Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I enjoyed Blairs speech. I like Blair. (Not all of his decisions the ECHR for one and certainly not his party of choice). But I do admire the guy.

It was a forthright speech and he was statesman-like in delivering it. Far far outshining anything Bush has ever had to say and nailing the issues with more clarity. Blair has also had to forcibly get a grip on that left wing party of his and given that we are living under the socialists at the moment I often stop and consider what a bonus it is that (a much maligned) socialist leader of the left is standing firm on priniciple on this issue. Maligned by the right because he is of course a socialist leader of such stature that the Tories have had no answer to him and maligned by the left because basically he is a Tory. Nevertheless at a time when we could have been under some nutjob commie, here we have a leader that makes clear his position on Israel. On democracy. On supporting our values. On reaffirming the problem of islamism. On daring to suggest that pernicious forces are at work globally formenting anti western opinion.

For this reason the MSM, lefty liberal elites and the usual smattering of lefty academic boneheads completely missed the beat, no doubt purposefully and chalked his speech up to some 'apology' for invading Iraq. Its not that they dont get it. These particular lefty elites simply dont like to be told by a man with right wing principles. Theyll pretend otherwise. And after all this is a leader on his way out - which makes this a media bloodsport. This country excels at tearing leaders to pieces. And the more Blair defies them the more they bay.

Fact is though ive yet to hear any western leader tell it like it is and in the face of such stiff global and local opposition. Kudos Mr Blair.

Some notable excerpts:

"The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict in Lebanon was clear. It was to create chaos and to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it."

The point is this. This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind.

9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid, the countless terrorist attacks in countries as disparate as Indonesia or Algeria, what is now happening in Afghanistan and in Indonesia, the continuing conflict in Lebanon and Palestine, it is all part of the same thing. What are the values that govern the future of the world? Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division and hatred? My point is that this war can't be won in a conventional way. It can only be won by showing that our values are stronger, better and more just, more fair than the alternative. Doing this, however, requires us to change dramatically the focus of our policy.

Its strategy in the late 1990s became clear. If they were merely fighting with Islam, they ran the risk that fellow Muslims - being as decent and fair-minded as anyone else - would choose to reject their fanaticism. A battle about Islam was just Muslim versus Muslim. They realised they had to create a completely different battle in Muslim minds: Muslim versus Western.

This is what September 11th did. Still now, I am amazed at how many people will say, in effect, there is increased terrorism today because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They seem to forget entirely that September 11th predated either. The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it"

Yet despite all of this, which I consider virtually obvious, we look at the bloodshed in Iraq and say that's a reason for leaving; we listen to the propaganda that tells us its all because of our suppression of Muslims and have parts of our opinion seriously believing that if we only got out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it would all stop.

And most contemporaneously, and in some ways most perniciously, a very large and, I fear, growing part of our opinion looks at Israel, and thinks we pay too great a price for supporting it and sympathises with Muslim opinion that condemns it. Absent from so much of the coverage, is any understanding of the Israeli predicament..."

Why are we not yet succeeding? Because we are not being bold enough, consistent enough, thorough enough, in fighting for the values we believe in.

Note to the thick non elite lefty who might not get it: That doesnt mean we are not succeeding because we went into Iraq. It means we are not succeeding because we dont believe in ourselves, in democracy.

Read the comments at JPost. Mostly all good. Though this one caught my eye:

Blair's speech? Nothing new

Francois - France
08/03/2006 14:17

What is new here? nothing! Premier Blair met Mr. Bush ten days ago and now he says what the US tell him to do as usual : after the Iraki disaster, this? I do believe Mr. Blair is a masochist... Poor UK : In France, we preferred yje UK when it was idependant! Concerning the conflict itself, I do not take sides : both the Israelis and their opponents are completely mad : let them shoot at each other if they wish so, but I wish they'd spare the kids, the women and the elderly!!

'Nothing new', 'independent UK', 'i do not take sides'....This from a man living under Chirac? LOL!


At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Blogger Chas said...

Alison, I absolutely agree with you about Blair. People in the UK can't seem to believe how highly he's thought of in the US. He's been a steadfast ally when we know that it's political suicide for him to do so. Now, one may differ on his policies at home, but there'll be no home to argue about if we lose the war!

I remember Blair reading from St Paul's epistle at Diana's funeral. I thought to myself, now that's the way the English language should be spoken.

At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Blogger Rottweiler Puppy said...

Well, hey, they don't come further to the right than the Puppy Mansions Crew, but we agree with you -- Blair's a good guy, demonised by the left because they're ... well ... complete twats, and demonised by the Tories because they're ... well ... complete twats as well.

So what's to become of us?

At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

I think Cameron is too up for glory and will want to follow in Blairs footsteps - he'll adopt the right position re Israel and the US as its the international arena where you make your name as a statesman. And the Tories still have an historical line to follow there in spite of the shock that Labour -via Blair- took that route thankfully. Im impressed that Blair still has his grip on Labour. A lot of Americans dont seem to get the fact that this is not the traditional Left.

Its whether or not Cameron eventually adopts the right position on other areas that worries me. And I mean RIGHT. He is jostling to find the right route through the electorate in the wake of such a dramatic shift by Labour...

Chas - welcome back...HP sauce?! He has been steadfast. Im surprised that in spite of this and the UKs position so many US bloggers lately have been vitriolic about the UK position to Israel though...:(

At Friday, 04 August, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I understand why many Tories don't like him, I give Tony Blair a lot of credit for sticking to his alliance with Bush and America. He knew from the start it was political suicide, and now for better or worse Iraq will be his legacy in the majority of Britons' minds. I wonder, if the shoe was on the other foot and Britain was leading an increaingly unpopular war, how many American politicians would have stood so strongly behind Mr. Blair? I don't even think Roosevelt gave Churchill such unwavering support as Blair has given Bush. Maybe I'm not seeing the political angle here from the otehr side of the pond, but as of now I truly believe Blair is one of the few world politicians of fortitude and substance.

At Monday, 07 August, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Great comment Mr Slutzburger, Sir!


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