bashed together a fine wee essay: The Immorality of Pacifism, The Necessity of Intervention, taking apart the arguments of the otherwise intelligent Peter Tatchell, in the context of Zimbabwe and Mugabe (for what it's worth, I lean to the just-shoot-the-bastard side of the debates).

And in what should sorely upset the 'Hands Off Iran' crowd, Ben Cohen makes a necessary observation:

More than three hundred news outlets, including CNN, the BBC, the Associated Press and the other majors, have reported the Iranian regime’s closure of a human rights center run by Shirin Ebadi. But there’s one outlet which hasn’t done so, despite its attempt to pass itself off as a legitimate news organization.

I refer, of course, to Holocaust-denial outfit Press TV, which selects news not on the basis of an editorially independent survey of what’s actually happening in the world, but on what its paymasters in Tehran decide is fit for consumption.

No pasaran.


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