We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Blair’s redeeming social value

Rand Simberg has pointed out an excellent speech by Tony Blair about the global war we are fighting. Here is a short excerpt:

We can no more opt out of this struggle than we can opt out of the climate changing around us. Inaction, pushing the responsibility on to America, deluding ourselves that this terrorism is an isolated series of individual incidents rather than a global movement and would go away if only we were more sensitive to its pretensions; this too is a policy. It is just that; it is a policy that is profoundly, fundamentally wrong.

Well worth the read.

32 comments to Blair’s redeeming social value

  • Verity

    Given that Blair has done more to advance the cause of terrorism in Britain than any other person, and routinely caves in to Sacranie and Bangalwangla, I find this yet more of the pretentious, idiotic drivel with which he so routinely favours us.

  • Matra

    I take it Sinn Fein/IRA apologist Dale Amon particularly liked the part where Blair compared Northern Ireland’s Protestants to Islamic terrorists. Of course, Amon who once gave Samizdata readers the Gerry Adams version of ‘Bloody Sunday’ probably takes a very different view of the Irish terrorists (Catholic bigots?) who murdered over 2000 British soldiers and civilians.

    As for Blair he is the last person who can talk about fighting terrorism. ‘Londonistan’ came about on his watch (not that the Tories have a record to be proud of). Blair’s idea of fighting Islamic terrorism is to increase state power over ALL British citizens, targeting ‘bigotry’ and ‘Islamophobia’ rather than the savages who would happily make days like 7/7 a regular feature of British life.

    Other than his pathetic American fan club (eg. NR’s John Podhoretz) is there anyone left who believes anything Blair has to say?

  • Julian Taylor

    I take it Sinn Fein/IRA apologist Dale Amon particularly liked the part where Blair compared Northern Ireland’s Protestants to Islamic terrorists.

    In all the time I’ve been viewing Samizdata I’ve never seen Mr Amon ever apologise for any faction in Northern Ireland, or elsewhere for that matter. Your meaningless scribble just clearly goes to show us all that you are a complete and utter fuckwit.

    Begone.

  • ResidentAlien

    Blair’s social, domestic and economic policies are crackpot. But he made a poiltical sacrifice by doing the right thing supporting the war on terror (especially in Iraq) and probably shortened his premiership by a few years as a result. He deserves credit for that.

    Assertions that Blair has done more to advance terrorism than anyone else are on a par with the allegations that Bush was behind 9-11. They are made by people so blinded by hatred that they loose all sense of objectivity.

    Re: Dale Amon the supposed IRA apologist. I have been reading Samizdata for a while and haven’t even been able to work out whether Dale is Unionist or Republican – not that it matters – so I can’t see how anybody can conclude he is an IRA apologist.

  • Uain

    I find Blair’s alliance in the War on Terror to be a source of comfort. I find the things on the Brit home front he pushes to be disturbing, but then again he is a Labourite, which is still disturbing.
    Another source of comfort is that Bush is kicking ass and taking names these past 3 days. Setting the feckless media back on their haunches and re-reading their Al Queda talking points to cook up their next day’s “news” template.
    If you want some interesting reading, go to;
    http://www.republicworldnews.com. It is part of a smashing add campaign for a new novel that predicts the fate of the good old US of A if the spiral-eyed Bush haters get their way.

  • Matra

    Julian Taylor & ResidentAlien – Dale Amon as Sinn Fein sympathiser?

    Back in 2002 (Oct.20 to be exact) he started a thread called ‘Murder they wrote’ in which he tried to pass off the Sinn Fein/IRA version of Bloody Sunday as fact. I encourage you all to look it up. It could have come straight from An Phoblacht, the west Belfast IRA propaganda rag.

    Just a couple of weeks ago he introduced us to some historic Catholic Church in New York City (where a lot of Plastic Paddies come from) which he claimed was in danger of being demolished or something like that. He had the gall to say that the 19th century church was “built at a time when Ireland’s majority religion was outlawed”. Being from Northern Ireland and having numerous Catholic friends and colleagues I know that this out and out lie about Catholicism being against the law is a part of Sinn Fein/IRA propaganda that intelligent Catholics laugh about later when they get properly educated. I find it hard to believe that an official contributer to an intelligent site like this (especially a contributor living in Northern Ireland) would be stupid enough to believe such obvious ethnic Irish Catholic hate propaganda. So until I see evidence to the contrary I shall assume that Dale Amon was trying to spread anti-British Irish nationalist propaganda when he claimed Catholicism was outlawed.

    So excuse me for being suspicious when someone living in Islamic-sympathising Catholic Northern Ireland endorses a speech by Tony Blair which just happens to compare Ulster Protestant ‘bigots’ to the worst nihilistic Islamic terrorists. Funny how all those Ulster Protestant bigots who moved to Canada, New Zealand, the US, and the UK mainland somehow managed to get along with Catholics in their new homelands without feeling the need to attack, never mind kill them. Could it be that the (often disgraceful) violence of Ulster paramilitaries in Ulster was linked to unanswered IRA violence against Protestants rather than the ‘bigotry’ Tony Blair so sanctimoniously decries? I wouldn’t expect Dale Amon to supply an unbiased answer to that question.

  • Young Fogey

    No-one, save the usual moonbat Monbiot/Galloway fuckwits, disputes that there’s a global Islamist terrorist movement, or that we should fight it. What’s in question are Blair’s (and Bush’s) ‘strategy’ for fighting it, particularly the criminally stupid invasion of Iraq.

    I can’t believe all you true believers are still trying to defend the War in Iraq – do you just ignore facts on the ground when they don’t happen to fit your theories? Even ignoring the web of lies spun to provide a justification for the War, how exactly did bringing down Saddam and turning Iraq into Terror High School do anything to defeat Islamist terrorism?

  • APL

    Matra: “Dale Amon was trying to spread anti-British Irish nationalist propaganda when he claimed Catholicism was outlawed.”

    Yep, I have to agree with Matra. Dale has some very particular preferences when it comes to terrorists.

  • guy herbert

    No-one, save the usual moonbat Monbiot/Galloway fuckwits, disputes that there’s a global Islamist terrorist movement, or that we should fight it.

    Up to a point, I dispute both. This doesn’t make one a ‘west is bad’ anti-capitalist.

    First, I think declaring a War on Terror credits the ragtaggle Islamists with a strategic planning capacity, organisation and power that they quite plainly lack, and paradoxically strengthens them by granting them credibility among the glory-seeking young of the Muslim world. Taking them more seriously than they deserve is a bad mistake. They want to believe they are a huge threat to Western society, when in fact they are vastly less competent and less dangerous than the red/nationalist terrorist organisations of the 1970s. Treating them as a particularly nasty, stupid variety of teenage gang is the appropriate response.

    Second, they aren’t terrorists and they aren’t a movement. There’s no “it” there to fight.

    Except when separatists or revolutionaries in traditional civl war, identify themselves as seeking to set out an Islamic state, Islamist violence is not a lever to get governments to do things. (So even on the grossly expanded Terrorism Act 2000 definition of terrorism, never mind a political scientist’s, they aren’t terrorists.) Any ‘demands’ are self-consciously unrealistic. It is a form of demonstration, and an existential act of faith, springing from the fundamental weakness of their position. Suicide bombing in particular is a weapon of the weak, and amounts to a claim of victim status.

    There is, and can be, no consistent plan. And there is and can be, no worldwide organisation. (Something that cartel-states can scarcely comprehend, never mind admit.) What there is is a widespread flow of half-baked and not necessarily consistnt ideas. (Think of 19th century socialist revolutionaries.) Of course Islamists claim to represent a single vision of Islamic unity and world conquest. They don’t acept freewill, and hold it is all God’s plan. But that’s their ideal, their fantasy. We are under no obligation to accept that image or reinforce it.

  • Julian Taylor

    Actually after yesterday I am in a happier state of mind regarding Tony Blair and his future. When Prime Ministers start using the royal ‘we’ in their addressing the public or parliament you know that oblivion now beckons. It happened to Margaret Thatcher fairly promptly after she started using it and now Blair is using it,

    “I regret to have to tell the right honourable gentleman that we shall be here — I shall be here — for the time that is necessary to carry through the programme upon which we were elected,” Blair told parliament ahead of the budget debate.

  • I never could resist stirring up trouble… :)

    “The British Army purportedly arrived to protect the Catholics from the Protestants, but the people who lived through that time say that the results were otherwise. It was as if the National Guard who went to Selma shot the blacks they had come to protect. [...] In those days the Protestant community ran Northern Ireland the way the Klu Klux Klan ran Mississippi. Catholics were niggers here, and that made a fertile and inflammatory ground for what was to come.”

    Dale Amon, 2002
    http://samizdata.blogspot.com/2002_01_20_samizdata_archive.html#8970354

    I know it’s mean of me to dredge it up, but it does read like something Fr Alec Reid might blurt out, and reposting it allows Dale to set the record straight.

  • Dale Amon

    There is an old and thankfully slowly dying out type of engagement that is much like that of the most extreme Bush-haters and Bush-lovers. It is what passed for politics in NI for a very long time. Inherent in that view is a bipolar view that if you do not agree with each and every inbred view, you must therefor be enemy. Middles or those with views which do not at all fit the bipolar distribution are unwelcome and unless those holding them are silent or very strong, they eventually give in to get by. Disagreement with any part of the core belief set is a threat and is attacked vociferously and is not an issue for debate.

    When people left the place, they also left behind that community enforced polarization. They got along ‘outside’ because in reality they were more alike than different. Once away from the phoney bombast and rhetoric, they could safely think for themselves.

    After decades living here, I have found I have better things to do with my time than argue about dying political divisions of a place which is otherwise quite nice to live in and most of whose residents no longer see themselves as the centre of the universe, the lens through which world politics must be analyzed.

    That is all I have to say on the subject.

  • APL

    Julian Taylor: “Your meaningless scribble just clearly goes to show us all that you are a complete and utter fuckwit….”

    Very rude, and totally unnecessary and not supported by the facts. An apology is in order.

  • Dale Amon

    Peter: Yes, I do. This was not a particularly nice place for a Catholic 40 years ago but those days are long passed and have as much to do with today as the US civil rights marches have to do with darker-complected americans of today. The US was racist in the 1950’s. Northern Ireland was religionist. Both have changed.

    Things were handled very badly back then and perhaps if they had been dealt with in a little less hobnailed boot fashion, the troubles would not have happened.

    I’ve also occasionally made the suggestion that if I had been a KGB chief in those days, I would have considered it a wonderful opportunity to arrange for the murder of a couple people on each side, shoot a few soldiers… and then smile while a large block of potential NATO forces were pinned down for the next 20 years.

  • We can no more opt out of this struggle than we can opt out of the climate changing around us.
    If Blair means this, why did he go for Kyoto? He seems to be saying nothing can be done. So then why destroy one’s economy? And has there ever been a time in the history of the Earth when the climate hasn’t been changing? And when there haven’t been terrorist movements of one sort or another about?
    That said, I don’t think it’s silly to see a worldwide Islamist terrorist movement, controlled by the plain words of the Koran, that can only be successfully opposed by concerted action.

  • Uain

    “How exactly did bringing down Saddam and turning Iraq into a Terror High school do anything to defeat Islamist terrorism?”

    How about knocking yet another leg out from under the terror stool? Terrorists need failed states that will allow them to set up shop to organize and prepare for further conquest. Having a state sponsor like Saddam with an advanced educational, technology and manufacturing (by Middle East standards) base to build, and oil wealth to buy nasty stuff to give to the terrorists is a terrorist’s dream come true.
    Also, what is this nonsense about no plan? Try reading the speeches by Bush et.al. since 2003 and see how what was stated is being implimented. Notice how the terrorists have lost their will to fight? They now surrender in droves at the first sight of Coalition or Iraqi forces. This is just one of the dividends of the strategery that has been implimented. A democratic Iraq, which is inevitable, will be a large step closer to putting the final stake into the black heart of Islamofacism. Look at http://www.republicworldnews.com to see what future awaits us if we accept the stilted views of the anti-GWOT crank wankers.

  • Verity

    Blair deliberately allowed Britain to become the terrorist centre of Europe under the philosophy of “If we’re nice to them, maybe they won’t hurt us.” He has even turned down extradition requests from France to appease terrorists.

    When the bombs went off in London, the first thing he did was not express shock and outrage, as a national leader should, or a sense of community with his countrymen, but lecture the British people who had just suffered a horrifying assault in their own country, that “the vast majority” of Islamics are just as shocked as we are. Statistics have recently shown just how aspirational this statement was.

    Next, he warned about Islamophobia and revenge attacks. If his tongue had been any further up their arse, his name would have been Mark Oaten.

    Next, still no expressions of fury and outrage, but he got together an “advisory panel” of people who mean us harm, to show how unIslamophobic he personally is. Iqbal Sacranie, Bangalwangla (both from the same organisation, but you can’t be too careful), Cat Stevens (who is banned from entering the United States – but he’s good enough to advise the British prime minister on terrorist policy), that towering nitwit who thinks the world is run by a cabal of Freemasons and Jews and other assorted detritus.

    The invertebrate Tony Blair may well have given an “excellent speech”. I didn’t waste my time reading it. He is an actor. He loves delivering lines … drama … emphasis … pauses. It’s theatre. It’s smoke and mirrors. Deception, as it has been since the day he took over the premiership.

  • Young Fogey

    Having a state sponsor like Saddam with an advanced educational, technology and manufacturing (by Middle East standards) base to build, and oil wealth to buy nasty stuff to give to the terrorists is a terrorist’s dream come true.

    Puh-lease. Iraq had so much ‘oil wealth’ by 2003 it couldn’t even maintain its own army. State sponsor for terrorism? Maybe. State sponsor for al-Qa’eda? I don’t think so. What because Saddam and Usama are both Arabs they’re best buddies? That’s like saying Gerry Adams and Eugene Terreblanche are bound to co-operate just because they’re both white.

    Hamas and Islamic Jihad? Sure, but that’s not our fight, and taking Saddam out of the equation hasn’t given them a moment’s pause.

    Also, what is this nonsense about no plan? Try reading the speeches by Bush et.al. since 2003 and see how what was stated is being implimented.

    So the plan in 2003 was to have the Iraqis elect some extremists who spend time squabbling with one another, have the largest – democratically elected – party in the country nudge it decidedly towards Iran’s orbit and have widespread, spiralling, civil chaos in Spring 2006? I don’t think so.

    Notice how the terrorists have lost their will to fight? They now surrender in droves at the first sight of Coalition or Iraqi forces.

    Do you really believe that? I thought Comical Ali was on the Iraqi side.

  • John K

    If his tongue had been any further up their arse, his name would have been Mark Oaten.

    A disturbing image.

    One of my friends used to like Duchy Originals Oaten biscuits, but now he can’t face them. Poor old Prince Charles loses out yet again.

  • Uain

    “Puh-lease”…..

    I concede that taking 3 years to start releasing the treasure trove of captured Saddamite documents is indeed a mistake and has contributed to the erroneous beliefs that the holy one, Osama, would not align with Saddam. Not enough space here but look at Belmont Club and Fourth Rail blogs archives.
    Oil wealth? He seemed to have enough to compromise members of Brit Parliment (Gallow(s)way) and our friends the French, Socialist Germans and Russians and still get weapons. Not bad for a guy who was supposedly flat broke.

    “So the plan in 2003″…..
    Those confounded jihadis never watched John Wayne movies, so when we show up with our pals, they don’t shake hands, down some whiskey and become friends. It is the real world, full of ugly, nasty people who would torture and disembowel a woman (Margaret Hassan), who delivered food to the poor. Leverage their pathology with plenty of cash from our friends in Saudi, Pakistan and every other Islamist arm pit and the job becomes much more difficult, but it is (slowly) working. Civil chaos? Good point! Have you noticed the degree of coordination and valor the insurgent/ terrorists employ…. aginst civilian targets?
    These are not the actions of a capable leadership. And again, why do they surrender in droves to the MNF and Iraqi forces if they are so capable? Over 104 brave holy warriors, during Operation Swarmer, couldn’t wait to join the party animals at Abu Ghraib. These are not the actions of a strong, confident insurgency. Hundreds more have surrendered in the previous month. Go check out;

    http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom1

    Right side is site map, see;

    What the extremists are saying
    “Martyrdom good”… (so much for renewable resources)

    Press Releases
    See how many missions end in surrendering holy warriors.

  • Uain

    Verity-
    Great post on fast Tony. I recall reading a book by C.S. Lewis, I believe called Malachandra. In it there was an evil secret police force called the N.I.C.E.
    Has he proposed any new internal security forces with cutsey acronyms?

  • Verity

    How previous of you Uain! There is now a British government “unit” called … N.I.C.E. Came in under the Blair “government/hegemony”. I can’t remember what it stands for because who can remember all the sinister quangoes and acronyms? – but N.I.C.E. is now a feature of Britain.

  • Uain

    Incredible! By any chance, did he appoint a large, er, umm, rather tough woman with a taste for Cheroot cigars to run it? (shudder)

  • Verity

    Haven’t a clue. As I said, who can remember the proliferation of acronyms for new quangoes? But it does exist in Britain today.

  • ResidentAlien

    National Institute for Clinical Excellence

    Determines which medicines and treatments should be made available on the NHS. The spin is that it determines which treatments are best for us whilst the reality is that it is a method of rationing healthcare.

  • Jacob

    Verity,
    “It’s theatre. It’s smoke and mirrors. Deception, as it has been since the day he took over the premiership.”

    It’s not mere deception. He did send British troops to fight along the Americans in Iraq, didn’t he ?

    Rhetoric is an important ingredigent of policy, an important factor. The great Reagan was about 90% rhetoric.

    I’d rather have Blair’s powerful rhetoric on “our” side than on the Galloway-Moore side !

    A guy can be right on some issues and wrong on others. No need to demonize him more than is due.

  • Verity

    Jacob writes: “I’d rather have Blair’s powerful rhetoric on “our” side than on the Galloway-Moore side.”

    Blair’s powerful rhetoric? He sounds like a drag queen on a bad wig day. Any more hissing and the snake wranglers would be out.

    Blair first wanted to be an actor and got roles in school plays. (I believe he played Ariel. Or maybe it was Puck. Anyway, something fey.) Then he was going to be a rock star and started a group called Ugly Rumours. If you saw a photo of him in his Mick Jagger costume and pose, you would get a chill of embarrassment or, like me, have a hearty laugh .

    Well, Mick had nothing to worry about and Tony decided on another attention-seeking career in which he could dress up: barrister. (In Britain, they wear wigs and gowns.) Centre of attention. Meeeeeeeeee!

    His legal career seems to have been financed by the taxpayer, via Legal Aid. Next career in which he could be the centre of attention – politician! (As a side issue, he and Cherie were enthusiastic members of the CND. Yes. Peaceniks.)

    What motivated Blair to join the US in Iraq may remain a mystery forever. But certainly it had nothing to do with principle. But he likes drama and grand gestures and he craves to be a war leader, like Thatcher. Thatcher, a genuine war leader because she was defending British territory, posed in the turret of a tank in the Falklands. Blair, with the Man Tan slathered on and a whiter than white shirt open at the neck (the closest he dared to get to Lawrence of Arabia) posed with a tank in Iraq.

    He still adores swishing about in costumes. When he was going to Moscow to see Putin, he had a floor length Astrakhan coat packed for posing in. Alastair Campbell vetoed it, although I wish he hadn’t. James Thurber was prescient when he invented Walter Mitty.

    Jacob, you don’t know the half of Blair.

  • APL

    Verity: “What motivated Blair to join the US in Iraq may remain a mystery forever. But certainly it had nothing to do with principle.”

    I imagine George Bush has Tony Blairs testicles firmly in his grasp, any time Tony looks like he is wavering off message, George just gives a little squeeze.

    That would account for the passonate rhetoric.

    Metaphorically speaking of course.

  • Verity

    APL, I honestly cannot imagine what hold – in the symbolic sense – George Bush could have on Blair.

    Unless Tone’s been promised a post PM job in the White House when he’s eventually booed off the British stage in his final British incarnation: pantomime villain. I have never read a satisfactory explanation of what motivated Blair to do the right thing in Iraq. It is a total mystery.

  • John K

    Maybe Toni’s angling for a White House internship? Would he suit the blue dress do you think?

  • Union Jock

    I hae ma doots about ‘Verity’ being a genuine single person. Too many internal contradicitions, as a marxist would say.

    Always enjoyable to see Tony Blair being praised for standing up to Islamism, and to wonder how Verity will respond. (S)he’s an inveterate War on Terrormonger who also believes the Blairs are Satan’s spawn.

    “Does not compute… does not compute… Aaaaagh!!!” (Blows circuits, temporary downtime pending repair)

  • APL

    Union Jock: “”Does not compute… does not compute… Aaaaagh!!!” (Blows circuits, temporary downtime pending repair)”

    Take the opportunity to have your cpu upgraded to an 8bit unit during your downtime.