20 October 2007

Tony Blair and the Middle East

Last week at a formal dinner party hosted by his American backers, Tony Blair, now reincarnated as (sic) Middle East Peace Coordinator, said something quite significant. In relation to Iran, he challenged the often implicit assumption of many people in Britain and elsewhere that if ‘we’ (the western countries) left Iran alone they would leave us alone.

This widely held view – quite correctly - maintains that the west, as an aggressor and exploiter, has invaded, intervened in and overrun the Middle East either directly or through its surrogate, Israel. This correct understanding further sees that however revolting the regime in Teheran, the conflict is widely at the instigation of Washington and London. Blair’s intention was to undermine the majority view.

Blair instead wanted to tell us that even if Israel were able to achieve a comprehensive peace settlement, and if the west were to leave the Middle East to its own devices, Iran would nonetheless seek conflict with the overwhelming more powerful western countries. The implication of this judgment is that a war with Iran is both inevitable and desirable. It is a farce to have someone who is merely a pawn and apologist for US imperialism as a peace coordinator.

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