The greatest boost ever received by Islamic fundamentalism was the invasion of Iraq. Closely followed by extraordinary rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and drones, and Israeli bombings of Gaza. All of those things lead some Muslims to believe a violent response by terrorism is required to defend themselves. So for Tony Blair, who has promoted huge hatred and caused unnumbered deaths through a career of deceit and self-enrichment, to warn about the dangers of Islamic terrorism is something nobody but a few Guardian and Murdoch acolytes wish to hear.
Blair of course has many tens of millions stuffed into his capacious back-pocket by oligarchs from the ex-Soviet space, so it is unsurprising to hear him call for understanding between Russia and the West. It is even more to form that this understanding should be based on joint hatred of Muslims.
There is an alarming failure by many in the UK to understand that Russia is an Empire. Russia’s Asian possessions were taken by invasion from their indigenous and Muslim populations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, at precisely the same time Britain was taking its own colonies. The Russian conquests were no less colonial from the accident of geography that they were contiguous. Dagestan and Chechnya were only conquered in the 1830’s. Most of Tartarstan later. The “Islamic fundamentalist threat” Russia faces jointly with the UK, is actually the struggle of colonized peoples for their freedom.
Blair includes China, which likewise is the colonial occupier of the Uighurs and other suppressed Muslim populations. To conflate the struggle for freedom from colonial occupation of these people with an over-reaching monster of “Islamic terrorism” is part of Blair’s trick. His examples in Africa are again born of despair from the consequences of centuries of colonial and now neo-liberal exploitation. I find his pronouncements on Boko Haram ironic, given that Blair’s single biggest legacy is to move the United Kingdom close to Nigerian standards of equality of wealth distribution.
The extraordinary thing is that Blair is somebody so hate-filled he wants to see yet more hatred, killing and violence. It is worrying that the establishment media are so happy to promote his view without providing any balancing opinion. I comfort myself that the real motive of this silly speech was that, other than his media acolytes, absolutely nobody cares what he is saying. It wasn’t so much a speech as a public display of ADD.