Monday, March 28, 2011

Has the turnaround begun already?

In my previous entry I expressed hope that David Horowitz's abandonment of the "democracy project" would go further then just one statement and that it would spur a debate on the virtues of the idea not just among bloggers but mainstream commentators as well. It seems that at least on one of Horowitz's affiliates, Jihad Watch, things are beggining to move in the right direction.

For a few months now there is a new commentator on that site going by the assumed name of Roland Shirk who has been offering his views on islam(ideology and current events) and how the non-muslim world should interact with it. While I can not say I agree with all of Mr. Shirk's suggestions and ideas, his writings are on the whole a welcome breath of fresh air, especially in one aspect.

Roland Shirk has on the pages of Jihad Watch finally, openly and unequivocally, subjected neoconservativism, it's ideological postulates, it's view of the islam and the Middle East, it's role in the making of the US foreign policy to long overdue criticism. Neoconservativism has, of course, been attacked before but the vast majority of those attacks came either from the transantional and radical left, which saw neoconservatives as American imperialist nationalists bent on conquering the world and siezing all it's natural resources, especially oil, or from the hard-right which believed they are a secret, conspirational circle whose goal is to use American power to do the bidding of Israel and the Jews(awful old "Jewish conspiracy" canard). Both of them misrepresent what neoconservatives stand for, and unfortunately, both have dominated the neocon-critical scene over the years, which made possible for the neoconservatives to dismiss most of their critics as "loons" and "bigots" and those who they could not smear as such were given the "guilt by association" treatment. Roland Shirk, however, lays out what neoconservatives really believe and how their ideology which has driven their action is detrimental to our entire civilization. By doing this via Jihad Watch, Shirk ensures that it does not remain merely as a musing of an anonymous blogger and that he and the site that has given him a forum for his thoughts can not be labeled as "anti-American leftists" or "haters"(or, at least, that nobody in his/her right mind would take these labels seriously).

To be fair, Jihad Watch founder Robert Spencer was never an enthusiast for the democracy project, but his opposition to it was rarely expressed openly and even when it was he did it in mild terms. Roland Shirk, however, does not shirk(pun intentional) from heavy words and scatching qualifications. In one of his first columns Shirk says:

Neocons cannot face the truth about Islam--and indeed are as likely as liberals to demonize us when we try to tell it. Why? Because we are attacking all their most cherished illusions. We're insisting that human affairs are not a chess problem, or a really thorny edition of the Sunday Times crossword puzzle.

Shirk is even more ruthless towards the neoconservatives' darling, George W. Bush:

If there is a stupider, more insane speech in American presidential history than George W. Bush's neo-Trotskyite Second Inaugural, I haven't found it.

Roland Shirk's most riveting article so far critical of neoconservativism came yesterday, as a medical metaphore describing how foreign interventionism has become an addiction in American foreign policy, one that will not be shaken off easily. Neosconservatives did not invent interventionism, of course, but it is one of the pillars of their ideology.

Neoconservatives are not the only target of Shirk's criticism. As a self-described "paleoconservative with a libertarian streaks" he is not shy from pointing out egregious tendencies among his ideological brothers or their inability to rise above personal petty resentment. That he is not blind to the shortcomings of paleoconservativism and libertarianism when it comes to islam and the Middle East strongly enforces Shirk's credibility as a thinker and a writer.

I can only hope that there will be more writers like Roland Shirk and articles in the mould of his columns on Jihad Watch that will be given space on web sites close to the mainstream conservative right(seeing that, IMO, the left and liberalism are almost beyond redemption) and that the movement for more reality-based policies and solutions is getting under way.

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