It is interesting that yesterday when I wrote a blog on my opposition to the war in Afghanistan, Tony Blair decides to call the war a "Religious Conflict." Tony Blair, a man who seems to have no real idea where he stands, changes his story a great deal to suit the changing situation and the changing evidence. He initially tried to sell Briton's military involvement in the Middle East (Involvement which has been going on for generations of course), with talk of weapons of mass destruction and the evils of Saddam Hussain. This despite the fact that England had been a long time supporter of Hussain and had been supplying Iraq with weapons for generations. So what if the English empire had conquered and subjugated millions of people in the Middle East and elsewhere. So what if British companies had made millions of dollars from the Iraq-Iran war. Suddenly Mr. Blair wanted us to believe that he and his military were a force of altruism. But it is an easy sell. People love war and will buy almost any spin in the pursuit of military adventure. But of course, when the accusations of WMDs turned out to be false (something that many people knew because they simply had to listen to Hans Blix), Blair must sell the war as a religious conflict, curiously throwing his hat in the ring with over a thousand years of Crusading States who, motivated by both religious fervor and the excellent profits of colonial wars, have subjugated the people of the Middle East.
But if you have been paying attention to the long history of oppression and struggle you know that radical organizations find their constituency among the dissatisfied, the oppressed, the hungry, and the hopeless. Radical Islam was not 'created' by us in the West, just as Christian Fundamentalism and Puritanism was not 'created' by oppressive religious laws in England. (Keep in mind that Unitarians did not gain legal status in Briton until the Doctrine of the Trinity Act in 1813, which also effectively legalized Islam too. And Catholics did not gain this status until the Catholic Relief Act of 1829) Radical religious groups are not 'created' by oppression, hunger and hopelessness, but they are fed and maintained by these conditions. Radical Islam would have much less appeal and currency if the West didn't have a long history of carving up the Middle East in its own interest, of supporting dictatorships that are pro-Western, of utterly failing the people of Palestine, and of enforcing their will with military might. But instead of correcting past mistakes Western leaders like Blair continue to support non-democratic processes in the region, invade countries for fabricated reasons, and fail to use their real influence to stop illegal settlements in the occupied territories and create a viable Palestinian state. Tony Blair and those of his ilk are the very best recruiters that radical Islamic organizations could ever have. And talk of a religious war is like a call to arms for many people who watch the West treat the Middle East like its own private playground of colonialism. Meanwhile, frightening ignorance in the West, even among the so-called Left, means that there is very little opposition to these terrible events, and by buying the spin of men like Blair over and over (largely because so many testosterone filled Westerners secretly love war because it feeds their sense of power and superiority) we are condemned to watch as A-type personalities with narcissistic psychosis guarantee that peace is a pipe-dream.
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