Thursday, March 01, 2007

It occurs to me, when reading about the increasingly-bizarre case of Abdel Kareen
Nabil, whose father and brothers learned the whole Koran to show their devotion whilst abandoning their sibling, that one of the reasons many people around the world have less than total confidence in the War on Terror is its hugely selective imposition.

It is not a War on Terror. George Bush has no intention of invading the Basque region or Northern Ireland. It is a War on Certain Terrorists of a Religious Nature. However, the catch-all term does allow Vladimir Putin to gloss over the Chechnya problem, and his troops actions in Beslan as part of the War on Terror.

We claim that we support democracy in the Middle East, which is quite clearly an untruth. If you have the misfortune to be living in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, whose regimes provide us with lots of money and oil, our troops probably won't be riding in any time soon to secure your freedoms. Sorry. The same applies if you're living under military dictator Parvez Musharraf in Pakistan (who even got interviewed on the Daily Show, we like him so much). You're going to have to do it yourselves.

Also, our siding with Shia militants in Iraq, providing a base for Moqtada al Sadr and the Mahdi Army shows that we aren't even consistent in opposing violent religious fundamentalists. Not if they dislike the same people we dislike.

What Tony Blair and George Bush do not realise are that there are many people who opposed the war in Iraq who would support a general push for greater freedom for the peoples of the world. They just don't think their way is the best way of doing it.