You really should be supporting Rachel's tireless campaign to pressure the government into doing the right and decent thing for once in their self-serving miserable lives.
This week, Sadiq Khan, a normally loyal Labour MP and also a Muslim (to be fair, not an unthinking Blairite drone. He voted "quite strongly for" Blair's anti-terror laws but "very strongly against" the invasion of Iraq) has been speaking out about the failures and lack of progress of government policies to engage with the Muslim communities in order to address terrorism:
What has happened to all the good ideas? Why hasn't an action plan been drawn up with timelines? There has been limited progress but there is an air of despondency. Only three recommendations have been implemented, and group members feel let down. I worry that the government might become the Duke of York - marching all these talented British Muslims up the hill of consultation and dialogue, only to march them down again as very little appears to have changed.Government lackeys have attempted to play down these criticisms.
At the same time, Peter Clarke, the head of the Metropolitan police's anti-terrorist branch, has warned that the level of threat for terrorism is at unprecedented levels. Only idiots or expert practitioners of Orwellian doublethink could believe that the government's strategy is working and simultaneously believe that the terrorist threat has risen to unpredented levels. I leave it to you to judge which of the two describes our government who are indeed perfectly happy to subscribe to these two contradictory views.
Blair has also been speaking about terrorism today. The key is this:
We can only defeat it if we have people in the community who are going to stand up and not merely say 'you are wrong to kill people through terrorism... you're wrong in your view of the West, the whole sense of grievance, the ideology is wrong, is profoundly wrong'."This is possibly the least helpful thing I've ever heard our moronic Prime Minister say, and that's really going some.
The problem, clearly, is based on the fact that legitimate greivances *do* exist, certainly as percieved by many Muslims. (Just to be absolutely clear, this does not in any way excuse the murderous behaviour of terrorist extremists.)
Extremists play on these grievances; they exaggerate and manipulate them for their own ends while often genuinely believing that they are acting for the greater good - a bit like Blair exaggerating and manipulating the threat from Saddam for reasons he thought to be worthwhile. What's more, extremists argue that the "West" doesn't care about these grievances and will never address them. This, given the way key western government's tend to behave, is a powerful argument.
For Blair to then simply dismiss these greivances as wrong, indeed as non-existent, is astonishingly stupid. At the most fundamental level, he just does not understand the problem he is supposed to be addressing. Extremist propagandists will be overjoyed with what he has said today. "Blair doesn't care about the injustices suffered by Muslims around the world", they'll say. "He doesn't even accept that we have any. How can you reason with such a person?"
And potential recruits to the violent Jihad, by far the most important element of the "war" on terror, will be further alienated from the mainstream and more open to succumbing to extremist propaganda as a result of Blair's total dismissal of their concerns. How could they possibly believe that their grievances can be addressed through the democratic process when the democratically elected leader of their country refuses to acknowledge that these grievances even exist?
Many moderate Muslims too, I suspect, will be angry with Blair's statement. I know I am.
Blair's inability to understand the fundamentals of the causes of terrorism is, ultimately, one of the key reasons why what Peter Clarke said yesterday is true. We do indeed face an unprecedented threat of terrorist activity (although perspective should always be borne in mind - you're still far, far more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, for example, than by a terrorist).
To say that Blair alone has caused this is to oversimplify the matter. To say that his policies and attitude have been a significant contributary factor however, is surely indisputable.
Tags: News, Politics, Terrorism, Tony Blair