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Tony Blair on Terrorism in the World Today
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Below is an excerpt from Tony Blair's speech yesterday. I was with him all the way until the paragraph third from the end.
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"There are two views of what is happening in the world today.

One view is that there are isolated individuals, extremists, engaged in essentially isolated acts of terrorism. That what is happening is not qualitatively different from the terrorism we have always lived with. If you believe this, we carry on the same path as before 11th September. We try not to provoke them and hope in time they will wither.

The other view is that this is a wholly new phenomenon, worldwide global terrorism based on a perversion of the true, peaceful and honourable faith of Islam; that its roots are not superficial but deep, in the madrassehs of Pakistan, in the extreme forms of Wahabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in the former training camps of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan; in the cauldron of Chechnya; in parts of the politics of most countries of the Middle East and many in Asia; in the extremist minority that now in every European city preach hatred of the West and our way of life.

But if you take the second view, you don't believe the terrorists are in Iraq to liberate it.

They're not protesting about the rights of women what, the same people who stopped Afghan girls going to school, made women wear the Burka and beat them in the streets of Kabul, who now assassinate women just for daring to register to vote in Afghanistan's first ever democratic ballot, though four million have done so?

They are not provoked by our actions; but by our existence.

They are in Iraq for the very reason we should be.

They [the terrorists] have chosen this battleground because they know success for us in Iraq is not success for America or Britain or even Iraq itself but for the values and way of life that democracy represents.

They know that.

That's why they are there."
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I'm not so sure that success for us in Iraq is success for the values and the way of life that democracy represents, as Mr. Blair would have it and phrased it so eloquently.

It seems more to me to be a success for a man's ego, a country's pride, a political party's need to stay in power here at home. I find it hard to believe that our public policy strives to establish the golden virtues of representative democracy and rule of law abroad when those virtues are being abrogated here at home and Gitmo and other places where we have stamped our boots on the ground.

What do you think?


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