February 28, 2011
Blair’s recent memoir A Journey is, as the girls say down at the mall, all about Tony. Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, the grandstanding at the UN and before Parliament, his tampering with the economy and his enactment of some of modern British history’s most repressive, liberty-hostile laws”all serve to enhance his journey through life. Advice for aspiring leaders screams from every page, interrupting brief passages of narrative about what he calls his achievements.
During Blair’s reign, government policy enriched bankers and hedge-fund traders while weakening the real economy. Although Blair was at the head of the government, somehow everything is Gordon Brown’s fault. But if Brown was as bad as Blair says he was, it was his responsibility to fire him.
Tony emerges from his “journey” as untarnished as he is unaware. Just as he blames Gordon Brown for the British economy’s collapse, he finds scapegoats for the disastrous aftermath of 2003’s Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Blame does not lie with the invasion, the false claims that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, the gratuitous plundering of the Iraqi treasury, or the reintroduction of torture by the US, British, and new Iraqi armies. Blame, as with the economy, is to be found elsewhere.
Despite all the self-serving (and largely unsolicited) palaver in his autobiography, Blair has remained sphinx-like on the current chaos in Libya. Someone speaking for Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saef al-Islam, told London’s Daily Mail that young Gaddafi, an old friend of Blair’s chum Peter Mandelson, was seeking Blair’s mediation between his father’s regime and its opponents. Why has the Gaddafis” “good friend” said nothing in response to this humanitarian appeal? It is not as if Blair is wholly ignorant of matters Libyan. He welcomed Libya back into the community of nations when it abandoned its nonexistent weapons program. He is consultant to J. P. Morgan, which has its own financial interests in Libya. And the Gaddafis say he is an advisor to the Libyan Investment Company. Surely, there is a role here for an honest broker. Why the silence, Mr. Blair?