I just don’t get people like Blair who choose to take up the mantle of political leader and adopt this quasi-humanitarian-warrior-ghandi-esq rhetoric and who fail to grasp the complexities of what it exactly entails to be a great leader. To be a great leader one doesn’t just have to lead and make the right choices but also BARE responsibility for those actions and decisions whether they turn out to be right or wrong. We are all human and because of this fact we are all privy to making mistakes and being flawed. A great leader is someone who accepts this fact and embraces it and works to minimise the mistakes he makes whilst also admitting and apologising when he is wrong. It’s true what they say that it takes a great man to admit that he is wrong and this should be even truer in the case of politics where it seems hardly any leader is EVER wrong.
This whole episode of rambling comes about after I read some extracts from Tony Blair’s forthcoming memoirs. The issue that interests most people surrounding his leadership is the case for the war on Iraq. It’s what many people believe to be the biggest failing in his term in office and that which helped signal his slow demise. In his memoirs Blair does take about some regrets in his time in office, like for example, the fox-hunting ban *how one can suddenly be enlightened to the fact that savage dogs bloodily hunting a lone fox to its death for the mere sport and enjoyment of the upper class echelons is actually something that shouldn’t be banned goes beyond me, he might as well legalize dog baiting, cockfighting etc. to boot and call it a full house*.
On the war on Iraq however, with all the hindsight we have Blair still professes he has no regrets and if given the chance, would make the same exact decision. The evidence that Saddam clearly did not have weapons of mass destruction, *let alone ones he could detonate in 45 minutes*, the fact that Saddam did NOT have any ties to Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda and that BECAUSE of the invasion Iraq has become MORE dangerous rather than less, the fact that Iraq to say the least is in the throes of a civil conflict, the fact that Iran now is able to influence some of the political powers in Iraq which before it could not due to the animosity between Saddam and the Iranian regime, the fact that they prematurely waged war on Iraq before securing the threat and stability of Afghanistan therefore derailing and draining vital resources from Afghanistan, oh and the mere fact that Osama bin Laden himself has yet not been captured *yes we can fly to the moon, send satellites into outer space, build man-made islands etc, but finding one notorious man….we are still working on it* seems to not bother or hinder his conviction in that he was right in the least.
Lets not kid ourselves, if another war/offensive needed to be waged the place to wage it would be in the uncontrollable and ungovernable no mans land between Afghanistan and Pakistan where Osama bin Laden and his main operatives are rumoured to be seeking refuge.
But no, all these facts and details mean nothing to Blair because he BELIEVED it was his moral and god given right to invade Iraq to get rid of an evil dictator who as Blair has on countless times exclaimed, murdered his own people. Now Saddam’s brutality and blighted human rights records are by no means contested. He was an evil dictator to say the least, but what frustrates me is when Blair exclaims that now as a reason why he was toppled but back then the reason given was Saddam = Al Qaeda links + weapons of mass destruction….+ evil man. Two vital pieces where missing in the case for why we should go to war, yes one still stands but Blair has to admit that what took us to war was an inadvertent lie. So he SHOULD regret his decision because his case was and still is flawed. Military powerhouses don’t just go to war because of human rights breaches, as disheartening and as unfair as that fact is. Yes in cases of severe human rights breaches countries may go to war to ratify that, case in point being Bosnia, but that isn’t the case always, case in point the Rwandan genocide. The crimes Blair speaks of are crimes that occurred in the past i.e. gassing of his own people and the Iranians, and at a time where the west knew FULL well what was going on and STILL supplied Iraq with some of the chemicals used in creating these chemical weapons. And to just skim over the dictator part of his argument maybe Blair should look at neighbouring countries like Egypt, Syria, Saudi etc. where dictatorship seems to be an over glanced fact when it comes to their ties to the west.
My point is, if Blair is going to act like a Knight in shinning armour upholding the bastions of Human rights then he should just claim to be doing that and not pepper and season his argument to the people of the country with lies and untruths. If you believe strongly in something then that should be your argument. The least the people of Iraq who will bear the brunt of this war deserve is the truth to why they should burden this. The same goes for the soldiers who fight in this war and risks their lives for queen and country. And the same applies to the people you claim to serve who’s money through taxes goes to fund this war.
Not to mention the rising death toll of people killed in this war.
“It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.”
Dale E. Turner
That is all for now,
Till next time