Video: Tony Blair, Washington Institute speech, on defeating the narrative of Islamist terrorism

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    8th October 2010

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    Tony Blair warns that the West has been “outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised and it’s time it stopped”


    The former prime minister said that there had been a failure to “challenge the narrative” that Islam was oppressed by the West. This narrative on Muslim oppression leads to a second narrative: that the first widely accepted narrative, even though wrong, fuels extremism around the world. And then a third narrative, that the second is to be expected, understood and even accepted.  In the meantime, children, how can we help you achieve your ends – the destruction of the wicked west?  It’s our pleasure.  End of chapter four of this ongoing narrative.

    Our former Prime Minister is the Washington Institute’s First Non-American Scholar Statesman

    Blair: “The irony is that the many Muslims who believe passionately in coexistence and tolerance are not empowered but frequently  disempowered by our refusal to confront this narrative”

    “So we must act with resolution and also with intelligence. Sometimes the policy choice is presented as a struggle between principle and pragmatism. In reality, principles without a practical plan result in inefficacy. But pragmatism unless driven by principle, can result in avoiding the challenge rather than answering it. At stake in this challenge are the values of the civilised world, those that unite people of all faiths and none. Needed is a plan to defend them effectively. But the plan will be better if motivated and imbued with the principles we believe in.”

    Just so you know; Tony Blair, in “A Journey”, page 657, on stepping down from office, summer 2007 said: “I decided I had little option but to leave the UK political scene, at least for now.”

    Well, now he’s back.

    Over the last few days the papers have referred to Tony Blair’s thoughts on Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism expressed on Tuesday night in New York .  It was hardly news.  He had said the same thing a month ago to Andrew Marr, in reference to his memoirs, in which he had also raised the issues. [Watch Andrew Marr video clip at end] At the Washington Institute Award ceremony dinner Mr Blair elaborated.

    You might wonder why the papers are reporting on this right now.  He mentioned it in his memoirs. Yet when ‘A Journey’ was published just over a month ago and when he spoke to Marr on this, the press hardly remarked, except to repeat the usual “Blair does not regret Iraq.”

    So what has changed? Why is even the Blair-hating Daily Mail sitting up and taking notice?

    Since then we have had warnings like this (American alert over threats to Europe) said to have been funded by Bin Laden. And this (EU says homegrown jihadists also threaten). And this (Sweden & Japan also warn citizens). And events like this (British diplomat’s vehicle attacked in Yemen). Not to mention this (France holds 12),  and this (NATO oil tankers set alight in Pakistan, the FOURTH in the past week) and this (Taliban in Pakistan remove bodies of German nationals killed in counter-terror attack).

    Then there’s the Times Square bomber who said a war was just beginning, as he was sentenced to life.  If you thought, sweetly, innocently, or ignorantly  that France & Germany (Eiffel Tower bomb alert, number 5) would never be as likely targets as Britain, since they did not participate in the Iraq war, think again – 8 Germans & 2 Britons behind European terror alert.

    Even Islamist-fundamentalist-defending naysayers in their right minds will have to concede, if any of them are in their right minds, that none of the above is Tony Blair’s doing. Or indeed that of anyone in the west.

    Oh hang on – here are a crowd not in their right minds – the Deniers at The Guardian. The terror threat was all a red flag, presumably, and this time it was Obama’s doing, for political gain.  For pity’s sake.  How much longer do we need to put up with this crowd of blind, deaf but mouthy nincompoops?

    This site, Bare Naked Islam says there was a “make us look good for the election” draft letter to Netanyahu from Obama, which was not made “official” because Netanyahu was not willing to accept it. But this was to do with the Israel/Palestinian peace process, not over pretending there is Islamist terror where there isn’t. [See Sep 30th original showing of this “letter” talk.]

    The Guardian is absolutely typical of the upside down thinking that Melanie Phillips and now Tony Blair have identified. A glance at its editorial today on Geert Wilders exemplifies that. Excerpt:

    “The nuances of Dutch parliamentary politics are likely to be lost on the wider Muslim world, especially where it matters in the blogosphere. The last time Wilders tried to create a storm of Danish-cartoon dimensions with a film, Fitna, which accuses the Qur’an of inciting violence, Muslims active on the web were prevailed upon to douse the flames of anger.

    Muslims, you may note, “were prevailed upon…” etc.

    And they nobly obliged, eh?

    Of course it goes without saying that non-Muslims are never prevailed upon to show restraint, justified or not. And so it goes unsaid.

    It is a FACT that the Guardian is actually part, and a large part as far as Britain is concerned – the mouthpiece even, of the enemy within. Our enemy is not western leadership, as the Guardian and its ilk repeatedly insinuate it is. It is the narrative the Guardian and its like repeat ad nauseam.

    Not that the Guardian is the only utterly brain-dead publication on this issue and issues surrounding it. Look at this from The Economist. The ECONOMIST!?

    See Cif Watch, which keeps a careful eye on the Guardian’s unguardianlike behaviour, for a transcript of Blair’s speech.



    Institute Photo by David Bohrer


    Here from the Washington Institute is the report from the award ceremony. It includes videos the second of which explains why he is the FIRST non-American to receive this coveted award.

    • Introduction (02:41)
    • Presentation of Award (08:48)
    • Tony Blair (Part 1) (11:18)
    • Tony Blair (Part 2) (09:43) – Discussion of his memoirs. Confesses he “made a mistake after 9/11”. It WAS a fundamental struggle for the soul of Islam. The issue needs to be “gripped”.
    • Tony Blair (Part 3) (08:49) – Iran: “What we want to do is we want to think these guys are basically like us … we can sit down round a table together …  The one thing they need to know …  a soft liberal side to us … we mustn’t let them confuse that with weakness.”  On the USA/UK special relationship:  “It would be a big mistake to give it up”.



    Despite the printed press coverage, British TV and radio broadcasters have not mentioned Tony Blair’s words in New York the other night. And certainly not his award! Yet his are the ONLY words to have come from any political quarter in Britain on this ongoing, worsening and over-arching situation – Islamist fundamentalist terrorism.

    Presumably the BBC and Sky have other things on their minds. And their news channels only broadcast 24 hours a day. What do we expect? Miracles? Balance? Current affairs? Open-eyes?

    Personally, I am relieved that Mr Blair has finally said what the world needs to hear; I was beginning to despair.

    And if not from him, from whom? Not the BBC. They are still fighting the last war with a completely distorted series right now on “Secret Iraq”

    Not the Tory leader. He is to busy try to be as ground-changing as the last but one Labour leader. Not the new, old Labour leader, Mr Miliband. He is too busy taking his party back to the future. Not the Liberal Democrat party. They think the whole world is full of woolly liberals, like them.

    Perhaps this man?

    A kangaroo court in another EU country is trying a Dutch politician. A Dutch politician who will now be influential in Holland’s government due to his increased support at the polls. So WHY is he being TRIED? Killed somebody? Political corruption? Fraud?

    He is being prosecuted for upsetting, even God forbid, insulting people. Almost a joke, you might think. But no, Wilders is being tried principally for Speaking Freely in his own FREE country. Now, that IS a joke, if it were funny.

    Which mainstream political leader anywhere in the western world will dare to come out in support of Geert Wilders? Especially if by some upside-down but quite possible chance he is found guilty of free speech, and upsetting people?



    In Tony Blair’s book I was struck by a section in the Postscript chapter, page 675. He is talking about Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism. His first sentence refers to the fight against revolutionary Communism, the rest to Islamist fundamentalist terrorism (my bolding):

    “Most people realised the threat was real and had to be confronted, however long it took.

    The difficulty with this present battle lies in defining what ‘it’ is. After September 11 the phrase ‘the war on terror’ was used. People distrusted this,  partly for its directness, partly because it seemed too limited. So we dropped it. Yet if what we are fighting is not a war, what is it?

    We in Britain and in the rest of the west have been sleep-walking at a naive politically correct angle for far too long. We need to regain our equilibrium.

    Ottawa Citizen: Radical Islam outsmarting west

    Interesting that one has to go to a Canadian site to learn that this happened in London yesterday:

    A police officer stands guard as the area around Hyde Park Corner is evacuated during a security alert in London Wednesday. A terror alert was issued this week for European cities amid warnings al-Qaeda is plotting a major attack.

    This, as it happens, is a few hundred yards from Buckingham Palace, and not far from Tony Blair’s home, or from Parliament and Downing Street.


    It is clear that Tony Blair is still admired and appreciated in the USA. Thank the powers-that-be that at least one still free country recognises true leadership.


    TD Ameritrade Institutional… ‘As one of the most respected world leaders in the last 50 years, Tony Blair will offer an unparalleled analysis of the world’s most difficult and complex issues including globalization, the Middle East peace process and climate change.

    Scheduled to take place in San Diego, Calif., at the Manchester Grand Hyatt from February 2-5, 2011, the conference brings together industry thought-leaders and top independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) from across the country.

    “We are excited to be able to bring such a distinguished leader to our national conference and offer advisors an opportunity to hear Blair’s international political views on global issues impacting their business and their clients,” said Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional.’



    The Washington Institute for Near-East Policy

    About the 25-year-old Washington Institute

    ‘Our nation faces an extraordinary moment of challenge in the Middle East. We are at war on multiple fronts, looking toward adversaries who confront us and our allies in many ways and in many places. For that reason, the Institute is currently expanding its core agenda to address this new series of threats.

    One of the most menacing of these threats is ideological — a competition for the hearts, minds, and hopes of Muslims around the world. While this is, at its core, a struggle among Muslims, the United States cannot be a disinterested observer. The universal ideas of freedom, democracy, peace, and security that America has embraced and defended are under threat from the creeping totalitarianism of Islamist radicalism. For an Institute founded on respect for the power of ideas, this is a momentous struggle, and you will see a growing percentage of our research and programming directed toward that effort.

    This website reflects another powerful idea.

    Until now, access to the Institute’s “product” — the prodigious research of its scholars, the exchange of expert views in our Policy Forum seminars, and other exceptional programming — has been restricted to a tightly held circle of “consumers”: the several hundred government officials, analysts, journalists, diplomats, scholars, and experts who comprise the Middle East foreign policy elite. The motivating factor was exclusivity.

    Middle East issues are now the central focus of American foreign policy and the pivot of international affairs. As such, discussion about U.S. Middle East policy is no longer the province of a small elite, but rather the stuff of front-page news and regular debate on the op-ed pages, radio waves, and talk shows of the national and global media. The goal of this website is to enrich this growing debate by welcoming informed citizens throughout the country — indeed, throughout the world — to access our “product” in much the same way that high-level Washington-based officials, prominent journalists, and senior diplomats have been able to for years.

    Whether your hometown newspaper is the New York Times, St. Petersburg Times, Jordan Times, or London Times, accessing this website should be part of your daily routine. I promise that you will gain a deeper understanding of Middle East politics and U.S. policy. And you — along with the cause of a secure peace in the Middle East — will be better off for it.



    “The Washington Institute has become the number one center for information and analysis in Washington.” Charles Krauthammer

    “Washington’s most respected center for studies on the Middle East.” Vice President Al Gore

    Founded in 1985, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy* was established to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East. Under the guidance of a distinguished and bipartisan Board of Advisors, the Institute seeks to bring scholarship to bear on the making of U.S. policy in this vital region of the world. Drawing on the research of its scholars and the experience of policy practitioners, the Institute promotes an American engagement in the Middle East committed to strengthening alliances, nurturing friendships, and promoting security, peace, prosperity, and democracy for the people of the region.


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    Tony Blair’s moral clarity: West should have the confidence to fight evil killers. (5th Sep 2010)

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’ is again number 1 in non-fiction section of the bestseller list for the 4th consecutive week


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    Recent comments:

    “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the priviledge of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”

    AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”

    AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is a honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”

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    One Response to “Video: Tony Blair, Washington Institute speech, on defeating the narrative of Islamist terrorism”

    1. Immer die neuesten und besten Bücher im Überblick Says:

      Immer die neuesten und besten Bücher im Überblick…

      […]Video: Tony Blair, Washington Institute speech, on defeating the narrative of Islamist terrorism « Tony Blair[…]…

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