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Asa Winstanley, an associate editor with The Electronic Intifada, discusses how Israel is aiding the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s official franchise in Syria), and the media’s failure to cover the story.

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  • As I listen to the radio during the weekday I ask myself, Is there (at present) a media-spun consensus to mutate the term “radical” as only meaning an individual who wants to join the religious extremism of Islamic State in Syria? Therefore making people conclude that “radical means Islamic State extremist” and vice versa? As a consequence, I believe other labels associated with the term may also include: contrarian, gadfly, maverick, rebel, and angry young (wo)man. The final goal, in my opinion, to label all these terms as “terrorist,” thus through the fear of this label bring the potential “radical” or any other term back into the collective instinct for a quiet and obedient statist life. Perhaps Christopher Hitchens was correct when he said in his book Letters to a Young Contrarian: “Radical is a useful and honourable term that comes with various health warnings.” (p.1) Of course we cannot forget Rothbard’s definition of the radical: “Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and antistatism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul. Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark.” http://mises.org/library/do-you-hate-state I could be wrong, but perhaps people aren’t being made aware that there are two types of radical. I say this because, again, I use Hitchens book: “Emile Zola could be the pattern for any serious and humanistic radical, because he not only asserted the inalienable rights of the individual, but generalised his assault to encompass the vile role played by clericalism, by racial hatred, by militarism and by the fetishisation of ‘the nation’ and the state.” (p.5)

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