They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A peace envoy whom we can do without

... If there is an award for the combined negative credibility of an institution and an individual, the Quartet and Blair should be its first recipients. Neither of them has much to stand on in terms of a track record of accomplishments in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, and both are tainted by a legacy of high aims, nice rhetoric, and meager results.

Blair's negatives in the Middle East are well known, and are not counter-balanced by his many successes at home or in Europe. His main problem is not only that he has been hypocritical or partial to Israel and the United States rather than truly even-handed; it is also that his policies have contributed directly and abundantly to the Arab-Israeli conflict and associated tensions in the Middle East that he is now going to try and resolve. Appointing Tony Blair as special envoy for Arab-Israeli peace is like appointing the Emperor Nero to be the chief fireman of Rome.

Blair has spoken for years about pushing for peace and two states in Palestine and Israel, yet he has repeatedly come down on the side of the Israelis in demanding that Israel's security should be guaranteed before any progress can occur. Last summer he declined many opportunities to condemn Israel's attacks against Lebanon, and instead went along with the US-driven policy of endorsing them. His speedy support of the Israeli-American boycott of Hamas after its election victory last year was impressive only for its unthinking haste.

His enthusiastic war-making in Iraq on the basis of lies and mistaken assumptions has caused immense suffering and waste in the Middle East, and has badly expanded the cycle of terror and brutal counter-violence in the name of fighting terror. Read more