Nonsense from Blair

Mondoweiss today gives us a Youtube clip of Tony Blair dodging a tough question from a University of Buffalo student about the Goldstone report.
The student, Nick Kabat, asked Blair why the US and Israel should be allowed to get away with blocking the Goldstone Report, how (as the “Quartet”‘s peace envoy) he could explain that proceeding with Goldstone’s recommendations might harm the peace process, and whether he didn’t think that the blocade on Gaza also harmed the peace process.
You could see Blair ducking and weaving. (The questions had all been pre-screened by the university; but Kabat submitted a bland dummy question then asked this one instead.)
Blair said he’d been to Gaza “twice– in the recent period” and that the situation there is difficult… But you also “have to understand” that Israel has received a lot of rockets from there since it withdrew in 2005 and still has its young soldier Gilad Shalit held there as a prisoner…
No mention from Blair that there have been almost no rockets coming out of Gaza since Hamas announced the currently-operant ceasefire there on January 18– but despite that lack of rocketings, the Israeli siege is harsher even than it was prior to last winter’s war.
No mention of the roughly 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners and detainees being held in Israeli jails. They include more than two dozen elected Palestinian MPs and thousands of others elected for purely political reasons. Shalit, by contrast, was on active military service and thereby knowingly ran the risk of being taken as a prisoner-of-war.
What a dishonest schmuck Blair is. (Nothing new there.)
Then he said that this “situation” could only be resolved through a meaningful peace process that involves action from the top down “and from the bottom up”. This “bottom up” approach is, of course, where he concurs to a large degree with Netanyahu. It involves some elements of Netanyahu’s fallaciously announced “economic peace”, along with a colonial-style approach/argument that the Palestinians somehow “aren’t yet ready for independence”… And thus it will take many more years to painstakingly build Palestinian institutions “from the bottom up” before Tony Blair can even think of “allowing” them to have independence.
So in the meantime, his argument clearly implied, it is really quite alright for the Israelis to continue maintaining their quite inhumane tight siege on Gaza.
He also later said that his best indicator of the “good news from Israel and Palestine” is that he can now travel around the West Bank to cities that previously he was unable to travel to.
Quite unself-consciously! It was just all, quite unabashedly, about him and his freedom to travel.
(And Gaza’s 1.5 million besieged people are supposed to take what kind of comfort from that?)
Memo to the UN Security Council: This guy’s attitudes and policies are actively harmful to the Palestinian people and to world peace. Take him off the job immediately.
Actually, what the Security Council needs to do most urgently is mount its own struggle for independence from US colonialism, as embodied in the whole concept of the UN being subordinate to US leadership in this grotesque body, the so-called “Quartet”, and to leave the Quartet immediately.
Well, either that or reconfigure it to be under the control of the UN, not Washington.

25 thoughts on “Nonsense from Blair

  1. Alexno

    On Israel/Palestine, Blair has not reached a state of credibility. He has neither achieved anything nor blocked anything. The negotiations have gone around him – Mitchell, if anyone, has been the man, not that he has achieved much either.
    What we are all afraid of here in Europe is that he may be selected, not elected, permanent European president. As Frank al Irlandi says. This is a real danger. He is said to be favoured in right-wing continental Europe – Sarkozy, Merkel. According to reports, he is favoured in Austria. They are looking for a known name, who can elevate the position of Europe. In Britain, it’s more complicated. The Brits would like a British president, but I can imagine conflicts. Neither Brown, nor Cameron, if he wins the coming election, would get on well with him.
    It is not a done deal, the question is controversial. The speech of the Archbishop of Canterbury, linked by Frank, may well play a role. The comments columns in British newspapers are entirely opposed.
    Nevertheless, Blair has launched a big propaganda offensive, and he may win.
    Just to define the dangers. 1) He brown-noses the US, as we saw in the video. The chances of Europe conducting an independent foreign policy will deminish. 2) For our interest in the Middle East, he is openly anti-Islamic, a product of his religion. As Juan Cole reminded us two days ago, one of his most important posts, Muslims constitute a quarter of the world’s population, perhaps a third in the future. Declaring war on them is not very wise. They are not going to disappear.

  2. bevin

    I fon’t think that you can blame religion for Blair’s anti-Islamic stance: not unless you consider imperialist authoritarianism to be a religion. This is just a man who, having first found sucess as a prefect in a ‘public school’ simply enjoys tormenting those his masters want to punish.
    Blair is Flashman in this story.

  3. Alexno

    Evidently, bevin, I don’t know your background.
    I was planning a screed on the origins of Blair’s anti-Islamism, but then I thought what’s the point? Obviously I was wrong and should have explained the point.
    Essentially, Blair’s anti-Islamism is millenarian and visceral. It goes back to the early days of the contest between Islam and Christianity. Islam as the enemy of Christianity. There’s no such feeling with regard to Hindu India, Buddhism or cultures further east.
    The great historical example is the division of India in 1947. The truth has only come out recently. Mountbatten forced the boundary commission to give the minumum of territory to Pakistan. As a result there are as many Muslims in India, as there are in Pakistan. And there were many thousands killed in the transition, while Kashmir remains a problem.
    Blair has the same mentality. As Bush, who talked about a crusade, until he was advised that it was unwise, though he still thought it.

  4. bluecanary, london

    It is now accepted fact that Blair took untrue intelligence from Israel, (that they had also circulated to the US), and further sexed-up an already false report in order to justify the war on Iraq, in which over 100,000 subsequently died.
    This is the man who had the effrontery to show-up at Westminster Abbey at a service of remembrance to those he had helped to kill.
    Now he is reportedly colluding in the suppression of the charges of war crime enumerated within the Goldstone investigation – in which Israel refused to co-operate because they knew that war crime would be uncovered.
    There is little doubt in the minds of very many around the world that Blair, Bush, Olmert and Barak must now answer charges before the International Criminal Court. Otherwise democracy is also dead.

  5. world peace

    The majority of Brits think of their former P.M. as a shmuck, as well the Europeans. A first class liar, a war criminal now this is based on facts as well statistics .
    Rather than calling names with out supporting your defence on Blair, is a proof of your twisted mind.
    Your statement deserves an apology .

  6. menno hert
    If Obama can have the Nobel Peace Prize, Blair can have the EU presidency, as far as I’m concerned. Why not?
    By the way: I think they should have awarded Obama the Nobel Prize in Physics. He may know nothing about Physics, but he is certainly better qualified for a Physics Prize than for a Peace Prize.
    Well, next year maybe….

  7. menno hert

    I see there is a link to this page in my last post. I didn’t put it there; must be my browser (for some strange, technical reason). Anyway, ignore it….

  8. Alexno

    Yeah, Vadim. Charles Grant is the only person ever cited arguing in favour of Blair’s candidacy. There was another article on 24 Sept in the Independent, saying the same. That’s against the floods of criticism.
    But he may win. It is not a democratic election. Blair has put in a lot of effort to get the nomination.

  9. Salah

    http://www.cleaniraq. org
    Ladies &Gentlemen
    نحن مجموعة من الناشطين العراقيين من المقيمين في اوربا قد اطلقنا حملة منذ شهرين لتنظيف العراق من اضرار اليورانيوم المنضب
    اطلقنا هذه الحملة لجذب الانتباه لهذه الكارثة التي المت بالبلد بسبب الحروب المتكررة عليه والاستخدام المتكرر خلالها بلا رادع لسلاح اليورانيوم المنضب بحيث امست البيئة العراقية إحدى اشد البيئات تلوثآ في العالم. وهذا وسط تعتيم اعلامي عراقي وعالمي كامل.
    لقد انشأنا موقعآ على النت للاعلام ولجمع التواقيع لهذا الغرضحيث افلحنا حتى الآن في جمع 1100 توقيع على الاقل. وسنقدم الطلب الى الامم المتحدة والجامعة العربية والمنظمات العربية والدولية لغرض الضغط باتجاه بداية لحملة تنظيف العراق من اليورانيوم . ومعلوم انه كلما ازداد عدد الموقعين, تزداد مصداقية واهمية اية حملة
    اخوتنا …
    نرسل اليكم هذه الدعوة للتوقيع معنا على هذه الحملة. وقد وضعناها بالعربي والانجليزي على رابط ادناه لترسله لاخرين ان رغبت.
    http://www.cleaniraq. org
    مع الشكر مقدمآ

  10. Salah

    On Israel/Palestine, Blair has not reached a state of credibility. He has neither achieved anything nor blocked anything.
    The smiley Face of Ali Baba & War criminal

    But there is frustration about his performance as Middle East representative for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.
    A Western diplomat in Jerusalem said that Mr Blair had failed to achieve a key UN aim to promote free movement in Gaza: “I wonder if his overstretchedness has produced a tactical blunder.”
    A UN official in Jerusalem said: “There is a general sense that he is not around.

    His Position With UN Reads:

    His duties will include mobilizing international assistance to the Palestinians and working closely with donors and others, as well as helping to identify and securing support in addressing the Palestinian state’s institutional governance needs.

    In his new role, Mr. Blair – who be supported in his efforts by a small expert team based in Jerusalem – will also develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development and will communicate with other countries in support of agreed Quartet objectives.

    He will “spend significant time in the region working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy, and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people,” the Quartet said.

    The new Representative will report to and regularly consult with the Quartet, which “looks forward to welcoming Mr. Blair at its next meeting.

    Is he Fulfilled his job? So why he still holding it?
    Blair’s earnings since leaving Downing Street are calculated to have topped £12 million

  11. bevin

    “Essentially, Blair’s anti-Islamism is millenarian and visceral. It goes back to the early days of the contest between Islam and Christianity. Islam as the enemy of Christianity.”
    My instinctive reaction is to doubt this. I don’t think Blair thinks about such matters. He is just an imperialist in a very British tradition: the empire is a place where ambitious younger sons make their fortunes, by stealing from those less well armed. The ideology is pre-cooked and ready at the take-out window. Religion is a Home and Colonial Stores sort of thing, it is a part of the kit, they don’t question its purpose, it seems to work and you’d look foreign without it.
    Your thesis seems to be that Blair cares about ‘culture clashes’: he doesn’t. Until very recently his sort of people were 100% pro-Arab and very suspicious of Israel, which looked like a threat to oil interests. He’s changed his tune now, only because Israel is stronger and richer. (And is backed by the USA which turns the knees of Blairites to jelly: they love ‘America’ for its wealth and brutality. Their lives are spent in trying to win its approval.)
    And that is all that matters: Jews, Muslims they are all the same to Mr Blair. His loyalty is to himself and his masters-whoever they may be.
    If you consider the crowd of political gargoyles who make up the EU, from Berlusconi,Sarkozy, and Merkel (and what she represents) to the grotesque characters thrown up in eastern Europe and Ireland’s Brian Cowen, you will conclude that to be selected by them as a representative President is rather more like being put in a pillory than enthroned. I can think of nobody I’d sooner see as EU President than Blair.

  12. Joe in Australia

    Helena, the way you dismiss Gilad Shalit surprises me. Any prisoner’s predicament deserves concern, but Gilad Shalit’s situation is especially significant because he has been held incommunicado for several years. In fact, I thought that he had been murdered by his captors long ago. I’m sure you know that Human Rights Watch recently said that “Hamas’s prolonged incommunicado detention of Shalit is cruel and inhumane and may amount to torture”. You may not think much of the way Israel treats palestinian prisoners but it is elementary human rights law that two wrongs do not make a right.

  13. Salah

    speaking about prisoner, did you asked yourself very simple question before post your comment, how many and how long Israelis holding tents if not hundreds of innocent Palestinians as prisoners with cruel and inhumane and may amount to torture” despite many calls and requisites that Israelis dined for UN to check on them.
    Or this one way road and talk here.

  14. Joe in Australia

    No, Salah, I didn’t. That is not the sort of question any decent person should ask. Human lives are not bargaining chips and two wrongs do not make a right.

  15. Murphy

    Whenever the subject of the hideous Blair in his role as “Middle East Peace envoy” comes up, I can never do better than to quote George Galloway “It’s rather like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”
    Blair’s bias towards Israel is extreme. He is, I think, psychologically incapable of seeing things from the Palestinian point of view. Helena is right – he needs to be removed from this post asap and go into early retirement. He can afford it. That, or follow Bill Clinton (who similarly could only ever see things from an Israeli perspective) and go on the lucrative after dinner speaking rounds to appreciative audiences in the US.
    But do not even think about making him EU President. Khalas!

  16. Frank al Irlandi

    On the 13th of October 1990 Mary Robinson handed in her nomination papers for the office of the President of Ireland. This started her international career as a social justice activist and Human Rights advocate.
    19 years on we are using the 13th of October to launch; a website dedicated to getting Mary Robinson to seek the Presidency of the European Union.
    In the last week nearly 4500 people have joined the Facebook group supporting the campaign. This includes people from all over Europe and easily outstrips any comparable group. We have also received the backing of Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission as well as other politicians and activists in many different member states.
    This simple idea of having a woman such as Mary Robinson at the heart of Europe and the change that it would bring, has inspired many.
    If we are to see this idea become a reality we must act in whatever way we can. There a few very simple suggestions below but all ideas are welcome.
    Thank you for all your support to date and please don’t hesitate to make contact.

  17. Jim Holstun

    Check Electronic Intifada tomorrow for a fuller account of the Blair visit to Buffalo, and of his contemptible behavior as Quartet envoy.

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