Bye-Bye Mr. Tony Bliar!
Only two of the three musketeers remain out of the original grand 'Coalition' which invaded Iraq.
Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to become special envoy of the Quartet (US, Russia, UN, EU) for Arab-Israeli peace-making. This is Bush's work, but is it intended as a joke or insult?
Blair cannot be even-handed in Palestine, because his hands are too bloody. He has been an enthusiastic cheerleader and collaborator to Bush's Iraq-Nam. He has robotically repeated NeoCon lies and mistaken assumptions which have caused immense suffering and waste in the entire region, and has badly expanded the cycle of terror and brutal counter-violence in the name of fighting terror. He has been a champion of misdiagnosis of the problem of terrorism. His subservience to the United States in Iraq and Palestine-Israel has been a shameless and humiliating example of obsequious spinelessness. He was also a conspicuous opponent to a 'premature' cease-fire in Israel's attack on Lebanon last summer.
Blair's appointment is a popular one in Israel, where he is considered a "true friend". However, the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana is said to be opposed to the move, because it would detract from his own efforts in the Middle East. Reaction from the Arab press has so far eluded me. Perhaps Robert Fisk anticipates the Arab reaction:
That this ex-prime minister, this man who took his country into the sands of Iraq, should actually believe that he has a role in the region . . . . Not once--ever--has he apologized. Not once has he said he was sorry for what he did in our name. Yet Lord Blair actually believes--in what must be a record act of self-indulgence for a man who cooked up the fake evidence of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"--that he can do good in the Middle East. . . . For here is a man who is totally discredited in the region--a politician who has signally failed in everything he ever tried to do in the Middle East--now believing that he is the right man to lead the Quartet to patch up "Palestine".So is Blair ditching complicity in one occupation and hitching himself up to another?
No. It's much beside the point. Bush has pushed Blair into this position. Because, to Bush, loyalty is the supreme political value and needs to be rewarded. Like Wolfowitz before him, Blair needs an international imprimatur and diplomatic immunity from persecution and prosecution. Bush, left behind, senses that's what every ex-war criminal seeks.