Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Great Article by David Vance of A Tangled Web

The Blair Doctrine

By David Vance
"We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." -- Lord Palmerston, 19th century British politician.
It's hard to imagine that the British government, a stalwart friend of the United States in the war on terror, could actually be conspiring with Europe's largest terrorist organization to subvert democracy in a part of the United Kingdom. It's even more bizarre to contemplate that a terror group which has killed thousands of innocent people is now being presented to the world as harbingers of peace.

Yet that is exactly what is happening as British Prime Minister Tony Blair helps sell the idea that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) has abandoned violence in pursuance of democratic politics. In fact, the IRA has clearly stated it will not disband its terror infrastructure and instead will continue to expand its lucrative criminal empire. The funds from these illicit activities will assist it in growing its political wing, Sinn Fein, which in turn seeks to seize control of the government of both Ireland and Northern Ireland. In essence this is a terrorist driven insurrection which Blair is patently not only appeasing but arguably colluding with.

It is useful to understand why Blair behaves in this fashion, as it seems so at odds with his stance over Afghanistan and Iraq. The answer is summarized in the expression that "Britain does not have friends, only interests." Over the decades an IRA campaign of terror waged on the British citizens of Northern Ireland. This cost was considered tolerable when directed against the loyal British citizens of Northern Ireland but when the IRA hit upon the idea of bombing the commercial centers of major cities like London and Manchester, instead of confronting the terrorists the government resorted to type and embarked on a comprehensive policy of appeasing them. The name given to this despicable cowardice was "the Irish peace process" and it was championed by the likes of the EU, UN and of course US President Bill Clinton.

The deal was simple. The IRA promised to stop attacking UK cities, to stop slaughtering British soldiers. It was permitted to retain its weapons and was allowed to kill and maim at will within the Roman Catholic community, whilst its political apologists in Sinn Fein gained maximum political leverage. It was peace, but not as we knew it.

But then, at 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the IRA was effectively decommissioned as a result of Al Qaida attacking the United States. Suddenly all terrorist groups of global outreach around the world were faced with the sudden reality that they either ceased their bombings and shootings or faced the wrath of the energized American administration. In effect, the IRA has spent the time since that dreadful day developing a strategy of wringing endless concessions from the craven UK government in exchange for publicly acknowledging the obvious -- namely that its illegal armaments were as redundant as the reasons for using them.

Now, four years on, the IRA has decided to admit that it cannot use its own weapons. It has agreed to this on the basis that the British government allows it to retain its toxic criminal empire, that it can police its own areas, and that it will have its proxies placed in the government of Northern Ireland. It's accepted a make over for a British political roll-over. Plus ├ža change.

What is worse is that the British government and the MSM is now doing the propagandizing for this terrorist group. They present the false impression that the IRA has chosen the path of peace and has finally decided to commit itself to democratic politics. They are mute about the fact that the IRA seeks to retain its entire paramilitary structure, they obfuscate the fact that the IRA has dramatically expanded its criminal empire culminating in the UK's biggest bank robbery in December of 2004. They ignore the fact that the IRA terrorists swagger around Northern Ireland considering themselves beyond the reach of the law. In fact, these hooded thugs believe that they are the law. That's how degraded society becomes when government adopts the philosophy of seeing, hearing and speaking no evil as a policy directive.

In Northern Ireland, the British government is now demanding that democratic politicians sit down and share power with the delegates of unreconstructed terrorism. This is conveyed as reasonableness incarnate. But if Blair considers this to be so very reasonable today how we can be sure that tomorrow he will not also consider it reasonable to bring the representatives of Jihad terrorism into the British government? How can a politician who makes a distinction between "good" and "bad" terrorists offer any form of effective leadership in the war against terror?

The Bush doctrine has been about putting terrorists on notice that we will hunt them down and bring them to justice, wherever they may be found. The Blair doctrine appears to be telling selected terrorists that justice can be set aside and means found to appease them.

The author is a Belfast based freelance writer. Find more of his writing here.

1 comment:

  1. Funny how with the War on Terror - Bush and Blair still deal with Adams. Even a year or so after 9/11, Adams was guest on honour in Manhattan at a banquet. Why did Bush let him in the first place???