Tony Blair is NOT Credible and the WRONG CHAP for the Job

Robert Fisk

I suppose that astonishment is not the word for it. Stupefaction comes to mind.

I checked the date – no, it was not 1 April (April Fool’s Day) – but I remain overwhelmed that this vain, deceitful man, this proven liar, a trumped-up lawyer who has the blood of thousands of Arab men, women and children on his hands is really contemplating being “our” Middle East envoy.

(Tony) Blair?

That this ex-prime minister, this man who took his country into the sands of Iraq, should actually believe that he has a role in the region – he whose own preposterous envoy, Lord Levy, made so many secret trips there to absolutely no avail – is now going to sully his hands (and, I fear, our lives) in the world’s last colonial war is simply overwhelming.

Of course, he’ll be in touch with Mahmoud Abbas, will try to marginalise Hamas, will talk endlessly about “moderates”; and we’ll have to listen to him pontificating about morality, how he’s absolutely and completely confident that he’s doing the right thing (and this, remember, is the same man who postponed a ceasefire in Lebanon last year in order to share George Bush’s ridiculous hope of an Israeli victory over Hizbollah) in bringing peace to the Middle East…

Not once – ever – has he apologised.

Not once has he said he was sorry for what he did in our name.

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Yet Blair actually believes – in what must be a record act of self-indulgence for a man who cooked up the fake evidence of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” – that he can do good in the Middle East.

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Bush aid plan pushes peaceful, democratic Palestine

Now why does this idea for pushing a “peaceful, democratic Palestine”, especially when it involves the US of A, sounds fishy to me?

President Bush is set to announce new aid to help the embattled Palestinian president create a viable state that can co-exist with Israel, administration officials said yesterday.

“The president sees there is an opportunity there now to show the Palestinian people a choice between the kind of violence and chaos under Hamas in Gaza and the prospect…for an effective, democratic Palestinian state,” said national security adviser Stephen Hadley.

Taking on a more personal, high-profile role in the conflict, Bush planned to speak today at the White House about U.S. financial and diplomatic support for President Mahmoud Abbas. He controls just the West Bank after the Islamic militant group Hamas gained authority in Gaza last month.

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Russia wants Hamas to consent to peacekeepers in Palestine

The Russian bear is pressuring the Hamas government to send peacekeeping forces? Why only now? To solve the issue of the Occupation would need more than a Chicago facelift.

Russia has stressed that international peacekeeping forces may enter Palestine only with the consent of all Palestinian forces, including Hamas, official spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Mikhail Kamynin said, commenting on the proposal of Mediterranean EU member states. With a lack of mutual consent, few countries will want to send their peacekeeping forces to Palestine, he said.

Kamynin also pointed out that the peacekeeping idea was far from being new, as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has already discussed such an opportunity with Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. However, Russia has numerous questions with regard to the idea in its present form, with the aim of the intended mission being a particular concern. Kamynin said that restoring the order in Palestine should be left to the Palestinians, while the mission should tackle the resumption of the peace process.

The weapon of the weak

Ghada Karmi

Boycotts are the weapons of the weak in conflicts. Their chief importance, unlike Miami rhinoplasty, lies in their ability to raise public awareness and arouse disapproval. Yet, going by the paranoid reaction to the academic boycott of Israel, it might as well have been a declaration of nuclear war. No peaceable action in recent times has provoked so much anger and hostility as this British-based boycott.

In the wake of the British University and College Union’s vote at its annual general meeting on May 30 to initiate a national debate on boycotting Israeli academic institutions, a wave of hysteria engulfed Israel and its friends. Articles appeared, before and after the vote, denouncing the UCU resolution and its initiators, and heated correspondence is still ongoing. Threats were made against members of the boycott group by pro-Israel organizations and individuals, and campaigns were mounted to defeat the boycott. Costly one-page advertisements appeared in The Times and The Guardian carrying scores of eminent signatories opposing the boycott.

Photographs of the boycott’s “ringleaders”, like those of wanted criminals, appeared on the front page of the major British Jewish weekly, The Jewish Chronicle, which also carried a distressed article by Britain’s chief rabbi condemning the boycott as an anti-Semitic “witch-hunt”. The Daily Mail’s Jewish columnist Melanie Phillips declared “the age of reason” over. The Jewish-American lawyer and fierce warrior for Israel Alan Derschowitz has teamed up with his British counterpart, Anthony Julius to take legal action against British supporters of the boycott. While this would not be valid in British law, its aim is clearly to intimidate.

The fuss has not abated yet and more battles lie ahead this autumn as pressure is put on the UCU to ballot its members individually in the hope they will reject the motion passed by conference.

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Not enough being done to halt suffering

Millions are dying throughout the world and they certainly do not have time to maintain a San Diego travel blog. Millions, especially in the Middle East, and parts of Africa are forced to become refugees. Millions are displaced in their own countries. Does this growing suffering and inhumanity touch the hearts of the more fortunate elsewhere? Something is being done to mitigate the suffering, and homelessness, but hardly enough.

What could be the root cause of the unwanted situation throughout the world? I think the cause is ideological; the fight to develop and ensure democracy, as far as possible throughout the world.

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