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Blair disputes Bush's global tactics

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surria
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Blair disputes Bush's global tactics

Postby surria » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:54 pm

Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles about the "global fight" against "reactionary Islam" appears to represent a break with the tactics adopted by President Bush and the American neoconservatives in the "war on terror".

It was also a rallying cry to "moderate Islam" to assert itself.

He was not withdrawing from the battle. After all, Britain is still in Iraq and Afghanistan and is supporting Israel against Hezbollah.

But he did not mention the phrase "war on terror" at all and seemed to be trying to change the language as well as the nature of the struggle.

"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.

"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."

Soul mate

The aim remains the same - the extension of what Mr Blair called "our values".

Both he and Mr Bush still want to change the world. That incidentally became apparent right from their first meeting at a wintry Camp David in early 2001. The new president was quite surprised to find that he had a soul mate.

But Tony Blair now seems to accept that some of the approaches have been wrong. He was not repudiating the war in Iraq but was saying that not enough emphasis has been put on solving underlying problems, like the Israel/Palestine issue for one.

"Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win. And this is a battle we must win," he said.

True neo-conservatives might consider that Tony Blair is going soft, especially in his call for the US not to use "unilateral action" as a "preference".

But the speech did not really indicate that he has abandoned confrontation.

He was perhaps reaching for his favourite "third way":

Hard edges

And there were some tough edges to the speech.

His support for Israel came through clearly. He identified Hezbollah as part of an "arc of extremism" and part of "reactionary Islam" which had to be beaten by "moderate Islam" in the "elemental struggle about the values that will shape our future".

"Suddenly, without warning, Hezbollah who have been continuing to operate in Southern Lebanon for two years in defiance of UN Resolution 1559, cross the UN blue line, kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two more. They then fire rockets indiscriminately at the civilian population in Northern Israel," he said.

(In fact, four of the Israeli soldiers were killed in south Lebanon after crossing over in pursuit of their missing comrades).

He did not however address in detail the contradiction that some might see in this speech. How do you extend the values of moderation by pursuing war, as in Iraq, which might in itself increase the level of extremism in response?

Pointed attack

And there were strong words against two countries in the Middle East - Iran and Syria. He mentioned Iran eight times and Syria five times. Both were supporting Hezbollah, he said, and extremists in Iraq.

"We need to make clear to Syria and Iran that there is a choice: come in to the international community and play by the same rules as the rest of us, or be confronted," he said.

His attack on Iran was especially pointed:

"Hezbollah gets their weapons from Iran. Iran are now also financing militant elements in Hamas. Iran's president has called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map'. And he's trying to acquire a nuclear weapon."

The phrase "wiped off the map" has been challenged as to whether it should be taken entirely literally, though it does express President Ahmedinejad's hostility to Israel as a state. And Mr Blair's claim that Iran is "trying to acquire a nuclear weapon" goes beyond what the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported and what Iran has said. But the thrust of his remarks is clear.

Iran is currently under a UN Security Council order to suspend uranium enrichment and this speech might be seen as preparation for Britain to take part in sanctions against Iran if it refuses to comply.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5238050.stm

Ah, the semantics.

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Postby mahamed99_sex » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:58 pm

tony blair is not a leader but a follower.

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Postby surria » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:01 pm

Hey, letÂ’s familiarize our selves with the new concept "Reactionary Islam".

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Postby Ashlee » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:07 pm

'moderate islam', damn these cafeteria muslims. Rolling Eyes

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Postby michael_ital » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:29 am

Interesting post. It sounds like Blair is moderating his approach, in order to gain more crossover appeal to Centre Rightist's, while at the same time trying not to alienate the Cons. In other words, speaking with forked tongue.

"Reactionary Islam" is a more palatble term for Muslims reacting to Zionist oppression, than is "terrorist", imo. It at least humanizes their struggle.

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Postby surria » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:47 am

His speach was quite clear. I don't think he was being moderate at all. Read it close, he expands the war on terrorims to values, that could be anyone who holds different values than his (scary). Futhermore, this statement, "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." Is it just me, or is he talking about a world government? Shouldn't each nation determine for itself how it hsould govern. The term "Reactionary" Is being used now, to expand the twar on errorism. Also, "Reactionary" is now being used, so suprate the muslims into two catagories... divide and concer strategy.

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Postby michael_ital » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:08 pm

I tend to agree with the author of the article, in that it's just a softening of the language. And the inclusion of "values", to me, means that they mean to address the underlying causes of "terroism", as opposed to just dismissing it as an act attributable to "extremists". Re reading it, I dont get the impression he's referring to a New World Order, but is just reflecting on his vision of "democracy for all". A pipe dream for sure. But he appears to be idealistic. As for the two categories, Hasn't that always been the way? Except previously, it was "Extremist" (which conjures up the image of some martyrdom-bound fanatic blowing himself, and others, up) as opposed to"Moderate. The difference between a reactionary and an extremist, to me anyway, is that a "Reactionary" is someone who, as the name suggests, reacts to some known force. In this case, Zionist oppression, and it's support from the West. In a way, the term reactionary lends an air of justification to their acts. Whereas extremist makes it seem as if the person is just a fanatic acting with no cause or purpose.
Last edited by michael_ital on Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby eyes-only » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:13 pm

Surria is right; the guy has gone one step further in an attempt to justify his one-sided approach in the Middle East. He is talking about fighting an ideology and he also said the ‘terrorists’ have no grievances and their terror attacks have nothing to do with their foreign policy. He also said they should have a plan for the Middle East, talk about imperialism. They are trying to divide up Muslims and weaken their voice, but this like all their previous attempts is going to fail.
To hell with Zionists and crusaders..


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