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January 17, 2004


For the record, here is the text of the article by Robert Kilroy-Silk which I referred to earlier:

Original Kilroy article, Express on Sunday, 4th January 2004


We are told by some of the more hysterical critics of the war on terror that "it is destroying the Arab world". So? Should we be worried about that? Shouldn't the destruction of the despotic, barbarous and corrupt Arab states and their replacement by democratic governments be a war aim? After all, the Arab countries are not exactly shining examples of civilisation, are they? Few of them make much contribution to the welfare of the rest of the world. Indeed, apart from oil - which was discovered, is produced and is paid for by the West - what do they contribute? Can you think of anything? Anything really useful? Anything really valuable? Something we really need, could not do without? No, nor can I. Indeed, the Arab countries put together export less than Finland.

We're told that the Arabs loathe us. Really? For liberating the Iraqis? For subsidising the lifestyles of people in Egypt and Jordan, to name but two, for giving them vast amounts of aid? For providing them w ith science, medicine, technology and all the other benefits of the West? They should go down on their knees and thank God for the munificence of the United States. What do they think we feel about them? That we adore them for the way they murdered more than 3,000 civilians on September 11 and then danced in the hot, dusty streets to celebrate the murders?

That we admire them for the cold-blooded killings in Mombasa, Yemen and elsewhere? That we admire them for being suicide bombers, limb-amputators, womenrepressors? I don't think the Arab states should start a debate about what is really loathsome.

But why, in any case, should we be concerned that they feel angry and loathe us? The Arab world has not exactly earned our respect, has it? Iran is a vile, terrorist-supporting regime - part of the axis of evil. So is the Saddam Hussein-supporting Syria. So is Libya. Indeed, most of them chant support for Saddam.

That is to say they support an evil dictator who has gassed hundreds of thousands of their fellow Arabs and tortured and murdered thousands more. How can they do this and expect our respect?

Why do they imagine that only they can feel anger, call people loathsome? It is the equivalent of all the European nations coming out in support of Hitler the moment he was attacked by the US, because he was European, despite the fact that he was attempting to exterminate the Jews - and Arabs.

Moreover, the people who claim we are loathsome are currently threatening our civilian populations with chemical and biological weapons. They are promising to let suicide bombers loose in Western and American cities. They are trying to terrorise us, disrupt our lives.

And then they expect us to be careful of their sensibilities? We have thousands of asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries living happily in this country on social security.

This shows what their own people think of the Arab regimes, doesn't it? There is not one single British asylum seeker in any Arab country. That says it all about which country deserves the epithet loathsome. GEORGE GALLOWAY, the member of parliament for Baghdad Central, as his tormentors describe him, called the British and American troops "wolves" and called for the Arab countries to rise up and fight them and to cut off oil from the combatants. Later he called upon British troops to refuse to obey "illegal orders". He has, predictably, been vilified. His comments have been termed a disgrace, disgusting, outrageous and so on.

He has been called a loony, naive, gullible and a traitor. There have been demands that George's constituency party should deselect him, that his constituents should not vote for him at the next general election, and that he should be deported to Iraq. No one, as yet, has demanded that he be put in the stocks or burnt at the stake, though no doubt this will come.

But why all the fuss? Why is everyone getting into such an excitable lather over the predictable remarks of a no-mark?

Who with any sense cares an Iraqi dinar for what dear George thinks? Like Clare Short, George is a licensed court jester. He acts the buffoon while she's the straight part of the act, though she exaggerates her sanctimonious seriousness.

Neither are taken seriously. Both are totally discredited laughing stocks that add to the variety of political life. At least George is open, honest and sincere.

(c) Copyright Express Newspapers 2004 The Express on Sunday

[Note: I found a link to this article on Chris Brand's website. The text is taken from a Muslim organisation website, so I can't vouch personally for its total accuracy.]

Incidentally, it seems that I (among many others) was wrong in accusing K-S of historical ignorance. The passsage 'After all, the Arab countries are not exactly shining examples of civilisation, are they? Few of them make much contribution to the welfare of the rest of the world' is clearly in the present tense, and implies nothing either way about Arab civilisation in the past.

Posted by David B at 04:53 AM