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Thursday, 28 December 2006

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David

A very happy New Year to you and your readers.

While I am sure we both agree the one of the better parts of being mildly pessismitc is that we are very often pleasently suprised.

Even so I would not want to wish the opposite of happy new year to any one.

Just dropped by to send greetings, etc.; and to give wider readership to two points of a list I developed on another blog:-

"At least two elderly female protesters will be served with A.S.B.O.’s after sniffing scornfully but loudly near the Palace of Westminster."

and

"Cherie Blair will be discovered using her own money to pay for a holiday! Tony will be heard pleading that mercy be shown!"

Happy New Year!

Hank, thanks for your good wishes but you're lucky because, as the old song *nearly* has it, 'You've got your faith to keep you warm'!

Mike, similar thanks to you and I would like to read the rest of your list so please give a link.

'If rumours are true that the Saudis intend to help their co-religionists, the Sunnis, against Iranian-backed Shias, then so be it, they can knock six bells out of each other as far as I'm concerned, and anyway, in the event of a war, we should pick up some more decent arms orders from the Saudis'

Leaving humanitarian considerations aside (tee hee), do you not worry that major Saudi involvement in Iraq will lead to yet another mad fundamentalist state and potentially a bigger headache for the west if they turn hostile? At the very least a country awash with oil money and angry fundies smarting from the humiliation of a recent western invasion would surely be an ideal recruiting ground for terrorists and their sponsors.

Now outdo that for pessimism!

You must forgive my rather flip remark which you quoted above. From the west's point of view, the most important nation in the region after Israel, is Saudi, for obvious reasons - they have most of the oil - so we must side with them and, anyway, the Saudi royal family are less of a menace than the loonies in Teheran. There are reports that the Saudis, who helped finance Pakistan's bomb, are seeking to buy some back, 'off the shelf', because the idea of a nuclear Iran is intolerable. There are even whispered rumours that they might be prepared to help the Israelis in any strike against Iran. The ramifications ore immense and complex and I really do not pretend to be an expert. However, in such turmoil it is essential to have a very clear view of what constitutes our national self-interest and to bear in mind that whether this or that policy is 'moral' or not, is of only minor importance!

Please do not believe the nonsense about western actions *causing* terrorism. Militant muslims hate us for what we are, not what we do. Or, to be precise, they hate us for what we are *not*, ie, we are not muslims!

Well I'm sure you know I don't claim to have any expertise. I'm just guessing like everyone else. I realise that good relations with Saudi Arabia are very much in the interests of the west just now. I just have reservations regarding how long that will remain the case. The Saudi Royals don't worry me much. It's the power and influence of the more zealous religious elements in SA that give me cause for alarm. As far as I can make out SA was founded on an uneasy pact between fundamentalists and decadents. I have grave doubts about it's long term stability. I think the Saudi royals would take the pragmatic view in any conflict, even if that involved backing Israel. I just wonder how much their subjects would let them away with.

'Please do not believe the nonsense about western actions *causing* terrorism. Militant muslims hate us for what we are, not what we do. Or, to be precise, they hate us for what we are *not*, ie, we are not muslims'

I agree in so far as the core problem of Islamic extremism would exist regardless of what we do. Indeed I think it goes further that not being Muslims. These crazies don't even regard most Muslims as real Muslims. However I remain convinced that our actions can swell the ranks.

To take Northern Ireland as an example. The Irish of the north hated and resented any British presence. So tactically there was no right way to play it.

However the 'martyrdom' of the hunger strikers, the brutality of the B-Specials, the UK army on the streets made it a hell of a lot easier to for the P.I.R.A to portray the Irish as oppressed and recruit soldiers for war rather than peaceful campaigners for full Irish independence.

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