Our Generation's Churchill?
The head of the British Army has launched a broadside against Tony Blair’s moral crusade in Iraq. He demands the withdrawal of British troops, or risk catastrophic consequences for both Iraq and British society. It is rare indeed for such a senior military officer to directly challenge the political authority, but General Sir Richard Dannatt is no managerial doormat; he is the sort of military leader who would make a fine head of state – a strategist with a clarity of communication that cuts through all the political waffle of the age, and manifests true leadership.
Although his context is clearly Iraq, where he warns that the presence of British troops ‘exacerbates the security problems’, his insights into the nature and objectives of Islam are illuminating. He perceptively observes that a ‘moral and spiritual vacuum’ permeates British society which is allowing Muslim extremists to undermine ‘our accepted way of life’. By this, he means that Christian values are under threat in Britain, and that foreign policy is directly affecting the UK’s domestic security.
He appears to be more than aware that the battle between the Dar al Islam and the Dar al Haab is a universal one, and believes that the West’s imposition of liberal democracy in Iraq is ‘naïve’. Indeed it is. Islam has no interest in the power of the people, and Muslim countries little respect for ‘foreign’ systems of government.
Sir Richard clearly perceives that to which our politicians are blind: the failure to support and promote Christian values is permitting the ascendancy of a predatory Islamist vision. He said:
‘When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country… Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind... We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and in a perverted way try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it. It is said that we live in a post Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army.’
He concluded: ‘I am going to stand up for what is right for the army. Honesty is what it is about. The truth will out. We have got to speak the truth.’