I posted an article by Patrick Cockburn the other day in which he spoke of the sheer level of disconnect between what Blair is saying and the reality on the ground in Iraq as experienced by people, like himself, who actually live there:
I returned from Mosul to London just in time to hear Tony Blair speaking at the Lord Mayor's banquet. It was a far more extraordinary performance that his audience appreciated.Now Blair has given an equally warped vision of life in Afghanistan:
As the Prime Minister spoke with his usual Hugh Grant charm, it became clear he had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in three-and-a-half years of war. Misconception after misconception poured from his lips.
Contrary to views of his own generals and every opinion poll assessing Iraqi opinion, he discounted the idea that armed resistance in Iraq is fueled by hostility to foreign occupation. Instead he sees dark forces rising in the east, dedicated, like Sauron in Lord of the Rings, to principles of pure evil. The enemy, in this case, is "based on a thoroughly warped misinterpretation of Islam, which is fanatical and deadly." Even by the standard of Middle Eastern conspiracy theories, it was puerile stuff.
But Mr Blair, who along with George Bush is among the most bullish of the Nato leaders about the prospects for Afghanistan, said: "I think there is a sense that this mission in Afghanistan is not yet won, but it is winnable and, indeed, we are winning."He says this despite the resurgence of the Taliban and the rising death tolls. He says this despite the fact that Tom Koenigs, the diplomat heading the UN mission in Afghanistan has already stated that Nato "cannot win" the battle against the Taliban alone and that Afghans would have to be trained to help. He says this on a day when he once again sought reinforcements from other Nato country's and was once again rewarded with only the most modest of help that even Blair admitted fell short of his expectations.
Both Blair and Bush are beginning to sound unhinged the longer this conflict continues, both clinging to a map of reality that has long since been discounted as useless by the rest of the planet.
It was this startling level of disconnect that led Barry Yourgrau to pen an article asking, Is Bush Actually Mad?
How else explain his pronouncement yesterday that the chaos and horror in Iraq is the handiwork of Al Queda--and that any notion of "civil war" simply should be dismissed with a snort. A Bush-snort.
This is Bush just being Bush, is it? Stubbornly sticking to "his version of things" in the face of any--make that "all"--facts to the contrary?
Excuse me, but how can the care of this country, and beyond, be left in the hands of a man who behaves effectively like a doctor in an emergency room insisting that germs don't cause infections and blood does not circulate?
The same mindset that Yourgrau recognises in Bush is now also prevalent in Blair. Both men are stubbornly refusing to accept reality as reality is stating the opposite of what they would like it to say.
Indeed, this inability to see what is staring him in the face now extends to Blair's relationship with Bush himself. Many of us in the UK have always wondered why Blair staked so much of his political capital on possibly the dumbest man ever to have occupied the White House. What did he get in return for this? The answer has been given by Kendall Myers, a senior State Department analyst, and - for Blair - it won't make for pleasant reading.
That for all Britain’s attempts to influence US policy in recent years, “we typically ignore them and take no notice — it’s a sad business”.
He added that he felt “a little ashamed” at Mr Bush’s treatment of the Prime Minister, who had invested so much of his political capital in standing shoulder to shoulder with America after 9/11.
Speaking at an academic forum in Washington on Tuesday night, he answered a question from The Times, saying: “It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyes . . . there was nothing. There was no payback, no sense of reciprocity.”
So there we have it. He got nothing. Or, actually, that's not strictly true. This may be the first time in medical history where the parasite became infected by the host.
Because the parasitical Blair is starting to sound just as unhinged as Bush, the man whose political sphere he has sought to influence. Blair did not succeed in pulling Bush back from the brink of madness; instead, he fell into the abyss with him.
Bush has the excuse of his stunning lack of intellectual curiosity, but Blair is a highly intelligent man. Somewhere along the line he knowingly made this Faustian pact. However, unlike Faust, Blair got bugger all for participating in the deal.
That's simply sad. And, inevitably, it has led to madness.
Click title for source.
tag: Bush, Iraq war, Blair, Afghanistan