Christopher Hitchens talking to World Magazine (hat tip: MK):
"It's fallen on the United States to be the country that resists the renewal of barbarism, of religious barbarism in the world," Mr. Hitchens answers. "It doesn't particularly want the job, it doesn't do it terribly well - and I think would have escaped it if it could - but there's something about the United States that makes it both hated and antagonistic to this barbarism."Alan Johnson talking to Weekly Worker:
The jihadists, he says, "say they love death more than we love life, and we have to prove that wrong. They're right on the first; they love murder, in which they exult, and suicide, in which they take pride." Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he says, want to turn the Islamic world back to the seventh century and take the West with them. "Opposed to these and hated by them is scientific inquiry and philosophical inquiry, the emancipation of women, the secular state, and other very hard-won achievements of civilization. And it's good to be reminded they are fragile, they can be destroyed..."
It seems to me that this is generally the right position to take whenever democracy is threatened by totalitarianism. A position of critical support of the forces standing up for democracy.
The only reason we have not done this historically, it seems to me, is as a result of an analysis that suggests capitalist democracy is only a sham that it is in truth fascism-in-waiting: it is incipient moribund reaction.
That, palpably, is not true. If you look at capitalism as it has developed since 1945, it is nonsense to talk about its death agony. It has been the most explosively productive period in capitalism's history... Those countries that have been fully integrated into the world economy have grown much faster than those that have not. Also, it simply isn't the case that only a thin layer at the top of society has benefited from that growth: the poor also benefit from that inclusion and relationship to the world market.