About Time The World Sees Tony Blair For What He Is

by
Sameera Ehteram
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made a controversial call to the West to fight against 'Islamist extremism' in the Middle-East.

Tony Blair

Unfortunately, for those who thought the maddening days of George W. Bush’s war crony were over, they are not. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom and Bush’s biggest ally in war against terror, is back. In fact, in all probability even on his ‘time off’ Blair was cooking up theories of mass destruction.

Tony Blair was on Bloomberg recently airing his opinions; or perhaps convictions; as they may be called, on the threat from Islamist extremism. "The important point for western opinion is that this is a struggle with two sides. So when we look at the Middle East and beyond it to Pakistan or Iran and elsewhere, it isn't just a vast unfathomable mess with no end in sight and no one worthy of our support."

"It is in fact a struggle in which our own strategic interests are intimately involved; where there are indeed people we should support and who, ironically, are probably in the majority if only that majority were mobilized, organized and helped,"he added.

That Blair fears ‘Islamist extremism’ goes without saying. In his opinion, 'radical Islam is spreading', and because of that he calls on for more military action in the Middle East – mostly Syria and Libya.

Many say his comments while on Bloomberg could be interpreted as a call on the West to support secularist military regimes in the Middle-East against popular Islamic movements."We have to take sides. We have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time. We have to have an approach to the region that is coherent and sees it as a whole. And above all, we have to commit. We have to engage," he said.

However, Tony Blair has never been too keen to keep his feelings for the Muslim world diplomatically kosher and he is always up for some action.


Tony Blair

Blair, then Prime Minister, led the UK into war against Iraq as the main US ally using Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) as a just cause. Did those WMDs ever materialize? No, but that’s not a point to ponder on.

Tony Blair has also been extremely outspoken in his support for the military coup in Egypt against Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first elected president after longtime dictator Hosni Mobarak was ousted in 2011.

Blair was also setf or a military intervention in Syria and went so far as to urge both the U.S President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, to take action.

While the list maybe incomplete, the pattern is clear.

“It was a classic from the Blair-as-liberal-hawk meets Blair-as-expert-on-Islam genre; a collection of half-truths, belligerent threats, sweeping statements and ill-informed generalizations,”says Mehdi Hasan, Political Director of Huffington Post, UK referring to Blair’s speech.

Hasan goes on to mention the comments of one of Tony Blair’s cabinet allies, "Tony believes he has a unique ability to join up the dots and see the big picture. The question is: do the dots exist and is he right to join them up in the way he does?"

The dots that only Tony Blair sees may be economical in nature.

Remember the time he shook hands with Libyan dictator Moammer Gaddafi? That was followed by an announcement that Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell had signed a deal worth up to £550m for gas exploration rights off the Libyan coast.

So may be the dots he sees are more financial in nature?

Perhaps that is why he is so eagerly calling upon his country to put aside their difference with Russia over Ukraine and “co-operate” to fight the growing threat of radical Islam.

The world is still paying for the time he decided to ‘take sides’ the first time. Validated studies show increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and a loss of thousands of civilian lives.

Does Blair think the world is ready for more?

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