Onverbeterlijke messianist Tony Blair blijft zijn steun voor Bush’s heillos-contra-productieve invasie van Irak volhouden en roept op tot een ‘oorlog’ tegen islamisme. Hij ontkent een samenhang tussen islamisme in het Midden-Oosten en het zionistisch beleid van Israel, alsook de historische invloed van Westers kolonialisme. Wel heeft hij door dat deze ‘oorlog’ niet alleen met militaire middelen kan worden gewonnen.
Tony Blair has said he does not regret leading Britain to war in Iraq when he was Prime Minister and has called on the world to take on and defeat Islamic extremists. He believes that, without intervention, the problem will continue to grow in countries such as Afghanistan.
He called for a battle to be waged against militant Islam similar to that fought against revolutionary communism.
In an address last night to a forum on religion and politics in Chicago, Mr Blair said that the world today faced a struggle posed by "an extreme and misguided form of Islam", which threatened the majority of Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
"Our job is simple: it is to support and partner those Muslims who believe deeply in Islam but also who believe in peaceful co-existence, in taking on and defeating the extremists who don’t."
Mr Blair was speaking almost ten years to the day since he gave an address in Chicago at the height of the Kosovo crisis when he set out what he described as a "doctrine of international community" that sought to justify intervention, including military intervention, not only when a nation’s interests are directly engaged but also where there exists a humanitarian crisis or gross oppression of a civilian population.
The speech was criticised widely at the time as hopelessly idealistic and even dangerous.
"Probably, in the light of events since then, some would feel vindicated," Mr Blair said last night, but he stood by his stance. ‘I still believe that those who oppress and brutalise their citizens are better put out of power than kept in it,’ he said.
Defending his intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said the argument that Britain should revert to a more traditional, cautious foreign policy should be resisted…
Tony Blair has said the case for using military force to topple oppressive regimes is as strong as it ever was – despite events in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said intervention was needed to tackle the growing "menace" of Islamic "extremism" across the Middle East.
But he also stressed the need for engagement with "progressive" Muslims. The former prime minister was speaking on the 10th anniversary of a speech in Chicago which he set out his belief in an interventionist foreign policy…
Events in Iraq and Afghanistan had shaken the "familiar certainty that our power would always triumph", argued Mr Blair. He said it would be wrong to revert to a "more traditional foreign policy" which he described as "less bold, more cautious; less idealistic, more pragmatic, more willing to tolerate the intolerable". But he said a broader strategy was needed to deal with the threats posed by extremism.
"Back in April 1999, I thought that removal of a despotic regime was almost sufficient in itself to create the conditions for progress. But this battle cannot so easily be won.
"Because it is based on an ideology and because its roots are deep, so our strategy for victory has to be broader, more comprehensive but also more sharply defined…