Blair on Iraq 1
I'm not sure why I bother but I suppose some effort needs to be made. Anyway, Tony Blair gave a typically disturbing (I mean that in they most negative sense) speech defending what cannot realistically be defended: his foreign policy. The speech - one of three - is available on the BBC website as is the story. What I find a constant is the ways in which the press just don't both to highlight the staggering inconsistency (or just downright lies). Here are some of the arguments.
"We are those who believe in religious tolerance, openness to others to democracy, liberty and humanitarianism, administered by secular courts.
"It will not be defeated until its ideas are confronted head-on, on its absurd anti-Americanism, absurd pre-feudal concept of government and its position on women and other faiths.
"Likewise, if they fail and these countries become democracies and make progress then not merely is that a blow against their own value system, but it is the most effective message against their wretched propaganda about America, the west and the rest of the world.
"We must reject the thought that somehow we are the authors of our own distress.
"This terrorism will not be defeated until its ideas, the poison that warps the minds of its adherents, are confronted, head-on, in their essence, at their core," he said. "By this I don't mean telling them terrorism is wrong. I mean telling them their attitude to America is absurd, their concept of governance pre-feudal, their positions on women and other faiths, reactionary and regressive.
"And then, since only by Muslims can this be done, standing up for and supporting those within Islam who will tell them all of this but more, namely that the extremist view of Islam is not just theologically backward but completely contrary to the spirit and teaching of the Qur'an."
So there you have it. It's all the fault of ideology. And strangely no mention of British support for dicators who boil their opponents and fincancing secret police. No mention of Western involvement in the Middle East putting in whatever governemnt, no matter how out-of-date, to support western needs. None of this is new fact. Blair knows it and is therefore grossly and deliberately distorting (to put it mildly) fact. It can be found as you get towards the back of newspapers but there's no front page splash on the sheer hypocrisy.
Why does anti-US anti-Western feeling occur? Many reasons no doubt but to ignore the blindingly obvious - Western support of brutal dictators and interention through bombing - is irresponsible (to put it very mildly). Supporting the international arms trade really doesn't help matters either.
On another note the idea of the reall truth of a religion (true Islam, true Christianity and so is typically Blairite) makes no analytical sense. Who decides? A meaningless analytical concept.
Interesting Blair's love for secularism and liberalism. I wonder how it squares with his acceptance of rich religious businessmen running schools?
I try to avoid personal remarks because this is a structural problem but words cannot describe the the complete lack of respect I have for this man's integrity and for those in in the House of Commons who just think it is all about 'misjudgment' not Blair's personal values.