Friday, 12 January 2007

Blair on defense and isolationism

The fine line between defense and humanitarianism and interventionism — and excessive hawkishness... [AP/CNN:]

Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that Britain's influence on the world stage and ability to right global wrongs depends on active engagement and the country cannot defend itself from terrorism by retreating into isolationism.

He said the public must see operations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as a "necessary engagement" to protect security and advance British interests globally.
Tony Blair has already admitted Iraq is a disaster, and his people are more adamantly against the mission in Iraq than those in the United States, why must Blair continue the rhetoric?

Defending from modern terrorism has nothing to do with Iraq, or it did have nothing until Iraq was invaded over three years ago by a United States-led coalition. Now new terrorism — global and Middle East-centered — has been created and there is a rallying cry for Islamic extremists because of the horrible Iraq situation ('Fight against the Western menace', whether in Iraq or Times Square).

One does not have to defend one's self by being preemptive and overaggressive, especially if one is a nation-state and if the thing they are defending themselves from is modern terrorism. Islamic extremism is not something you can just shoot and wait for it to die; ideals like Islamic extremism are a cultural threat and can spread like a virus if they are provoked and have a rallying cry, like the Nazis against the Jews and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez against the 'American imperial menace'.

Also, since when were the Brits, or anyone, for that matter, made world police? "Right global wrongs"? Going with the lapdog metaphor, I guess Blair is the deputy to Bush's sheriff and they both are in a Clint Eastwood-style Wild West fighting Indians or something like that. (Learning from history is key — especially when starting a war. The fact that Bush and Blair are in a Clint Eastwood western shows that they have no grip on history, like the supposedly-good cowboys of the Wild West, but instead pertaining to the more fragile and virulent Middle East.) However, Tony Blair is still not as bad a politician and — in my opinion — person as George W. Bush, who has a more extreme case of "us versus them" syndrome.

I'll cut some slack for the mission in Afghanistan, but none for Iraq and the reasoning behind that war. Blair, don't equate — like your friend across the Atlantic — Iraq with the 9/11 and 7/7 terror attacks, it certainly will not help your already-botched legacy as the first Labour PM since before Thatcher. Man, I cannot wait for this guy to step down!

Song stuck in my head right now: "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead.

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