Tony Blair must have read my fatwa

About: Speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council

By George i think he got it ...
source: Full text of Prime Minister Tony Blair in Los Angeles (doc file)

But the central point is this. In the end, even the issue of Israel is just part of the same, wider struggle for the soul of the region. If we recognised this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But a vast part of the Western opinion is not remotely near this yet.

Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time - in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations including now some in Africa - it is a global fight about global values; it is about modernisation, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs. Islamist extremism's whole strategy is based on a presumed sense of grievance that can motivate people to divide against each other. Our answer has to be a set of values strong enough to unite people with each other.

This is not just about security or military tactics. It is about hearts and minds about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for.

Just to state it in these terms, is to underline how much we have to do. Convincing our own opinion of the nature of the battle is hard enough. But we then have to empower Moderate, Mainstream Islam to defeat Reactionary Islam.
  ... emphasis mine.  The whole speech is well worth a read.  It is interesting that he makes this speech in California where the words "global warming" can be made with no apologies rather than DC.  He also made the point that the "a two state solution" (Israel and Palestine) must be implemented.  That will take the thunder from Reactionary Islam. 

The trick of this "ground breaking" stratagy is going to be realizing that you change values by right actions and by making your point in the media, but that you change "rigimes" with bullets and bombs.  This reform must come from inside Islam, not from the West.  All we can do is to "empower" by "support, nurture, build strong alliances with all those in the Middle East who are on the modernising path."

Way to go, Tony Blair !


  1. fatwa
  2. tony blair
  3. middle east
  4. muslim moderates


Seth says
M 2006-08-03 09:20:51 4076
Not much new here. Blair & Bush have been saying most of this stuff for years.
... point me to where Bush has said anything remotely approaching "But we then have to empower Moderate, Mainstream Islam to defeat Reactionary Islam."

Seth says
M 2006-08-03 09:43:26 4076
They have been trying for years to support the moderates in Iraq & Iran as policy ever since the Iranian Revolution that deposed the shaw. 
Oh really, is supporting Saudi's Wahhabe regime supporting moderates?  Is supporting Bin Laden's the Mujahideen in Afghanistan supporting moderates?  And you did not meet my challenge: point me to where Bush has said anything remotely approaching "But we then have to empower Moderate, Mainstream Islam to defeat Reactionary Islam." ... or even some action that he spearheaded that had the effect of supporting muslim reform.  That concept heretofor simply was not in his vocabulary.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-08-03 10:21:30 4076
M 2006-08-03 10:08:33 4076
Like I said it's a surprise to you but not to me. Afganistan was an anti-Soviet operation - apparently misguided. Piss of the Saudis & you can expect to start paying $6/gal for gasoline & the ripple effect will get you highter prices for all things you get at the grocery. It's all a chess game. 
Oh i see ... so your stratagy is to support the puritanical rigime of the Saudi so that we can enjoy cheep oil and continue to heat up the Earth.  Such a wise global stratagey! You don't have a barf bag handy, do you?
Start bicycling everywhere and grow your own food & then I will feel bad.

Seth says
An interesting article about the European Press ...
source: Simple Things: Tony Blair talks sense to the senseless By Denis Boyles
Blair, on his return from America, brought with him what would seem to be a good idea: Instead of defaulting always to war against Islamic extremists, support Islamic moderates and help them to find ways of bringing benefits to all Muslims.

Mark de LA says
You asserted (first!)
source: ... Well, who started what first is important not that important now and it's not really all that clear who really started it.
... It was clear to me. It is pertinent if you ever want to understand the endless parade of tit-for-tat atrocities between the Palestinians & the Israelis & the Israelis & their neighbors.
Note that Egypt finally figured out how to maintain peace for a few years. Ask yourself, why?

BTW, spelling the word consern correctly is a schoolboy task too!

Seth says
M 2006-08-05 08:32:04 4076
Hmmmmm... the Wikipedia seems to suggest that the Hezbos not only started it first but both kidnapped Israeli soldiers & also fired their rockets:
source: ... The 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict is a series of ongoing military actions and clashes in northern Israel and Lebanon between Hezbollah's armed wing and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). On 12 July 2006 Hezbollah initiated Operation Truthful Promise,[11] consisting of a cross-border raid resulting in the capture of two Israeli soldiers and shelling into Israel.[12][13] Israel then responded with Operation Just Reward,[14] later renamed Operation Change of Direction.
go to the original article for the links - normally Wikipedia 2nd level  links don't work in fbi
"Who started it" is a school boy consern ... please take it somewhere else.  This node is about solutions.

Seth says
M 2006-08-05 07:41:15 4076
Sounds good, but what do you do when the extremists start the war first ? It's the terrorist bombings, kidnappings etc. (like a pain in a finger or the stomach) that are an indication that something needs attention. By then it is usually too late to turn the other cheek without it resulting in a grenade up your ass!
Well, who started what first is important not that important now and it's not really all that clear who really started it.  It depends on what you call important and who's script you believe.  The katyushas lobbed against northern Israel by the Hezbollah did not start until Israel started their bombing.  The solution to the kind of problem that you pose above does not come within a small context.  You need to stand back far enough to find a context that contains the solution. Then write a script about it, and make sure that you script is consistent with the facts on the ground.  We have before us plenty of war scripts.  It is time for some peace scripts.

Mark de LA says
I guess this is a good place to put this (8 months later)! Iranians doing what they do best - seizing hostages & assaulting embassies. (courtesy of CNN)

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