Damien on… Tony Blair
Now this scribe actually LIKES Tony as a person. But as a political figure, what a naive BUFFOON he was. One could understand Blair’s hero-worship of Clinton. Clinton was who HE wanted to be. But George Wan…sorry, WaLker Bush. WHY??? Even Blair, the most right-wing left-wing leader in British history, could hardly have felt kinship with THAT bumbling far-right moron.
So why the HELL did he follow him into Iraq? The UN, nearly ALL of Europe’s leaders, most of his cabinet (his Foreign Secretary threatened RESIGNATION over it) and half his electorate said don’t DO it.
And what happened? London got BLOWN UP, that’s what. At the time, Blair was in a G8 Conference in Scotland. WITH Bush – and several other World leaders. I like to think that when the news came through, Bush asked Blair what he was going to do and Blair replied, “Well, I’m not going to do what YOU did on 11/9 – sit with my thumb up my arse for ten minutes and then run away. I’m taking the first chopper down to London. I can’t DO ANYTHING, but at least I can show willing. Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” I’d LIKE to think that’s what happened – but I doubt it.
Even the “mission” itself was an embarrassment. While the U.S. forces were sashaying into Baghdad, the British were ignominiously taking flak at their rear, keeping the Americans’ supply lines open.
Incidentally, another stupid (right-wing) government that allowed themselves to be talked into becoming part of the Coalition Of The Willing was Spain. Result? The Madrid Train Bombings. The next election saw the left-wing party returned to power. And their first act was to pull their troups OUT of Iraq (of course, they stated they were only doing so as they’d voted against the move in the first place. They could hardly admit to being compliant to terrorism – they have their OWN problems with the Basque Separatists) much to the chagrin of the Yanks.
And then of course, the justification for going into Iraq in the first place – those famous Weapons Of Mass Destruction – failed to materialize.
Ouch. Everything The Monkey has TOUCHED has turned to CRAP – his companies, his country’s reputation, her financial situation (Republicans may be arseholes, but at least they usually manage to balance the books – at huge expense to the poor, of course – but GWB couldn’t even manage THAT) and Spain. Tony’s reputation became just another part of the Bush trail of debris.
And it could have all been so DIFFERENT. Imagine if Blair had told Bush to go @#$% himself. He could then have alligned himself with Europe (something no British leader has EVER successfully done) and made overtures for stronger ties between Europe and Russia. With Communism down the crapper and Russia wobbling, Putin would have been a fool not to buy into THAT.
Then if America had given Blair grief, he could have recommended to Europe’s leaders that Russia be brought into NATO as an “associate member”. The Yanks would have FREAKED! And short of getting the CIA to kill him (they failed time and again with Castro) there’d’ve been bugger all they could have done about it, ’cause an alliance between the European countries would have been BIGGER than AMERICA. And with Russia on their side, America would have been DWARFED.
For too long, America has relied on the union of her people (“I may be Red State, Blue State, East Coast, West Coast, North, South, Black, White, Jewish, Gentile, Hispanic, Gringo, whatever – I am first and foremost an AMERICAN”) and the DIS-union of Europeans – with their divisive centuries-long history of wars – for her position as the World’s Number One Power.
If Britain and the rest of Europe became The Federal States Of Europe, THEY could be the Number One Power. And The World’s Policeman, if they so desired. And with Russia as an associate, they’d be even BIGGER (and be able to keep a REIGN on Russia, which as we’ve seen, is still something of a loose cannon).
And if Tony Blair had had the vision, he COULD have made all of that HAPPEN. And been at its CENTRE. And left power as a HERO. Bigger than Churchill.
So WHY DID he allow himself to go down in history as nothing more than Bush’s Bitch? @#$%ed if I know. Somewhere on a World in another dimension, ANOTHER Tony Blair…