"This fascism... somebody has got to stop it" - George Orwell, before he decided to join the fight against General Franco
I wonder if you have seen the recent footage from the city of Manjib? If not, take a look. Take a look at the faces of the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, young children. Their resplendent joy, knowing that never again will they need to be taken back to 1984, to live under a regime that Orwell couldn't have dreamt up in the darkest corner of his mind.
I wonder how much time you have spent thinking about what it might be like to live under IS? Try to imagine yourself avoiding eye-contact with the person who was once your neighbour, who's decapitated head is now swings from a rope in the centre of your village.
Try to imagine what it's like to be afraid of lighting a cigarette, in fear of being flogged in front of your whole village. Or what it feels like to know that your children's education is over, and from now on all they will be taught is extreme ideology.
The heroes brave enough to liberate Manjib are the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and include the Kurdish YPG militia, an army made up of brave women standing along side their male counterparts.
The Kurds have been a severely oppressed people, whose existence wasn't acknowledged by Saddam Hussein (except when using weapons of mass destruction against them), but who are indeed still humble enough to stand up for democracy. So far, the only support these people have received is from the US government, which includes the very airstrikes that made this liberation possible.
Tell me, what happened to the days of the International Brigade? The days when brave socialists around the world would unite against fascist leaders like General Franco of Spain. The world's great thinkers and writers - Bob Dylan, George Orwell, Ernest Hemmingway - would use their voice to unite the world against these forces of fascism. Some even felt compelled to go and fight it themselves.
Since the Iraq war, where people seem to consider the toppling of one of the most despotic dictator's this world will ever see a complete disaster, the western Left have become too full of liberal guilt to stand up to fascism of any kind.
We seem to have been tricked into a spectacular doublethink by a hysterical media culture. We have erased the memories of the successful military interventions of Sierra Leone and Kosovo, amongst others, from our collective memory.
And so now we live in a country where it appears to be both fashionable and intelligent to say 'America is such a f*cked up country'. The stupid man's epigram. Well, let me take this opportunity to thank our American brothers and sisters for being brave enough to stand up to fascism. I want to thank them for liberating a people who the bourgeoisie-Left in our country are happy to forget about. This is a real defence of progressive values.
So a quick note to all those students, or otherwise, who dare to share the title of 'leftist' with great thinkers like the late Christopher Hitchens. Just because you have the luxury of safety, and can push for a 'long term' solution to global conflict, doesn't make you more enlightened than the 'hysterical' people calling for the US to liberate them with air strikes. They're not naïve, they know more than you or I ever will.
I know for whatever reason you feel that everything that goes wrong in the third world is directly the fault of the West. Someone just has to stub their toe in Iraq and Tony Blair conspiracies begin to resurface. And you're probably right about quite a lot of our past actions, but in what way does justify us turning our backs on the future?
So if you're indulging yourself in liberal guilt, I'll give you something else to feel guilty about. While we discuss the relative merits of Britain's isolationism around our dinner table, safe in our homes, there are still another 10 million people under IS control.
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