today’s ‘islamic fascists’ were yesterday’s friends

from global research: According to President George W. Bush, America is at war with “Islamic fascists.” Commentators who support Bush’s military interventions also argue that the West faces new religious enemies who do not play by the old rules of warfare. Hezbollah (which literally translates as “Party of God”) says its wants to obliterate Israel, and Hamas (an abbreviation of “Islamic Resistance Movement”) has taken the reins of power in Gaza and the West Bank; meanwhile, al-Qaeda and its associates continue to carry out sporadic, scrappy attacks designed to restore the Islamic caliphate. All of this has led one British newspaper columnist to argue that there is a new “World War being waged by clerical fascism against free societies.”

In a nutshell, the wars over state, territory, and politics that defined the Cold War era have given way to cosmic battles between “good and evil“– between a West apparently keen to defend secular, democratic values and its twisted opponents who prefer the idea of autocratic Islam.

This simplistic view of the new geopolitical landscape is deeply problematic. It overlooks the key role that the West played in nurturing radical Islamist groups, precisely as a means of isolating and undermining secular movements that were judged by Western governments to be too uppity or dangerous… They gave the nod to, and in some instances funded and armed, Islamist movements that might challenge the claims of local anti-colonial, liberationist, or communistic outfits.

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