London, UK, March 21 – The speech today of the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to the Foreign Policy Centre, completely glosses over the huge failure of Western foreign policy in Iraq and the continued support of Western governments for dictators and tyrants the world over. This speech, and those that will follow it, are intended to mask the huge failure to win "hearts and minds" in the Muslim world and absolve western governments of any responsibility whatsoever for the trail of death and destruction in Iraq, Kashmir, Chechnya, Palestine and Afghanistan.
In his speech, Blair places no blame on Russia or India for their state terrorism, brutality and oppression in Chechnya and Kashmir. There is no apology for the civilian casualties of Iraq, the abuse of Iraqis by Western troops, the political corruption of the installed Iraqi regime and the descent of Iraq into civil war. There are no apologies for the booming opium trade in Afghanistan, minimal reconstruction and the worsening security situation under the Karzai government. All of this and more is blamed on 'terrorism'. Does he expect to win the battle for "hearts and minds" in the Muslim world by branding all resistance to brutal military occupation as terrorism?
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "Blair calls for "fighting ideas" and winning the "battle of values and progress" yet endorses the criminalising of support for legitimate resistance struggles against oppression and the proscribing of non-violent Islamic political parties. He celebrates that the masses want "government decided by the people" yet continues to support the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the Muslim world who have no mandate from the people to rule."
"Blair says that he has shied away from using the term Islamic extremism but this has not prevented him in the past from labelling the Islamic Caliphate as extremist and part of an 'evil ideology'. It is ironic that this is the same Caliphate that in his words was 'leading the world in discovery, art and culture' and the 'standard bearer of tolerance'".
"In his speech he rejects the notion of a "clash of civilisations" in favour of what he calls a "clash for civilisation". So what type of civilisation is being advocated? Is the killing of over 100,000 civilians in Iraq civilised? Are torture, rendition and detention without trial civilised? Is the description of Guantanamo as an 'anomaly' civilised? Is supporting dictators and tyrants like Mubarak of Egypt or Karimov of Uzbekistan civilised? Is supporting Israel's brutality against Palestinian children civilised? Is maligning the legitimate aspirations of Muslims for Shariah and the Caliphate in the Muslim world civilised?"