Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The military response to terrorism has been counterproductive.

Elisa Manningham-Buller, ex-head of MI5, has told the Chilcot Inquiry that the invasion of Iraq had the effect of radicalising more Muslim youth. The implication is that the 7/7 atrocity on London might not have happened if Blair had not been suckered by Bush and Rumsfeld into joining in their ill-judged adventure.

She is the second major player to make this assertion. David Omand the Government's security and intelligence coordinator had the same view. 

As does Dr Robert Lambert, ex-head of the Muslim Contact Unit, a counter terrorism squad, who said that the war on terror made more terrorists.

It was obvious to any objective and rational observer (which term excludes most mainstream politicians and journalists) that the invasion of Iraq would have this effect on the minds of Muslim youth.  The conclusion now is penetrating into the mainstream that the "war on terror" that they supported has made the terrorism problem worse, not better.

This is a major mistake.  If doctors made a mistake of similar magnitude or consequence, they would be struck off. Yet Bush and Blair are roaming free in the world, Blair making thousands of pounds on the after dinner speech circuit.

Not only are they free, but lessons have not been learned. The next time the Government feels the urge to invade some god-forsaken country, we will go through the same ritual: the ruler of the country will be presented by the mainstream media as "The Hitler of our Day", the news will be full of propaganda about his atrocities, peace campaigners will be marginalised, the financial and diplomatic cost of the forthcoming war will be set aside, and in we will go.

How to sum up? Various expletives come to mind, but they are not helpful. We have to accept that Government tends to make irrational decisions. In psychiatry, we try to address irrationality by bringing the patient in contact with reality, so that they can compare and contrast their cognitive world with the real world that exists outside of their mind set. For politicians and mainstream journalists, this would mean some kind of Truth and Reconciliation process, where their writings and statements are methodically compared with the outcomes of their decisions.

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