Oh dear, I seem to have 'not-another-phobia-phobia'.
How many phobias can you have these days? Russophobia seems to be the new one. The seemingly litigious Neil Clark makes his customary relativist argument that we should overlook the sins of Putin (the flat-rate tax; the "partial marketisation of Russia's education and health systems"; his "bloody campaign of repression in Chechnya"; the "chasmic" gap between rich and poor) because "an independent Russia stands in the way of their (neo-conservatives) plans for global hegemony". This theme of my enemy's enemy is my friend is a well worn one that I reject in favour of a consistent left liberalism. I suppose I am tyrannophobic.
This isn't my main point though. There is now a tendency to add the suffix phobia to any critical political stance in order to discredit it. It is a casual, unthinking habit, much in the same way that "gate" was appended to any scandal. However, phobia normally means an irrational fear. What happens if your fear is rational? Are you still phobic? What if you don't fear but hate? Perhaps The Plain English Campaign should stop targeting Germaine Greer's use of Kantian terminology and pick up on this. Let's face it, fear of Muslims is ridiculous, hatred of Muslims is dangerously prejudiced, fear of terrorism is rational, hatred of tyranny is human. The use of the phobic suffix throws a derogatory blanket over a number of completely distinct positions and, in doing so, reduces debate to sloganising. Let's get rid of it and return to critical thought and the use of English.