Sunday, September 25, 2005

Writing your own show

BBC News have a curious quote from Blair that (once again) indicates his mind acts more like a memory hole than a whole memory. Versions of events get rewritten on the fly, apparently.


"There is no doubt in my mind at all that what is happening in Iraq now is crucial for the future of our own security, never the security of Iraq or the greater Middle East, ... It is crucial for the security of the world. If they are defeated - this type of global terrorism and insurgency in Iraq - we will defeat them everywhere."


The waters are muddied thoroughly by this statement - are we dealing with "global" terrorists here, or military insurgents that use similar tactics? Attackers or defenders?

To equate insurgency with global terrorism in Iraq is a bold statement. Here's how I recall events.

1. We apparently invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was thought to have WMDs. Not because he supported people who were attacking other countries. (There are plenty of large superpowers who will do that anyway...) Blair has stuck by his - partially justified, I think - claim that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, and that the people of Iraq are better off.

2. Iraq is a hotbed of inflammatory cultures. Not realising that, but trying to get the country to run anyway, has led to violence. We have, in effect, opened up a "mini war" within the country, in attempts to avoid a larger possible instability between states. Perhaps you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs...

Where does "global terrorism" come into this? It doesn't. Not on this scale, anyway. The problem is that 2 different layers have come into contact.

On the one hand, we have the "world leader's" idea of stability and peace, in which the highest class - the bureaucratic might, as it were, of each state - maintains a power over their own state, and through a bargaining system of "I'll rub your back if you rub mine" power, the world is kept generally a balanced place. This is why many powers will happily back a despot who nevertheless is willing to comply with the status quo.

Secondly, the "lower" layer consisting of ... more "every day" people, let's say, also realises that they have an opportunity to have some control over their lives. (Power corrupts, of course, and I suspect if this section actually gained power, they'd be no less pernicious than any generation previously.)

Now these two layers start clashing because the void that kept them apart previously has been removed, and we see the political and physical equivalent of 2 tectonic plates sliding into each other. Each side has their own agenda, and whether one is more "correct" than the other, I couldn't really say. I know that each side believes that they're correct though, which is the really damaging thing.

And in the midst of this, Blair repeatedly betrays his image of co-operation that he would love to portray. What we're left with is an arrogance that sickens, and a man who feels llittle need to consult.

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