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Melanie Phillips: The war within the west [parts 1 and 2]
Melanie Phillips ^ | December 10, 2004 | Melanie Phillips

Posted on 12/10/2004 1:38:15 PM PST by Tolik

The war within the west (1)

An article in the Guardian provides an unconsciously revealing and quite terrifying insight into the almost unlimited capacity of the British and European establishment for self-delusion over the threat to the west from radical Islamism. Alastair Crooke is a former British intelligence officer who worked in the Middle East, Ireland and Afghanistan, and until last year was a special adviser to Javier Solana, the European Union high representative. There is so much that is wrong and muddled about his argument it is hard to know where to begin. He claims first of all that radical jihadists represent only a tiny minority and are ‘marginal’ within Islam, having alienated many Muslims by their violence:

‘The overwhelming bulk of Islamists and Muslims support elections, good governance and freedom (more so than in some European states, the polls show).’

Well, if that is true why are the overwhelming bulk of Islamic countries tyrannies and not democracies? If the jihadists are so marginal, why doesn’t the Islamic world defeat them instead of rising en bloc in a standing ovation at the Organisation of Islamic Conference summit when the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamed, incited his fellows to kill Jews and commit carnage against the west ‘in defence of the ummah’? If the majority are so alienated by the violence, why don’t prominent Islamic religious authorities issue fatwas against the jihadists instead of themselves preaching virulent hatred against America and the west, Israel and the Jews?

The fact is that radical Islamism — the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabi view of the world —is currently the dominant view in Islam. Yes, there is Muslim resistance to this but so far it has not done very well and is confined to a brave and embattled minority. Yes, when asked in opinion polls ordinary Muslims want freedom — but the religious culture to which they subscribe has so far kept them in servitude. Until and unless what is an effective civil war within Islam is resolved in favour of freedom and defeats the cult of death which has subsumed it, it is demonstrably ridiculous to say that the reformers are the majority. Furthermore, Crooke’s refusal to acknowledge that, rather than being some tiny, marginalised band of renegades the jihadists are being financed, recruited, equipped and trained by a network of Islamic tyrannies whose aim is to destroy western primacy throughout the world and replace it by Islamic power, is simply astonishing. This man was an intelligence officer?

He also contradicts himself within his own article. In one line, he says people are wrong to say of the jihadists that:

‘...people who use violence are marginalised within their own societies.’ Yet two sentences on, he says:

' A small proportion of Islamists, the extreme jihadists, are marginal..'

Well, what are they? Marginal or mainstream? As he also says, for both jihadists and the rest:

‘...this is a struggle to restore the standing of Muslim societies; to assert Muslim identity and autonomy from western imposition, and to find the transition to modernity of their economies and society on Muslim terms - not on western secular ones.’

Indeed, this is all too true. But Crooke doesn’t seem to understand what he himself has written here. For the western ‘secular imposition’ is precisely what the Islamists are fighting. In the west, democracy means that the source of political authority resides in the people. For Islamists, by contrast, the source of all authority, political as well as spiritual, resides in God. In other words, the conflict between Islam and the west is absolutely fundamental. ‘We do diverge on a few values...’ he says. On what planet is this man living?

The Islamists are explicitly fighting to destroy western democracy and fundamental values of individual freedom, particularly of women. For what they fear is the contagion of the west, the influence and the hold that the idea of freedom undoubtedly has over the minds of people in all cultures, given half the chance — and the mortal threat they think this poses as a result for their religion. That is why their stated intention is to defeat and destroy those western values everywhere Islam once had an empire and everywhere Muslims are now living. That is why this is indeed a war fought in the name of Islam against the west (terrorism is undoubtedly the wrong word, Crooke is right on that at least), and against those Muslims who wish to embrace democracy and individual freedom.

‘Muslims do not hate our values. They hate our policies,’ says Crooke. But the policies reflect the values. That is why the west should support Israel, as an outpost of those values defending itself against the century-old attempt by the Islamic and Arab world to destroy it. But for Crooke, Israel is wrong to defend itself:

‘The Israeli military justified an incursion into Jenin in the West Bank on the grounds that there had been 10 terrorists in the city and after the military action there were only four. The threat was reduced. Six had been killed. But to others, and to Jenin's inhabitants, there was a different perception. There had been 10 resistance fighters, the Israeli military had killed six - and now there were 24. The question is: was the use of superior military force a tool for subtraction or multiplication?’

No. That is not the question. The question is: given the thousands of Israelis who have been killed by Palestinian terrorism over the past decades, and the numberless Israelis who are alive today but who would have been murdered had the terror factories in Jenin and elsewhere not been degraded, is Israel’s military action against Palestinian terrorism a tool for subtraction or multiplication?

But then to Crooke, it seems that Israelis who are murdered by those fighting for Islamic ‘values’ don’t even enter the equation.

What a truly morally disgusting article he has written. And how terribly revealing of the warped — and culturally suicidal —mindset within the establishment in both Britain and Europe.

The war within the west (2)

At last, a high-ranking member of Britain's military has suggested that the approach taken by the British media to the Iraq crisis may have cost the lives of British troops. As the Independent reports:

'The UK's senior military officer blamed the media yesterday for making it easier for insurgents to attack British troops in Iraq. The chief of defence staff, General Sir Michael Walker, said attacks on the Black Watch may have been prompted by media coverage of their deployment to central Iraq. Five members were killed during the month-long mission to Camp Dogwood, near Baghdad. General Walker told BBC2's Newsnight last night: "I think the contribution towards the initial attacks was certainly enhanced by, if you like, a media picture that was being laid across a number of channels." '

The deployment of the Black Watch provoked general hysteria in the British media, which not only announced that the regiment would be going into the 'triangle of Death' around Baghdad but said it would not be able to defend itself against the jihadi onslaught there. It was altogether an open invitation to these enemies to attack -- not least because it was clear that the heavier the losses these soldiers would sustain, the more the British media would blame not those who had attacked them but Tony Blair for putting British soldiers in harm's way in the first place. Thus a routine deployment in time of war was inflated into an anti-war propaganda campaign. The effects of such coverage are potentially disastrous in time of war. Sir Michael's brief remarks deserve to be amplified into a fully fledged critique by the British military of the part played by the media in fighting against their own side over Iraq .

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: europe; melaniephillips; uk; waronterror; wot

1 posted on 12/10/2004 1:38:15 PM PST by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...

Interesting article PING!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Lee Harris, David Warren, Orson Scott Card. You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

2 posted on 12/10/2004 1:40:18 PM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik
Anything printed in The Guardian is of course to be associated with the leftist/appeasement world movement.
3 posted on 12/10/2004 1:54:17 PM PST by rocksblues (No more Kerry, no more polls!)
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To: Tolik

Mellanie Phillips is a bulwark of clarity in Britain. It will be because of those few who, like Churchill, saw the Coming Storm and roused the nation, that Britain will survive.

4 posted on 12/10/2004 3:41:55 PM PST by happygrl
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To: happygrl

This woman is a female Mark Steyn-her books are great reads.
She understands what is at stake and she understands Americans.

5 posted on 12/10/2004 4:56:19 PM PST by pugmama
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