Melanie Phillips: It’s the thirties all over again

The general climate in Britain of hysterical and poisonous anti-Bush/Blair/US/Israel prejudice, and the astounding irrationality and epic rewriting of history that this has unleashed, provides the sea in which Islamic extremism and terrorism swim. It has swept along not just the left but a very significant proportion of the political ‘paleo-conservative’ right too.

Versiunea integrala in The Spectator

The left are consumed by hatred of America and the west in general. The paleo-cons believe that ‘abroad’ – about which they know no more than the BBC tells them, God help us – is a dangerous and frightening place full of lunatics who will leave us alone as long as we don’t do anything unpleasant to them; and the fact that they want in fact to kill us must therefore mean that we have indeed done something unpleasant to them. So they end up agreeing with the Islamic world that the west is actually the cause of the war being waged against it.

The result is that, apart from the fact that left-wingers use longer words, there isn’t a cigarette paper to separate the views of the paleo-cons and the left on the ‘war on terror’, ‘the doctrine of pre-emption’, ‘moron Bush’ and ‘poodle Blair’, ‘taken to war on a lie’, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, American military power and Israel.

There is no question in my mind but that this mass public derangement is the single most important weapon in the Islamists’ arsenal. The unremitting barrage of these ignorant, bigoted and unfounded claims week in, week out provides a lethal echo chamber for the already epidemic conspiracy theories, victim complex and inversion of cause and effect that are coursing through the Islamic world, thus helping to incite untold numbers of British Muslims to an ever greater pitch of hysteria.

It also demoralises (in every sense), demotivates and discombobulates non-Muslim Brits so that they are quite unable to grasp that they are under attack from religious fanaticism; instead they turn on their own side (America, Israel) and create a climate of anti-war defeatism and appeasement. This undermines British troops abroad and ensures that no politician will commit properly to the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq (not to mention Iran) thus ensuring that the west will lose the fight to defend the free world.

That is why the Islamists regard Britain as both their principal target for attack, both military and cultural, and their biggest recruiting ground. Wretched UCL is but a microcosm of the sickness now sapping Britain’s will to defend itself and thus helping imperil the free world still further.

It’s the 1930s all over again.

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