It’s quite interesting how Ignatieff dismisses Foucault’s support for the Iranian revolution with just labelling him as radical and praises Jahanbegloo’s attempts to bring the liberal, pragmatic thinkers such as Rorty and Heller.
A recurring theme these days is that the lines between the right and the left, when it comes to Iran, has become so blurry that they has almost become meaningless.
The left has started to challenge the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy in a similar fashion to the right. This is what living in the American paradigm does to one’s intellect, I suspect.
I know that when I saw give Ignatieff give a speech a few years ago at Middlebury College, he was keen to try and distinguish allowable kinds of torture from non-allowable ones, and that he seriously cast this under the ticking time bomb scenario.
Matt Hannah wrote about all this recently in the Annals of the AAG. His article is “Torture and the Ticking Bomb: The War on Terrorism as a Geographical Imagination of Power/Knowledge”:
Terrorist acts constitute a real threat to material security, specifically to the ‘‘topological’’ presuppositions of the forms of power/knowledge that Foucault and others have argued are central to modern social orders. Techniques of biopower and governmentality can only operate effectively if ‘‘normally empowered’’ biopolitical subjects allow populations and governing authorities to orient their governing and self-governing activities according to ‘‘mappable landscapes of expectation.’’ The threat of terrorism, especially in the person of the suicide bomber, renders landscapes of expectation more difficult to map, at least locally. The ticking-bomb scenario is the most important vehicle by which the material threat of terrorism has been discursively extended to encompass the entire national territory and intensified to a uniform level of unacceptability.