Tony Blair: The Neoconservative Threat to the World (4) – Concluding Remarks

“Peace increases our peril”[1]

There was a time when the “Islamists” were admired by the British. Be it the “brave” Afghan Taliban who fought against Communism, or the Ottomans through their tolerant “calm, absorbed Islamism” who staved off Russian Christian extremism. They were admired because there was an interest to be served.

Pealing through Tony Blair’s staple neocon doublespeak and uncovering Blair’s definition of Islamism, it emerges that the war against Islam is ever-fervent, disguised under the words of human rights, democracy and convoluted epithets.

The reality is that this is the current Western policy and has been for some time. Today the voices calling for a reformation in Islam are increasing and in parallel, everything is being done to undermine Islamic religious expression through increased securitisation, where an increase in religiosity has become an indicator for “extremism” and an expression against policy or holding the government to account is construed as a stepping stone for terrorism. The latest assault focussed on Islam in the education sphere. The categorisation of speakers who propound mainstream Islamic positions as extremism is further evidence. Inherent within these actualities is the castigation of dissent against the Zionist entity and British/Western foreign policy.

Reformation

Leading neocon and architect of the Iraq war of 2003, the then US defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz stated on the eve of the Iraq war,

“We need an Islamic reformation and I think there is a real hope for one”.[2]

The neocons of that time who were busying themselves in creating the mess we have today, attacked the foundations of Islamic learning then, as Tony Blair is doing now. In a speech at Georgetown University on the 30th of October 2003, Wolfowitz described madrassahs as “schools that teach hatred, schools that teach terrorism” while providing free “theologically extremist teaching to ‘millions’” of Muslim children.[3] Other neocons went further. Norman Podhoretz – an extreme neocon writer who advocated the Iraq war – in an article calling for war on Iran, explicitly called the war on terror, “World War IV”, with the enemy being “Islamofascism”.[4]

Thus then, as now, during a major war in a Muslim land, to protect “interests” we have the same rhetoric becoming louder from the neocons. Blair has simply refined the old formula to increase upon Western hegemony with minimal resistance, where, as per the neocon “mode of thinking”, emotion and prejudice is given weight over rationality. Thus, his arguments to whitewash other factors for radicalisation don’t hold academically or in reality and is reminiscent of David Cameron’s similar, recent attempt to downplay “grievances” in order to pin blame of radicalisation upon “Islamist” ideology.

The irony is, perhaps more so for the Catholic Blair, that Irving Kristol the “godfather” of neoconservatism , decrying the modernisation attempts of the Catholic Church, advised Catholic leaders to counsel its youngest members to “wear sackcloth and ashes and to walk on nails to Rome”.[5]

Islam however, is an open ticket for reformation for the neocons simply because it sits paradoxically with exploitative “interests” of the West which enforces “Hard Wilsonianism” – the foreign policy which pursues “benevolent hegemony” through “intervention”, to champion “American ideals” and fight long-term threats to American “interests”. This “interest”, according to an essay by neocons William Kristol (son of Irving Kristol) and Robert Kagan, “should be the cause of war even when we cannot prove that a narrowly construed ‘vital interest’ of the United States is at stake”.[6] American historian, Professor Greg Grandin elaborating on this policy writes,

“Hard Wilsonianism – that odd mix of unapologetic violence and blinding idealism that motivates neocons – finds it expression in frontline repression, in Abu Graib’s and Gitmo’s interrogation rooms, in the levelling of Fallujah, and in the scores of unexplained deaths of prisoners in United States custody. It is manifested in the actions of members of the Eighty-second Airborne Division, who for seventeen months, even after the abuses at Abu Ghraib were exposed, beat their Iraqi prisoners with metal baseball bats, perhaps believing that broken bones would make Muslims more receptive to Western values.”[7]

Blair then, through his essay has dog-whistled his fellow neocons to sharpen the neocon strategy of perpetual warfare by deception, domestic and abroad. It is a dangerous attack on the faith of over a billion Muslims with a threat of physical coercion.

It is for the Muslim minorities to take stock of the strengthening strategies of old, deceptively garbed in the oratory of human rights in order to fight more than just “hate”, but the very foundations of the Islamic faith.

And it is for the upright British citizens to recognise the threat neoconservatism is fostering in Britain. It is hurting Britain. The neocons genuinely believe that perpetual war and fear of an external threat will allow them to mould the state in their vision. As the Straussian neocon Carnes Lord, writes,

Like strategy in war in war, statecraft is an art of coping with an adversarial environment… Like strategy, too, statecraft is also an art of relating means to ends. If… strategy is the art of using wars to achieve the objectives of the war, statecraft is the art of using wars and other instruments available to political leaders to attain national goals.[8]

Their vision has thus far materialised in the continued assault on individual liberty achieved through alarmist statements about security threats. Neoconservatism is destroying the values it claims to believe in and yet it is using them as a vehicle to maintain power for a small elite through demagoguery to shape society as they see fit. It remains to be seen whether Britain continues its trajectory towards a tyrannous future shaped by neocons, or the people of Britain stand up and fight the retroviral “persuasion” known as neoconservatism.


 

Read part 1 here

Read part 2 here

Read part 3 here


References:

[1] Neocon Michael Ledeen in his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, New York: St Martin’s Press, 1999 p.70

[2] Riaz A., Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia, Rutgers University Press, 2004, Cht. 6 Fn.1 p.252

[3] Ibid. p.21

[4] Norman Podhoretz, “The Case for Bombing Iran, I hope and Pray Bush Will Do it”, May 30, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20090625195336/http://www.opinionjournal.com/federation/feature/?id=110010139

[5] Kristol, I, Neoconservatism: The Autobiagrpahy of an Idea, New York: The Free Press, 1995, p.441

[6] Robert Kagan and William Kristol, Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, California: Encounter Books, 2000, p.13

[7] Grandin G., Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism, New York: Holt Paperbacks, 2010, p.234

[8] Carnes, L. The Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know Now, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Virginia US, 2003, p.24

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