Blair and their crude morality play
In the early days of America the native
Indi ans preparing for battle sounded their war drums
as the invading white man took their lands. In later years the native
Indians were forced into signing treaties with the American government
that confined them to reservations.
Some of those
treaties which the Indians hoped would be faithfully observed by
those who forced them into such agreements, were broken. Some Indian
tribes beat their war drums again as they took to arms against such
speak with forked tongue", they said in anger and desperation.
Today the war
drums sound again in America as a president burning with evangelical
zeal prepares to lead a reluctant people into war with an enemy
several thousand miles away.
W. Bush's personal transformation from a bottle-scarred youth to
a Bible-waving Puritan partly accounts for his vision of the world
seen in stark terms of black and white, of good and evil.
In the aftermath
of the tragic events of September 11 and the consequent "war
against terror", Bush claimed to have realised the divine calling
of his office. "He was not involved in a legitimate defence
of the national interest but a Manichean struggle between good and
evil", as author Tristam Hunt ably put it in a recent article.
Mani was a Persian prophet whose religious teachings were based
on the supposed primeval struggle between light and darkness.
Ronald Reagan and George Bush snr. saw the then Soviet Union as
the "evil empire". But the collapse of the Soviet Union
left the reformed George Bush jnr without the dark forces of evil
that confronted his father and the American nation.
George Bush has set out to lead the religious crusades of the 21st
century into the same lands as the 11th century crusaders, and founded
his own evil empire- the Al Qaeda, Taliban and Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein. And here in Britain, the war drums are sounding their staccato
beat like some distant echo of the noises emanating from the White
House and the Pentagon.
The drum major
is nobody else but the prime minister of this country Tony Blair
who has increasingly assumed the governing style of an American
president than a British prime minister.
war-like speeches over the last few weeks about the dangers to the
civilised world from dictatorial regimes such as that of Saddam
Hussein might have mesmerised his master at the White House, but
has certainly not convinced the vast majority of the British people
or their elected representatives, as Bush has failed to carry the
American people on unilateral American military action against the
Tony Blair is being characterised as Bush's pet poodle and as the
two bulls that are preparing to charge the china shop without any
serious consideration for the consequences.
Yes, New York's
twin towers symbolised American corporate power that had spread
its tentacles worldwide. Yes, the Pentagon represented US military
strength that has been often misused and abused since America entered
the last world war against Japanese imperialism and German Nazism
and its dreams of lebensraum.
But have the
terrorist attacks on these two symbols of American global power
in any way diminished that power and made the American leadership
any more conscious of its international obligations? Rather, has
it not roused a latent imperialism that has been with right-wing
presidents since the gradual diminution of Soviet power and the
official end of the Cold War?
Those who listened
to President Bush addressing the United Nations on Thursday, urging
the world body to accept its responsibility and damning Saddam Hussein
to purgatory for consistently ignoring UN resolutions would have
been convinced of his sincerity had they been ignorant of or oblivious
to, 20th century history.
might be far better informed of corporate boardrooms and shady big
businesses such as Enron, than of American foreign policy including
the period when his father served in the White House.
Had he paid
as much attention to these aspects of his country's history and
the consequences of his own actions in the past few years he would
have sounded less hypocritical and less certain of America's moral
11, America mourned for what happened one year earlier. It might
have been an appropriate day to mourn also for what happened 19
years earlier when the United States helped topple the democratically
elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende who was later executed
along with several of his leading supporters. The military coup
brought to power General Augusto Pinochet, whose pro-American foreign
policy was heartily welcomed in Washington.
The fact that
during Pinochet's 17- year rule, thousands of Chileans (and others)
were tortured, executed, locked up and thousands of others simply
disappeared, did not disturb America's moral conscience.
A couple of
years back, the Blair government did a quick cover up and only got
rid of Pinochet after a month or more in London when a Spanish judge
asked London for his extradition to be charged for violating human
Even Mr Blair,
who only the other day told trade unionists that he could not live
with his conscience if they did not move against Saddam Hussein,
found no conscience racked with guilt at allowing a mass murderer
to remain here while his government argued about the legality of
Why this tolerance?
Because Pinochet passed on intelligence to Britain during the Falkland
War against Argentina- Pinochet's enemy-and saved British lives.
So Mr Blair
is ready to pay a "blood price" to the US by committing
British troops to battle.
But these two
great democrats- Bush even spoke of democracy in the UN speech-
are willing to drag their countries to war when all public opinion
polls in both nations reject unilateral military action and the
elected representatives are sharply divided.
But most hypocritical
of all is the fact that Saddam Hussein, evil personified in the
perception of Bush and Blair, was the creature of the western powers.
The Satan then
was Iran's leader Ayatollah Khomeini who had ousted from the peacock
throne the Shah of Iran, guardian of the Gulf and a puppet of the
west. Because the west feared that Iran's militant Islam was a danger
to the pro-western Arab states in the Gulf and therefore a threat
to western( particularly American) oil supplies, they encouraged
Saddam Hussein as a counter, just as they did the Taliban and Al
Qaeda until they turned against the US.
invaded Iran in 1980, these present advocates of political and moral
rectitude such as US and UK remained silent, but under cover helped
the Iraqi leader.
It is strange
that Bush and Blair talk of Saddam using chemical weapons against
the Iraqi Kurds in 1988 but make no mention of the chemical weapons
used against thousands of Iranians including civilians in 1983.
Iraq was then their friend and the Sunni Arab bulwark against Shiite
The two Bs
insistence on fighting terror and evil is just a fig leaf for their
Like in Afghanistan, the fear is that the west will lose their oil
supplies, particularly if the pro-western Gulf leaders fall from
Good and evil
is the moral cover. Beneath it lies oil.