Monday, March 27, 2006


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed a special sitting of the Australian Parliment yesterday to help ramp up the next stage of the Global War. It now moves from the War On Terror to the War On Extremism. These are a few (edited) extracts from his speech :

"We are in a struggle of a profound kind. Globalisation is a fact, but the values that govern it are a choice. We know the values we believe in: democracy and the rule of law, but also justice, the simple conviction that, given a fair go, human beings can better themselves and the world around them.

"The struggle in our world today is not just about security. It is a struggle about values and about modernity, whether to be at ease with it or in rage at it.

"Ranged against us are the people who hate us; but beyond them are many more who do not hate us but question our motives, our good faith, our even-handedness, who could support our values but believe we support them selectively. These are the people we have to persuade.

"....we cannot easily bring peace to the Middle East unless we resolve the question of Israel and Palestine.

"If we want to secure our way of life, there is no alternative but to fight for it. That means standing up for our values not just in our own countries but the world over.

"We need to construct a global alliance for these global values, and act through it. Inactivity is just as much a policy, with its own results. It's just the wrong one. The immediate threat is from Islamist extremism.

"We will not defeat this terror until we face up to the fact that its roots are deep, and that it is not a passing spasm of anger, but a global ideology at war with us and our way of life. Their case is that democracy is a Western concept we are forcing on an unwilling culture of Islam.

"Every reactionary element is lined up to fight us. Why? They know if they lose a message is sent out across the Muslim world that strikes at the heart of their ideology. That is why they are fighting us hard. We must not hesitate in the face of a battle utterly decisive as to whether the values we believe in triumph or fail.

"This struggle is our struggle. If the going is tough, we tough it out. This is not a time to walk away. This is a time for the courage to see it through."