‘ There are times that try mens’ souls.’ The American Crisis,Thomas Paine (1737-1809.)
Poor George Orwell, if only he had hung on another seventy years or so. What he could have added to his ‘ war is peace …’ What he could have done with : ‘ warmonger is peacemaker …’ What would he have done with Blair, the first Prime Minister in history to be questioned – three times – by Scotland Yard (the last time just days before he left office) in a criminal investigation – regarding allegations that generous donors to his party were rewarded with peerages – being chosen by the UN., US., EU., and Russia as Middle East Peace Envoy.
An ‘honest broker’?
But ‘cash for honours’ pales against this vain, delinquent politician joining the wholesale slaughter in Muslim countries, which posed no threat to the US., or UK., based on the mother of all lies, seemingly cooked up in Number 10 Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister of ‘the mother of parliaments.’ The man who enjoined his country in George W. Bush’s ‘crusade’, who after the recent failed bombings in London and Glasgow, called British Muslims ‘absurd’, nurturing a ‘false sense of grievance’ that they are being oppressed by Britain and the United States, according the the Guardian. Given the abbatoirs that Afghanistan and Iraq have become at US and UK hands, or under their watch, ditto the Balkans in 1999 (by some sleight of hand declared legal, as Afghanistan, more for Orwell) with more Afghans being killed by allied US troops than ‘insurgents’, resistance,
Taliban – plus the charnel house Mesapotamia has become, having lost lost certainly a minimum of two and a half million in excess deaths between the thirteen year embargo and the four plus year occupation, with four million fled or internally displaced. If the recent London/Glasgow incidents were what we are led to believe and not some ‘black’ operation closer to Whitehall (it is hard to trust official assertions ever again) grievance in the Muslim community would hardly be unreasonable. ‘These are people who are prepared to bomb innocent men, women and children, families in their homes or going about their business’, trumpet officials, complicit in doing just that, on near unimaginable scale.
Further, as Stephen Lendman writes in his excellent ‘Reinventing a war criminal’ : ‘ He joined in cutting off essential aid to the Palestinian
people and renounced its democratically elected Hamas government without ever giving it a chance to prove itself. He also supported Israel’s aggressive war against Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, and, in short, partnered in backing war and avoiding peace. He now has a new title in his new job. His mission is the same. He’ll bring no peace to the Middle East nor does he intend to.’
Arms from the US., have been flowing in to Israel, with Britain’s backing, to kill Palestinians at crossings, children going to school, families picnicking on beaches. Heavy machinery has demolished family homes, trashed municipal offices, villages, so foreign settlers or multinational businesses can ‘legally’ steal and build on ancient land, the heritage of families, handed down over generations; machinery which destroys their farms, citrus and olive groves. Where has been ‘peace envoy’ Blair’s unequivocal condemnation? Where has been even a bleat of protest? Did he read recent reports of a village where Bedouin have lived for sixty years, where Israeli forces were in such a hurry to demolish for more settlers, they allegedly even dragged babies out of homes, still in their play pens?
‘ “A true friend of the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of his outgoing British counterpart Tony Blair “Tony Blair is a very well-appreciated figure in Israel,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. According to an Israeli government statement, Israel “will provide [him] with all necessary assistance in order for him to carry out his duties.” , writes Arjan El Fassad (Electronic Intifada) You bet. Moreover: ‘In his speech at the Annual Reception of Labour Friends of Israel in September 2006, Blair said: “I have never actually found it hard to be a friend of Israel, I am proud to be a friend of Israel.” ‘ No doubt his role to ‘advise’ on ‘institutional reform’ in Palestine will provide him with a front row seat at the sort of ‘reform’ he has been party to in his invasions – destruction of life, limb and that left of Palestine’s civil society.
He should be quite at home in another invading, occupying country, which has also divided Palestine as he and Bush planned to divide Iraq – and where, like Iraq, communities are walled off from each other by the policies of ‘democracy’. The Messianic Blair, having bought lock, stock and barrel in to the neo-cons ‘crusade’, ‘clash of civlisations’, has never openly backed off from some seriously disturbing bedfellows.
In John Gray’s newly published ‘Black Mass’, he refers to the apocalyptic influence in the American Christian right, reminding again of another not too well bolted down on all four corners, Admiral William Boykin, who declared that the enemy in the ‘war on terror’ was ‘a guy called Satan.’ Gray’s analysis of Blair’s grasp on history does not bode well for Palestine and the region (as if they do not have enough problems) ‘ …he was led into the Iraq debacle by the belief that history was on his side. Actually he knew very little history and what he did know he refused to accept when it undercut his hopes.’ Further, Blair is ‘ … an American neo-conservative and has been all his life and with Bush has embraced a ‘missionary style of politics.’ Hardly the man to bring peace, light and hope in the hearts of those in one of the most hurting, complex regions on earth, even without the smouldering ruins of Iraq and Lebanon as baggage and the blood for ever ingrained on his hands.
Blair has ‘signally failed in everything he ever tried to do in the Middle East’ writes Robert Fisk, of Blair’s appointment, remarking that when he heard of it, he checked the calender to ensure it was not April Fool’s Day. He refers to Blair’s ‘blend of ruthlessness and dishonesty … slippery use of language’ and compaares him to another man who thought he could be a peace envoy in the Middle East, former SS officer, Kurt Waldheim, who also could not believe he had ever done anything wrong. A correspondent to the Independent letters page wrote simply:’ Is that “peace envoy” as in “Atilla the Peace Envoy?” ‘ Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor in Chief of Al Quds Al Arabi, referred to Blair as: ‘ the most hated man in the Middle East after Bush.’ “He does not have a good background and a good reputation in the region,” Hamas Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told Reuters (July 1st.). In the Sunday Herald, political Editor Jim Cusick wrote: ‘ … he will not be a helpful figure in solving the region’s strife because he comes with too much baggage that mirrors the political positions of both the US and Israeli governments.’
Carsten Kuhntopp, ARD Middle East Correspondent in Amman, reminds that former Middle East Envoy to the Middle East, Alvaro de Soto, in his final Report, described how American diplomats had threatened to cut US., subsidy to the UN., if it, in the form of the Quartet did not follow US., demands. De Soto described how the US ‘pushed for an armed confrontation between(democratically elected) Hamas and Fatah’. One US ‘diplomat’ said: ‘I like this violence .. it means Palestinians are resisting Hamas.’ He concluded that with the US., as Israel’s closest ally, there is no one to plead the Palestinian cause. Kuhntopp ends: ‘ Tony Blair as Middle East envoy – truly putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. But given the Quartet’s disastrous policies, it somehow fits.’ Blair’s standing in Britain itself was reflected by the left wing Morning Star and the right wing Daily Mail again agreeing, with the former commenting on his resignation: ‘Good riddance’ and the latter ‘The day Blair became an irrelevance.’
Another commentator remarked on Britain’s final plunge in to ignominy and irrelevance under Blair : ‘From bulldog to lapdog’. A US., Administration official, however, referred to Blair’s ‘star quality’ (perhaps he was speaking from a psychiatric ward.)
Blair reportedly also has plans to establish a faith foundation to promote understanding between Islam and Christianity (‘you couldn’t make it up’
country, again) and it seems, plans to become a Roman Catholic. Perhaps they ‘are short of serial killers in their congregation’, pondered Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Murray repeatedly sent extensive memos and flew back to London to inform the government, via the Foreign Office, that the ‘intelligence’ the UK., and US., were gaining from this close ally, was obtained under torture, extreme even by Abu Ghraib standards. Methods included boiling humans to death. For his integrity, concerns and considerable courage, a Whitehall inspired smear campaign was mounted, so vicious, it culminated in his having a nervous breakdown. (Read : Craig Murray : Murder in Samarkand, Mainstream Publishing. http://www.craigmurray.co.uk)
Here then, an inadequate background to Charles Anthony Lyndon Blair, Q.C., a man who has brought shame to the Office of Prime Minister, made the people who elected him targets, throughout the world for possibly decades to come. The man who has collided in destruction, broken lives and heartbreak beyond counting. Now the latest Middle East ‘Peace Envoy’. A bit like making King Herod, Minister for child welfare. If there is an upside, it might be that it may take the entire Israeli Defence Force to ensure his safety, leaving them less personnel for child killing and home demolitions.
In the unlikely event Blair is thinking of reading up even a little on the Palestinians plight, two suggestions: ‘ I Saw Ramallah’, by Mourid Barghouti, the story of a young man who was at university in Cairo when the 1967 war broke out. It took him thirty years to obtain a permit to return home – for a brief visit. His story mirrors millions. The other is: ‘Hamas, Unwritten Chapters’, by Azzam Tamimi. To begin to understand, he should turn first to page 147 and read the chapter heading, by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin : ‘I want to proclaim loudly to the world, that we are not fighting Jews because they are Jews. We are fighting them because they assaulted us, they killed us, they took our land and our homes ; they attacked our children and our women; they scattered us. All we want is our rights. We don’t want more.’
Oh yes and since this former ‘war’ (read ‘illegal invasion’) Prime Minister has never been in close proximity to missile or bullet, the environs may be somewhat unsettling, Heaven forbid it should affect his apparent heart problem. However, should tragedy strike, a listener thoughtfully sent in an obituary to a radio station: ‘Here lies a rotter. Here rots a liar’.’