Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Is Jack Straw justifying terrorism?

“By welcoming Turkey we will demonstrate that Western and Islamic cultures can thrive together as partners in the modern world – the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.”

Sounds like a suggestion of potential violence to me, Jacky boy, coming as it does after a week of dangerous anti-terrorism bullshit being spouted by various cabinet ministers.

Sounds rather like you’re trying to imply that if the EU doesn’t progress with Turkish entry talks the Islamic world will end up divided further from the West and thus increase the cultural hostility which has led to the current wave of fundamentalist terrorism.

Which is quite possibly true.

But it does go somewhat against your government’s stock answer that terrorism is going to happen anyway and that what many people see as contributing factors (the Iraq war and its aftermath being prime) cannot be used as excuses for terrorism.

Even though nobody other than the terrorists has ever said that the Iraq war excuses or justifies the slaughter of innocent civilians.

And even though by that logic you may as well not bother launching wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place, or in introducing biometric ID, detention without trial, suspending the human rights act, upping the number of police on the street, giving the police the right to shoot us all on a whim, or indeed checking passports, screening baggage or looking out for suspicious types at the airport – because terrorism’s going to happen anyway, so why bother trying to do anything to stop it?

Could this tacit admission that there’s such a thing as secondary, almost passive contributing factors in the process of radicalisation which can lead to people blowing themselves up on the tube be a new step in the government’s incredibly slow progress down the path of realising that the world is a complicated place which can’t simply be divided into “good”, “evil” and “the French”?

Why do I have little faith that this pretence to be in favour of Turkish EU entry as a matter of principle – as if this government even knows what that word means any more – is little more than another stupidly obvious childish tactic to try and get publicity?

More on Britain, Straw, the EU and Turkey at EU Observer, The International Herald Tribune (good overview) and The Guardian. And views from Turkey and Cyprus (the somewhat anti-Turkey Greek bit).