‘Brown’s al-Qaida blame game’

‘Brown’s al-Qaida blame game’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, December 14, 2008

Gordon Brown is targeting Pakistan. His claim that 75% of UK terror plots originate there is now part of a common western stance that refuses to accept any responsibility for encouraging the growth of recruits to jihadi organisations. Just as the events of Bloody Sunday helped IRA recruitment, the New Labour-supported wars in Iraq and Afghanistan play an important part in encouraging young Muslims to sacrifice their lives. The London bombings, which Brown mentioned in Pakistan, were the direct result of Labour’s foreign policy. There is near unanimity on this within the British intelligence community. Had Britain not participated in occupying two countries, there would have been no attacks and no training trips to Pakistan or elsewhere.

The US intelligence agencies are close to agreeing that the war in Afghanistan has become a disaster. Some of Obama’s advisers are recommending an exit strategy. Washington’s hawks (backed by Brown) argue that, while bad, the military situation is still salvageable. This may be technically accurate, but it would require the carpet-bombing of southern Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, the destruction of scores of villages and small towns, the killing of untold numbers of Pashtuns and the dispatch to the region of at least 200,000 more troops with all their equipment, air and logistical support. The political consequences of such a course are so dire that even Dick Cheney, the closest thing to Dr Strangelove that Washington has produced, has been uncharacteristically cautious when it comes to suggesting a military solution to the conflict. more read