Is Tony Blair or Islam to Blame for Iraq?
I have no love for Tony Blair (or for Barack Obama or the “neo-cons”).
Nonetheless, what has Tony Blair got to do with Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, southern Thailand, Yemen, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, and all the other hells Muslims are creating for themselves in the world?
What's surprising is the amount of people on the Right who are falling into the Leftist/Muslim trap of blaming others for Muslim violence and Islamic fanaticism -- or at least they've done so in the case of Iraq.
Has everyone bought into the Leftist “narrative” (a favorite word of Leftist automata) on Iraq?
Take Son of Dave Sparts (i.e, Owen Jones) recent article on the events in Iraq ('We antiwar protesters were right') From the beginning to the end it is a perverse example of the blame-game. And guess who's to blame. That's right, not ISIS or Iraqi Muslims generally. Not in the slightest. Not in any way whatsoever. Muslims are never to blame when it comes to the racist Left, which sees all Muslims as children who are incapable of behaving humanely or decently. Instead it's all the fault of Blair, or Bush, or the “neo-cons”, or global warming (as the Guardian and Noam Chomsky have it), or whoever. Basically, because Owen Jones is an International Socialist, then evidently (to him) it has to be -- it simply must be! -- the fault of Western capitalism and its “imperialist” endeavors. Such is the crudity and anti-capitalist monomania of Owen Jones's Dave Spart politics.
Yes, it may be absolutely true that Tony Blair shouldn't have intervened in 2003. It may also be true that he's power-mad lunatic who wanted (or wants) to go down in history as a Great Statesman. Nonetheless, what he did, he did 14 years ago. Sure, we stayed in Iraq until 2009/11; though by 2007 Blair had resigned and then he more or less disappeared from the political scene.
So the violence is still happening not because of Blair, or Obama, or Bush, or the Balfour Declaration, or the Danish cartoons, or global warming, or the "neo-cons", etc. It's mainly -- though not exclusively -- to do with Islam, Arab tribal culture (which is itself largely a product of Islam) and the fact that violence has always been the first resort in Iraq and in most other Muslim countries. And that was the case well before Obama, Blair, Bush or any other Western leader made his silly mistakes. It goes back 1,400 years.
Are Muslims children? Do they have free will and conscience? Are they responsible for their own actions? Yes? Good. Then we should stop blaming all that Muslim violence and Islamic fanaticism on Western adults and Western actions. We should stop the (inverted/positive) racism. Muslims are responsible for what they do, just as all adults are.
Despite all that, the Left also conveniently forgets that the "invasion" in 2003 was partly in response to prior Iraqi violence. In other words, there was massive violence in Iraq before 2003. And there has been massive violence in Iraq after 2003. Is a picture beginning to emerge yet?
You see, most Muslims in Iraq don't want Western-style democracy. They don't want “Western values”. Full stop. The vast majority of Muslims in Iraq (as elsewhere) want one of two things:
i) Either an Islamic Shia/Sunni state.
ii) Or a “strong man” leader to keep sectarian chaos under wraps and, therefore, the nation state in one piece. (Someone like Saddam Hussein, perhaps. Or maybe someone like Bashar Assad or the Egyptian leaders Mubarak and now El-Sisi.)
Ally With Iran?
So what about the U.S. Government seeking an alliance with Iran (or vice versa)?
When the Shia (or their leaders) cooperated with the U.S. government and troops (between 2003 and 2006), they did so only in order to defeat the Sunnis and thus substitute the “Sunni hegemony” with a Shia hegemony. Therefore once they gained power, they did to the Sunnis exactly what the Sunnis had done to them. And of course another consequence of this was that Iraq became much closer to Iran.
This meant that Iran was one of the winners of American intervention in 2003; as it will be again if the U.S. cooperates with Iran to destroy ISIS.
That leaves a question: Why the hell does the U.S. government think that an Islamic group of up to 15,000 soldiers (ISIS) is more dangerous than a Islamic theocratic state (which may have nuclear weapons in the future) of over 77 million (Iraq: 36 million)? Not to forget that Iran is also a state which has trained and funded Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world; including Hamas and Hizb’allah.
Sure, this may be acceptable Realpolitik. Aligning with Iran may well be the strategic thing to do. Nonetheless, the U.S. and UK should be very careful about Iran's forthcoming taqiyya (or bullshi*). Indeed what will happen when -- or if -- Iran gains complete control of Iraq (up until recently, it almost had)? That in itself will prove to be a threat to the West. However, it will also be a threat to Sunni Saudi Arabia, Sunni Jordan, Sunni Kuwait and even, more indirectly, Sunni Turkey. In other words, the Sunni prophesies of a “Shia arc” encircling Sunni Muslims may well come to pass. That in itself could cause a level of violence which far surpasses what we have seen from ISIS simply because this scenario could bring about a war between states; not only between militias and jihadists.
Iraqi Islam or Iraqi Culture?
Keeping on that military theme.
People have been saying that if we still had a “military presence” in Iraq, or even if we had “properly trained the Iraqis”, etc., then the jihadists (ISIS) wouldn't have been able to attack and overrun cities it has done. Perhaps; though would any of that have stopped Islamic terrorism in Iraq? It didn't when U.S. and UK troops were there: not entirely anyway. And what about the Muslim outrage (from Jordan to Birmingham) at the kuffar presence in an "Islamic land"?
We pulled out of Iraq in 2011. That was three years ago. Yes, there was violence after 2003. But there was a hell of lot of violence in Iraq before 2003. Sure, Saddam Hussein's violence Iraq was of a different kind. Nonetheless, he killed up to one million of his own citizens well outside the theatre of war. He also went to war with Iran: a war in which over a million died. Above and beyond all that, he carried out ethnic cleansing and gassed the Kurds. (The number of deaths as a result of Saddam Hussein's regime is still higher than the post-2003 death-toll.)
So what we have here is an Islamic problem. Indeed it isn't even an Arab problem because many Iraqis aren't even Arabs.
Yes, that neat little distinction we often hear between culture and religion -- in this case between Arab culture and Islam -- is almost entirely bogus. As it is when the distinction is made about Pakistan -- a non-Arab country -- in the case of Islam versus Pakistani “honor killings”, ethnic violence, etc.
Islam is a cultural phenomenon. It has been the most important part of Arab culture, as well as of Pakistani culture (even though Indian Muslims did not get their own state until 1947), for over a thousand years. So that neat and very convenient distinction between Islam and culture (propagated by Western – mainly Leftist -- academics) simply doesn't work. It effectively amounts to one massive escape-route for Islam.