The Neoconservatism in Michael Gove and Celsius 7/7 (4) – Terraforming Britain into a “Closed Society”

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In this series, we will delve deeper into the views held by our new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove as articulated in his book, Celsius 7/7, with additional commentary explaining the neoconservativism underpinning the statements where appropriate, and the impact it has thus far had on the good Britons of this country.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.

Click here to read Part 3.


Why Such an Offensive Foreign Policy?

Gove leads us to believe that democracy is the best “solvent yet devised for Islamism”, or rather, Islamic self-determination. Hence the benevolent West should bestow this loving gift through bombs and arms primarily in the resource rich Middle East.  This fantasy justification has been rebutted by history itself, be it through the hypocritical stance taken on the death sentence of the first democratically elected President of Egypt, or the outgrowth of the ever belligerent ISIS from the ruins of neocon foreign policy.  The argument that democracy means a safer world is untrue; the US “democracy” has been overthrowing other democracies for decades.

No, the real reason is alluded to through shrewd wording.  Gove writes that the importance of the spread of democracy is firstly “a matter of simple, prudent statecraft.”[1] While Gove goes on to extol the hypothetical virtues of a “proper” democratic Iran, a trackback is needed and these words carefully analysed.

“Prudence” and “statecraft” have very particular meanings amongst neoconservatives. And as the citation of Allan Bloom and reference to Kristol and Kagan’s “moral clarity” in the book shows, Gove is not unfamiliar with American neoconservative works.

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The Neoconservatism in Michael Gove and Celsius 7/7 (3) – Foreign Policy and an Amoral “Moral Clarity”

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In this series, we will delve deeper into the views held by our new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove as articulated in his book, Celsius 7/7, with additional commentary explaining the neoconservativism underpinning the statements where appropriate, and the impact it has thus far had on the good Britons of this country.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.


 

Michael Gove’s views on Foreign Policy

Gove’s articulation of foreign policy issues are, in typical neocon fashion, equally belligerent and supremacist.  He arrogantly writes that,

“If we believe in the superiority of our way of life, if we believe in, as the anti-apartheid movement the civil rights movement believed… then we should believe in, and want urgently to work for, the spread of democracy across the globe.”[1]

Warring is thus arrogantly premised upon the colonialist notion of superiority.  The remit of a discussion on the appropriateness of democracy for all nations is beyond our scope, however, it is a dubious claim to say the least.

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The Neoconservatism in Michael Gove and Celsius 7/7 (1) – His “Inspiration”

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In a previous blog I set out how government proposals which scrap the Human Rights Act and propose the curtailment of legal expression via the Counter-Extremism Bill are intertwined. I have also in the past explained how the assault on civil liberties is founded in neoconservative thinking.

In this series, we will delve deeper into the views held by our new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove as articulated in his book, Celsius 7/7, with additional commentary explaining the neoconservativism underpinning the statements where appropriate and the impact it has thus far had on the good Britons of this country.

In this first part, we will briefly examine the people who shaped his disturbing worldview.

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Theresa May’s Neoconservative Cold War Against Islam and Muslims (1)

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“Irving Kristol came up with the solution that has become the cornerstone of neoconservative politics: use democracy to defeat liberty. Turn the people against their own liberty… if you can convince people that liberty undermines security, they will gladly renounce it.”[1]

 

The principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law have been “hijacked” and torn down by neoconservatives in government.

Theresa May, an “extremist” by her own criteria of “British values”, has outlined some truly shocking measures to “counter” the notoriously nebulous “extremism”.  Before delving into the McCarthy-May Measures speech, there are few overarching points to keep in my mind.

There is a fundamental flaw which runs straight through her speech.  The flaw is the underpinning conveyor-belt theory of radicalisation i.e. that one begins disaffected, starts practising Islam, becomes politicised and then blows things up.  The professoriate in the counter-extremism and terrorism field have slammed the theory as no longer maintaining any credibility. From sociologists to former CIA operations officer, the focus on ideology, or in this case “Islamism”, has been placed on its head, with it being characterised as incidental as opposed to pivotal.

The second point of note is moral supremacy afforded to liberalism, which has been posited as the zenith of societal values, yet it has been thoroughly shackled, gagged and torn up in pursuit of its preservation, as though it is too weak to stand up to scrutiny.

The final point to keep in mind is the issue of definition.  I am not one to labour this point, as I have addressed this in several blogs in detail (see here).  The issue is defining “Islamist extremism” and “extremism” itself.  The bottom line is, part of rule of law, an ascribed “British value”, is that the law being applied is just, and a law cannot be just if it references vaguely defined terms, especially where the impact is such that it effectively socially cripples one’s life. What are the boundaries of critique and vocal opposition? What is the fault line which demarcates traditional religious beliefs shared across the Abrahamic faiths for instance, and “extremism”? Simply stating they are clear is political-speak with no real meaning. Indeed, the social experiment in which the Muslim minority has been the guinea pig for the PREVENT Strategy has already evidenced miscarriages of justice.

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White supremacists at the heart of Whitehall

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Crosspost: Nafeez Ahmed

Behind the facade of concern about terrorism is a network of extremist neoconservative ideologues, hell-bent on promoting discrimination and violence against Muslims and political activists who criticise Israeli and Western government policies


 

As the “Islamic State” (IS) has racked up the body count in its brutal atrocities against Western hostages and local civilians, “terror experts” have been in high demand.

One of them, Douglas Murray, calls himself an “expert on Islamist extremism and UK foreign policy”.

An associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a right-wing think tank in London, Murray recently dismissed the idea that British security services could have had any role in the radicalisation of IS front man Mohammad Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John”.

To be sure, the presumption that Emwazi was only radicalised due to the harassment of British security services is absurd. The role of perceived grievances, identity crises, and of course extremist Islamist networks in Britain must also be recognised. But as former shadow Home Secretary David Davis noted, the security services’ failure to stop Emwazi despite surveillance is part of a wider pattern of “ineffective” tactics where the intelligence agencies leave “known terrorists both to carry out evil deeds and to recruit more conspirators”.

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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.

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Tony Blair: the Neoconservative Threat to the World (1) – “The Original Neocon”

Source: the Guardian

Despite the fact that Tony Blair has lost credibility amongst the masses, his Tony Blair Faith Foundation has operations in 30 Middle Eastern and African countries where it exports his thinking and has recently discussed domestic policies which strike a disturbing semblance with existing strategies in place. As such I felt it necessary to write a series of pieces on Tony Blair, the neoconservative “persuasion” embedded in his rhetoric, and his declarations which are reflected in his recent essay and which seeks to implement more broadly the contemporary neocon Western foreign policy.

The “Original Neocon”

The public refutations and exposes of neoconservatism during the 2003 Iraq war rightfully condemned the idea and its proponents surrounding George W. Bush like Paul Wolfowitz to the point that it became even more recluse than the natural propensity of neocons to disguise their policies.

During that time, it was not the likes of Douglas Murray, but Tony Blair who supported and implemented neoconservativism in his foreign and domestic policies. Tony Blair was in fact ahead of the neocons and for one commentator, he was “the original neocon”. William Kristol, the inheritor of Irving Kristol’s neocon legacy, approvingly said of Blair,

“Blair was one of the first world leaders, I think, to really grasp what had happened on 9-11 and its implications, that we were in a global war in terror, that we had to transform the Middle East, the whole thing… I think after the attacks in July, Tony Blair has now gone the next step.”

In an interview with Panorama, Kristol gave his conclusion on him: “I think Tony Blair is a kind of neoconservative, despite himself”. Recently, when Blair tried to remove himself of blame from the Iraq war, calls were made for him to be removed as a (laughable) “peace” envoy. However this shifting of blame was not dissimilar to the behaviour of the US neocon architects of the Iraq 2003 war. William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz also distanced themselves, blaming the current state of Iraq on Obama for failing to intervene.

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