Don’t Laugh, Blair’s a “Peace Envoy”
copyleft artwork by Brazilian artist Latuff
When Henry Kissinger, one of the principal architects of the Vietnam War, not to mention the bombing of Laos and Cambodia, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, it was famously said that “satire was dead”. I couldn’t help but think of this when it was announced that Tony Blair’s new job is to be the Middle East “peace envoy”. You couldn’t make it up.
I think it is worth noting that Blair only got this job at the insistence of the Bush administration, despite the reservations of the Russians, and probably every sane and right-thinking person on the planet. Predictably, the Israeli’s greeted the appointment with glee, whereas the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip were a little more circumspect.
No doubt, Tony’s mandate will NOT be to work towards a just settlement of the Israel/Palestine conflict, but to help ensure there is a settlement on Israeli and American terms. Quite probably ‘peace’ will only be secured once Gaza has been turned into a graveyard, or been shovelled into the sea.
What the Middle East needs is an honest broker, a Mandela-type figure of stature respected by all sides. Tony Blair is a million miles from being that person. He has “form” in the Middle East which should automatically disqualify him from this role. This is the man who is regarded as Bush’s poodle, the man who refused to call for a ceasefire when Israel brutally bombed Lebanon, the man who allowed cargo planes of weaponry destined for Israel to pass through UK airports at the height of the Lebanon bombing, and the man who assisted so mendaciously the barbarous invasion of Iraq with the subsequent loss of life measuring in the hundreds of thousands.
Peace envoy? Don’t make me laugh.