A war that won't stop

Published November 22nd, 2009 - 02:22 GMT

It is clear that the growing unease and disenchantment among the general public over Britain's involvement in the filthy war in Afghanistan has finally reached the ears of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
It's not before time.
But those among the Prime Minister's coterie who have rushed him out to defend the war policies of this government would, perhaps, have been better advised to tell him to keep his counsel.
For Mr Brown did himself and his cause no favours with his inept defence of the indefensible to the Royal College of Defence Studies yesterday.
The college was clearly chosen because it provided the respectful and supportive audience for his views on the war which could not have been obtained anywhere else in the country.
With a clear majority of the population now set against Britain's involvement in this war, the least he could have expected elsewhere was some fairly robust barracking, with the possible exception of, to its shame, the House of Commons, where the majority of MPs seem determined to ignore public opinion and plough their own bloody furrow.
So much was wrong with Mr Brown's speech that it is an intimidating task to even attempt to answer it in detail, but where we miss out, the anti-war movement will undoubtedly fill in the gaps.
Mr Brown sent a message to Afghan President Hamid Karzai in his speech that he will not put British troops "in harm's way for a government that does not stand up against corruption."
That's all very well, but it might have been more convincing if this government had not supported Mr Karzai's claim to victory in a corrupt and fixed election that even Mr Karzai's nearest opponent eventually pulled out of because his cause was hopeless in the face of blatant ballot rigging.
It would have been even more apt if Mr Brown had not been talking to one of the world's most corrupt leaders, whose friends, family and political allies have all become extremely rich on the back of his term of office so far and now look set to become even richer.
And the speech might have carried more conviction if it had not betrayed the bankruptcy of the Prime Minister's policies when faced with an enemy that he clearly does not understand and a war which he cannot win.
Once again, he played on fears of terrorist attacks in this country, saying that "the main terrorist threat facing Britain emanates from Afghanistan and Pakistan."
What is it that stops Mr Brown from understanding this issue? It's not long ago that his predecessor was saying exactly the same thing about Iraq, seeking exactly the same justification for another immoral and illegal war.
The nature of al-Qaida, Mr Brown, is that it is not a national movement, it is an international and highly mobile conspiracy. It has no national base, it has no offices that can be raided, no registered address that it can be contacted at.
By its nature, it functions in the areas in which its supporters can be found and its support is greatest where the attacks on Islamists provoke that support.
In other words, this rolling war that you are fighting is creating its own enemy and, the harder you fight, the more effective that enemy will be.
The support for al-Qaida is based in the perceived injustice of a Western war on Islam and the more that you stir that sense of injustice, the stronger the reaction will be.
Equally, where you go to war with al-Qaida, there you will find them.
If there is to be an end to this insanity, it will be justice for Muslims where, at the moment, there is no justice.
Which takes us back to Palestine...


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