Sunday, August 30, 2015

Excluding reality

It's the old problem of the anti-imperialist left. However much Corbyn's supporters talk about smears or guilt by association, it is obvious and self-confessed that when Corbyn shared platforms with homophobic, misogynistic anti-Semites, he was not trying to engage in diplomacy, but advocacy. Of course, in his own mind, he wasn't promoting their message, but supporting Palestinian rights, whilst opposing both western intervention in the Middle East and Islamophobia. His defenders elided the charge of his lack of judgement to one of personal anti-Semitism, cleverly dodging the real issue. But I want to ask a different question. Why does Corbyn hate Palestinians?

He must hate them if he wants them to be ruled by nasty theocrats. He must do if he wants to support Islamist movements that will oppress the substantial Palestinian Christian minority and place the rest under a vicious regime. Then again, he also wants to apologise to the Kurds for liberating them. That's nice.

I'm being facetious of course, but this is the crux of the problem of a particular type of thinking. Populist authenticity is part of Corbyn's appeal, but it isn't reality, merely a distorted image of it. The politics of delusion is one that excludes the object of its concerns.

This is a typical example. Planet Syria have written an open letter to the Stop the War Coalition, of which Corbyn is the National Chair:
Syrians who have had to hold in their arms the bloodied disfigured bodies of their loved ones really wish they could take part in discussions regarding the fate of their own country, but they’re often not invited. It is regrettable that Syrian speakers who represent these victims and have lived the quintessential painful Syrian experience have not been invited to take part in this panel…

We have been living this nightmare for almost half a decade now and we feel we are entitled to take part in conversations regarding our fate. We are dismayed at the number of anti-war panels and lectures that have taken place in the West which have failed to include Syrians in their impressive lists of participants. We hope you won’t continue to exclude us from these important conversations about the fate of our country because when you do so, you further disempower the very same Syrians who have been disempowered by various perpetrators in this conflict.
It is worth reading it all. It confirms my suspicion that the politics of the peace movement is more about feeling self-righteous than supporting the oppressed.

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