Bombs won’t solve the Isis problem, but “Even the left is demanding quick solutions to the horror and immediacy of the Isis beheadings. But the situation in Iraq is too complex for simplistic thinking.” writes Richard Seymour in his latest cromulent discourse (Guardian Bombs won’t solve the Isis problem. 15.9.14).
Everybody’s favourite intersectionalist and opponent of liberal murder observes, “beyond the Westminster spear-carriers for American empire, there is a muted, hardly enthusiastic, but nonetheless real sentiment in parts of the left. It runs something like this: “I marched against the war on Iraq, I detest US domination, but in this case I have no problem with American airstrikes.”
“The answer is Islamic State. Isis goes to your head and gets under your skin; it leaves you feeling infested. Back in the days when one didn’t know much about the jihadis carrying out beheadings, it was possible to think that they were just – as David Cameron has denounced them – “monsters”, savages, beasts.”
Infested, goes to your head, under your skin, is Seymour describing some malady, or as he would put it, something that creates astheneia?
That detesting ISIS is an illness that saps our will to ‘resist’ ?
From this pleasing thought Seymour moves into explanations for the rise of Islamic State and ISIS.
Was the force behind by the Islamic State created by the US-led occupation?
That is, “A brutal occupation produces a brutal insurgency.”
No, “that argument was always vulgar, and it would be even more vulgar now to say that Isis’s success can be explained by reference to an occupation that no longer persists.”
Vulgar: another example of how poor fools are unable to grapple with phenomena like mass ethnic and religious cleansing, slaughter, torture, and the butcher videoed beheading David Haines, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff are “infested”.
In reality, Seymourian wisdom tells us,
Isis succeeds because of the support it enjoys within much of the population it seeks to rule. And this support, be it noted, is gained on the basis of vicious sectarianism.
Be it noted! Indeed! Islamist genociders have support on the basis of hatred of other religious groups!
Yet, the hegemonic discourse that articulates the formation is a novelty,
Whereas “al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers” communicated principally in the medium of shaky videos with hostages reading bombastic messages from their host-killers, Isis is tweeting, often with a wry, sardonic edge that makes them sound like New York hipsters turned salafists.
Shit, dude, my bad!
“Take the character who has been referred to as “Jihad John”, the man supposedly behind a number of the killings. The immediate dilemma faced by the anglophone press is explaining how a British person “from a good area” could be tempted to participate in such grim spectacles. The desperate search for motives, sifting hopelessly through his rap lyrics for clues, is indicative of how misplaced this approach is.”
Indeed we have spent hours, if not days, going through his rap lyrics for some textual discursive clues. All we found was a blood-thirsty racist and sadist.
We were mislead, totes!
It’s all much more complicated!
The Wissenschaftler (as Seymour would say) points out that, “of course (indeed….. ‘of course’) .. in the absence of explanation, we are very quick to believe anything we hear about Isis. For example, the story of 40,000 Iraqis stranded and starving on a mountain – invoked by supporters of intervention – turned out to be exaggerated. The Isis siege, far from requiring the flexing of US muscle, was broken by Kurdish peshmerga.”
Perhaps he might explain what was exaggerated?
And what exactly is his explanation for why somebody becomes a sadistic killer in a gang with more than a little in common with the World War 2 Einsatzgruppen?
Except that “vicious sectarianism” is rife.
Seymour and Ethical Austerity.
Back to the politics and morals of the present dude...
How does our intersectional chum intend to back the same Kurds who broke the genociders’ hold?
Nothing is offered.
Instead Seymour turns his gaze at the Other elsewhere, and scorns any form of “humanitarian intervention.”
Or, ” the illusion that there is a simple techno-military solution to grave humanitarian exigencies”.
Airstrikes can destroy bodies, but they can’t destroy political antagonisms. Nor would a renewed occupation solve the problem. The formerly occupying coalition which constructed that authority are in no position – even if they had the ability – to replace it with something plural and democratic. There simply are no shortcuts.
How exactly something “plural and democratic” will emergence remains a mystery of the dialectic.
To repeat: What is he going to do?
He has his column to discourse……
What does he say to people fighting for dear life?
What does he say to the victims of ethnic and religious cleansing?
That there are no “short cuts”.
That it’s all too complicated for “simplistic thinking”.
Forget the Genociders of Daʿesh: we need to chillax!