Originally posted by chegitz guevara
The argument HRW is raising here is not one based on international law, but whether the invasion of Iraq can be justified on humanitarian grounds, which is what Berman is trying to do. HRW says that the invasion of Iraq fails to meet the test of a humanitarian intervention, irregardless of international law. If it was not a humanitarian intervention, does Berman then have a valid point? At least as regard Iraq, I would argue no.
LOTM - i think its more complex than that on both the hrw SIDE, and on Bermans, but i'll let it be as i dont really want to argue the nuances of HRW's position
Further, I disagree with Berman's characterization of the reactionary political movements in Islam as fascism. It shares certain characteristics of fascism, but its class nature is different and its goals are different. Facism is both a forward and backward looking philosophy. It seeks to justify itself in past glory, but it seeks to create a new type of society.
It is based largely on declassé workers and ruined middle class types. It is a fundimetnally capitalist movement.
So-called Islamofascism rejects modernity and seeks to return society to a previous (but non-existent) society.
LOTM - Do you consider Francoism a form of fascism??? That was anti-modernist in a way Italian and German fascism were not. Berman takes the Fascist identiy of Francoism for granted and argues from there. I admit there is some weakness in his argument. I would also suggest that there were some atavistic-mythical elements in German and Italian fascism as well, and of course Islamism has no problem with modern technology - and as you said, the past they seek is mythical (IE its not based on any actual historical muslim society) the difference between islamisms mythical past with technology added, and say Nazism appeal to paganism laced with pseudo-science seems to me a distinction without a difference.
It is based largely on the remains of feudal and tribal classes: preists, sheiks, peasants.
LOTM - there are no priest in islam, and the appeal of the jihadist is largely NOT to tribal sheiks and peasants (outside of the rather bizarre case of the Pashtuns) It is largely to the traditional urban merchant class, which in muslim societies strongly overlaps with the clergy (or ulema - there are parallel social structures in traditional judaism, BTW) and to alienated, underemployed students, and also to under and unemployed urban youths. The differences between the youths and the more conservative ulema have shaped the evolution of the movement and conflicts within it . It is largely an urban phenomemon, esp in Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, etc.
Unlike fascism, it is neither nationalist nor racial.
LOTM - Berman addresses this explicitly, explaining (again using the analogy of Spain) why in some societies fascism would take a relgion based form, rather than a national or racial form)
Finally, it rejects completely capitalism, seeking to restore pre-capitalist relations.
LOTM - it seeks to restore early Islamic relations, which are hardly feudal in the western sense of the term, since trade never died out in the islamic world as it did in the west in the dark ages. It seeks "capitalism with justice" which is not all that different from the purported aims of European fascists. If they have not betrayed the petit bourgeoise to large industrialists as did the Nazis, thats largely because they live in state where the latter are either absent, due to poverty or socialism or both, or where the latter are firmly allied with pro-Western regimes.
The answer is not to attack the symptoms, but attack the problem. This means expanding democracy and rasing standards of living.