Thursday, April 3
Lies and Double Standards: I'm Ashamed to be British
Jemima Khan, Counterpunch, April 2, 2003
As a dual national of Pakistan and Britain, it is the loss of British credibility I find hardest to stomach.
Even the moderates here in Pakistan are outraged. Across the board, young and old, poor and rich, fundamentalist and secularist are united in their hatred of the US and their contempt for Britain. Such unprecedented unanimity in a country renowned for its ethnic and sectarian divides is a huge achievement. Qazi Hussein Ahmed, the leader of the combined religious party Majlis Muttahida Amal (MMA), announced triumphantly: "The pro-West liberals have lost conviction. Islamic movements have come alive."
This new-found unity, which includes for the first time the pro-West élites, the liberal middle classes and the mullahs, has been boosted by a fear that Pakistan may be on the US target list. [...]
... Why the pretence of "making the world a safer place" when we all know an unjust war will incite such hatred that new recruits will be queuing up to join al-Qa'ida? Why the persistence in the lie that Saddam represents a military threat? Why no contrition over the exposure of flawed or faked evidence? Why the lectures on Saddam's violation of 17 UN resolutions, when Bush gives military and economic aid to Israel, which has regularly flouted at least 64 of them?
... With British and US credibility in tatters, no one in the Muslim world now believes that this is really all about "making the world a safer place", about al-Qa'ida and the War on Terror, about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction, about the imminent threat to the "civilised world", or the violation of UN resolutions; far less about the emancipation of the Iraqi people.
Instead, many are asking the question: Which country is really in need of regime change and, in the words of the great statesman Nelson Mandela, is "the greatest threat to world peace"?
Jemima Khan is a human rights activists and the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith.