Supporters of Bush and Blair might restate their argument and say – why hang out and wait for another attack by Bin Laden? Why wait for Saddam to develop weapons of mass destruction? Expanding the argument they could argue that Bush and Blair are right in their approach even if the evidence for war was faulty. Nobody is calling for the return of Saddam or the Taliban, least of all Iraqi’s and Afghan’s. Why don’t the whinges just shut up and put more effort into stabilising the current situation?
“If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves” – Winston Churchill
In many ways this is the Bush/Blair argument and we have already answered some of the questions. However, the battle for the peace campaigner is not so much with consolidating old arguments it’s more to do with constantly being confronted with hypocrisy. John Pilger in 2002 elucidates the point better than I saying
“to understand the lie of what Blair/Straw/Hoon call the “outstanding success” in Afghanistan, read the work of the original author of “Total War”, a man called Zbigniew Brzezinski who was President Carter’s National Security Adviser and is still a powerful force in Washington. Brzezinski not long ago revealed that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly authorised $500million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and “destabilise” the Soviet Union. The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years poured $4billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan (Taliban means “student”). Young zealots were sent to the CIA’s spy training camp in Virginia, where future members of al-Qaeda were taught “sabotage skills” – terrorism. Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York, within sight of the fated Twin Towers. In Pakistan, they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by the SAS. The result, quipped Brzezinski, was “a few stirred up Muslims” – meaning the Taliban” – John Pilger
Afghanistan prior to 1979 had a Secular society adhering to religious tolerance. The “stirred up Muslims” were in fact made in the USA.
The terror of Beslan, the Twin Towers, Indonesia and all that follow it seems are casualties of the “Cold War” initiated by Churchill in 1946. The US finally got its way when the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan, which was followed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall. But in doing so they turned a War of Posturing into a War of Terror.
These days Brzezinski has strong reservations about American unilateral action and isolationism, but the bad news for anyone outside of the US that would like a result for John Kerry in the forthcoming election is that Brzezinski is a Democrat. The pre-emptive strategy it seems crosses political borders.