Assuming that Al Quaida or one of their sub-franchises were behind the recent bombings in Turkey, I’m amazed at some of the writing on the subject in today’s Guardian: especially the leader and Polly Toynbee.
The use of force in Iraq, now enshrined as a governing principle by Mr Bush, invited a highly aggressive response. That response is in progress. The whirlwind is being reaped.
These bombs made yesterday one of the darkest days of Tony Blair’s prime ministership. As if that horror were not enough, too many other disparate pigeons came fluttering home to roost at once. Whichever way he turned, things looked black. They were no mere accidents, for everything that happened came as a direct result of his own decisions, all of them taken against the better instincts of most of his party.
The “war or terror” may have been prosecuted in a stupid way. The Iraq war—nothing to do with the war on terror—may have stoked up Arab resentment against the West. These are reasonable subjects for serious argument. But these writers help themselves quickly, easily and cheaply to the claim that the bombings are a direct consequence of US and British policy since September 11th. To which there are two obvious ripostes. First (an argument too often deployed for rhetorical effect but, I think, applicable here) the bombers set out to do what they did deliberately and intentionally and were not forced to kill and maim many innocent people by Bush or Blair. Second, Al Quaida’s bombing campaign long pre-dates the current US and British governments—remember those East African embassies—and would plausibly have continued with or without the “war on terror” and the invasion of Iraq.