Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Blair on Syria: Another Attempt to Secure His "Legacy"

Originally written in September 2013.

The repellent Blair has tried to appropriate the crisis, and the politicians reaction to it in the West, the better to bolster his own 'Legacy' in arguing for the tough need to follow up words with action. As usual, he's just trying to place himself ultimately on 'the right side of History' after the catastrophe of the Iraq invasion.
"After the long and painful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil, to watch but not to intervene, to ratchet up language but not to engage in the hard, even harsh business of changing reality on the ground"
Almost every single statement Blair has made on 'events' in the Middle East is 'public diplomacy' designed to retrospectively justify Iraq by placing it within the context of the 'long war' that he, at least, had the courage to confront. It dovetails with his posture as set out in his autobiography ' Tony Blair A Journey'.

It's surprising that few commentators deal with the issue of whether Blair has a bad conscience or not ( as opposed to seeing him as a bare faced liar ). His attitude to the bloodshed unleashed by the Iraq invasion is to argue for the lowest estimate of deaths-around 100,000-and to try and persuade readers of A Journey how he agonised over the decision.

Yet politicians such as Blair no longer have careers. They have journeys in which they encourage the true believers to follow them through adversity and towards the ultimate triumph of what is just and right, with casualties on the way alas. Despite affecting to be a Christian, this attitude has more in common with twentieth century Utopian communists.

It's all retrospective pleading. At the time in 2003, Blair was supremely confident. He has rationalised the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq by spinning it that the sort of interventions about to be undertaken against the 'Assad regime' in Syria show the need to stand tough against evil dictators.

One of the propaganda mechanisms inherent in the attempt to create an acceptable 'public doctrine' is to create fake binary choices, a simplistic framing device of the 'either-or' pose. All possible objections are reduced to an absurd muddleheaded reaction whereas his own 'resolve' rings clear, bright and true by comparison.
"in any event, why take sides since they're all as bad as each other? It is time we took a side: the side of the people who want what we want; who see our societies for all their faults as something to admire; who know that they should not be faced with a choice between tyranny and theocracy".
The fact that this 'analysis' bears no resemblance to the actual nature of the choices facing Syria is irrelevant. Blair is striding out to do what his job always was; to try to convince himself the better to convince the public that the 'choice' is as he only sees it ( even if you may politely  'disagree' with him ).

And this is what a Peace Envoy in the Middle East is there to do. The only peace Blair understands is pacifying the conscience before contemplating the large scale military actions he knows will create more deaths in the short term because they will die in order that future generations will live and learn to live better.

And so 'History' will absolve him or, at least he hopes, his actions in Iraq will be understood and 'contextualised'. Though the 'something must be done' pose from Blair is all to do with this, his professions about the path to peace, through just wars, are the effusions of the worst sort of sinister Creeping Jesus politician.

It seems incredible that so many were taken in by this fraud during his time in office and still seem to regard his "analysis" of the Middle East as providing "insight". It does but not in the way his craven and fawning admirers suppose. 

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