Blair Interviews, (3): “I like Ahmadinejad” says Tony Blair protester

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    18th September 2010

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    After my confession in the previous post I feel much better now, thank you. Good for the soul, so they tell me. Anyway, back to the numerous interviews that THE MAN gave while in the USA.

    Now, this is a great one. Kind of puts the antis back in their box, where they belong. That’s why it’s all over the British papers, of course. (Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and of course here.)

    In The Harvard Crimson James K. McAuleye has this headline:

    “Protestors Decry Blair as Criminal”

    Great what they find to headline their little stories with. Though Mr McAuleye has, graciously, omitted the three-letter word which is normally attached umbilically in front of “criminal”.  Demotion is promotion in this game of criminality.

    Some observers might have thought this story would have been more worthy of this sort of headline:

    “I like Ahmadinejad,” says placard-waving Elaine

    His “holocaust denial was irrelevant”, droned on the very relevant Ms Elaine C. Antonia, of Stoughton Massachusetts as she tied a balloon string round her finger to remind herself when to take her medication.  “Mahmoud Amanutjob seems like a nice guy to me”, she opined, steam rising from all three of her ears.

    “After all”, she continued, “My MoodyOne was duly elected by his people, unlike that Tony Blair who was a murdering dictator who stamped on democracy, set up kangaroo courts for his political opponents and even killed with his own blood-stained hands young people on the streets, especially if they didn’t vote for him. Three times they didn’t! And then that brutal dictator even had the cheek to blame other countries, like Mymad’s wondrous land. MY Madman would NEVER have done anything like that.”

    The Harvard Crimson report follows, in full:

    __________

    A crowd of roughly fifteen locals gathered to protest the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s appearance last night at Harvard Square’s First Parish Cambridge Church, a scene that a passerby said resembled “The Ghost Writer.”

    Wearing Palestinian flags, banging on pots and pans, and brandishing signs that advertised a “peace-loving Iran,” the protesters heckled the hundreds of people lined up for blocks to hear Blair discuss his new book, “Journey: My Political Life,” with noted British journalist Tina Brown.

    “Prosecute Tony Blair for genocide! He’s a mass murderer!” protestors yelled.

    “Americans, Brits, Iraqis died! Could it be because Tony lied?” they screamed.

    “Hey people, use your noodle—don’t waste a dime on Bush’s poodle!” they shrieked.

    “It’s an interesting statement, stopping war on peace-loving Iran,” said Kevin M. McKenna, who was waiting in line outside the church to hear Blair speak.

    Inside the church, Brown confronted Blair about his decisions regarding the war in Iraq.

    “In the book, you say that Iraq is not a regret and that if you were to do it again, you would. But I get the sense that you aren’t still at peace with it,” she said. “You were teasing out your point a little too much. I think you were still a bit uncertain.”

    Blair responded saying that it is “inhuman” not to “consider your actions” ex post facto, “in light of what happens.” Even still, he maintained, “these risks are incredibly difficult to judge.”

    On Iran, Blair’s views were clear.

    “If I was a decision-maker today, I wouldn’t take the risk of Iran with a nuclear weapon, even acknowledging the risks of a Pandora’s Box.”

    Outside, sentiments on Iran did not exactly mirror those of the former Prime Minister.

    “I like Ahmadinejad,” said Elaine C. Antonia of Stoughton, Mass., adding that his Holocaust denial was “irrelevant.” “He was duly elected by his people. Every one of those protests we see on CNN was probably funded by the State Department.”

    Halfway through the speech, the protestors attempted to move around the church to the side exit, where Blair’s convoy awaited his return, but Massachusetts police officers told them to clear the sidewalk.

    “Did you ever hear of free speech?” said Mary Corcoran. “They clearly don’t believe in free speech. I think it’s disgraceful.”

    In an interview after the event, Brown said that she thought Blair’s talk had gone well.

    “I thought he was most interesting on how partisan ideology is over for the 21st century,” she added.

    For her part, Antonia said she hoped she would be able to catch the attention of just a few.

    I’m disappointed in Harvard,” she said. “During Vietnam this school was a hot bed. Now there’s people my age out on the street, and the students don’t even support us.”

    —Staff writer James K. McAuley can be reached at mcauley@fas.harvard.edu.

    —Aditya Balasubramanian contributed to the reporting of this story.

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    14 Responses to “Blair Interviews, (3): “I like Ahmadinejad” says Tony Blair protester”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      So are you live blogging “The Special Relationship” tonight or are you too exhausted from a day full of Papal reverie and inspiration?

      I couldn’t leave my desk all morning because I got involved in a thread to Simon Heffer’s leader in yesterday’s Telegraph. Every time I looked away there were another 10 email alerts in my inbox. I was quite literally exhausted by lunchtime.

      The only newspaper I was prepared to buy this morning was The Independent because it was the only one without Pope Benny on the front cover. As seems to happen so often these days, I haven’t even looked at it all day. I really do seem to be going through the final phase of conversion to all electronic media.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        P, I forgot that film was on. Thanks for reminding me. 9:30 I see, BBC2. I expect I’ll have to watch it. I seldom watch TV,and so missed all the other rubbish – The Deal etc. REAL life is far, far more interesting, don’t you think?

        I also NEVER buy a paper. Read everything online, though I avoid the Guardian and The Mail, for obvious reasons – both junk food. And you have to PAY to read The Times!!! FGS!

        I haven’t been doing much online today actually, P. Saw a little of the Pope coverage. Have to say I thought it, and he were quite impressive. We seldom see people getting together in this country with the same thing in their hearts and minds. I mean GOOD, joyous things, as these gatherings showed us. Pity I don’t feel the association personally but I DO see how others do.

        Did you notice that TB and family were in the Westminster Mass this morning with the punters? Looks like he took communion too, but not from the Big Man. One of his priests, I suppose. Just as well, or it’d be all over the rags tomorrow – “Blair monopolises the Pope.”

        What was Heffer on about?

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        It is easy to get carried away with the mass hysteria. Us Welshboys are gluttons for anything that gets the heartstrings trembling but you have to remember what he stands for.

        If it was Kylie or Shakira there’d be just the same adoration but we’d be safe in knowing it stood for nothing except a sexy arse. Relatively speaking, entirely innocent.

        If you think I trivialise the Pope you’re right, I do.

    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Simon Heffer.

      I can’t bear to see if it’s still going on because I might have to go back to it!

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/simonheffer/8009378/We-must-let-the-Pope-come-and-go-in-peace.html

    3. Peter Reynolds Says:

      You have to look at this:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/simonheffer/8009378/We-must-let-the-Pope-come-and-go-in-peace.html#comment-78809954

      I just couldn’t control my laughter at the accusation against me!

      Can you believe it?

    4. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Well, well, well…

      …and well, well, well again.

      I think perhaps one should be thinking of drafting a letter of thanks, recognition and appreciation to the BBC, don’t you?

      I mean in terms of a financial contribution to the Tony Blair communications strategy it is immeasurable. You could put ten, twenty, fifty million into a worldwide TV campaign and not come close to the impact of this.

      It doesn’t end here. Immeasurable is the word. If I was the BBC I’d be totting up the brownie points now. Not just for Tone and his successors but for all those oik politicians who are going to realise how the BBC can change everything – just like that!

      A great movie. Classic. People will be watching this in 2110 like we watch James Cagney now.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Yep, P. Thanks for reminding me it was on. Tony came out of it as THE hero. Of course Peter Morgan has only built him up to shoot him down. The next one will be about how he was used and abused by Bush, and ends up in the Hague. If not dead a la Ghost Writer.

        Briliant though. I came away smiling, and thinking of and thanking you! Of course the best bits were when it was really TB onscreen and not the short-arsed Welshman. Whoops! (Sorry P. Racist remark!) When he was talking in real footage with Bush at Camp David it just reminded me of how he can charm the birds out of the trees, Bush even more than he did Clinton. Oh how politics misses that today, don’t you think? Neither smarmy Nick nor tight-mouthed Dave can touch The Man.

        I bet Tony was watching this one tonight, since he’s in London right now. I bet he enjoyed it too, more or less.

        I did hear that it was released in the USA before here and they were NOT pleased with how weak it made Clinton look. It’s not real life, of course, as WE know. Their relationship was probably always closer and more equal and balanced than portrayed in the film with poor old defeated BC in the copter watching the might-have-been, could-have-been US president (if he wasn’t British) getting on with the business.

        Also I found Dennis Quail a little unappealing. Bill C IS a charmer too, by all accounts. Hillary and Cherie actresses were good though. Tony – Sheen was highly principled thoughout, if too wide-eyed looking at times.

        Better write about it. You too?

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        I thought it was magic mate!

        Write about it?

        That’s your job.

        I’ve got to free the weed!

        • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

          Thats my “JOB”? Do you think they pay me for worshipping a hero?

          OK, I am writing about it as we type. Btw, do you know that George WhamBam guy is in prison for smoking cannabis? Dangerous stuff. Different from marijuana though, I suppose, isn’t it? I wouldn’t know. Never touched any of it, apart from the baccy. Even as a student. Now cheeseburgers, well ….

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        Who’s George WhamBam? Cannabis and Marijuana are the same thing. Marijuana is a Mexican word (Maryjane) usually only applied to the dried herbal product as opposed to hash. Cannabis is the proper name for the plant: Cannabis sativa, indica or ruderalis. Nowadays, of course, 90% of all cannabis is “skunk” herbal weed or grass. that’s a hybridised version of the plant, often a cros betwen sativa and indica. You hardly ever get good hash these days unless you go to Amsterdam where you can huy a wide variety of product, rather like a sweet shop or a wine merchant.

        See here for instance:

        http://www.coffeeshop-elguapo.com/cannabis-menu/

        This is quite a short menu. Some run to many dozens of varieties.

        Seriously, who is George WhamBam?

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        Sorry, I was very slow there. Too much wacky baccy do I hear you say?

        Classic propaganda from the anti-cannabis brigade this. So many news reports talking about his “addiction”. Scientific fact – cannabis is not addictive. George’s own story (which makes much more sense if you think about it) is that he does have a habit with certain prescription drugs and it was those that were responsible for him falling asleep at the wheel. You don’t get that side of the story in the press though do you? Doesn’t make such sensationalist copy.

        Incidentally, do you know who coined that phrase “the anti-cannabis brigade”? It was Professor Les Iversen, now chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse Of Drugs. That provides something of an insight into the thoughts of the government’s chief drugs adviser doesn’t it?

        Now before I bore you death on MY single issue, please (go on, do it for me!) look at this article on Mark Easton’s BBC blog. This says it all really.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/09/should_drugs_policy_be_based_o.html

        What do you say to that, eh?

    5. Peter Reynolds Says:

      The video on that site is quite instructive. Hash is made from pollen crystals sieved from the dried plant or rubbed by hand from the living plant which are then compressed into a block.

      I’d love to lead you astray one day!

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