Christopher Hitchens is a right wing pundit that annoys me to no end. Not because his arguments are flawed, but because they are so well thought out and so damn convincing. Case in point
East Timor was for many years, and quite rightly, a signature cause of the Noam Chomsky “left.” The near-genocide of its people is an eternal stain on Indonesia and on the Western states that were complicit or silent. Yet Bin Ladenism wants not less of this killing and repression but more. Its demand to re-establish the caliphate is a pro-imperialist demand, not an anti-imperialist one.
His argument is that the al-Qaida goal of the re-establishment of the caliphate is, at its core, imperialist in nature. This is intriguing to say the least. In addition, it does more to explain why al-Qaida support comes not from the poorest in the Arab world, but the middle class. But I am still not sure that western imperialism isn’t a factor in the rise of Caliphate imperialism. Why would this be a zero-sum game? Why wouldn’t western imperialism convince otherwise neutral Muslims of the need for an Islamist empire?