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Tony Blair says what Dubya never will

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  • Tony Blair says what Dubya never will

    BLAIR AND IRAQ....I just read Tony Blair's speech on terrorism, and all I can say is: damn. I wish we had a president like that. And believe me, I say this with my eyes wide open to his plentiful shortcomings and almost maddening obsession with style and spin.

    For starters, read this:

    "The real point is that those who disagree with the war, disagree fundamentally with the judgement that led to war. What is more, their alternative judgement is both entirely rational and arguable. Kosovo, with ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians, was not a hard decision for most people; nor was Afghanistan after the shock of September 11; nor was Sierra Leone.

    Iraq in March 2003 was an immensely difficult judgement. It was divisive because it was difficult. I have never disrespected those who disagreed with the decision. Sure, some were anti-American; some against all wars. But there was a core of sensible people who faced with this decision would have gone the other way, for sensible reasons. Their argument is one I understand totally. It is that Iraq posed no direct, immediate threat to Britain; and that Iraq's WMD, even on our own case, was not serious enough to warrant war, certainly without a specific UN resolution mandating military action. And they argue: Saddam could, in any event, be contained."
    --Tony Blair

    I can hardly begin to tell you how much I crave hearing something like that here in America. I understand that reasonable people can differ on this, but....

    I don't think George Bush has ever said anything like that in his life. There are times when I feel like I'm never going to hear words like that again.

    Then this:

    "For me, before September 11th, I was already reaching for a different philosophy in international relations from a traditional one that has held sway since the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; namely that a country's internal affairs are for it and you don't interfere unless it threatens you, or breaches a treaty, or triggers an obligation of alliance. I did not consider Iraq fitted into this philosophy, though I could see the horrible injustice done to its people by Saddam.

    ....September 11th was for me a revelation. What had seemed inchoate came together. The point about September 11th was not its detailed planning; not its devilish execution; not even, simply, that it happened in America, on the streets of New York. All of this made it an astonishing, terrible and wicked tragedy, a barbaric murder of innocent people. But what galvanised me was that it was a declaration of war by religious fanatics who were prepared to wage that war without limit. They killed 3000. But if they could have killed 30,000 or 300,000 they would have rejoiced in it. The purpose was to cause such hatred between Moslems and the West that a religious jihad became reality; and the world engulfed by it.

    ....Which brings me to the final point. It may well be that under international law as presently constituted, a regime can systematically brutalise and oppress its people and there is nothing anyone can do, when dialogue, diplomacy and even sanctions fail, unless it comes within the definition of a humanitarian catastrophe (though the 300,000 remains in mass graves already found in Iraq might be thought by some to be something of a catastrophe). This may be the law, but should it be?

    We know now, if we didn't before, that our own self interest is ultimately bound up with the fate of other nations. The doctrine of international community is no longer a vision of idealism. It is a practical recognition that just as within a country, citizens who are free, well educated and prosperous tend to be responsible, to feel solidarity with a society in which they have a stake; so do nations that are free, democratic and benefiting from economic progress, tend to be stable and solid partners in the advance of humankind. The best defence of our security lies in the spread of our values."
    --Tony Blair

    This is just an excerpt or two; there's lots more and it's worth reading. It's convincing in a way that George Bush can only dream of, and what's more, it oozes sincerity. I don't think anyone doubts that he truly believes all this.

    By now I suspect that my British readers may be smirking a bit at all this. They are, after all, far more sensitive than I am to those shortcomings of Blair's that I mentioned above. All I can say to them is this: if you had spent the last three years listening to George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld every day, your guy would seem like a dream come true.

    Then again, I suppose just about anyone else would too.

    Cal's blog
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    Funny thing is, when I decided I was for the war, these were the reasons why - it had nothing to do with any supposed 'immediate threat' from Iraq's WMD. And I thought it would have made a much better sell than what Bush and co. tried to push on us. And at the time, I said the war would lose him the 2004 election. Not because of the war itself, but for the reasoning behind it.

    Side Note - I would vote for Tony Blair (assuming that's how it's done in the UK) in an instant.
    Official sponsor of: Pepsi Zero Sugar and Jordan Almonds.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan@Mar 6 2004, 11:47 AM
      Funny thing is, when I decided I was for the war, these were the reasons why - it had nothing to do with any supposed 'immediate threat' from Iraq's WMD. And I thought it would have made a much better sell than what Bush and co. tried to push on us. And at the time, I said the war would lose him the 2004 election. Not because of the war itself, but for the reasoning behind it.

      Side Note - I would vote for Tony Blair (assuming that's how it's done in the UK) in an instant.
      Many of us that were against the war were so exasperated because it didn't occur to us that Saddam was a threat. And he wasn't.

      But yes, if THIS was the argument that would have been laid out before the war, and so eloquently, then you could have an actual conversation. Bush was in such an f-ing rush. Bizarre.
      Dude. Can. Fly.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan@Mar 6 2004, 11:47 AM
        Funny thing is, when I decided I was for the war, these were the reasons why - it had nothing to do with any supposed 'immediate threat' from Iraq's WMD. And I thought it would have made a much better sell than what Bush and co. tried to push on us. And at the time, I said the war would lose him the 2004 election. Not because of the war itself, but for the reasoning behind it.

        Side Note - I would vote for Tony Blair (assuming that's how it's done in the UK) in an instant.
        Couldn't have said it better myself............

        Immediate threat was never the issue..........
        AKA reddevil
        AKA davel a devil

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        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Mar 6 2004, 11:49 AM-->
          QUOTE(dvyyyyyy @ Mar 6 2004, 11:49 AM)

        • #6
          Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Mar 6 2004, 11:49 AM
          Many of us that were against the war were so exasperated because it didn't occur to us that Saddam was a threat. And he wasn't.

          But yes, if THIS was the argument that would have been laid out before the war, and so eloquently, then you could have an actual conversation. Bush was in such an f-ing rush. Bizarre.
          But THIS argument was laid out before the war if you listened to the right people -- Blair being one of them.

          There's no question that Bush is too guarded and no where near as eloquent as Tony Blair. I'm incredibly impressed with Blair every time he speaks. But just because Bush, himself, didn't make the case just this way, it doesn't mean those weren't the reasons.

          Too many people just listened to Bush and ignored other sources.
          "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

          "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

          Comment


          • #7
            And they are still stomping their feet and holding their hands over their ears.
            And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

            -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

            Comment


            • #8
              Too many people just listened to Bush and ignored other sources.
              Actually, too many people just listened to TV soundbites, and newspaper snippets.


              All the reasons were talked about and presented, by elected officials of all stripes.
              Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by lazydaze+Mar 6 2004, 11:57 AM-->
                QUOTE(lazydaze @ Mar 6 2004, 11:57 AM)
                Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 11:49 AM

              • #10
                But never convincingly
                And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by phantom+Mar 6 2004, 12:03 PM-->
                  QUOTE(phantom @ Mar 6 2004, 12:03 PM)

                • #12
                  Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Mar 6 2004, 12:10 PM
                  Who were the right people? I guess it's too much to ask the president to explain why we are starting a war?
                  I agree with you that Bush could and should have done a better job of explaining some things.

                  Who were the right people? Well, I already gave Blair as an example.
                  "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

                  "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Mar 6 2004, 11:04 AM
                    Iraq in March 2003 was an immensely difficult judgement. It was divisive because it was difficult. I have never disrespected those who disagreed with the decision. Sure, some were anti-American; some against all wars. But there was a core of sensible people who faced with this decision would have gone the other way, for sensible reasons. Their argument is one I understand totally. It is that Iraq posed no direct, immediate threat to Britain; and that Iraq's WMD, even on our own case, was not serious enough to warrant war, certainly without a specific UN resolution mandating military action. And they argue: Saddam could, in any event, be contained."
                    --Tony Blair
                    The reason he says this is because a vast proportion of the British population was against the war. Any strong criticism of those against the war and he would be done for. Tony may have his bad points but stupidity is not one of them.

                    There's also the issue of WMD. The fact that none have been found is a far bigger problem to Blain than Bush. Far more people in Britain care that no WMD have been found, than here. This is predominantly because WMD were the main reason Blair gave to go to war. You can say Hussein was a ghastly dictator and this is absolutely true. But if you were to attack every country with a ghastly dictator who abuses his people, you would be invading a new country every week.

                    Blair can give all the fancy language he likes, but the reason he went to war was because he made the case to the British Parliament and public that there was an imminent threat. At this point in time that appears to not have been the case, and he has been scrambling to retain a strong position ever since. If the Conservative Party was even remotely organised he'd be in a lot more trouble. Luckily for him they are not.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Too many people just listened to Bush and ignored other sources.
                      And therein lies the explanation of a failed Presidency!
                      Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

                      "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Weird_English_Guy+Mar 6 2004, 12:42 PM-->
                        QUOTE(Weird_English_Guy @ Mar 6 2004, 12:42 PM)
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