By Katherine Jacobs
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Dictators’ friend

This article is over 7 years, 8 months old
Issue 391

Tony Blair, former prime minister and warmonger, announced last month that the world’s biggest problem is “radical Islam” and that world leaders were “curiously reluctant to acknowledge” this.

Blair wants the British government to ally with Russia and to defend Syria’s brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad against the real problem – Muslims.

Blair declared, “Repugnant though it may seem, the only way forwards is to conclude the best agreement possible, even if it means in the interim President Assad stays for a period.”

What’s more, not confronting Islamism will mean “conflict between people of different cultures”. Blair is, of course, repeating his old friend George W Bush’s mantra about the “clash of civilisations” used to justify the mass murder of his War on Terror.

But the idea that Muslims are not being treated as the enemy within will be news to many British Muslims as they are again targeted by police who choose to see every Muslim teenager as a potential terror threat.

Last month police campaigned to get Muslim parents to spy on their children and report them to the authorities if they get ideas about travelling to Syria.
It’s not surprising that some British people have gone to Syria, whether to help with humanitarian aid or to help Syrians fight Assad.

The police have used this as a pretext to re-arrest activists such as ex-Guantanamo prisoner Moazzam Begg and the same racism is behind the campaign against Birmingham schools accused of being part of an “Islamic plot” to take over schools.

The coalition government rushed to declare that keeping Assad is not their policy. But in many ways Blair has simply said out loud what is in fact British – and American – policy, namely to view the brutal Syrian regime – with or without Assad as the lesser evil.

Faced with either revolution from below or the Islamist forces that have become more dominant in the armed resistance, Western imperialism increasingly prefers the devil it knows.

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