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25th February 2011
Blair: “Intervention might not be popular, but the United States and Europe should be prepared to move decisively to support pro-democracy revolutions sweeping the Middle East.”
In my low moments – yes even as a positive-thinking Blair admirer I DO have them, occasionally – I wonder how the hell Tony Blair copes with the constant vitriol, personal abuse, calls for his trial and even death by the internetties. Does he ever feel like doing them a favour and taking a knife to his own throat?
I’ve now worked it out. He just ignores them. Probably doesn’t even read the papers, far less glance at the Know-Alls at online sites. And why should he? The internetties’ Big Daddies – the source of all wisdom, our mainstream press – like to ignore him too, when they can get away with it. Except when they think they can score points.
So this morning the Blair-hunting Daily Mail reports that Gaddafi’s son Saif is calling on Tony Blair to help bring stability to Libya.
AH-HAAAH! moment 1. Blair is THEIR friend, not ours.
And the other Conservative-supporting outlet the Telegraph says that Britain is about to move to seize millions in Gaddafi’s accounts in London banks.
AH-HAAAH! moment 2? The Telegraph does not overtly imply that any salting away by Gaddafi of Libya’s riches was under the suggestion of any former British Prime minister. But hey, who needs ‘overt’ in this covert world of politics, money and influence?
AH-HA! TO YOU TOO, DAVE & NICK
Meanwhile Sky News reports that the present British government, following its recent fumbling (Clegg- forgot he was in charge) and untimely incompetence (Cameron – defence sales) has PAID Libyan officials to ensure the safe removal from Libya of our nationals. In its desperation not to lose a couple of hundred of our citizens in the sands of Libyan turmoil it is being shown as just as self-serving as any other government, though for a far less noble reason – its own survival. See Sky – (Government denies “bribery”)
Oh, my! Paying a dictatorial regime. Nothing corrupt about that, of course, if it saves Nick & Dave’s combined skins.
LIBERAL MEDIA STRUGGLES TO SQUARE THE INTERVENTIONISM CIRCLE
If you only read the British press you wouldn’t know that Mr Blair had said anything recently about the present turmoil in the Middle East. The reason?
They are still trying to square the interventionism circle. You see, according to the media, Blair was ‘wrong’ for intervening in Iraq. And he was ‘wrong’ for not intervening in Libya to bring in democracy by, well… some means or other. Yes, we know he’d already intervened to STOP Gaddafi’s WMD and terrorism support. But hey, that was nothing! He really should have intervened to bring Egyptians democracy wholesale – imported from the west!
The intellectual somersaults are something to behold.
Blair was wrong, they argue, whatever he did or said. So he’ll be wrong whatever he does or says. It’s the politics of the high-hobby-horsed kindergarten. And it’s galloping all over the nursery.
Blair: “Our way of life is the way of the future. People in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen want the same freedoms we have”
This week Tony Blair took his wife and their youngest child to Florida for the half-term, and as usual has been wowwing them in the aisles. There are reports on this below from the USA, just in case the Mail/Telegraph/Guardian/Independent/BBC etc forget to tell you. I’ve googled 11 pages and there is nothing on this, not even from the usual blogger suspects.
Intriguing how the world’s foremost statesman is a Brit; the Quartet’s Middle East envoy is a Brit; the man who knows from personal political experience Libya’s/Gaddafi’s position on the USA, the EU and the rest of the world is a Brit. They are all the same man.
And yet there is no mention of that man’s opinion anywhere in our press.
And he is the only western politician to have the nous to say what he has just said to an audience in Florida the other night. He is not calling for military intervention, but diplomatic, political intervention.
Perhaps that’s the problem. Half this crazy world seems to have done a somersault and decided that we cannot discount “military intervention”.
Whether Tony Blair is right or not on western/world intervention in the future of the Middle East is a point I am not debating here. Unlike the wordy, worthy press, I admit to not knowing enough.
But the silence from the British press on Blair’s remarks is truly mind-boggling.
1. From the Herald Tribune:
Blair spoke for an hour at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as part of the sold-out Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series. Blair argued that radical Islamist groups are much better organized than democracy proponents and are poised — with backing from nations such as Iran — to seize control during the power vacuums that are likely to ensue when autocratic regimes fall.
“We have to be in there with strength, engaging in the process of change in those countries,” Blair said.
Excerpts (Blair’s words in red):
While visiting Sarasota with his family and doing what most British tourists do — “got sunburnt the first day” — former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday told a packed house at the Van Wezel that he has also been “in touch with the extraordinary and world-changing events playing out across the globe.”
“Our way of life is the way of the future. People in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen want the same freedoms we have,” Blair offered in a speech for the Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall lecture series. “There are modern democratic forces there, but they aren’t very well organized.”
“It needs to be the norm for people of different cultures, different faiths, to live together, to create security and diplomacy,” Blair said.
In a world going through enormous change so quickly, he said, the United States and the United Kingdom need to stand together as examples of thriving, strong and secure democracies.
Still, he largely focused on the global issues, the future and the alliance between the United States and Europe, particularly Great Britain.
As the 21st century moves into the second decade, he said, Americans and the people of the UK need to recover the confidence that “we are strong in character and confident enough” to make sure that we are shaping ideas and policies around the economy, security and freedom to create a better world.
‘But with access to technology allowing a view of democracy and uprisings in surrounding countries, those populations are now fighting for freedom and creating unorganized democracies that are yet to be tested.’
Read more here
Michael White: “Blame Libya for what it does with its weapons – not Blair or Britain. Press reports that the UK are complicit in the conflict, due to the sale of arms to Gaddafi’s regime, do not tell the whole story”
Every now and again, even at The Guardian (only VERY now and again at the Guardian) there is an article which brings back my faith in journalistic common sense. This article was on Monday as we wrung our blood-soaked little hands and moaned that “our weapons are killing Libyans”. Put aside for a moment the simple inarguable fact that weapons don’t kill, only people do.
Michael White puts this whole business of arms exports into some sort of historical perspective.
Excerpt from White:
‘I was relieved to hear the UN’s Mona Rishmawi, quoted in the Mail as saying there may be British “complicity” in the killing of Libyan protestors, also saying – but not quoted – that at the end of the day, what Libya does with the weapons it buys is actually Libya’s responsibility. Remember that word: responsibility.’
Next post: Cognitive Dissonance & the Mandela/Gaddafi link
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.
Tags: Barack Obama, be prepared, Blair still the interventionist, but the United States and Europe, Daylife, George W Bush, history, Hosni Mubarak, Intervention might not be popular, Libya, Middle East, Muammar al-Gaddafi, parliament, Ringling College Library Association, to move decisively, Tony Blair, United States, Van Wezel, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall