Friday, 21 September 2012

How to Rationalise Violence in the Name of a Peace Movement.

As malign as Blair is, he has been given a "peace making" role in the Middle East as the Quartet Representative, and so the BBC is bound to ask him his opinion. This, in itself, is too much for Lindsey German, a leading member of the SWP, StWC and RESPECT.

German proves why extra-parliamentary opposition to the political elite fails so miserably. An article for the Guardian,(  Why is the deluded, self-justifying Tony Blair given airtime? ), German has nothing to offer apart from trying to rationalise the often violent protests against the idiotic 'The Innocence of Muslims' film
The man who has done more than most to contribute to anti-western feeling among Muslims in the Middle East and Asia is called upon to tell us why Muslims shouldn't be angry about anything.
Well, since the StWC believes its mission is to harness the resentment of British Muslims against British foreign policy-as Muslims singled out for fiendish treatment both abroad and at home-the fact Blair has spoken about the halfwits protesting about a stupid amateur film made about Mohammed is good.

It means that the propaganda can be ramped up about how persecuted all Muslims are both at home and abroad in a dastardly process of "demonisation",
So while Blair dismissed the film as "laughable", he claimed that those who reacted against it by demonstrating were "very dangerous and wrong". He seems to think that the film can be judged by the standards of the Cannes film festival and, once found wanting, can be dismissed by all right-minded people.
This is the ad hominem fallacy. The fact that Blair has said the film is 'laughable' does not mean it is not. It is. It was posted on Youtube and now deranged mobs seem intent on degrading the image of their religion around the world.
Why are Muslims so sensitive on this question? Maybe the answer comes not just from one crude and racist film, but from long years of hurt caused by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, imprisonment without trial by western-backed dictators, extraordinary rendition and torture
This crude lumping together of what are often aggressive mobs with "Muslims" is an insult to to Muslims. If one said of the deranged US Christian fundamentalists bombing abortion clinics as "Christians", this would be an insult to all decent sincere Christians or those from a Christian background.
..the objection to the film is not about its quality, but its intent of slandering and insulting Muslims across the world.
But Blair said the film was appalling. The question is why politicians are latching on to this to exploit the hysteria for their own ends ( including some in the British "anti-war" movement ) who crave outrage and fan it out to upgrade their own power hunger.

German proves that by trying to elide the protests in majority Muslim capitals with those in Britain,
Many of those opposing US and British policies in the Middle East are young and well educated. They are not religious fanatics but object to the being treated as inferior, and object to the richest countries in the world exploiting their resources and occupying their countries.
Well, some of them are and some of them are not. It is curious that the StWC has no coherent position on Syria at the moment. Many intelligent Muslims and those of other faiths or no faith oppose US and British policies without buying in to the idea that "Muslim countries" are being attacked because Muslim.

After all, when Sunni jihadists ( back by the West ) are trying to overthrow a secular Arab nationalist dictatorship it throws up a dilemma for an anti-war movement led by apologists for totalitarianism. Which is a pity, as a strong movement opposed to interventionist wars is needed.
They see unmanned US drone aircraft killing people in Pakistan and Yemen and wonder what kind of civilisation they are being offered.
They may well do. But "they" are not all one. And any reasonable Pakistani will understand that there as many in the West that oppose their own governments but cannot do much about them. Unless he thinks "the West" is just one Evil Enemy in total from Hollywood, Youtube, Drone Bombs and Irreligion.
Blair opined that "the great debate in the world at the moment is between the open-minded and the closed-minded". As usual, here Blair casts himself in the role of decent liberal. But some of his closest allies in these wars have been the US neocons, known for their narrow conservatism.
Blair is a neoconservative in foreign policy but the neoconservatives are not actually very conservative. Many conservatives opposed both the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. And their were liberals who opposed "liberal interventionism". The world is complex. And admitting that is a problem for a propagandist.
Blair himself has refused to ever acknowledge that he has done anything wrong over the invasion of Iraq. His "open-mindedness" never extended to taking on board public opinion, which from that time has been consistently anti-war.
That is made more difficult by the fact that intelligent opposition to these wars is drowned out by those like Galloway and those who oppose the wars partly as a means to vent anti-Western hatred in general. That puts off most British people and means the elites can dismiss it as mere background noise.
Blair also claimed that most of those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq were the victims not of western intervention but of sectarian killings. This is simply not true. Hundreds of thousands have been killed in those wars, large numbers by air strikes, many in sieges such as Fallujah, and millions have been displaced.
Blair started the war and one that was not necessary. It was of dubious legality. That is known. Even so, a tremendous number were killed in Iraq by sectarian killing and murders. The perpetrators did not need to do that. They did not have to muder one another. But it was an inevitable consequence of invading such a state.
Where there are sectarian killings, as in Iraq today, they date from the war and occupation and the policies that helped divide and rule.
Partly the US tacitly allowed Shia militias to carry out ethnic cleansing. Yet the US was not only the sole cause of that-unless it bears the responsibility for invading and causing the mess in the first place. This article denies any sense that Islamist movements have any moral agency.

Tell that to the Iraqi Christians.

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