Mr. Carr, you seem like a decent guy, but your fuzzy theorizing just ran into the brick wall of reality.
Bush just exonerated an anti-Iranian terrorist group. You might want to re-evaluate this paragraph, lest we mistake Bush for a leftist:
In the intellectual arena, meanwhile, the fatuous logic that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" keeps left-leaning intellectuals away from the cause of definition. And so its promulgation continues to elude the world, even as we have embarked on a war against the phenomenon itself.You may also want to look at the history of the IRA, Zionism and the Contras. Nonetheless, you have a point that obsessively focusing on "Islamism" risks exacerbating the "clash of civilizations" problem. A war on al Qaeda doesn't run that risk, though. "Islamism" is a fatuous phrasing.