Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blair's legacy is a reckless adventure that's wreaked havoc the world over

"The White House praises itself that the US has not been hit in the last five years and that it has disrupted al-Qaida. But it also claims to have done much "to undercut the perceived legitimacy of terrorism", and that is wildly wide of the mark. The horrific truth is that the application of the Bush doctrine has helped vindicate Bin Laden and his ilk in the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world. Five years ago al-Qaida's claim that the west was engaged in a war against Islam ran into widespread scepticism. Yet Bush's words and deeds - from the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq to the abuses at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib via the talk of a "crusade" against evil and the wilful refusal to engage in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process - have done violent Islamism's recruitment work for it. We know that all too well in Britain, where the "martyr" tapes of the July 7 bombers left no doubt that it was images of Muslim deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine that had won them over. Actions designed to put out the fire of terrorism only served to inflame it." —Jonathan Freedland

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