Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Was he right or was he wrong?

Members of the Labour Party haven’t exactly been rushing to agree with Blair following his comments about the situation in Iraq this week.  And I can imagine that Miliband and chums aren’t exactly best-pleased to hear a voice from the past resurrecting a ghost that they have been trying to lay to rest.
In essence, Blair’s claim, which has astonished many (to put it mildly) is that the latest events in Iraq are in no way a consequence of the war which on which he and Bush so enthusiastically embarked, and that the situation would have been even worse had they not taken the action which they took.  He’s also calling for more resolute action now (a curious position for a ‘peace envoy’ to take, but let’s leave that to one side).
I suspect that history will ultimately judge Blair to have been wrong, even over the long term, but in truth, none of us can know for certain.  The point is that we can never run history twice to see what would have happened if different decisions had been taken.  If the latest events demonstrate anything, it is surely that the whole situation is far more complicated than most of us realise, and it’s extremely difficult to decide who are the good guys deserving of support and who are the bad guys needing to be dealt with.  Indeed, it’s increasingly the case that yesterday’s bad guys are becoming today’s good guys (or perhaps ‘not-so-bad guys’), and alliances are shifting, largely on the basis that our enemy’s enemies are now our friends, whatever we may have said about them yesterday.
What I do know is that it was always less than honest to try and present a very complex situation as a simple case of good vs evil, in the way that Blair and Bush did.  And what concerns me even more is the possibility that they might have genuinely believed that to be the case.  There’s something more than a little dangerous about any politician who has such unshakeable faith in his own rightness that he cannot even conceive of the possibility of being wrong.


Anonymous said...

Events in any country other than one's own are always baffling and complicated. This has long been known by the vast majority looking from the outside. I'm surprised you have just realised this.

As for Blair's assertion that the war in Iraq played little part in today's happenings, I suspect he is right. But, equally, you too are right; a strong man, or a strong set of government institutions is often necessary to maintain order and control in nations where the populous would prefer to fight each other rather than knuckle down and accept the inequalities of life.

I suspect this is why the British government is so wary of further devolution and possible independence for Scotland and Wales.

G Horton-Jones said...

By deposing Saddam Hussein in Iraq Blair and Bush created a vacuum which others have exploited
There simply was no strategy in place to follow Western military intervention.

Shock and awe and pull out sums it up

Fast forward -- Murder Bin Ladin-- Problem solved No Worse problem Created.

Not sure of the link on this one but Westminster should have recognised the demands for devolution and responded

Harry Potter giving a million to the No campaign with Cameron . Clegg and Milliband who have no mandate in Scotland saying that they will created a UK federal structure in the event of a no vote taking place seems farcical

G Horton-Jones said...


The Iraqi war simply created a vacuum for any one to exploit.
Blair and Bush simply acted like foxes in a hen house there never was an exit strategy or any consideration of the effects of their actions on the ordinary population
Sorry Anon but the people there were left to knuckle down and get on with it Let us be under no illusion that the present situation has roots in the past