...in Tony Blair's mind. I really don't understand why Tony Blair bothers to try to come up with political theories to explain why Britain supported the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq. I mean if he had said "we went into Iraq because Britain is strong and Iraq is weak and we thought it would have been a walkover", it would have been perfectly adequate. And then we can move on to the debate about what to do for the future.
But, no, Tony Blair has this persecution syndrome and feels he has to justify everything he does as morally right. OK, I try to only look forward but you have forced me into it Tony. I will have to give your speech the Asterism treatment.
Apparently it is all now tied to the fight against global terrorism:
"The struggle against terrorism in Madrid or London or Paris is the same as the struggle against the terrorist acts of Hezbollah in Lebanon or the PIJ in Palestine or rejectionist groups in Iraq."
Skipping the obvious - that Iraq has created the kind of terror training camp that Bin-Laden could not even dream of - lets see how he suggests to fight it?
"This [global] terrorism will not be defeated until its ideas... are confronted, head-on, in their essence, at their core. ... I mean telling them their attitude to America is absurd; their concept of governance pre-feudal; their positions on women and other faiths, reactionary and regressive"So the enemy of the world is Terrorism and the theory of the world's terrorists is radical Islam. Defeat this ideology and suddenly we will live in a peaceful world. All very nice but how exactly are you confronting these ideas? In Afghanistan you back a regime that will behead anyone who converts to Christianity and in Iraq you rely on parties whose militias are forcing an extreme interpretation of Islam on the whole of the people, and are carrying out a sectarian war. In other words, with just the same pre-feudal reactionaries.
Then he gets all historical..
"This is not the place to digress into a history of what subsequently happened. But by the early 20th century, after renaissance, reformation and enlightenment had swept over the Western world, the Muslim and Arab world was uncertain, insecure and on the defensive."Oh dear Tony. You are confusing technological advancement with cultural enlightenment. Unfortunately this cultural enlightenment did not stop Western countries developing fascism, carrying out its own ethnic cleansing and fighting itself in two world wars that made the worst excesses of the ancient world look positively moderate. After the occupation of the Ottoman empire the Muslim and Arab world was subject to the occupation and interference of the Western empires. And any attempt by the Arabs to create centers of enlightenment have been effectively crushed by international interference. Given a chance, Lebanon of the 70's or Iraq after '58 would have created exactly the kind of liberal societies he is missing.
He goes on..
"The extremism may have started through religious doctrine and thought. But soon, in offshoots of the Muslim brotherhood, supported by Wahabi extremists and taught in some of the Madrassas of the Middle East and Asia, an ideology was born and exported around the world."Actually Britain and the US had a lot to do with helping this extremism spread. Up until Gulf War I the Wahabis were considered the West's best friends. They were used to destabilize the Soviet Union and to keep the Shia in check after the Iranian revolution. America trained and armed them to bring down the Soviet Army in Afghanistan.The Wahabis were generally given freedom to travel and operate wherever they liked. After Gulf War I the West turned on the Wahabis, they had served their purpose and now America wanted Arabia for itself. And suddenly Tony is all surprised that they are causing trouble in Britain and America. Well, Im sorry if I don't have much sympathy, but this international terrorism is your baby. You helped them, you allowed them to grow and spread in your own societies. Don't come running to Arabs and moderate muslims to solve a problem you created.
Blair goes on to define the supporters of Islamic extremism:
"Why do foreign terrorists from Al Qaida and its associates go across the border to kill and maim? Why does Syria not take stronger action to prevent them? Why does Iran meddle so furiously in the stability of Iraq? ... True the conventional view is that, for example, Iran is hostile to Al Qaida and therefore would never support its activities. But as we know from our own history of conflict, under the pressure of battle, alliances shift and change. Fundamentally, for this ideology, we are the enemy."
My, god, does this man ever stop? Now Iran meddles in Iraq to support Al Qaida. Here is a piece of prize bullshit worthy of the Saddam-Harbours-Al-Qaida scam. He happily forgets that many of the Al-Qaida bombers are streaming in at least as many numbers over the Jordanian and Saudi borders; that Al Qaida in Iraq are getting rather handsome funding from rich Gulf and Saudi nationals; that Iran has their own agents in direct control of the Iraqi government and don't need to create any problems; and that Iran is happily negotiating with America about the future of Iraq.
If anyone is a candidate for the Fletcher Memorial Home - he is one.