Saturday, February 10, 2007

13th Carnival of Socialism

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOkay then, I've settled on a topic. This came to me via a problem that Stroppy had when she did the last carnival. Namely that in a carnival with a topic as supposedly broad as "liberation politics and the left", she was (dismally but predictably) deluged with posts about Iraq and Palestine.

Now, before you all start going on, I know that they're important issues. I know that the implications for global politics in both cases stretch well beyond the borders of either nation. And I know that most of what is written about them by people on the left is part of a genuine effort to show solidarity.

But... nevertheless I'd argue that the disproportionate coverage of both issues on the left is indicative of biases that we need to address. To read the sheer volume of left-wing writing on those subjects, you would think that nowhere else in the world even existed. Or that if it did, then there's certainly no problem there. Uzbekistan? North Korea? Chad? Western Sahara? Algeria? All minor diversions from the struggle to liberate Palestine, comrade (although we'll allow for a quick "Ooh ah Hezbollah" on the related issue of the Lebanon if we're in a particularly moronic mood). Oh, and let's not forget the struggle of those great progressives in the Mehdi Army, who so carry the banner of anti-imperialism in Iraq!

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating. But not much. You only have to take a couple of steps backwards to see just how crass and myopic this obsession looks to the wider world.

So, following from that drumroll, the topic for the 13th Carnival of Socialism is "Why is the left obsessed with the Middle East?".

Deadline will be February 24th 2007. You therefore have a fortnight folks - contributions to me either by email to or if you prefer, via link in the comments. From long posts to acidic one-liners, anything contributed (however mad) will be most welcome.


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