Photo: From a satirical anti-war photomontage artwork created by KennardPhillipps titled “Photo Op”
“We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ caused this crisis. We haven’t” – Tony Blair
Tony Blair believes the war in Syria is the real cause of the current Iraq situation and threatens all the Middle East. He is a deluded meglomaniac
“The civil war in Syria with its attendant disintegration is having its predictable and malign effect. Iraq is now in mortal danger. The whole of the Middle East is under threat.”………
……….We will have to re-think our strategy towards Syria; support the Iraqi Government in beating back the insurgency; whilst making it clear that Iraq’s politics will have to change for any resolution of the current crisis to be sustained. Then we need a comprehensive plan for the Middle East that correctly learns the lessons of the past decade.”
He suggests “root causes of this extremism which goes far beyond the crisis in Iraq or Syria”, challenges with vigour claims that he and George’s decision to invade Iraq influenced the current Iraq situation or peace in the Middle East”because;
‘Terrorism’ was and remains a very real challenge
Three or four years ago al-Qa’ida in Iraq was a beaten force.
Despite massive challenges Iraq had a prospect of overcoming them.
Iraq posed no threat to its neighbours.
Any bloody instability in Iraq was ‘contained mostly within its own borders’.
Blair does recognise two contributing factors that could have been influenced by the west- the US withdrawel of forces was too soon and the Maliki Government’s sectarianism has ‘snuffed out a genuine opportunity to build a cohesive Iraq’, ‘failed to use the oil money to re-build the country’ and ‘led inadequate Iraqi forces that alienated Sunni’s’.
But he sticks with the Syrian war as the root cause.
“…no doubt that a major proximate cause of the takeover of Mosul by Isis is the situation in Syria. To argue otherwise is wilful. The operation in Mosul was planned and organised from Raqqa across the Syria border. The fighters were trained and battle-hardened in the Syrian war. It is true that they originate in Iraq and have shifted focus to Iraq over the past months. But, Islamist extremism in all its different manifestations as a group, rebuilt refinanced and re-armed mainly as a result of its ability to grow and gain experience through the war in Syria.”
This comment shows extreme arrogance and psychopathology. Blair fails to take any responsibility for the negative consequences of the actions he initiated and supported in response to his Carlyle Group buddy George http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/31/september11.usa4
He deliberately fails to join the US, NATO corporate political hegemonic dots.
Whats more the man’s logic is completely flawed. He proposes what he calls “the counterfactual” to show how his interventions and righteous warmongering are not related to the current Iraqi situation… an example being that if in 2003 ‘Saddam had been left running Iraq’.
1. We now know Assad ‘was manufacturing chemical weapons’.
2. We only discovered this when he used them.
3. We also know despite Saddam getting rid of the physical weapons he retained the expertise and capability to manufacture them.
Ergo………………Is it likely that, knowing what we now know about Assad, Saddam, who had used chemical weapons against both the Iranians in the 1980s war ……………would have gone back to them(chemical weapons).
Sorry Tony that logic is severely flawed to the point of being an absurdity.
The second counterfactual is against the belief that Iraq would have been stable now had he and George not invaded–
1. Saddam and his two sons would be running Iraq in 2011 when the “Arab Spring” uprisings began.
2. The revolution has been sweeping the Arab world -Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria.
Ergo…………….. “Iraq would have been engulfed by precisely the same convulsion” and “the most likely response of Saddam would have been to fight to stay in power. Here we would have a Sunni leader trying to retain power in the face of a Shia revolt. Imagine the consequences. Next door in Syria a Shia backed minority would be clinging to power trying to stop a Sunni majority insurgency. In Iraq the opposite would be the case. The risk would have been of a full blown sectarian war across the region, with States not fighting by proxy, but with national armies.”
Blair is unable to see how simplistic his argument is and dares to call any reading of his efforts of 2003-2006 as having causal repercussions “bizarre…. in the cauldron that is the Middle East today”
Now the diatribe…………….
“The reality is that the whole of the Middle East and beyond is going through a huge, agonising and protracted transition. We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven’t. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not; and whether action or inaction is the best policy and there is a lot to be said on both sides. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it.”
and it gets worse……its almost a treatise!
“The problems of the Middle East are the product of bad systems of politics mixed with a bad abuse of religion going back over a long time. Poor governance, weak institutions, oppressive rule and a failure within parts of Islam to work out a sensible relationship between religion and Government have combined to create countries which are simply unprepared for the modern world. Put into that mix, young populations with no effective job opportunities and education systems that do not correspond to the requirements of the future economy, and you have a toxic, inherently unstable matrix of factors that was always – repeat always – going to lead to a revolution…………….……………The fact is that as a result of the way these societies have developed and because Islamism of various descriptions became the focal point of opposition to oppression, the removal of the dictatorship is only the beginning not the end of the challenge. Once the regime changes, then out come pouring all the tensions – tribal, ethnic and of course above all religious; and the rebuilding of the country, with functioning institutions and systems of Government, becomes incredibly hard. The extremism de-stabilises the country, hinders the attempts at development, the sectarian divisions become even more acute and the result is the mess we see all over the region. And beyond it. Look at Pakistan or Afghanistan and the same elements are present.”
His call on his policies towards specific countries….clearly with the belief that he had rights to orchestrate regime change in the region.
IRAQ: We called for the regime to change, removed it and put in troops to try to rebuild the country. But intervention proved very tough and today the country is at risk again.
LIBYA: Gaddafi, who in 2003 had given up his WMD and cooperated with us in the fight against terrorism, is removed by us on the basis he threatens to kill his people………. We called for the regime to change, we removed it by airpower, but refused to put in troops and now Libya is racked by instability, violence and has exported vast amounts of trouble and weapons across North Africa and down into sub- Saharan Africa.
SYRIA: we called for the regime to change, took no action and it is in the worst state of all. Assad, who actually kills his people on a vast scale including with chemical weapons, is left in power.
Blair dares to suggest the post 9/11 world has made him humble! Then in arrogance “since leaving office, (I have) spent a great deal of time in the region and have studied its dynamics carefully.” What Tony? no time in the thick of riteous determination to democratise the Arab you only now “appreciate that resolving this situation is immensely complex. This is a generation long struggle. It is not a ‘war’ which you win or lose in some clear and clean-cut way. There is no easy or painless solution. Intervention is hard. Partial intervention is hard. Non-intervention is hard.”
He then asks himself the obvious!
“Ok, so if it is that hard, why not stay out of it all, the current default position of the West? …”
…Jihadist groups are never going to leave us alone. 9/11 happened for a reason. That reason and the ideology behind it have not disappeared.”
He goes on………….
“…… in this struggle will be decided many things: the fate of individual countries, the future of the Middle East, and the direction of the relationship between politics and the religion of Islam. This last point will affect us in a large number of ways. It will affect the radicalism within our own societies which now have significant Muslim populations. And it will affect how Islam develops across the world. If the extremism is defeated in the Middle East it will eventually be defeated the world over, because this region is its spiritual home and from this region has been spread the extremist message”. (my emphasis)
Mr Christian do-gooder missionary in another skin what do you fear the most?
“our biggest future threat will come from returning fighters from Syria… a real risk that Syria becomes a haven for terrorism worse than Afghanistan in the 1990s… the effect that Syria is having on the Lebanon and Jordan. ..”
A view he says is supported by the “security agencies of Europe” Who are they Tony?
So now to what to do?
“The moderate and sensible elements of the Syria Opposition should be given the support they need; Assad should know he cannot win an outright victory; and the extremist groups, whether in Syria or Iraq, should be targeted, in coordination and with the agreement of the Arab countries. However unpalatable this may seem, the alternative is worse……”
Perhaps Mastery of the Universe? I spoke too soon…….
“But acting in Syria alone or Iraq, will not solve the challenge across the region or the wider world. We need a plan for the Middle East and for dealing with the extremism world-wide that comes out of it.
The starting point is to identify the nature of the battle. It is against Islamist extremism. That is the fight.
So King Richard 1……….
People shy away from the starkness of that statement. But it is because we are constantly looking for ways of avoiding facing up to this issue, that we can’t make progress in the battle.
Of course in every case, there are reasons of history and tribe and territory which add layers of complexity. Of course, too, as I said at the outset, bad governance has played a baleful role in exacerbating the challenges. But all those problems become infinitely tougher to resolve, when religious extremism overlays everything. Then unity in a nation is impossible. Stability is impossible. Therefore progress is impossible. Government ceases to build for the future and manages each day as it can. Division tears apart cohesion. Hatred replaces hope……” yawn.
Oh no, we are really moderates and we now have identified “friends” in the Middle East (we educated them, we gave them weapons, we planted them back on Arab soil)
“…..We have to unite with those in the Muslim world, who agree with this analysis to fight the extremism. Parts of the Western media are missing a critical new element in the Middle East today. There are people – many of them – in the region who now understand this is the battle and are prepared to wage it. We have to stand with them…..”
Shoui shoui (Arabic: slowly slowly)
..”Repressive systems of Government have played their part in the breeding of the extremism. (but not mine of course) A return to the past for the Middle East is neither right nor feasible. On the contrary there has to be change and there will be. However, we have to have a more graduated approach, which tries to help change happen without the chaos.
We were naïve about the Arab uprisings ………….. Evolution is preferable to revolution. …………..Sometimes evolution is not possible. But where we can, we should be helping countries make steady progress towards change. We should be actively trying to encourage and help the reform process and using the full weight of the international community to do so.
Where there has been revolution, we have to be clear we will not support systems or Governments based on sectarian religious politics……………” Blah blah Blair
And now my nice Christian neo lib way of imparting hegemony………..(and keeping corporate security firms, and war based money makers happy)
…..”Longer term, we have to make a concerted effort to reform the education systems, formal and informal which are giving rise to the extremism. It should be part of our dialogue and partnership with all nations that we expect education to be open-minded and respectful of difference whether of faith culture or race. ..”
Do you think he’ll weigh in next with that other Tony who runs our sunburnt country and call for school chaplains? But I digress………..
…….”We should make sure our systems reflect these values; they should do the same.
And now the FOUNDATION!
This is the very reason why, after I left office I established a Foundation now active in the education systems of over 20 different countries, including in the Middle East, promoting a programme of religious and cultural co-existence.
Going Global…(to fight extremism)
…”We should make this a focal point of cooperation between East and West. China, Russia, Europe and the USA all have the same challenge of extremism. For the avoidance of doubt, I am neither minimising our differences especially over issues like Ukraine, nor suggesting a weakening of our position there; simply that on this issue of extremism, we can and should work together.
We should acknowledge that the challenge goes far further afield than the Middle East. Africa faces it as the ghastly events in Nigeria show. The Far East faces it. Central Asia too.
And your point is?
…”The point is that we won’t win the fight until we accept the nature of it.”
Finally Iraq back to Syria………….
Iraq is part of a much bigger picture. By all means argue about the wisdom of earlier decisions. But it is the decisions now that will matter. The choices are all pretty ugly, it is true. But for 3 years we have watched Syria descend into the abyss and as it is going down, it is slowly but surely wrapping its cords around us pulling us down with it. We have to put aside the differences of the past and act now to save the future.
I am tired, Blair has no analysis….his recent piece is the ravings of a meglomaniac.
No mention of the secular nature of Syrian politics (Despite other concerns Iraq and Syria under the Baath Party were secular)
No mention of the fact that many Syrians before the explosion of external warmongering paid no attention to if they were Sunni or Shia
No mention of warmongering in Syria supported by the US, NATO and the Qatar and Saudi funds
No mention of recent Bashar Syrian elections win or any changes to Syrian political landscape under Bashar Al Assad (relevant in light of Blairs call for “Evolution over Revolution”)
No mention of CIA and MI6 or the debacle that was and is Libya http://www.globalresearch.ca/libya-coming-full-circle-when-a-deemed-conspiracy-theory-becomes-reality/5387468
No mention of Israeli weapon smuggling to Syria via Kurdistan and Turkey
NO MENTION OF THE ORCHESTRATED WAR IN SYRIA BY THE WEST http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/06/10/cia-mi6-orchestrating-massacres-in-syria-analysis/
More to be added….