Commenting on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, I recently commented that there are three groups that oppose democracy in the Muslim world: the secular dictators like Musharaff, the Islamic radicals of the Bin Laden stripe, and the cultural left here in America. In response, several people expressed indignation. One challenged me to provide a single example of a leftist who opposed Muslim democracy. Other liberals noted that they favored the idea of democracy but alas it wasn't succeeding in Iraq. Certainly it does seem odd that a left which is always calling for "more democracy" in America would resist democracy in Muslim countries.
Yet it's true, and my book The Enemy at Home provides chapter and verse. For instance, the leftist author Robert Fisk resolutely opposed America's attempt to introduce democracy in Afghanistan. Incredibly Fisk said that the Taliban government should be kept in power because it had nothing to do with 9/11. Leftist Howard Zinn also equated America's displacement of the Taliban and holding of free elections with the 9/11 attacks themselves, as though both were equivalent crimes. Leftist legal scholar Richard Falk called for a "negotiated settlement" with the Taliban in order to protect the country's "sovereign rights."