Tony Blair spoke his mind to the audience at the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles on August 01, 2006. This is a very important speech because we heard from him some interesting claims that were never made public since September 11, 2001. This speech is helpful in putting things in perspective and understanding Bush and Blair’s motivation to keep expanding the on-going wars.
There are numerous factual inconsistencies in the speech and the following analysis will point out each of these along with his rallying calls for the West to re-unite against the “arc of extremism.” In this speech, Tony Blair has finally said what he and Bush have been hiding for ages, that this war is neither about terrorism nor about regime change, but It is a war to impose western values on the Muslim world and all those Muslims who resist this notion are extremists, terrorists, radicals and must be confronted.
Tony Blair mentioned Kashmir, Chechenya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine as an example of those cases where extremists are resisting the western values. He also insists that West should support westernized leaders within the Muslim world who are promoting western “value systems” and are fighting "reactionary Islam." He vowed to protect and defend Israel. Iran and Syria are to be the next targets.
It has been the most provocative declaration of Anglo-American foreign policy and their war on and within the Muslim world in the 21st century. He made claims about the war on Afghanistan and Iraq which we never heard before. General Musharraf and other Muslim puppets will have to justify their roles as western ally once such shameless goals of US-UK foreign policy have become too obvious.
‘Global values’ or global dominance?
Blair started with glorifying the values he thought were important to win the war on “extremist Islam.” He said:
“We will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force, unless we show we are even-handed, fair and just in our application of those values to the world.”
Mr. Blair’s claims to evenhandedness, fairness and justice instantly evaporate in thin air when we put them to the test of crucial factors such as the history of colonialism; the World Wars for deciding who controls world trade; the continued de facto colonization; the plunder of weak nations by trade; the underpayment of the indirectly occupied nation through unequal currency value; the purchasing power parity and associated strategy of deception; the protection for the imperial centre and free trade for the periphery of empire; the political, academia and media front protecting corporate interests; the purpose and consequences of IMF and World Bank loans to the weak nations; the bond and currency markets lowering living standards for the politically weak; using former colonies as huge plantations, providing food and resources to the imperial centers; installing and controlling puppets of the imperial centers; and a host of associated facts.
By regurgitating justice, fairness and even-handedness through-out his speech, Mr. Blair had probably assumed that no one will bother to point out that today’s injustices, inequality and poverty stem from the rule of law put in place over the centuries by the wealthy and powerful over the past 700 plus years in Western cultures and centuries earlier in other cultures.
‘Growing movement’ or growing realization?
Throughout his speech, Mr. Blair tries to pin the blame for the entire crisis in the world on “reactionary Islam” as a recent phenomenon. Blair admits, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are neither for “security” nor for “regime change.” They were to implant Western “value systems” to address the problem of “reactionary Islam.” Blair believes people would not go below the surface to know that the colonial powers and economic power-brokers built up a legal structure, law by law, that appropriates the wealth of productive labor in much the same way as the aristocratic system from which their laws evolved.
Western colonialism is not dead. Through financial, economic, covert, and overt warfare, the forces behind de facto-colonization strive to expand this unequal and oppressive social and legal structure across the world and with it overwhelm both older unequal legal structures as well as modern, more democratic, legal structures that keep springing up.
The fear among the few rich and powerful ruling the world is about the end of their monopoly. Tony Blair very clearly expresses this fear in his speech by asking: “What are the values that govern the future of the world?” It shows, the fear of losing governance of the world is upper most in his mind.
Blair admits: “We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values.” This is a public admission from the lead warrior that this is not a “war on terrorism.” Repetition of this theme shows the fear of losing governance of the world and the fear of a change in the status quo. This shows the aging de facto colonization feels seriously threatened. The colonialists are desperately in need of coming up with some alternative to silence their critics and justify the old ways of doing business. Islam, unfortunately, had to become the scapegoat because it exhorts it followers to struggle against injustice and oppression. What else can they blame other than what they fear as an alternative?
Blair goes on to say: “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.” Forget the repetition of justice and fairness: simply note the fear of “the alternative.” The fear of losing global dominance has forced the extremist forces behind the prevailing global financial and economic order to use puppets, such as Bush and Blair, on the political front to maintain the status quo.
Blair said the West needs to “reappraise [its] strategy…[and] revitalize the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East.” These are the issues where Western colonialists have touched their peak in injustice, unfairness and intolerance. Blair and his cohorts will be desperate for sustaining the status quo under a different name but it seems it is already too late for the systematic and legalized inequality and injustice to be sustained much longer. Wars and occupations have never served lofty ambitions of the earlier totalitarians who wanted to impose their value systems on the rest of the world.
The real motives behind the wars
Blair kept on re-affirming the motivation and objectives behind the so-called war on terrorism and the war for weapons of mass destruction. He said: “The point about these interventions, however, military and otherwise, is that they were not just about changing regimes but changing the values systems governing the nations concerned. The banner was not actually ‘regime change’; it was ‘values change’.” This re-affirms his admission that the war is not about terrorism and not about regime change. But only about who is going to rule the world and how? So “value change” means imposing Bush and Blair values for which they are ready to lie, invade, bomb and kill indiscriminately from day one.
After five years, Blair is coming out to tell us that the wars were for imposing his “value system.” Could Blair and Bush go to war on Iraq on the basis of this claim? Is the rest of the West ready to accept values of Bush and Blair –” including but not limited to lying for going to war, maiming and torturing at will and killing civilians as a collateral damage –” as representative values of the whole West?
In this speech, Blair tried his best to rally the West behind him in numerous ways. For instance, at one place he said 9/11 was part of “a growing movement,” that believe Muslims “had departed from their proper faith” and the “true way to recover not just the true faith but also Muslim confidence and self esteem, was to take on the West and all its works.” The question is: Is struggling for self-determination against de facto colonization a “take on the West”?
To support his theory of Muslims’ determined to attack everything Western, Blair adds: “They realized they had to create a completely different battle in Muslim minds: Muslim versus Western.” This is another factual error. No one can come up with any statement, from any Muslim, however serious “extremist” they might be, who would blame everything western and call for a war on the whole West under the banner of “Muslim vs West.” This is a slogan never heard from any Muslim activist, or “terrorist,” or “extremist” before. This is what Blair is indirectly using as a rallying cry to unite the West behind him.
The burgeoning movement and 9/11
Describing Islam’s threat, Blair tried to make the audience believe that “reactionary Islam…has an ideology, a world-view; it has deep convictions and the determination of the fanatic.” Those who have a stake in sustaining de facto colonization would definitely see anything fanatic that may remotely threaten their dominance and unbridled exploitation. He added: “This movement] resembles in many ways early revolutionary Communism. It doesn’t always need structures and command centers or even explicit communication. It knows what it thinks.”
This is not so. The reason for the burgeoning movements in the East and the West is that the centuries old injustices, exploitations, atrocities and genocides are no more hidden from the public. Internet and other means of communication have made the information available to millions of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. That’s why Blair’s repeated reference to his critics at home would not help because they know facts for themselves. Although Blair didn’t spare anyone who dared to criticize modern-day fascism, but this is hardly going to change anyone’s perception of the reality.
Blair made repeated references to September 11, 2001, saying people “seem to forget entirely that September 11 predated [both the War on Afghanistan and Iraq].” Bringing the West again into the equation, he added: “The West didn’t attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it.” Here he tried to prove that on September 11, the West was attacked –” again using it as a rallying cry.
With regard to 9/11, Blair is standing on shaky ground with Bush and company. First of all, the events surrounding 9/11 and the official conspiracy theory are being seriously challenged in the United States and the concerns are becoming mainstream by the day. For example, The Washington Post ran a report on August 2, 2006, just the next day when Blair expressed his faith in the official 9/11 theory and based his theory of a global Islamic threat on it. The Washington Post reported:
"Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day."
The Washington Post report further clarifies that “suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources.” And Mr. Blair makes 9/11 as the foundation of his theory that “reactionary Islam” is bent upon destroying the West. Even if we assume and agree with the official conspiracy theory, 9/11 was an attack on the U.S. government’s financial and military nerve centers, not all America as such, let alone all the West. Everyone knows the clear distinction between the few corporate powers and their political pawns, exploiting the innocent majority in the so-called West.
Blair’s deliberate deceptions
Blair kept going against the well known facts which are not even too old for the public to miss their memory. Justifying his going to war on Afghanistan and Iraq, he said: “We could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn’t. We chose values.” We cannot keep calling this a factual error. This is a deliberate deception. The public was told that the ground for invading Iraq was security –” Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nothing else. When did Blair claim he was going to Iraq to change values?
Blair added: “We said we didn’t want another Taliban or a different Saddam.” The question is: Why Saddam? Why not Assad? Why not the Saudi king? Why not the Jordanian king? Why not the Kuwaiti Sheik? Are they democracies? Don’t they need Blair’s “value system”? Or simply it is that they do not challenge the status quo of de facto colonization?
Blair kept confusing facts with his rhetoric: “Rightly, in my view, we realized that you can’t defeat a fanatical ideology just by imprisoning or killing its leaders; you have to defeat its ideas.” It might look fine to those who don’t care.
However, “reactionary Islam” and the threat to Blair’s “value system” had nothing to do with Saddam and his regime. Saddam and his Ba’athists were far from the Islamic movements for self-determination. Blair, however, was concerned over Iraq as a whole, as a Muslim country –” not with Saddam Hussain and his weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was an easy prey after years of economic and military sanction to use as an experimental ground for imposing a “value system.” Bair says:
"The moment we decided not to change regime but to change the value system, we made both Iraq and Afghanistan into existential battles for reactionary Islam. We posed a threat not to their activities simply, but to their values, to the roots of their existence."
This is just smoke and mirrors from the master of deception. This fiction has nothing to do with facts. The Taliban were attacked in 2001 and Saddam in 2003. There is no proof to the claim that “we decided not to change regimes but value systems.” The facts are before the world about the grounds on which Bush and Blair made their cases for invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq at different times, under different pretexts. The question is: Was Blair right then when he was making the case on the grounds of security and weapons of mass destruction? Or he is right now when he says security was not a consideration, it was “value system” at stake?
There are two factors of significance to note in Blair’s recent claim. If it is a war for values, it was planned long before 9/11. Muslims’ concern has proved right that it is a war on Islam, not terrorism. In this case, responsibility for “reactionary Islam” lays on the shoulders of Bush and Blair not the alleged Islamic movements. It also belies Blair’s claim in the same speech that “9/11 predates” wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, 9/11 was used to the West behind the subsequent war on Afghanistan and Iraq. It also shows 9/11 was an inside job to make the pre-planned war for imposing “value system” a reality. If this is not correct, then Blair is lying now to try to present the ongoing wars as "wars for value system" so as to rally the West, broaden their scope, sustain them, make case for further such wars, and justify the ongoing butchery, which has clearly nothing to do with promoting the stated values of tolerance, justice and moderation.
Blair kept making the deceptive statements, such as: “The purpose of the terrorism in Iraq is absolutely simple: carnage, causing sectarian hatred, leading to civil war.” The question is: In whose interest is carnage and civil war? How about the British soldiers caught planting bombs to kill civilians and to blame it on other sectarian groups? Blair probably thinks, we forgot Reuter’s September 20, 2005 report about undercover British "soldiers" wearing traditional Arab headscarves firing at Iraqi police and driving a booby trapped car loaded with ammunition. The report suggests that the police thought the British soldiers looked "suspicious". What was the nature of their mission?
Occupation forces are supposed to be collaborating with Iraqi authorities. Why did British Forces have to storm the prison using tanks and armored vehicles to liberate the British undercover agents? "British forces used up to 10 tanks” supported by helicopters “to smash through the walls of the jail and free the two British servicemen." Was there concern that the British "soldiers" who were being held by the Iraqi National Guard would be obliged to reveal the nature and objective of their undercover mission? It shows carnage in Iraq is in Blair’s interest, not Muslims.
Blair’s claims: “It is they not us who are doing the slaughter of the innocent and doing it deliberately.” The question is: why were they not doing so before the US occupation. Why didn’t Shia and Sunnis kill each other before? Why didn’t they carry out suicide attacks against Saddam Hussain to establish an Islamic government? Was Saddam stronger than the US and UK on the ground now? Are the fanatics ready to give their lives now, but not then? Based on the answers to these questions, it is rubbish to believe Blair that the death and destruction is not because of the occupation.
Blair also plays god and make assumptions which really don’t make sense in the fact of available facts. For example, he claims: “We committed ourselves to supporting moderate, mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realize that this rings the death-knell of their ideology.”
Blair is not God to know the feelings of the majority and the minority in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blair is one of those brave warriors, who still cannot visit Baghdad openly; who have to sneak into Kabul after many years of occupation. They can never know for sure about the feelings of the occupied subjects. Minorities never succeed without the full moral and logistical support of the majority. Bush and Blair’s sneaking in and out of the countries they “conquered” long ago belies the claim that the majority is with them.
Blair makes another deliberate factual error for deception. He says: “It is not just Al-Qaeda who felt threatened by the prospect of two brutal dictatorships – one secular, one religious – becoming tolerant democracies.” The question is: Why would Al-Qaeda, if there is any Al-Qaeda at all, feel threatened with the fall of Saddam Hussain?
In Blair’s view the answer is: “Any other country who could see that change in those countries might result in change in theirs, immediately also felt under threat. Syria and Iran, for example. No matter that previously, in what was effectively another political age, many of those under threat hated each other.” Wrong again. Why don’t Saudis, Kuwaitis and Jordanians feel threatened? They are not democracies either? Musharraf got more emboldened despite being a dictator. So much for Blair’s proclaimed even handedness, justice, fairness and love for democracy.
Middle East and ‘Westernized Muslims’
Blair coins a new term: “Westernized Muslims.” He says, “There was one cause which, the world over, unites Islam, one issue that even the most westernized Muslims find unjust and, perhaps worse, humiliating: Palestine.” This is the introduction of a new term. This means Westernized Muslims do not see any other injustice other than the one in Palestine. If all Muslims become Westernized, this issue will get resolved as well. So, it is westernization that is called moderate Islam in Blair’s lexicology.
Throughout his speech, Blair kept inciting the West against Islam through various rallying calls. At the same time, he was stressing the need to make “modern Islam” successful. Clear from the text of Blair’s speech so far is the definition of “modern” Islam, whose followers are Westernized Muslims, who don’t see any injustice other than Palestine; who do not see Israeli occupation and provocations; who forget Bush and Blair’s earlier reasons for wars and occupations and believe their new claims that this is neither a war for terrorism, nor for security, not even for regime change: but only for “value change.”
On the issue of Middle East, Blair kept going with his deceptive statements against the reality on the ground. He said: “Hamas won the election. Even then, had moderate elements in Hamas been able to show progress, the situation might have been saved. But they couldn’t.” This is in total contradiction to the facts about the way Israel, US, UK and others dealt with Hamas from day one.
Blair went on to claim: “So the opportunity passed to reactionary Islam and they seized it: first in Gaza, then in Lebanon.” This is absolute disregard of the realities on the ground. It amounts to not remembering Israeli butchery on Gaza beach but remembering the kidnapped soldiers of Israel.
Blair cites the recent kidnapping of soldiers as “original provocation”: “It [Israel] has a crisis in Gaza, sparked by the kidnap of a soldier by Hamas… They [Palestinians and Lebanese] knew what would happen. Their terrorism would provoke massive retaliation by Israel. Within days, the world would forget the original provocation and be shocked by the retaliation.” Original provocation doesn’t go just a few days or week backwards. Original provocations lie in the roots of the conflict for which the British Empire is responsible.
Misreading Muslim and non-Muslim critics
Blair feels extremely disappointed with non-Muslim critics of his lies, deception and participation in illegal wars and occupations. He says: “It is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault.” The Western critics would have got labeled as fanatics in case they were Muslims.
For rallying the West behind him, Blair resorts to sweeping statements without any concrete facts or examples. For example he says: “But it [global terrorism] is also directed at nations who could not conceivably be said to be allies of the West.”
According to Blair, “it is also rubbish to suggest that [terrorism] is the product of poverty.” No Muslim fanatic has ever claimed that Muslims are struggling for self-determination simply because they are poor. It is the “intellectual” warriors on the side of bush and Blair (Thomas Friedman, for example) who claim so. Impartial analysts believe that poverty is the result of the 700 years old oppression and greed of the Western colonialists, who initiated colonialism for exploiting wealth of other nations and who have now consolidated WTO, IMF, World Bank etc to keep these nations impoverished and under the thumb.
Blair tried to make his audience believe that terrorism “is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism, but a specifically Muslim version.” Absolutely wrong. Islam doesn’t tell Muslims to kill civilians or non-civilians for no reason at all. So many Muslims would never twist the message of Islam for absolutely no reason at all. If it were so, why don’t Muslim fanatics get angry at Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North and South Korea, for example? Why the United States and its allies as Blair admits. Blair tells us that a deadly reaction is directed at him and his allies only because of religious extremism, not due to any of their actions. Does it make sense?
On global terrorism Blair added: “It [terrorism] is to prevent Palestine living side by side with Israel; not to fight for the coming into being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being, of an Israeli state. Establishing a Palestinian state is not the objective at all. Otherwise, why would it take so long? If deadline could be set for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, why is there no deadline whatsoever for the Israeli withdrawal in the last fifty years. If there was no place for appeasing Saddam Hussain in the Kuwait issue, why setting a long context to please and satisfy Israel before even discussing the option of two states in a speech?
In conclusion Blair said: “It [terrorism] is not wanting Muslim countries to modernize but to retreat into governance by a semi-feudal religious oligarchy.” Blair and Bush need not worry too much about Muslims’ modernization. Let us put it in as simple terms as possible. Muslims are not against the West. They do not want to destroy or undermine the West. They hate anti-Westernism. All they want is an end to the direct and indirect intervention in their internal affairs. Is asking for non-interference too much? Apparently, it is not, but in fact it is too much.
The repetition of “our values” and the need to impose “value system” on Muslims hardly makes any difference to the fact that the values are absolutely not freedom, democracy, tolerance, justice and fairness. These are all part of Islam anyway. The so-labeled “values” are the values of the colonial fascists, who want to remain in control of resources all over the world. The values which help them continue the centuries-old colonialism under different titles.
Muslims are absolutely not against everything Western. Irrespective of Western or Eastern, both Muslims and non-Muslim do not want continuation of a way of life and systems of governance which exploit and rob weak nations both politically and financially. If any opposition to the puppet regimes, supported specifically to maintain the status quo, is fanaticism, let it be. The beauty of this approach is that neither the victims, nor those who stand against these systems, are Muslims alone. If these people were wrong, they would not be growing by the day. Blair admits the reality in these words: “a very large and, I fear, growing part of our opinion…sympathizes with Muslim opinion.”
‘Presumed’ sense of Grievance?
While discussing public reaction to the ongoing conflicts, Blair tried to pin everything on the lack of acceptance of Western values in the Muslim world: “Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time – in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations including now some in Africa – it is a global fight about global values.” Here Blair is taking the facts wrong again. He must read Richard Gott’s article, “The brutal story of British empire continues to this day,” in the Guardian (July 22, 2006). Got argues that all around the world, from Sierra Leone to Sri Lanka, the violent legacy of colonialism can still be witnessed. What Blair has listed are all the left over problems from the British Empire. He better not blame it on Islam or the lack of willingness to let him impose his values on others.
Regarding Muslim grievances in particular, Blair said:
"It is about modernization, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs. Islamist extremism’s whole strategy is based on a presumed sense of grievance that can motivate people to divide against each other. Our answer has to be a set of values strong enough to unite people with each other."
Regarding “robust” and “appealing” values, we can confidently say that Rhetoric does not hide the reality. Blair needs to read the research done and studies complied by British colonialists that shows the level of injustice, discrimination, dishonest and brutal ways in which they maintained colonies and the same values are reflected in the way they sustain de facto colonization after the strategic withdrawal in the name of independence to the former colonies.
With regard to Muslims’ “presumed sense of grievance,” it is important to note that all grievances are based on facts, written and preserved by British colonialists of the recent past. The researchers are Western analysts and non-Muslim scholars. Muslim need a 100 year more to reach the level of Susan George, David Korten, Alana Hartzok, J.W. Smith and others, who systematically deconstruct the myths of Blair’s “values system” and democracy used to conceal the true nature and consequences of the colonialism of the past and the exploitative systems and way to continue plundering the “independent” colonies.
No one can deny that first there was up-front colonialism, then there was covert colonialism hiding under the cover of Adam Smith free trade and covert destabilizations, and now a hyper-colonialism is planned under the cover story of reconstruction and the same unequal free trade rules. The bottom line is always the same, lock the world into monopoly capitalism’s legal structure (Adam Smith free trade and exclusive title to nature’s wealth and technologies), hold down the price of labor, control the price of commodities through overproduction (relative to needs [determined by purchasing power] of monopolized markets), through those low wages prevent the development of consumer markets on the periphery of empire, and thus siphon the wealth of the world to the imperial centers of capital".
As far as Blair’s claim that his “answer has to be a set of values strong enough to unite people with each other,” it is interesting to note that a majority of Muslims and non-Muslims are coming on the same wave-length, not because Blair and company have set their deceptive values strong enough, but because their duplicity and the economic/corporate forces that use Bush and Blair as puppet on the political front can hardly be concealed. For Bush and Blair it might for some untold values, but for the rest of the Muslims and non-Muslims, it is a matter of survival and justice. You cannot rob western public of their wealth in taxes and of the kids for wars and use all this to continue robbing and depriving the weak and poor nations for the benefit of a few who are getting richer and richer. This hypocrisy and deception simply cannot be sustained. No amount of anti-Islam rhetoric can deceive people in the East and the West for long.
Types of Islam
As expected of all Islamophobes, Blair kept on pressing on differences among Muslims and widening the divide. He said: “Convincing our own opinion of the nature of the battle is hard enough. But we then have to empower moderate, mainstream Islam to defeat reactionary Islam.” If the reactionaries to the global injustice perpetrated by the former colonialists and consolidated by the modern day colonialists are Muslims, it doesn’t mean there are types of Islam: moderate and reactionary. Looking from Blair’s perspective, there should be reactionary Christianity or reactionary West as well. Scripps Howard News Service reported recently that more than a third of the American public suspects that “federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.” Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they’ve become angrier with the federal government than they used to be. By Blair’s standards all these are fanatics as well.
Lamenting and factual thuggary
Blair kept lamenting that he and his fellows are not yet succeeding because they, “are not being bold enough, consistent enough, thorough enough, in fighting for the values [they] believe in.”
From lamenting, Blair jumps to factual thuggary of mis-representing facts. He said: “Iraq’s political process has worked in an extraordinary way.” One wonders at Blair’s source of information. Reuters reported on August 3, 2006, that Britain’s outgoing ambassador to Baghdad wrote, Iraq is more likely to slide into civil war than turn into a democracy. BBC reported a leaked diplomatic cable sent to Tony Blair before he made the speech in which he claimed political process “worked in extraordinary way in Iraq.” In fact, William Patey’s final cable to Blair from Baghdad gives a far more pessimistic assessment for prospects in Iraq than Blair’s presentation to the public. It warns of the prospect of Shi’ite militia forming a "state within a state."
"The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy," Patey wrote, according to excerpts quoted by the BBC. "Even the lowered expectation of President (George W.) Bush for Iraq — a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror — must remain in doubt," said the cable, sent to British Prime Minister.
A senior Iraqi government official told Reuters last month that "Iraq as a political project is finished," with the capital split into Sunni and Shi’ite districts and officials working to divide control of the country on ethnic and sectarian lines.
After calling Iraq a success story, in the very next sentence Blair adds: “In Afghanistan, the Taliban are making a determined effort to return and using the drugs trade a front.” Ignoring undeniable facts and coming up with such statements does not only amount to lying but it is a sign of total desperation. There are reports from the US and UN sources, which independently studied and confirmed that the Taliban had completely eradicated poppy cultivation and drug trade. They used two different methodologies –” aerial reconnaissance and on the ground surveys –” both confirmed that the Taliban had almost completely eradicated opium growing in the 95% of Afghanistan, which they controlled. At the same time, opium growing in the home province of President Rabbani of the "Northern Alliance" –” the group with the seat in the UN –” tripled.
The US had sent a small team to Afghanistan in the early months of 2001 –” when it was already known by both aerial reconnaissance and a preliminary on the ground survey that the Taliban had achieved a tremendous success in eradicating opium growing. The team was to determine how the Taliban had accomplished this remarkable –” almost miraculous –” transformation. One of them, Mr. James Callahan, reported back that they did it by consensus of the elders connected with the mosques in almost every town and village. Blair now comes to make the world believe with sweeping statements that the Taliban “are making a determined effort to return and using the drugs trade a front.”
Blair goes on playing with facts and states: “Years of anti-Israeli and therefore anti-American teaching and propaganda has left the Arab street often wildly divorced from the practical politics of their governments.” Someone must ask this tired, defeatist colonialist: If you impose Shah of Iran, if you impose Saddam Hussain, if you protect and defend the King of Saudi Arabia and the Sheikhs of Kuwait, if you ignore the oppression of your puppet regimes, how do you expect the Arab street to embrace practical politics in their government? It is not anti-Israelism but direct support of the imperial centers in the West to the dictators in the Muslim world that has caused this problem?
Blair is not satisfied with factual thuggary alone. He kept blaming his opponents for what he and Bush are well known. For example he says: “The purpose of terrorism – whether in Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Palestine is never just the terrorist act itself. It is to use the act to trigger a chain reaction, to expunge any willingness to negotiate or compromise.” The question to ask Mr. Blair is: Did you give the Taliban a chance to negotiate or compromise? Did you give Saddam Hussain to do so before you could invade Iraq on the basis of lies? So Blair is right. The purpose of terrorism, such as 9/11, was “to use the act to trigger a chain reaction, to expunge any willingness to negotiate or compromise,” and above all to by-pass the United Nations, despite the fact that it is an imperial servant.
Before suggesting a two state settlement, Blair gives a long justification to prepare ground for what he was about to say. It seems as if in the next sentence his is going to suggest that he has decided to bring the experiment of Israel in the Middle East to an end. So the struggle is finely poised. The question is: how do we empower the moderates to defeat the extremists? In his initial remarks he said:
“I want to explain why I think this issue is so utterly fundamental to all we are trying to do. I know it can be very irritating for Israel to be told that this issue is of cardinal importance, as if it is on their shoulders that the weight of the troubles of the region should always fall. I know also their fear that in our anxiety for wider reasons to secure a settlement, we sacrifice the vital interests of Israel.”
This amounts to appeasing Israel for no good reason. Isn’t Israel an occupation force? Isn’t it stealing Arab lands? See the difference in treating Israel and the way Iraq was treated when it invaded Kuwait. And just before suggesting the two state solution he said: “Let me make it clear. I would never put Israel’s security at risk.”
"Its significance for the broader issue of the Middle East and for the battle within Islam, is this. The real impact of a settlement is more than correcting the plight of the Palestinians. It is that such a settlement would be the living, tangible, visible proof that the region and therefore the world can accommodate different faiths and cultures, even those who have been in vehement opposition to each other. It is, in other words, the total and complete rejection of the case of reactionary Islam. It destroys not just their most effective rallying call; it fatally undermines their basic ideology."
In the beginning and almost throughout the speech, Blair exaggerated the curse of Islamic extremism, highlighted the need to impose a value system on the Muslim world and to “westernize” all Muslims. That was presented as the sole justification for the existing and future wars and occupations. However in the above statement towards the end of his speech, he limits the root cause, “the most effective rallying call,” the “total and complete…case of reactionary Islam” to the Palestinian Israeli problem.
If “reactionary Islam” and all fanaticism are only due to the problem of Palestinians not having a separate state, why not end all wars and occupations and just draw a line in the sand for Israel as was drawn for Saddam Hussain? This negates his whole thesis of the “arc of extremism” and the need for imposing a ‘value system.” This self-contradiction exposes the fact that Blair has miserably failed in giving legs to his flip-flop argument to stand on. His thesis was out of context, based on numerous, deliberate factual errors (read falsifications) and sweeping statements.
Emphasizing the two state solution, Blair said: “Nothing else will do. Nothing else is more important to the success of our foreign policy.” If nothing else is more important, why didn’t Blair mention this as the root cause? Why did he begin with the justifications for imposing “values” on the Muslim world and exaggerating the threat of the “arc of extremism”? If settlement of the Palestinian Israeli conflict is the core issue and root of all problems, why did he go to war on Iraq on the basis of lies? Why did he lie in the beginning of the speech and made “reactionary Islam” a global issue before declaring the Middle-East conflict as the root cause for the “basic Ideology” of the “reactionary Islam”?
His Masters’ Voice
Blair concluded his speech with the same ideas for global dominance and desire for sustaining the status quo of the existing monetary and economic order with which he began.
Blair said: “For me, a victory for the moderates means an Islam that is open: open to globalization, open to working with others of different faiths, open to alliances with other nations.” The point to note here is not the lie that Islam as such does not allow to work with other faiths and it does not allow alliances with other nations. The point to note here is the advocacy for globalization. Islam does not allow unjust trade, illegal interest based transactions and monetary systems. That is a death knell of the globalists and the financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank which are sustaining de facto colonization.
When former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz was eased out of the World Bank for suggesting they relax those structural adjustment rules he was asked by interviewer Greg Palast of the London Observer if any nation avoided the fate of structural adjustments. Stiglitz replied, “Yes! Botswana. Their trick? They told the IMF to go packing.”
That 90-minute interview on BBC Television’s Newsnight went much further and confirmed everything we are outlining about these imposed structural adjustments. A reading of Palast Greg’s The Best Democracy that Money can Buy: The Truth about Corporate Cons, Globalization, and High-Finance Fraudsters (2003) tells us that the purpose of this unspoken and disguised economic warfare through imposed structural adjustments is specifically to hold down the price of developing world resources and labor and to transfer that wealth, natural and processed, to the imperial centers. Joseph Stiglitz was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. We would hope the primary reason was to reward him for his courageous stand.
Blair confirms all doubts regard the motives behind the on going wars and the zeal to impose new “value systems” on the Muslim world. He said: “Though left and right still matter in politics, the increasing divide today is between open and closed. Is the answer to globalization, protectionism or free trade?” This is the bottom-line objective from Mr. Blair.
This confirms that the managers of state are not about to abandon de facto colonization and a plan that, for them, has been so hugely successful. In 1970, the poorest 20% of the world’s people received 2.2% of the world’s income while the richest 20% received 70%. By 1990, the poorest 20% received only 1.4% while the richest 20% received 83.4% and this differential can only have increased sharply as currency values on the periphery of empire collapsed in 1997 and again in 2002. When the universal result is low resource export prices and increased poverty in the developing world, the IMF/World Bank/GATT “General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT)” /NAFTA/WTO/MAI/ GATS/FTAA /military colossus and their puppets on the political front, such as Bush and Blair, can hardly claim its intent was to develop those countries or liberating them from the curse of ‘reactionary Islam.”
At best, Blair sounds like a defeated former colonialist visiting the world from his grave. At worst, we just had the opportunity to peep into the mind of a desperate war lord. Tony Blair’s grievances that the people and analysts in the West do not listen to him make him sound like Saddam Hussain talking to the Bush and company in the dying days before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Did anyone in the position of power listen to him? Of course not! For Blair the rest of the world has assumed the same role with the same power to undermine policies and systems that perpetuate oppression and injustice in the name of democracy and freedom.
Even if the rest of the world listens to Blair’s desperate swan songs, he is hardly in a position to change the reality with rhetoric and deliberate deceptions. It is a pity to listen to his speech, full of grievances about no one listening to him and a majority believing in “Muslims opinion.” He wonders, what has gone wrong with the opinion makers in the West. The above analysis of his speech shows that he is in total shock and persistent denial of the reality.
Notes:. Toney Blair’s full speech is available at BBC Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK.
. Reuters report, “Leaked UK document sees "civil war" in Iraq,” August 3, 2006. URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060803/
a)."Annual Opium Poppy Survey 2000, 51 pages UNDCP . state of opium growing before Taliban ban. Includes color coded map (pdf page 2) and data by province. URL: http://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/
b)."Annual Opium Poppy Survey 2001, 30 pages UNDCP . state of opium growing after Taliban ban. Includes color coded map (pdf page 25 — note difference in scale from report for 2000) and data by province. URL: http://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/
c). "Afghanistan Opium Survey 2002, 59 pages. state of opium growing after Karzai regime installed and many thousands killed in war. Includes color coded map (pdf page 9, check scale before making comparisons with previous years) and data by province. URL: http://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/
d). " Afghanistan Opium survey 2003, 99 pages. latest data utilizing satellite imagery. Color coded map (pdf page 13, check scale before making comparisons with previous years) . URL: http://www.unodc.org/pdf/afg/afghanistan
e). Jan ’03 ref with historical data and interesting underestimate of the importance of Taliban actions. URL: http://wwwc.house.gov/International_
Abid Ullah Jan’s latest book, "After Fascism: Muslims and the Struggle for Self-determination." is now avaliable at:
Also see: "The ICSSA"