Kommentar

Det er opplest og vedtatt at Bush og Blair har rotet det til i Irak og svaret er å komme seg ut. Defaitismen ligger som ei tjukk tåke over mediedekningen. Men er ikke dette å løpe fiendens ærend, snarere enn å kaste lys over noe som helst?

Den siste som kastet seg på bølgen av lettkjøpt konvensjonelle forklaringer var erkebispen av Canterbury, som sa det var invasjonens skyld at kristne nå ble fordrevet fra Midtøsten.

Never mind the ideological, political and physical assault on Christians all across the Middle East and Asia since the 1970s — fuelled by the rise of Wahhabist ideology. Never mind that Christian communities there have been in decline for at least a century. Rather like the Islamists, Dr Williams prefers to lay the blame for the deplorable condition of the Middle East’s Christians at the door of Great Satan and Little Satan. Short of blaming the Jews for the tsunami — as some Muslim radicals did in 2004 — the Archbishop did a wonderful job of letting the real sources of evil off the hook.

But Dr Williams isn’t alone. Earlier this month, Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Chatham House’s outgoing director, produced a report, received with hushed reverence by the Today programme and others, asserting that Iraq was a «terrible mistake». But what exactly was «news» about Chatham House denouncing Anglo-American «unilateralism»? Chatham House was never much in favour of robust action against totalitarianism, even during the Nazi and Soviet eras. Indeed, rather the reverse. As Elie Kedourie showed in his classic work The Chatham House Version, this «respected» instititution has long exemplified the moral defeatism of the English «radicals». Its leading light, Arnold Toynbee, encouraged a premature retreat from imperial responsibility out of a misplaced sense of guilt, thus abandoning the Middle East to a «wilderness of tigers». Plus ça change.

Viktige nyheter med helt andre implikasjoner enn de konvensjonelle, blir oversett.

One of the most interesting stories of the year that received scant attention in the British press was last week’s remarks by Jean-Louis Bruguière, the chief French investigating magistrate for terrorism. He revealed that France had averted three significant Islamist plots over the past 18 months, including attacks on the Paris Métro and Orly. Algerian Islamists were teaming up with veterans of Iraq. So would opting out of Iraq, as President Chirac did so dramatically in 2003, really have reduced our

vulnerability? Elements of the Muslim population are in so febrile a state that almost anything can send them into a tailspin. This year a minority of British Muslims has been offended by many things — from cartoons in obscure Danish newspapers to McDonald’s logos.

One of the biggest losses of 2006 was Colin Cramphorn, the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, who died tragically young. After 7/7 Cramphorn did as much as anyone to bring the communities together. He told me with dismay that an appreciable number of radicalised young Muslim men in Leeds believed that the London bombings were invented by the Jewish-dominated media. Why? Because they did not see any bodies being pulled up from the Underground!

Too little of this complexity — and even medieval dottiness — comes across loudly enough in the media. The parochial media classes reflexively prefer to blame Mr Blair.

Det er nesten så mediene har overtatt skamfølelsen på vegne av «nutty» unge muslimer. De liker ikke å rapportere overbevisninger som minner om heksesabatter.

A new year’s resolution for the chattering classes
Dean Godson