Top Leaderboard, Site wide
July 25, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


Climate Data Shows Clear Signs of Warming
Dead Is Dead: Drone-Killing the Fifth Amendment




The Sixth Extinction
War of the Whales


Truthdig Bazaar
Creation

Creation

By Gore Vidal
$17.95

more items

 
Report

How Can Blair Possibly Be Given This Job?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jun 29, 2007

By Robert Fisk

I suppose that astonishment is not the word for it. Stupefaction comes to mind. I simply could not believe my ears in Beirut when a phone call told me that Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara was going to create “Palestine”. I checked the date - no, it was not 1 April - but I remain overwhelmed that this vain, deceitful man, this proven liar, a trumped-up lawyer who has the blood of thousands of Arab men, women and children on his hands is really contemplating being “our” Middle East envoy.

Can this really be true? I had always assumed that Balfour, Sykes and Picot were the epitome of Middle Eastern hubris. But Blair? 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 - he whose own preposterous envoy, Lord Levy, made so many secret trips there to absolutely no avail - is now going to sully his hands (and, I fear, our lives) in the world’s last colonial war is simply overwhelming.

Of course, he’ll be in touch with Mahmoud Abbas, will try to marginalise Hamas, will talk endlessly about “moderates”; and we’ll have to listen to him pontificating about morality, how he’s absolutely and completely confident that he’s doing the right thing (and this, remember, is the same man who postponed a ceasefire in Lebanon last year in order to share George Bush’s ridiculous hope of an Israeli victory over Hizbollah) in bringing peace to the Middle East…

Not once - ever - has he apologised. 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”.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
In the hunt for quislings to do our bidding - ie accept even less of Mandate Palestine than Arafat would stomach - I suppose Blair has his uses. His unique blend of ruthlessness and dishonesty will no doubt go down quite well with our local Arab dictators.

And I have a suspicion - always assuming this extraordinary story is not untrue - that Blair will be able to tour around Damascus, even Tehran, in his hunt for “peace”, thus paving the way for an American exit strategy in Iraq. But “Palestine”?

The Palestinians held elections - real, copper-bottomed ones, the democratic variety - and Hamas won. But Blair will presumably not be able to talk to Hamas. He’ll need to talk only to Abbas’s flunkies, to negotiate with an administration described so accurately this week by my old colleague Rami Khoury as a “government of the imagination”.

The Americans are talking - and here I am quoting the State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack - about an envoy who can work “with the Palestinians in the Palestinian system” to develop institutions for a “well-governed state”. Oh yes, I can see how that would appeal to Lord Blair. He likes well-governed states, lots of “terror laws”, plenty of security - though I’m still a bit puzzled about what the “Palestinian system” is meant to be.

It was James Wolfensohn who was originally “our” Middle East envoy, a former World Bank president who left in frustration because he could neither reconstruct Gaza nor work with a “peace process” that was being eroded with every new Jewish settlement and every Qassam rocket fired into Israel. Does Blair think he can do better? What honeyed words will we hear?

I bet he doesn’t mention the Israeli wall which is taking so much extra land from the Palestinians. It will be a “security barrier” or a “fence” (like the famous Berlin “fence” which was actually called a “security barrier” by those generous East German Vopo cops of the time).

There will be appeals for restraint “on all sides”, endless calls for “moderation”, none at all for justice (which is all the people of the Middle East have been pleading for over the past 100 years).

And Israel likes Lord Blair. Indeed, Blair’s slippery use of language is likely to appeal to Ehud Olmert, whose government continues to take Arab land for Jews and Jews only as he waits to discover a Palestinian with whom he can “negotiate”, Mahmoud Abbas now having the prestige of a rabbit after his forces were crushed in Gaza.

Which of “Palestine’s” two prime ministers will Blair talk to? Why, the one with a collar and tie, of course, who works for Mr Abbas, who will demand more “security”, tougher laws, less democracy.

I have never been able to figure out why the Middle East draws the Balfours and the Sykeses and the Blairs into its maw. Once, our favourite trouble-shooter was James Baker - who worked for George W’s father until the Israelis got tired of him - and before that we had a whole list of UN Secretary Generals who visited the region, frowned and warned of serious consequences if peace did not soon come.

I recall another man with Blair’s pomposity, a certain Kurt Waldheim, who - no longer the UN’s boss - actually believed he could be an “envoy” for peace in the Middle East, despite his little wartime career as an intelligence officer for the Wehrmacht’s Army Group “E”.

His visits - especially to the late King Hussein - came to nothing, of course. But Waldheim’s ability to draw a curtain over his wartime past does have one thing in common with Blair. For Waldheim steadfastly, pointedly, repeatedly, refused to acknowledge - ever - that he had ever done anything wrong. Now who does that remind you of?

Originally posted in The Independent.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By lilmamzer, June 29, 2007 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

#82496 by THOMAS BILLIS:

Fear the suicide bombers give up your rights.

Maybe when you have seen firsthand the carnage from a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber, or seen firsthand something like the London or Madrid bombings, you might not be so glib about the threat of extremist Islam. Do you still have rights? Why aren’t you in the gulag if your rights are being stripped away?
—————————-

I would love to hear from commenters what they think the real reason is for this move.

The real reason is that the West has no coherent policy for combating extremist Islam, and no coherent policy for pulling Arab societies out of the regressive rut they are stuck in. Blair will just be another impostent figurehead involved in “process” for the sake of PR and photo-ops. Makes it look like governments are “engaged”.

Blair’s new job will add nothing useful or positive. It’s a non-event.

Report this

By THOMAS BILLIS, June 29, 2007 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gerorge Bush sent to mensa as a envoy.Sending Blair as an envoy to the middle east is so asinine that it makes one wonder why?Does constant turmoil in the middle east make it easier to continue our fall into fascism?Fear the suicide bombers give up your rights.I would love to hear from commenters what they think the real reason is for this move.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, June 29, 2007 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

TONY BLAIR THE MID-EAST ENVOY:

Tony Blair is on a mission for his master George Bush. This evil incompetent SOB has no compassion for the underdogs and the victims in the Mid-East. He & George Bush stood by on the sidelines while Israel’s brutal IDF unleashed every weapons to reek havoc and mass killings on Lebanon last year. They both stood by while hundreds of innocent women & children were slaughtered by the NAZI/Zionist regime of Israel.

WHO IN THE HELL CAN TRUST THESE TWO WAR CRIMINALS. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEAD IRAQI CIVILIAN’S BLOOD IS STILL DRIPPING FROM THEIR BLOODY AND MURDEROUS HANDS. 


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/img/features/latuff/show.php?nam=94

Report this

By nefertiti, June 29, 2007 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

lillmamzer , so much land has been taken from Palestinians, their homes , their fields , even their schools have been halved , to build walls and electric fences on Palestinian Lands .
these walls could have been easily built on Israel !

Report this

By nefertiti, June 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

lilmamzer

You are refering to a Hamas Documentwritten in 1988 .  if you check documents in 2006 and 2007 you ll find they are willing to go to the 1967 Borders and that they are aware israel is there to stay . why dont you check their speeches regarding 1967 borders ???

Report this

By Max Shields, June 29, 2007 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

#82444 by lilmamzer on 6/29 at 12:56 pm


And where do you find your talking points? Saddam is no doubt the reason hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and maimed in the last few years according to your logic.

What is is. We all know the story, its been unearthed in spite of the propaganda. But no need to blame Frisk for his helping with the dot connection. No, Blair is a lier and warmonger. How he comes by it is still unclear, but his actions will always trump the fabricators who try to find a justification for that which is obviously unjustifiable.

But your story is old and tired, and cannot win over the truth Mr./Ms lilmamzer no matter the wasted words you post.

Report this

By lilmamzer, June 29, 2007 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

<u>Robert Fisk</u>:

Not once - ever - has he apologised. Not once has he said he was sorry for what he did in our name.

Blair should never apologise for helping rid Iraq of a brutal, murderous tyrant. Fisk would still have Saddam Hussein installed in Baghdad, directing the massacre of Kurds in the North and sending money to fund Palestinian Arab homicide-bombers. Why Fisk isn’t writing for Al Jazeera is a mystery.
———————-

The Palestinians held elections - real, copper-bottomed ones, the democratic variety - and Hamas won. But Blair will presumably not be able to talk to Hamas.

So Hamas won, to the shame of the Palestinian Arab electorate. Why anyone on the planet is obligated to then deal with Hamas because of that fact is nonsensical.
————————————

I’m still a bit puzzled about what the “Palestinian system” is meant to be.

Just read the Hamas covenant, Mr. Fisk.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm
It’s very obvious what they have in mind.
————————————-

I bet he doesn’t mention the Israeli wall which is taking so much extra land from the Palestinians. It will be a “security barrier” or a “fence” (like the famous Berlin “fence” which was actually called a “security barrier” by those generous East German Vopo cops of the time).

Better known as “The Barrier That Arafat Built”. It IS a fence, mostly - 85% of it’s length it is a fence. And the comparison to the Berlin Wall is just stupid. The Berlin Wall was built to keep Germans IN. The Anti-Suicide Barrier was built to keep Palestinian Arabs from blowing up Israeli teenagers in pizza parlors, and it works well.
————————————

I recall another man with Blair’s pomposity, a certain Kurt Waldheim, who - no longer the UN’s boss - actually believed he could be an “envoy” for peace in the Middle East, despite his little wartime career as an intelligence officer for the Wehrmacht’s Army Group “E”.

Hey, Fiskie actually got something right. This is a first.

The only thing Fisk needs to elaborate on is the Jew-hating ideology that ex-Nazi officer Waldheim and the Palestinian Arabs of Hamas and Fatah share in common.

Report this

By Michael K., June 29, 2007 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The appointment of Blair as a Mideast peace envoy is further evidence of the disdain with which the US and the UK ruling classes view the Arab and Muslim world.  It is a calculated insult to all those who desire peace that a deceitful war-monger would be designated as a man of peace. 

With thousands of Iraqis, Palestinians, and Lebanese dead at the hands of those who would cater to Israeli extremists, is it no wonder that the Muslim world looks upon the US and now the UK with horror?  What logic can intelligent moderates in the Islamic world use to convince their people that the US and the UK are committed to a just peace?

As an American, I have had to explain many times why the government of my country was pursuing such ruinous policies.  This has now come to an end because there is no defense.  Let us hope that the right-wing machine that has brought so much ruin on the world since 2000 will fade away by the next US election.

Report this

By manny, June 29, 2007 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If it was a joke it wouldn’t be so painful but the American stooge got the job. if any one thinks that that Mr. Blair will make one bit of difference to the American and Zion game plan then think again. One can only wonder in amazement of England’s need for global attention. Yes, this clown will go to the Middle East and make a fool out of himself just like he did in Iraq.

Report this

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook