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.
And then she makes the correct point about that abysmal load of old bollocks that was written by "Muslim leaders" to Blair.
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.
Intellectually, these Muslim leaders are subtly accepting a notion that Muslim anger is different to other citizens' anger. Why? Because globally Muslims feel there is a western crusade against them. True, Bush's "war on terror" language encourages that paranoid delusion, but these moderate leaders should be doing their best to challenge the myth.
Quite so. Or perhaps it isn't in their interests to do so. I mean, it's so much easier to be loved, eh? Unless, of course, they ain't all that fucking moderate...
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.
Well quite; but the attittude seems to be that Muslims oppressing or murdering Muslims is hunky-dorey (after all, the sharia law that a third of Muslims in this country reportedly want is pretty fucking oppressive, if you ask me), and Muslims murdering kaffirs is, of course, positively to be encouraged (see Darfur, Palestine, Indonesia, etc.). Anyway, Polly gets it this time: dare one hope that she might be on the road to enlightenment?
But the notion of the state ever eager to stifle our rights for its own sinister ends is running deep across the political spectrum. That's an anarchic paranoia to be refuted by the centre-left, for whom the state is a force for collective good.
No, it appears not. Still, it is a welcome break from her usual load of old shit. Well done, Pol; have a gold star.
I must take issue with Mr E—whose take on this is well worth a read—on one point though.
Unlike, say, DK, I do not go in for illiberal notions of handing people plane tickets and telling them to fuck off: the only solution which will work, which will ever work in the long run, is the fluffy I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing solution.
I would like to point out that I only support the er... "repatriation" of those Muslims who feel that they cannot happily live in our liberal society. If, for instance, a third of British Muslims would like to live under sharia—as they apparently do—then surely it would be a kindness to help them to live in a country in which they can do just that? You see, I am advocating this because it would obviously make those Muslims happy. Ain't that nice of me?
And if they don't really want to live in a country under sharia, then perhaps they could do us all a favour and shut the fuck up.