Given Tony Blair’s other pronouncements about Islam, I doubt that he understands it even now. However, in these new statements he does seem to be at least implying that the democracy project in Iraq was foredoomed, as I have argued since early 2003, because of something about Islam. And certainly he is correct that Western leaders’ ignorance of Islam will lead them into policy errors. We are still seeing that happen on a more or less daily basis. “Tony Blair: I did not understand Islam at time of 9/11 attacks,” from the Telegraph, August 31 (thanks to Twostellas):
The September 11 attacks represented the declaration of war by a new type of enemy, Tony Blair says.
He claims that he quickly realised the implications of the suicide bombers crashing aircraft into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, having heard the news while preparing to deliver a speech to the TUC in Brighton.
Mr Blair says he understood the new war was ideological, but admits that at the time he did not fully understand the history of Islam. He admits he underestimated the “hold of this extremism”….