Saturday, 8 April 2006

From Yugoslavia Through Iraq To Iran

With which of the following do you agree, at the very least compared to the other two:
1. "Socialism, in particular, being a progressive and just society, should not allow people to be divided by national or religious identity"?
2. "I would never allow a Serb, Jew or gypsy to marry into my family"?
3. "The first and most important lesson from the Koran is the impossibility of any connection between Islamic and non-Islamic systems"?
The third comes, of course, from the old Nazi recruitment sergeant Alija Izetbegovic, father of the as-yet-unrealised idea that Bosnia-Herzegovina (with no Muslim majority, nor any history of independence: they have both always been part of somewhere else, and I don't mean a federation with each other) should be turned by force of arms into the Taliban Afghanistan of Europe, ably assisted by the same forces that created the Taliban Afghanistan of Afghanistan. The second comes from the Western-backed Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman, who astonishingly recreated the full paraphernalia of 1930s Fascism in Europe in the 1990s: like Izetbegovic, he was never charged with anything; but then, like Izetbegovic, he was never kidnapped in order to stand trial before an illegal court. And the first? Three guesses.
I remember hearing a Serbian Orthodox priest, at the height of the Yugoslav disintegration, say that "not your children, but you" would see the Islamic threat to the West. We thought that he was crazy, or nasty, or both. Well, I for one don't think that any more. The Western-backed Wahhibification of Sunni Islam in Central, South and South East Asia (complete with the adoption of peculiarly Arab cultural practices such as the jilbab) has been so successful that it is now being exported to Africa and Europe.
This is mostly through communities of Arab or South Asian origin, but when it comes to indigenous European Islam (Bosnians, Albanians, the increasingly Saudi-dependent Polish Tartars), no one laid more ground work than the West's, and especially the neocons', beloved Izetbegovic, a living link with Hitler's close and cordial connections to religious leaders in the Islamic world (indeed, Hitler sometimes bemoaned the defeat of the Turks at the gates of Vienna, since Islam would have saved the Teutons from the decadence that he considered had made Nazism necessary instead).
Have we noticed how "cheating justice" has been used in such a way as to define "justice", not even as the due process of law, but simply as a guilty verdict, even when not one shred of evidence has been produced, and indeed even when the indictment itself is laughable (such as, say, accusing a President of waging war against an independent state in one paragraph, and then a few paragraphs down saying that that territory was still part of the President's country at the time)? I still expect that Milosevic simply had a heart attack, but if Saddam Hussein does not live to conviction or acquittal, then questions really will need to be asked, which is why they won't be.
Saddam Hussein is another nasty man, like Milosevic (in fact, Saddam is much worse). But Iraq, like Yugolavia, is much more useful to commercial interests in the dismembered state that only his removal could have brought about. And the same is true of Iran, only about half of whose population is ethnically Persian, with much of the oil in the Arab South West, with Kurds in the North West, with half of the Baluchis in the East (the other half being across the border in Pakistan, with longstanding secessionist tendencies), with so many Turkemen that Tehran is actually the second-largest Turkish-speaking city on earth (even though it is a minority language there), with more Azeris than in Azerbijan, with a sizeable and very ancient community of Jews, and so on.
A multinational state such as the United Kingdom should be insisting on the preservation of Iran (which the looming war would undoubtedly destroy), as it should have insisted on the preservation of Iraq and Yugoslavia. And an America true to her own best ideals would take, and would have taken, the same view.

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