Monday, July 11, 2005

Putting Blame Where it Belongs

In Sunday's Observer, Nick Cohen brilliantly dispenses with the terrorism apologists who blame Tony Blair and George W. Bush for last week's terrorist atrocities in London instead of the jihadist barbarians themselves:

And so it went on. At no point did they grasp that Islamism was a reactionary movement as great as fascism, which had claimed millions of mainly Muslim lives in the Sudan, Iran, Algeria and Afghanistan and is claiming thousands in Iraq. As with fascism, it takes a resolute dunderheadedness to put all the responsibility on democratic governments for its existence.

I feel the appeal, believe me. You are exasperated with the manifold faults of Tony Blair and George W Bush. Fighting your government is what you know how to do and what you want to do, and when you are confronted with totalitarian forces which are far worse than your government, the easy solution is to blame your government for them.

But it's a parochial line of reasoning to suppose that all bad, or all good, comes from the West - and a racist one to boot. The unavoidable consequence is that you must refuse to support democrats, liberals, feminists and socialists in the Arab world and Iran who are the victims of Islamism in its Sunni and Shia guises because you are too compromised to condemn their persecutors.

Islamism stops being an ideology intent on building an empire from Andalusia to Indonesia, destroying democracy and subjugating women and becomes, by the magic of parochial reasoning, a protest movement on a par with Make Poverty History or the TUC.

Again, I understand the appeal. Whether you are brown or white, Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, it is uncomfortable to face the fact that there is a messianic cult of death which, like European fascism and communism before it, will send you to your grave whatever you do. But I'm afraid that's what the record shows.

Face up to the truth

The moral blindness of those who talk about "Bush's war on terror", as if this is not America's fight, who believe that everything would be fine if we would just stop making the poor terrorists mad at us, who think there would be no terrorism if we had simply sold out Israel and left Saddam Hussein alone, continues to astound. The goal of the radical Islamists is to unite all Muslim nations into a single totalitarian superstate. This "Caliphate" would then seek to spread its barbarous perversion of Islam throughout the rest of the world. It doesn't matter who is president or what policies we pursue. This enemy cannot be appeased, it can only be defeated.


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