“The impasse to which I am referring has been dramatized recently by many responses on the Left, in the United States and in Europe , to the suicide bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, as well as by the character of the mass mobilizations against the Iraq War. The disastrous nature of the war and, more generally, of the Bush administration should not obscure that in both cases progressives found themselves faced with what should have been viewed as a dilemma — a conflict between an aggressive global imperial power and a deeply reactionary counterglobalization movement in one case, and a brutal fascistic regime in the other. Yet in neither case were there many attempts to problematize this dilemma or to try to analyze this configuration with an eye toward the possibility of formulating what has become exceedingly difficult in the world today — a critique with emancipatory intent. This would have required developing a form of internationalism that broke with the dualisms of a Cold War framework that all too frequently legitimated (as “anti-imperialist”) states whose structures and policies were no more emancipatory than those of many authoritarian and repressive regimes supported by the American government.”
I agree with Francis that Postone's essay "History and Helplessness" is a valuable work that deserves serious discussion, specifically in relation to three-way fight politics. Some of the points that I find especially helpful are: • It's a mistake to see al-Qaeda or related formations simply as a reaction to U.S. policies. This oversimplifies Islamic fundamentalist movements and implies that the United States is the only real political actor on the world stage.