Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Blair: Negotiation is for the weak

Blair is an arse shock. Interesting discussion at Simon's, my comment here:
You can't defeat the ideology of extremist Islam by saying we half agree with your grievances but you're wrong to deal with it that way

That's my big problem with the statement. We "defeated" the IRA by recognising the legitimate grievances of the population supporting them. "We" managed 2 Palestine ceasefires by acknowledging legitimate grievances, etc...

"represion: creates the water for the terrorist fish to swim in..."

First said of Franco's Spain but true everywhere.
Do we "half" agree with the grievances? Are some of the complaints legitimate? I say yes, we do, and some are. Given this, why can't we ameliorate those complaints to reduce the resentment that fuels the extremists? We already know it works FFS.

You don't need to talk to Bin Laden, but you could help deal with the iniquities that he feeds off of.


Justin has more on a different aspect:
“I am probably not the person to go into the Muslim community,” said Blair today. How does he know? If walking into Leeds, Dewsbury, Beeston or Rawthorpe nude but for a sandwich board with “I’M SORRY” painted on it dissuaded just one potential bomber, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Garry Smith:
This is possibly the least helpful thing I've ever heard our moronic Prime Minister say, and that's really going some.
I think he's right, on both counts. Jamie Kenny:
Only when people stop opposing my foreign policy can terrorists be defeated. Got that one cleared up, then.

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Anonymous said...

Small problem the IRA had a political goal, not a religious one. Fatah too where interested in a political not a religious goal.

The Islamists inspired by the Islamic reformations of Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab or Sayyid Qutb are not interested in a political goal, but are following a religious conviction that the single correct path of Islam is to emulate the first few generations of Muslims, who spread their faith through conquest.

This is a big difference. To achieve a political goal compromise is perfectly acceptable, since you want to live in it in the here and now. To achieve a religious goal compromise is not on the cards as you have a mission from god and will burn in hell fire if you do not follow it, the reward not being in the here and now but some imagined perfect hereafter. 

Posted by chris

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree. But the point I'm (badly) making, is that a lot of the support the extremists receive isn't from people who want the same goals, it's from people who share the same enemy, especially Israel.

Remove the obvious political iniquities, and support plummets. If you view extremist marxism as a form of religion, an ideological goal, then marxist terrorist groups have received support from non-marxists for very similar reasons.

I advocate compromising and negotiating with the moderates, and trying tor emove the sting of the extremist rhetoric. Unfortunately, the "moderates" in much of the islamic world are military dictatorships, juntas, Ba'athists or lunatics.

Not good negotiating partners. 

Posted by MatGB

Anonymous said...

The Islamists inspired by the Islamic reformations of Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab or Sayyid Qutb are not interested in a political goal

Oh yes they are. It's just that, because they believe in the unification of political and religious authority, the political goal is the same as the religious one: to restore the Islamic Caliphate. The theory of Ayman al-Zawahiri is that, having defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and precipitated its collapse all by themselves and definitely not with any outside support (oh no), the only obstacle to their ultimate aim is to defeat the other world empire, the US, which they are of course able to do because they defeated the USSR.

As a more general point, I don't think the Islamists are generally inspired by Wahhab or Qutb in the sense of actually having read them. Zawahiri himself is a fairly sophisticated theorist of political Islam and, to the extent that it has a conventional power structure, it is more influenced by his own ideas (alongside selective and tendentious readings of the Koran) than by those of Qutb or Wahhab. 

Posted by Simon

Anonymous said...

Simon, I concede the point that one of goals is the formation of an empire. But they are still doing it because apparently a god says so, which is what makes any kind of negotiation a problem. 

Posted by chris