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Thread: Tony Blair and tackling radical Islam (merged thread)

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    Default Tony Blair and tackling radical Islam (merged thread)

    Tony Blair's recent talk on Bloomberg:

    Video: and the text:http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeeh...-east-matters/

    “Two years ago, I said we had to intervene and take tougher measures otherwise Syria would disintegrate and we’d be left with increasingly tough options. Right now, all the options are ugly and difficult in Syria but the best option is the one that allows us to evolve with some kind of peaceful transition to a new constitution.”
    - Tony Blair
    It would be appreaciated if those who comment on this matter have at least read the text or watched the full video.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-17-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Insert correct link tks to Dayuhan

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    The conclusion:

    Consider for a moment since 9/11 how our world has changed, how in a myriad of different ways from the security measures we now take for granted to the arenas of conflict that have now continued over a span of years, there is a price being paid in money, life and opportunity for millions. This is not a conventional war. It isn’t a struggle between super powers or over territory. But it is real. It is fearsome in its impact. It is growing in its reach. It is a battle about belief and about modernity. It is important because the world through technology and globalisation is pushing us together across boundaries of faith and culture. Unaddressed, the likelihood of conflict increases. Engagement does not always mean military involvement. Commitment does not mean going it alone. But it does mean stirring ourselves. It does mean seeing the struggle for what it is. It does mean taking a side and sticking with it.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Good for Tony Blair. He is starting to see what the actual problem is though even in this speech he had to dance around a bit by saying lack of economic opportunity is "a prime proximate cause" of Middle East chaos.

    That doesn't take away from his main point though, there are sides to be taken and we must recognize that and take one. One thing he didn't say, maybe given his position he couldn't say, was that there is seemingly a paradox we will have to acknowledge. That is in order to preserve religious freedom, we are going to have to suppress a certain religious belief, the convert or die belief. If you are confronted with that you can't compromise with it. It cannot be allowed to stand and must be changed. Mr. Blair doesn't say that but he recognizes it when he says things like the current Egyptian gov must be backed in its contest with the Muslim Brotherhood, they aren't trying to gently change the minds of the MB, they are actively suppressing them.

    This is a pretty big thing really, that a certified member of the international establishment sees and says what the problem really is, it is one of religion.
    Last edited by carl; 04-29-2014 at 02:50 PM.
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    Carl,

    I would suggest that it took much courage for Blair to view his opinion so openly and clearly. Pity that his message is somewhat tarnished by his involvement in the Iraq fiasco.

    I have long been surprised and disappointed by the inability of the 'silent majority' of muslims to stand up against the radicals but am placated by the knowledge that in Northern Ireland the good citizens there were also cowed into submission by the respective Catholic and Protestant radicals.

    The trick - I suggest - is to cut the radicals out with the same violent means that they use without estranging the whole musilim community in the process. Not easy and less so when we hear this from general officers:

    “We’ve learned some hard lessons over the last 12 years. We went to war without understanding the human domain. We don’t want to make that mistake again.”- General Raymond Odierno

    General Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, at an Oct. 23 forum on Strategic Land Power at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center. as quoted in Journal article: Conceptualizing Human Domain Management
    I despair that defeating radical Islam embedded in muslim communities will be impossible for conventional armies as currently constituted, selected and trained.

    We need a new plan with new ideas and new people.


    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Good for Tony Blair. He is starting to see what the actual problem is though even in this speech he had to dance around a bit by saying lack of economic opportunity is "a prime proximate cause" of Middle East chaos.

    That doesn't take away from his main point though, there are sides to be taken and we must recognize that and take one. One thing he didn't say, maybe given his position he couldn't say, was that there is seemingly a paradox we will have to acknowledge. That is in order to preserve religious freedom, we are going to have to suppress a certain religious belief, the convert or die belief. If you are confronted with that you can't compromise with it. It cannot be allowed to stand and must be changed. Mr. Blair doesn't say that but he recognizes it when he says things like the current Egyptian gov must be backed in its contest with the Muslim Brotherhood, they aren't trying to gently change the minds of the MB, they are actively suppressing them.

    This is a pretty big thing really, that a certified member of the international establishment sees and says what the problem really is, it is one of religion.

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    In a letter to Free Malasia Today we get an interesting perspective:

    The rise of radical Islam

    In our country’s context it is a struggle between tolerant, liberal and peaceful Malaysians of all races and religion and the narrow minded few who want to impose their own brand of Islam on everyone. Should the extremists who spread the “theology of hatred” win against those who preach “the theology of tolerance and peace” it will turn a peaceful and tolerant country where different races and religions have lived side by side for a very long time into a Taliban state. We adopt hudud at our peril. It’s too depressing to ponder such an outcome.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    JMA:

    You are right. It did take a lot of moxie for Mr. Blair to say what he did. The UK is even more PC than the US so they won't be pleased by what he had to say and judging by the comments to the transcript of his speech even the people who are inclined to agree with him resent him for being him.

    I don't think there is much we can do, with one exception, beyond what Dr. Furnish proposes in post #12.

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=19947

    We just keep on killing them that comes after us until they stop. But to do that we have to do what Mr. Blair says, recognize that they are really after us. The Muslims themselves are going to have to sort this out ultimately.

    The nightmare come true would be if the convert or die boys win the current struggle for dominance in the Muslim world. Then there is a good possibility that lots of nukes would get slung for real. This is where the exception I spoke about comes in. That is the Pak Army/ISI. They have the nukes already and seem to be leaning quite far in the convert or die direction. That organization has to be brought low somehow, someway before they can kill tens of millions.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Tony Blair: no thanks

    In the UK ex-PM Tony Blair has a very mixed reputation. The current Labour Party IMHO would prefer he kept quiet, as his speeches invariably remind potential supporters what he did at home and abroad. The LibDems detest him for the Iraq War, but like him for his unwavering pro-EU stance. As for the Tories he is a painful reminder what 'new' Labour did and just might do again. Coming in maybe soon in the European Parliament elections (22nd May 2014) is UKIP, a nationalist party who hate the EU and virtually everything Tony Blair stands for - including enabling large-scale immigration (from the EU and beyond).

    Tony Blair somehow is a Middle East Peace Envoy, I think for the EU, but what is contribution is very unclear. Partly as he is a consistent friend of Israel and supporter of generals, kings and the like in power.

    This passage struck me as rather odd:
    Third, in the centre of this maelstrom, is Israel. Its alliance with the USA, its partnership with leading countries of Europe....
    A number of European countries would ask what is this partnership. Not Israel's frankly weird aprticipation in the annual Eurovision singing contest, but 'partnership'. Yes there is cooperation in a number of spheres, but for a long time now Europe has questioned openly Israeli policies and I doubt any Israeli thinks its European partners are 'allies'.

    I have read his speech now, which I expect he was well paid for.

    I simply don't know where to start, both in his description of the situation in the Middle East (which appears to have rather elastic boundaries) and what the 'West' should do. Preaching more commitment is the answer in 2014 is - well - politically stupid.

    Yes we, the UK, have national interests in the region and a good number of them in effect lead to official UK support for regimes that are unpleasant to their own people. Supporting the generals in Egypt in their repression, thankfully not with gold, just a few weapons, is a mistake.

    Nor should the UK overlook the long-term aims and current practices of those who follow the Wahabi faith, whose version of Islam is to say the least conservative in virtually every sphere of life.

    As one neo-con group here advocated Tony Blair is "in bed" with the Muslim Brotherhood already, having two of them as advisers. There's nothing like a "cat fight" between Tony Blair and the Henry Jackson Society. See:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...ist-group.html

    So your speech is noted Tony Blair, you can keep it. Let's move along now. Should we sacrifice our principles to sit with the generals and sheikhs as we have done? Using "quiet diplomacy" to advance our principles as we are reassured so often.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-29-2014 at 11:41 PM.
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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    David:

    Maybe Tony Blair is the ideal establishment guy to bring this up. Most everybody hates him anyway so he has nothing at all to lose.

    His message may be politically stupid in 2014 but it is just as much geopolitically (sic) wise and I think will become more apparently so as the years pass. The takfiri killers aren't just conservative, they are killers. Their basic religious AND political standpoint is 'you convert to Islam or we'll kill you'. They mean that. There is no quiet way to deal with people like that.

    We may not like the way the Egyptian Army is handling the problem and they could probably do it and just as effectively more humanely but they are handling the problem. If they prevail it is better for us than if they do not. We may curl our lips at that but that is the way it is. It was the same thing in Algeria in the 90s. The Algerian Army won and it is a good thing they did.

    This is the same argument current in the Cold War. Should we support states that are on the front line against Communism even though they do not perfectly reflect our values? Should we stick by South Korea or Taiwan even though their govs are pretty rough? We often decided to do so because they rather more closely reflected our values than did the Reds and their govs were a damn sight less rough than the Reds. It worked out to our advantage I think. It was also good because in order to influence those govs toward our view of the good, it was helpful to be buds with them. If we weren't they could tell us to go pound sand.

    The ironic thing is we have such mixed emotions about helping the current Egyptian government which is trying and actually doing something about the takfiris who would kill the world, and yet at the same time we can't seem to not help the Pak Army/ISI which actively supports those same takfiri world killers.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    This is the same argument current in the Cold War. Should we support states that are on the front line against Communism even though they do not perfectly reflect our values? Should we stick by South Korea or Taiwan even though their govs are pretty rough? We often decided to do so because they rather more closely reflected our values than did the Reds and their govs were a damn sight less rough than the Reds. It worked out to our advantage I think.
    In some cases yes, in some cases not so much. They weren't all Taiwan and South Korea: we also ended up harnessed to a fair number of thuggish dictators who were as corrupt and ineffective as they were brutal, and who turned out to be substantial liabilities rather than assets. These situations have to be evaluated, and regularly re-evaluated, on a case to case basis, we can't simply assume that anyone who's fighting people we don't (or claims to be fighting people we dislike) like is necessarily and automatically deserving of support.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Thumbs up Tony Blair Calls Politicians Cowards About Islam

    God Bless Tony Blair! Finally somebody calls the Politically Correct Politicians what they are..... cowards because they want identify and face the real threat of Radical Islam.
    Link to transcript of his entire speech which it is excellent.


    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeeh...-east-matters/

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    Default Tony Blair Compares Islam To Communism

    Link to video comparing Islam to Communism.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2K7Kedza6E

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    I would really like to know David's thoughts on this.

    A quick counterpoint:

    Tony Blair will not go away. Last week in a fashionable London restaurant a young barman who regards him as a war criminal tried to place the former UK prime minister under citizen’s arrest. Days later, with customary unabashed self-importance, Blair was proclaiming that religious extremism, not political ideology, lies at the root of 21st century global conflict. He was also trumpeting the establishment of a Blair Foundation website at Harvard University designed to expose perversions of faith and promote tolerance.

    Blair behaves like a prophet the world ignores at its peril. Not that he bears much resemblance to traditional conceptions of prophets, feverishly pursuing as he does a gaudy celebrity life-style and missing no opportunity to enlarge his wealth. Yet what most compromises Blair’s crusade against extremism is the perception that he himself has done more than a little to foment it through his unconditional support of the calamitous US invasion of Iraq in 2003. His critics are hoping that the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war will lay bare that Blair knowingly misled the UK parliament, encouraging the belief that Iraq posed a nuclear threat to the UK after agreeing with US President George W. Bush to invade Iraq in order to effect regime change. But what has become of the inquiry that was launched five years ago under the auspices of the former top civil servant Sir John Chilcot?

    Expected later this year, the Chilcot Inquiry report has apparently been delayed because of concern that disclosure of communications between Blair and George W. Bush could compromise the UK’s ‘special relationship’ with the US. Blair’s new posture as an apostle of tolerance seems like a faintly desperate bid to write his own headlines, a pre-emptive strike against a report he fears is going to damage his ‘legacy’.

    Whatever Chilcot’s verdict on the conduct of the Iraq war, it has long been plain that Blair’s foreign policy was a catalogue of counter-productive folly. It was Blair’s belief that only by remaining as close as possible to the US could European nations hope to exercise influence over the superpower’s foreign policy. Like most of Blair’s arguments, it was specious, meaning in practice that the UK occupied a role of abject subservience without being able to exercise any benign restraining influence on the US whatsoever. For his critics it is perhaps some consolation that Blair’s supine stance vis-à-vis the US has ultimately helped to make the ‘special relationship’ a public issue as never before. It is not just anti-American leftist cranks who are exercised about evidence that US military bases in the UK are being used for drone strikes and mass surveillance.

    Perhaps the greatest irony attending Blair’s career is that the British leader who proclaimed the virtue of interventionism has done more than any other to discredit the whole concept. Arguably, it was thanks to Blair that there was so little public support in the UK for intervention in Syria. The rejection by the British parliament of such action, followed as it quickly was by the US decision against intervention, raises the possibility that greater caution in London in 2003 might have prompted second thoughts in Washington about the wisdom of subjecting Iraq to military ‘shock and awe’.

    Added to all this, Blair’s strident advocacy of military intervention has been a potent factor in radicalising Muslim youth in the UK, spawning bitterly disaffected young British people who regard their government as the stooge of the US in a ‘war on terror’ that is actually a war on all Muslims.

    Incapable of admitting to error, certain of the righteousness of his cause, mystified that he inspires widespread abhorrence, Blair exemplifies the very zealotry he aspires to combat. Possessed of a no less rigid mindset, George W. Bush has seldom been seen since his catastrophic presidency came to an end, and many must wish that Blair had followed his example. Where Tony Blair differs from his old American friend is in his manifest horror of going unnoticed. Indeed, it is tempting to feel that if Blair has crimes to answer for, not the least of them is his insatiable craving for attention.
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-artic...ection=opinion
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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Curmudgy,
    All politicians are dangerous because they want power over lots of people and once they get power all they ever seem to want is more power but whenever a politician changes his primary view to one that goes completely against his former views there just might be an awakening taking place and some small amount of truthfulness coming out.

    After all President Reagan was a Democrat before he woke up.

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Curmudgy,
    All politicians are dangerous because they want power over lots of people and once they get power all they ever seem to want is more power but whenever a politician changes his primary view to one that goes completely against his former views there just might be an awakening taking place and some small amount of truthfulness coming out.

    After all President Reagan was a Democrat before he woke up.
    I don't believe Blair "saw the light of reason", I think he saw the opportunity for a headline and to rewrite his legacy.

    "Radical" anything is generally bad. Radical Christians kill abortion doctors and homosexuals. He is not saying anything particularly helpful, only fueling an already existing belief that the problem is Islam.

    ... and to tie into our other conversation on COIN, part of the distrust of Islam is the result of the social/psychological dynamics of in-group/out/group identity. More sociology coming at yah ....
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 05-16-2014 at 12:08 PM.
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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message.
    Tony Blair

    No, Mr. Blair, you are so focused on the sizzle that you can't see the steak.

    At the root of instability in the region he describes are national systems of governance long used to governing in any way they see fit that are unable or unwilling to make the minor evolutionary adjustments of governance necessary to get into synch with newly empowered and rapidly evolving populations. That is the steak. The sizzle is those relative handful of advocates who are employing a radicalized version of Islam to motivate people to illegal political action to force those changes; and who are also willing to employ acts of terrorism to advance their organizaitonal causes.

    Layered over this are systems of external foreign policies that directly affect the governance of the region as well; and those foreign systems have proven to be every bit as unwilling or unable to refine for the realities of the world we actually live in today.

    It is easy to blame some small group of violent, illegal actors and the extreme message they employ - but this is about a failure of politics and policies in regard to the governance of the people writ large - not the extreme positions and actions of a few.

    Tony was wrong when he was the PM, and he is still wrong today.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Slap:

    The importance of Mr. Blair's speech lies in the fact that a bone-fide member of the international elite is willing to say what is obvious and increasingly so, this is a matter of religion and we have to recognize that and take a side. As he said the religious part is a fight within Islam between the takfiri jihadist killers and the those Muslims who are willing to live and let live. The Muslims will primarily determine who wins that one but that is where our having to pick and take a side comes in. We can't determine which side will win but we can have some influence on the outcome, if we try. We will have no influence at all if we don't try and that is where the picking the side part comes in.

    So good for Tony, and astute of Tony too. He anticipated the exact nature of the criticisms he would receive in his speech. The speech is an encouraging sign. If one prominent member of the international elite is able to see the sun in the sky there are probably others who are starting to notice the heat on their faces and that they are squinting a lot.

    Who knows? Maybe they have been reading Zenpundit.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    You seriously used the expression "bona fide" in the context of Tony Blair?
    The man is a proved liar and warmonger.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Yep, I do. He is a bone fide member of the international elite. He gets covered and he can raise money for things he wants to raise money for. And he will get into places and be able to talk to people that we will never ever see or talk to. Whether you like it or not, he gets into the right parties and we don't.

    So that's why his speech is important.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default We Need An Anglo-American Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Yep, I do. He is a bone fide member of the international elite. He gets covered and he can raise money for things he wants to raise money for. And he will get into places and be able to talk to people that we will never ever see or talk to. Whether you like it or not, he gets into the right parties and we don't.

    So that's why his speech is important.
    carl,
    Your are right to. He is a true 1%er and he is speaking out like he should instead of cowering to Radical Islam. What we need is a Anglo-American Spring to counter the Arabic spring Go Tony!

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    carl,
    Your are right to. He is a true 1%er and he is speaking out like he should instead of cowering to Radical Islam. What we need is a Anglo-American Spring to counter the Arabic spring Go Tony!
    You missed it. It was in Washington D.C. Today.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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