Some nice things can be said about Tony Blair.
One, he has a nice wife who is cleverer than him, though she has been known to scare the life out of the paparazzi first thing in the morning, bringing in the Number Ten milk in her housecoat and with dishevelled hair.
Two, he is going to shaft Clare Short when the time is right. No International Development Secretary is going to get away with calling the Prime Minister "reckless" three times on television and radio and keep the job.
What a fool she has turned out to be.
"Please stay on, Clare. We're going to need you to rebuild a shattered Iraq after we extend the desert and free the people."
"Absolutely, you idiot."
"Okay, I'll support the war to end all wars."
Three, he has an interesting father-in-law, Cherie's father, the former actor Tony Booth, a bit of a philanderer, a great raconteur, who loved Elsie Tanner from 'Coronation Street', otherwise known as Pat Phoenix to us mouldy oldies, whom Booth married in September 1986, a week before she died of cancer.
Four, he has a son, a teenager, a harmless child, who has signed up to my Creative Drinking Course, Part II, 'It Cost a Fortune, Now Keep it Down.'
And that's about it. I have to admit, I was glad to see Blair elected prime minister in 1997 because out of self-interest I felt that a fresh government in Downing Street, particularly a Labour one after eighteen years of Conservative rule, might provide the opportunity for a resumption of the IRA ceasefire and new talks. It did, regardless of how unsatisfactorily Blair has subsequently handled his responsibilities and commitments relating to the Belfast Agreement.
When Blair appeared on television recently, before the vote in the House of Commons, he looked under pressure, gaunt and exhausted, and many people said that they felt a bit sorry for him because "he sounded sincere."
Even if Blair wasn't acting, even if he was sincere, it doesn't make what he is doing right.
Even if he and George Bush 'win', that doesn't make them right. Oliver Cromwell was very sincere, as psychiatrists will tell you are many serial killers.
Blair has contemplated, planned and is now executing the cold and calculated killing of innocent and - by his own definition - oppressed Iraqi people, as a consequence of the main event of removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.
Of course, as sincere and true Christians, Blair and Bush know that the fewer innocents that are killed the better for them in terms of public relations. But Blair isn't balking at indeterminate numbers of innocents being killed, be it a hundred or ten thousand. This is the man who stood on the streets of Omagh in August 1998, after the Real IRA bombing, and declared that no cause is worth shedding one drop of innocent blood.
He was sincere, wasn't he?
Yes, the man with the big bombs is sincere, okay. Tony Blair is the product of an imperialist tradition and culture which is alien to ours. Our oppressed nation gave birth to mere Irish freedom fighters. We're missing the gene for arrogance, the conviction that we were born to rule everybody else, besides ourselves.
The pretext for this war is that Iraq was under the grip of a dictator, the former friend and ally of Britain and the USA, who had or might have had, or might have had in the future, weapons of mass destruction (not dissimilar to, but not as proficient or as prodigious in number as those possessed by Britain and the USA), and who might have used them against innocent people in the West to bring about regime/policy change if the West didn't act pre-emptively.
But that argument was thoroughly rejected by millions of people across the world - including, in the West, those Saddam Hussein would be allegedly targeting with his weapons of mass destruction.
I like nothing about Saddam Hussein but I have yet to be convinced that he has weapons of mass destruction or that he is a threat to Ireland or Europe. The only mad bombers I see are those taking off from Fairford in England, who then fly several thousand miles to drop tons of high explosives on the people of a city who have done them no harm. If Saddam has poison gas wouldn't he use it now when his back is against the wall and he has nothing to lose?
I am not sure about many things but I am pretty sure about this: one has no right to interfere in the affairs of another country. It causes trouble and the outcome stores up trouble.
In conventional terms the US and Britain will overthrow the Iraqi regime. Relieved citizens may well cheer the arrival of the troops, but it will be a false cheer. There will be resentment. A pro-western government will be installed and will be expected to behave in the interests of the West, beginning with paying for the war.
But out of anger, frustration and desperation some survivors of the bombing will be attracted to Islamic fundamentalism and its promise of avenging the death of innocent Iraqis. And who will have been the real recruiting sergeant for these future terrorists? Bin Laden? Fanatical mullahs?
Yours sincerely, Tony Blair.
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© 2007 Irish Author and Journalist - Danny Morrison