What can explain Tony Blair's contrasting approaches to Al Qaeda and the IRA? An angry Geoffrey Wheatcroft has the answer:
If there is no moral distinction between Adams and al-Zarqawi, and Adams's objectives are certainly no more honourable or rational than al-Zarqawi's, there is one objective difference: Adams is white. No doubt Tony Blair doesn't consciously think in terms of 'darkies' or Mahometan savages, but the grim and very dangerous truth is that the terrorists he will never negotiate with or give an inch to are Asian by birth or descent and Muslim by religion, whereas the terrorists he propitiates are Catholic, Aryan, white Europeans.
His distinction between good and bad terrorists is not only dishonest, cowardly and hypocritical, it is racist. If millions of embittered youths from Leeds to Basra to Islamabad notice that, should we be surprised?
There are many observations to be made about why different approaches might be justified, and about whether Blair was right to deal with Sinn Fein - though the fact that the IRA have just now renounced armed struggle, having effectively achieved none of their stated aims, suggests that his approach may at least have had something to recommend it - but to boil it all down to racism.....