You really should read Dominic Lawson’s piece in the Sunday Times. Here are some edited highlights for the lazy. But frankly, don’t read them. Read the whole article.
Radovan Karadzic’s defence against 11 charges of genocide did not get off to the best possible start at the Hague last week. The chief prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia opened proceedings by releasing transcripts of tapped telephone conversations of the Bosnian Serb leader from 1991, which record Karadzic saying: “There are 20,000 armed Serbs around Sarajevo … it will be a black cauldron where 300,000 Muslims will die. They will disappear. That people will disappear from the face of the earth.”
What was the reaction of the Tories?
The Conservative government of John Major was the most forceful advocate of an arms embargo that would almost certainly have doomed the Bosnian Muslims to suffer further acts of genocide
And how did Western policy change?
…until in 1995 Bill Clinton browbeat the European Union into agreeing to airstrikes. These, backed by US-armed Bosnian and Croatian ground forces, forced the Serbs to abandon their plans to “ethnically cleanse” Bosnia and Croatia.
In 1999, when the Serbs began a similar ethnic cleansing policy against the Muslims of Kosovo, it was Tony Blair who supplied the political leadership for a military campaign against Milosevic. Britain and America — under the Nato umbrella — bombed Belgrade, most notoriously attacking the Serbian radio and television headquarters and killing 16 workers, including make-up artists and set designers. It is worth remembering that this bombardment, carried out in defiance of a United Nations veto by Russia and China, was most vehemently supported by Robin Cook and Clare Short, the two cabinet ministers who subsequently resigned over Blair’s decision to back America’s “shock and awe” assault on Baghdad without UN sanction.
Look where we are now:
Blair is hate figure No 1 for thousands of Muslims, even in his own country, many of whom subscribe to the view, propagated by Al-Qaeda and its Sunni acolytes, that the war in Iraq was anti-Islamic in its entire purpose.
I had a similar experience when I spoke at a public meeting near the east London mosque, organised by the Muslim group Dialogue with Islam. When I argued that the Nato attack on Serbia in defence of the Muslims of Kosovo hardly suggested a fundamentalist Christian hatred of Islam on the part of the British and American governments, I could see that I might as well have been speaking in Welsh for all the impact it had on that audience of Muslim men and women.
They responded warmly, however, to the argument of Sheikh Dawud Noibi, a leading figure in the Muslim Council of Britain, that the US-led invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by the need to ensure the construction of an American oil pipeline there, implying that the Americans had allowed the attack on the World Trade Center so as to provide a pretext for this colonialist investment. Noibi, by the way, was appointed an OBE on the recommendation of the Blair government: presumably this seal of the state’s approval was just another dastardly trick by the Brits to fool the public into thinking they were not determined to destroy Islam.
If Karadzic does take to the stand at the Hague we can expect him to boast that he was fighting the Islamist threat to civilisation while Britain and America slept. Against the charge of genocide, any defence will do.
What a pickle.
Is Dominic Lawson really right to be so pessimistic? To be honest, with the Home Secretary on the verge of buying into the “moderate Islamist” falacy, and embracing the MCB and its activists again, he probably is.