‘Ouch’ From an Unexpected Source

The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee is en fuego.

The grand assemblage of Muslim MPs, peers and leaders of 38 key groups who signed an open letter to the prime minister last weekend are almost certainly right. British foreign policy has helped foment murderous extremism among British Muslims.
The London bombings a year ago might not have happened had Labour taken the French stand. If Tony Blair and his cabinet had never hitched Britain to George Bush’s war chariot, it is unlikely that al-Qaida-inspired terror cells would plan mass murder from British airports. Before, Islamist terror was focused on faraway countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Algeria, Somalia, Russia – and the twin towers. If we had only kept our heads down, terror’s hot breath might have passed over us.
Every minister hotly denying this obvious truth sounds absurd – but makes the wrong point altogether. The point is that a democratically elected government’s foreign policy can’t be moulded by threats from murdering religious maniacs. There are 1,001 good reasons why we should never have supported, let alone joined, the war in Iraq. But the one truly bad reason would have been fear of terrorism.
Those signing the letter steer perilously close to suggesting the government had it coming. The Muslim leaders wrote: “The debacle of Iraq and now the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to the attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.” They urge the prime minister to “change our foreign policy to show the world that we value the lives of civilians wherever they live and whatever their religion. Such a move would make us safer.” Maybe it would, but there can’t be many, pro- or anti-war, who think sparing us from threats by God-blinded killers should be the number-one priority in foreign policy.
It goes with the selective amnesia that forgets about the Kosovo Muslims Blair and Clinton saved from genocide. It goes with a distorted memory of the Taliban as anything other than ruthless despots to their people (especially their women) and unprovoked originators of terror against the rest of the world. As for Iraq, invasion was dangerously misguided, but selective Islamic memory forgets that Saddam murdered Muslims.
In the great disaster of Blair’s foreign policy, the irony is that most Britons would agree with the Muslim leaders’ critique, both on Iraq and Lebanon. But that does not lead to any “understanding”, let alone appeasement, of terrorists. What is their cause? It’s not a viable Palestinian state (though that would help). It’s not better rights in Britain to jobs and respect (that would help). It’s not to bring democracy to corrupt Middle Eastern governments propped up by the west (democracy is a western abomination). Their cause is to impose a fantasy caliphate across some mystically united Muslim world – even as conflict between rival Islamic sects in Iraq kills thousands more Muslims than infidel invaders.

2 Responses to “‘Ouch’ From an Unexpected Source”

  1. Cindermutha says:

    What?! Is it raining clues in Britain? Is the sky falling? Is it the … nah, the apocolypse would only be here when France gets a clue.

  2. DirtCrashr says:

    The thing that really gets me about the “Blame-Me” head-tilting people is that they acknowledge that the Muslim attacks are “asynchronous” and non-linear and disproportionate – but their rigid lockstep “blame-me” conformity is anything but asynchronous. Their own silly response is simply linear.

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