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From an opinion piece in the FT by Anatol Lieven, "a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington and author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism "

For most Britons, Pakistan's current local elections could hardly be of less concern. But just as political developments in Algeria and Morocco now affect the Arab population of France, so, in a sense, do elections in Pakistan take place in Bradford, Leeds and Leicester.

As the first wave of London bombings in July so cruelly emphasised, developments in western Europe and parts of the Muslim world are intertwined. Instability and extremism in certain Muslim lands have the power to damage Europe badly. Therefore, just as France should lead a massive European Union programme to help the Maghreb, so Britain should lead the EU in creating a development strategy for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

This is not so much a question of more aid as of a strategic approach to aid. Given the security threat it presents to the west, this region should take precedence over non-Muslim Africa. The commitment by Tony Blair, British prime minister, to help Africa is honourable but in terms of British interests, Africa has to come second.

[...]

If anarchy and a Taliban restoration in Afghanistan are to be prevented, western forces will have to remain in the country for a generation. Britain's role there seems set to increase once UK troops leave Iraq. Any disasters in Afghanistan or Pakistan will undoubtedly be used by Islamist terrorists to recruit British Muslims. So in helping Lahore, we are also helping Leeds.


Here's an idea: stop pissing off and screwing everyone in the middle east the whole damn time and maybe all these oil and resource rich countries might have a chance to get their act together. Meanwhile, do mind if we try to do something about bloody Africa? Wanker.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2005 at 04:04:26 AM EST

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