Blair: shackled in war on terror

Blair and flagsWriting in the Sunday Times, Tony Blair calls for further attacks on the civil liberties of Muslims who are suspected of involvement in terrorism:

“Over the past five or six years, we have decided as a country that except in the most limited of ways, the threat to our public safety does not justify changing radically the legal basis on which we confront this extremism. Their right to traditional civil liberties comes first. I believe this is a dangerous misjudgment.”

As for the argument that his government has stoked up Muslim anger by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, Blair claims he can’t understand why there should be the slightest resentment at such actions:

“We remove two utterly brutal and dictatorial regimes; we replace them with a United Nations-supervised democratic process and the Muslims in both countries get the chance to vote, which incidentally they take in very large numbers. And the only reason it is difficult still is because other Muslims are using terrorism to try to destroy the fledgling democracy and, in doing so, are killing fellow Muslims.”

Meanwhile, over at the Independent on Sunday, shadow Home Secretary David Davis promotes the Tories’ Cameroonian tactic of criticising Blair’s attacks on civil liberties from an apparently libertarian standpoint while at the same time advocating some even harsher measures against Muslim communities. Thus Davis complains that “these powers are not properly used against the real threats. Extremist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir are not banned”.