CAABU letter in Sunday Times on war on terror - 1 October
DIGGING DEEPER: More than a year since July 7, we still lack even a half-decent assessment of the causes of the bombings in London. Like Donald Rumsfeld, Gove does not do nuance. He lumps all Islamist groups as one, from Hezbollah to Al-Qaeda. Gove can only muster one criticism of the Iraq fiasco, that the US did not send enough troops. He also repeats the lazy defence that because terrorism pre-dated 9/11, increasing extremism has nothing to do with Iraq. The anger and ensuing extremism at US and UK policies on Iraq, Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan among other issues, has been building up for decades. Bush and Tony Blair have taken us to a new low point, and sadly, they are just digging deeper.
The trend in bypassing experts is much wider, however, than Dalrymple suggests. Half of Blair's problems in Iraq were as a result of his refusal to listen to those who knew the country best. The much-derided Arabists were again proved right. That Iraq has acted as recruiting sergeant is now surely beyond question after the publication of the collective views of 16 US intelligence agencies claiming that the war is now a cause célèbre for jihadists.
Director, CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)
To see other letters on the same issue - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2382667_2,00.html
To see William Dalrymple's review of Michael Gove's and Lawrence Wright's books in the Sunday Times -
Also in the Times - 2 October
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