Our true #1 ally, the British (not the French as Obama recently declared), are holding an inquiry into the Iraq war and the lessons learned. Testimony from a range of British officials from former Prime Minister Tony Blair on down is being given. During Blair's testimony he addressed the underlying problem of Islamic extremism with a definite focus on Iran's role in fomenting terrorism. In this short three minute video clip he defines the problem in clarity that is rare for any politician. It's well worth your time to view:
BLAIR: The single most difficult thing we have to face today and I think we face it still -- I think this is why I personally take a very hard line view on Iran is the risk of this new type of terrorism and extremism based on an ideological perversion frankly, the faith of Islam, combining with technology that allows them to kill people on a large scale.
one view is this extremism it is an encrustment on an otherwise manageable situation. Don't over-worry about it. Don't provoke it. Don't stimulate it. Just manage the situation. The other view, which is my view, is that this thing is deep. Its potential to wreak enormous and devastating damage is huge and we have to confront it.
I think the numbers of people who are engaged in terrorism or become suicide bombers is very, very limited, but I think the global ideology that gives rise to this extremism has far greater roots, and, you know, I am out in the Middle East a lot of the time now and it's the same issue everywhere. It comes up -- it doesn't always come up in issues to do with terrorism or violence. It is about modernisation. It is about attitudes to the west and it is deep. It's a lot deeper.
So what happened when you got Al Qaeda coming into this situation is that it was more than just a few terrorists. It was backed with the ability to push an ideology that said the west is fundamentally hostile to Islam and that's why we have to wage war against these people and we have to wage war against them and against the leaders that deal with them.