A couple of points well made:
Once again on the issue of grievances, the blog Pop Sensible says:
The root-causes cited often sound familiarly like, if not identical to, those “grievances” the authors of “understanding” have against the United States and Britain. So this week it is Iraq we have been punished for; the dead Indonesians paid the price for Afghanistan; and 9/11 was for, you know, US foreign policy and “our” support of Israel. (I know I’m using a lot of inverted commas here but the children of Foucault deserve to have some thrown back at them).
All of these explanations are partly true. Shock horror and, indeed, no shit (emphasis on the partly). Even if we accept – and we should – that the chief cause of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is Islamic fundamentalism, those who attacked our capital were, i’m sure, not fans of regime-change; the Bali bombers did, I’m sure, think Australians deserved to die – extra – because of the removal of their allies The Taliban; and Mohammed Atta et al were, we know, opposed to (the existence of a) US foreign policy.
But, so what?
Are critics suggesting that we design our foreign policy in order not to piss off Islamic fundamentalists?
What’s interesting is that those keen to stress the existence of “grievances” focus entirely on “grievances” they think are justified. Isn’t it possible that those fanatical enough to bomb the underground are not thinking straight? Surely it’s entirely possible that those willing to act in the most unreasonable of ways might be motivated by unreasonable justifications?
I don’t share the perspective of Conservative Mathew Parris, in The Times on these issues, but he is spot-on in showing that wrong-headedness on the necessity for fighting fascism is by no means restricted to the left.
The argument is confused. Alongside rampantly right-wing views on race, culture and immigration, you encounter — and among deeply conservative folk — a knee-jerk sympathy for the views of George Galloway. You will be very far from being thrown out of a Derbyshire pub for suggesting that “Tony Blair asked for this”.
That is right-wing isolationism, not left-wing pro-Arabism, speaking, and its voice is persistent in the countryside. It takes the view that the world is full of murderous fanatics with darker skins than ours, and we should leave them where they are. “We shouldn’t have touched it; just asking for trouble,” summarises the view.
I would add, that in my experience over the past few days, this is a view which is by no means restricted to the countryside. It doesn’t have much in common with the ‘legitimate grievances’ and ‘root causes’ outlook of those on the left but the two share an important delusion – that violent fascism can be safely ignored.
History, of course, suggests otherwise.