Comment at end
25th March 2010
Monbiot climb-down on arresting Blair
[See here if you can’t wait and then click ‘back to top’]
But first …
WHAT IS TERRORISM TODAY?
Believe it or not its definition is not yet agreed worldwide. That’s because your terrorist is my freedom fighter and vice versa. Tony Blair is my freedom fighter. Those who oppose his decisions and actions in Iraq are, by extension, terrorists.
Simplistic? Far-fetched? Maybe, but that is exactly how Monbiot and Cronin think – only the other way round. And we can perhaps work out who are THEIR freedom fighters. For Cronin, for one – it might well be Saddam or insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to this he has a soft spot for Milosevic. Are their heroes also those who oppose worldwide democracy?
TERRORISM TODAY IS MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL
I suggest TERRORISM TODAY is more than a physical attack. It is also the harassment of a group or an individual. It is the influence of a politically-agenda’d, ingenuous, lying, duplicitous, opining press. And the false ‘certainties’ of the ignorant on the all-pervasive internet. It is also the disparagement of democracy epitomised by self-selected individuals on a ‘quest’ to take on at any and every level those who are elected to make political decisions. They are the chosen few. Those who speak for you and for me on democratic accountability, don’t you know?
All of these add to the poisonous mix in the press and the online world. The press today has no sense of balance in its comment publication, or of responsibility in its freedom to incite in its reportage.
I suggest that TERRORISM TODAY is to be seen in the relentless haranguing of ANY individual over a difference of political opinion. The constant and persistent vilification of those of whom they disapprove for a multitude of reasons. The hollow cries of “we are helpless against such powerful evil” so therefore we have to summarily “dispense justice”. The ‘Blair lied, people died’, widespread, easy cliché.
The talk and/or suggestion of meting out “due justice”, however, wherever and whenever, is a worrying development and can be read all over today’s internet seemingly uncensored by editors.
That’s TERRORISM TODAY. It is not democracy nor is it responsible behaviour. In many countries it would not even be lawful.
HANG ON – WHAT ABOUT THE UN SC MANDATE ON IRAQ?!
TERRORISM TODAY is also the failure to acknowledge the fact that many wars have been fought without UN mandates, and have been considered successful and morally justified. It is about the failure to understand that “international law” is fluid in interpretation and always has been. The failure to notice that China and Russia, for their own highly politicised reasons, often fail to support other UN members. The failure to notice the fact that attack as defence needs no mandate from the Security Council. Or the resultant question, if it is argued that a mandate should always be required, as to whether the UNSC was facing its “responsibility to protect” by ignoring Saddam’s facedown of 12 years of Security Council mandates. Or the fact that credibility in their integrity was invested by politicians in earlier SC resolutions. If earlier UNSC resolutions are not to be trusted, what/who CAN we trust?
There is also the simple fact, and the failure to notice, that most of the deaths in Iraq were caused by locally based insurgents and not western forces. An inconvenient truth.
[See UN & International Law argument here]
The trouble with the “let’s get him” crowd, is their inability to recognise their own prejudices as well as their deep ignorance of law and politics. That and their dangerous efforts to down and drown democracy and the rule of law they purport to support. And today, what is their weapon of choice to down democracy? Not the ballot box, though they will soon enough have that opportunity. It is the Citizen’s Arrest.
A CITIZEN’S ARREST IS A MEDIEVAL TOOTHLESS TIGER, AS IT SHOULD BE
IT’S NOT DEMOCRACY THEY’RE GUNNING FOR, IT’S BLAIR
Gunning for Blair is the same thing as gunning for democracy. He was the three times elected prime minister. He led the government of this country and was even re-elected in 2005 two years after the Iraq war had started. THAT was his mandate. He, in fact, should still be prime minister today.
In the pursuit of Tony Blair by peace ‘n’ lovin’ anti-Iraq war ignoramuses the embodiment of this kind of TERRORISM TODAY is the citizen’s arrest. It is a toothless tiger. A device from medieval days, when police were few and far between, it has no place in today’s society.
These arresters, or pretend policemen, are using this as their weapon of choice because they think that Mr Blair has escaped “justice”. And yet he has been found guilty of nothing. He has not even been tried for anything, nor is likely to be (see here for the ICC’s opinion.)
I would lay a bet with you that many of these people would campaign on behalf of the human rights of the foreigner Binyam Mohammed, while they also campaign to bring a former British prime minister to court. They’d be against the evil Mossad spies who purportedly killed the Gaza Hamas leader, poor innocent. They’d be supporting any human rights claim by any suspected home-trained terrorist in the Midlands, because the poor kid was “provoked” by British foreign policy.
THEY, Monbiot and Cronin included, I suspect, are the enemy within, and they are hailed as heroes by our country’s real enemies.
The medieval mentality of these proponents of TODAY’S TERRORISM is such that if an incident at such an arrest of Mr Blair were to result in his falling and being fatally injured, they’d likely yell in harmony – “All Hail, the King is dead”.
‘WASN’T ME, GUV’
Monbiot’s get out of jail card is their ‘hands off him’ instruction to their followers at his little hell-hole for defenders of ‘international law’, whatever that is. Their trump card is designed to ward off any comeback from such a resultant, unfortunate occurrence. Designed to keep their hands off any responsibility.
Monbiot reminds his force of the willing here –
‘But we emphasise again: do not use any methods which could be construed as violent. The founders of this campaign cannot be held responsible if you do not abide by this rule.’
Can they/you not be held responsible, Mr Monbiot? Are you sure? Even if, like Cronin, any unfortunate accused in such circumstances says that your campaign “inspired” them?
Pretending policemen like this should remember it can all go horribly wrong. A worse scenario for them (though not necessarily for ALL of us) is that Blair’s security forces, especially if outside of Britain, might shoot first and ask questions later.
In the Graniaud Cronin tries to explain why he made this infantile attempt.
Something to do with noticing the ‘glow from Blair’s tan’. Evidently a red flag to this green-eyed bull. I notice that he has dropped the ‘blank and quizzical’ expression he originally used when he performed his ‘brave’ act. Now Blair’s expression is described as a ‘blend of puzzlement and contempt.’
Perhaps Cronin read my criticism of his lack of facility with language here earlier. It matches his lack of facility with just about everything else, imho.
DO FAIR-MINDED PEOPLE REALLY THINK THIS HOUNDING OF BLAIR IS FAIR?
How would YOU, Cronin and Monbiot, like to be told that possibly for the rest of your life you will be pursued by bloodthirsty nincompoops who think they understand politics, but who actually understand zilch? How would you like to be pursued by even those who DO understand politics? In both cases this is not on.
Monbiot AND Cronin are, imho, TODAY’S TERRORISTS. It cannot be right that they think they have the right to constantly harass any individual, whether ‘powerful’ or not, for as long as it takes to get their pound of flesh.
There have now been a couple of failed attempts at arresting Tony Blair. They will ALL fail because they have no basis in law. And yet Tony Blair and his family are expected to brush these puerile arrest threats aside as though they are of no consequence. They are of consequence. It is horrifying that such as Mail commenters (Cronin thinks Tories are all wallies, btw) should egg him on with screams of “justice for Blair”, with often only half-hidden suggestions as to which sort of “justice” they’re after.
But even Monbiot now realises he is on a sticky wicket.
WHERE WAS I BEFORE I STARTED TO RANT ON?
George Monbiot has been re-thinking his language at his original Arrest Blair website. Hopefully it won’t be long before he re-thinks the whole sorry site.
The wording at arrestblair.org at its launch originally said this – (my italics and underscoring):
“The fund will remain open for as long as Mr Blair lives, or until he is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his death or prosecution, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war.”
I copied and pasted it here into my site when I called for the arrest of Monbiot for incitement to murder Mr Blair.
Now this particular section at the Arrest Blair site has been altered to:
“The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war.”
The references to life and death have been removed. I won’t claim credit for this as I was not the only one who thought he was inciting the murder of Mr Blair. Apart from that my task is only partly done. Monbiot hasn’t yet been arrested. But his hang-ups on the length of Mr Blair’s life (and on his death) were clear to most of the right-minded. Even some at Cif got it. Monbiot has now also made this time-specific – “…or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him.”
Removing ‘for as long as Mr Blair lives’ AND ‘after his death’ are steps towards staying within the law. Someone has been giving someone legal advice.
With these alterations Mr Blair only has to survive five years after not being accosted by a pretend police constable to feel he can finally go for a walk in his own country minus a phalanx of bodyguards, without fear of being leapt upon.
STOP TERRORISING BLAIR AND HIS FAMILY
I am not suggesting that Mr Blair himself has any personal fears over these silly buggers. It probably hardly touches his radar. In a way his personal fears are beside the point, anyway. He is well-protected. But he has a family to consider and the safety of those around him. Another attempt may produce a more determined response from his security people. You can be sure that now after Cronin, the newly banned press man, there will be security discussions on all of this.
Two comments at The Mail show the slippery slope Monbiot and his ilk are encouraging people to slide on. (My highlights.)
All that VERY EXPENSIVE SECURITY, breached by one man. It will only take one ‘person’ to see him never stand trial! Think about that Tony old sun.Your millions (and the taxpayer funded security)will not save you from ONE determined individual. Sleep well that night did you?
– Dragonhead, Dalian,China, 24/3/2010 1:46
Wouldn’t it be absolutely marvellous if someone tried the same thing on ‘Bliar’ at every function in every country he visits. Maybe then this smug, self-serving. lying, disgusting piece of trash would get the message – he IS responsible for the deaths of young British soldiers. What made Sadaam Hussein more of a tyrant than Mugabe? OIL. The world will be a better place when this ‘peace envoy’ is no longer in it!
– Robert Rees, London UK, 24/3/2010 9:27
Personally I would not be too upset if a would-be policeman, ‘one person’ or a tyrant spotter were punched on the obnoxious, ignorant nose by a security guard. And if they carry a weapon, shoot the bastards! The world would be a better place when these confused halfwits understand where their loyalties should lie. With THIS country and its democracy for all its faults.
This blood lust for Blair the “war criminal” is an extraordinary state of affairs and must not be allowed to continue.
No-one, former prime minister or you or me … NO-ONE should be harangued, maligned, vilified, persecuted, pursued and TERRORISED for the rest of their lives. Nor, as in Blair’s case until his pursuers think it is time to give up trying to prosecute him. This kind of TERRORISM does terrorise, and it limits the lives of more than the intended victim. Apart from that such fears, if they exist in Blair’s personal security people, are preventing others from seeing a great statesman and former prime minister in public in OUR OWN COUNTRY. For all our sakes the pretend cops have to give it up. If they don’t, this course of action will lead them somewhere they really don’t want to go.
By the way, this is from Monbiot’s original press release on his website on 25th January, 2010. You can still see his reference to Mr Blair’s lifespan. Suggestive? I think so.
“So today I am launching a website, http://www.arrestblair.org, whose purpose is to raise money as a reward for people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former prime minister. I have put up the first £100, and I encourage you to match it. Anyone meeting the rules I’ve laid down will be entitled to one quarter of the total pot: the bounties will remain available for as long as Blair lives. The higher the reward, the greater the number of people who are likely to try.”
ENOUGH, MONBIOT. Pack it in. Before someone gets hurt.
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Monbiot has added this update to his site here:
A film crew has been in touch. It would like to follow anyone who is considering making a citizens arrest of Tony Blair. If you wish to put yourself forward, please write to us via the Contact page and we will forward your details, in confidence, to the crew.
Thanks for the invite, but I think I’ll pass on that one, Monbiot. I prefer my freedom.