Tonight is the last night of 2009. For the past year my mind and thoughts have dwelt much on the bloodbath in Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan.
The Chilcot Inquiry on the war in Iraq has dredged up once again my despair and anger at the unrelenting sufferings of the Iraqis, the Afghanis, the Gazans and Palestinians and especially the culpability of that "holy huckster", Tony Blair.
He is due to appear in the Inquiry in the new year and so far the situation has been getting a little hot for him. Fortunately he was given a chance to smoothen his path when the BBC granted him a slot to appear on its religious programme on December the 13th. Here's an extract.
Question :If you had known then that there were no WMD, would you still have gone in?
TB :I would still have thought it right to remove him...Obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat.
Why is it right for TB (and GW Bush) to dispense with the Rule of Law to invade another sovereign state? "He's arrogant, deluded, and dictatorial, a classic self-righteousness," said one commentator. Iraqis and Afghanis (and in the present climate Iranians, Yemenis and Somalians too)are regarded as lesser humans in need of his ex-High Anglican and Catholic guidance - a typical evangelical mindset.
In 2006 on Parkinson's ITV1 chatshow, Blair said to the host that he had prayed while deciding whether to send troops to Iraq. "In the end there is a judgement that, I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people..and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well." Was he praying for the civilians of Iraq as well as his troops?
MOUTH FOR HIRE
The Bible describes the Seven Deadly Sins as : Pride, Envy, Wrath, Avarice, Sloth, Gluttony and Lust.
Since leaving Number 10 Downing Street, TB has accumulated a lot of feathers to line his nest.
1. £4.6 million for his memoirs.
2. £2 million from his 'job' with JP Morgan, the investment bank.
3. £1/2 million from Zurich Financial Services.
4. £84,000 taxpayers' money to run a private office and an annual pension of £63,468
5. He is the most expensive public speaker with a 2-year waiting list for bookings. His 'customers' must be prepared to cough up £90k for a 20-minute speech.
6. Recently, (February 2009,)the Dan David Foundation of Tel Aviv awarded a $1 million prize for his "exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict". (???? what agreement? what solution? which areas of conflict?)
A caveat here. I bear no fellow human any envy - no matter how famous and popular and wealthy they are.
So, when TB came to Malaysia in August 2008 to give the University of Malaya 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Lecture on "Upholding the Rule of Law: A Reflection", what was the hire-fee? I attended that lecture and I was stuck between amusement and disbelief listening to this fox lecturing the poultry farmers on how to protect their hens and their hen-house!!!
I also remember this posting by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar on August the 5th, 2008 about TB's Lecture.
"...Mr Blair presented the key aspects of the subject winningly and poignantly, lending important validation to what it is civil society has been saying for more than two decades now: an independent and competent justice system is crucial to democracy and the sustainable growth of a nation."
However, according to TB's countrymen, during his watch he presided over the erosion of civil liberties and the politicization of the upper echelons of the Civil Service. Spin and 'sofa government' was the hallmark of his premiership.
As for the War, MIS wrote:
"I do not intend to put Mr Blair on a pedestal, but leaving aside his more questionable decisions including those on Iraq - I know of no leader whose every decision has been universally acceptable and if we are going to accuse Mr Blair of war crimes then we should be accusing those who wield the ISA for political purposes of crimes against humanity - here was, simply put, a world class leader."
I am as stunned today as I was then when I first read that review in 2008! (I did a posting on this review on September 27, 2008 - Disqualified Disquiet - Revisiting Malik Imtiaz Sarwar).
Tony Blair's countryman and a credible journalist with The Guardian, The Observer and New Statesman had this to say: ".....widespread contempt for the man who has made millions while Iraqis die in their hundreds of thousands due to havoc unleashed by the illegal invasion, and who with, breathtaking arrogance seems to regard himself as above the rules of international law." - Neil Clark.
Finally, congratulations to Mr Malik Imtiaz Sarwar on winning the 2009 Bindmans Law and Campaigning Award on April 2009 - for his fight against injustice. He's lucky that he is a Malaysian and his pond is small, not like the Iraqis and Afghanis or Palestinians who are fighting and dying for justice and their human rights in the cesspool of Western neo-imperialism.
Inikah dia lakunan hidup
Dipentas dunia insan berpura.
Tipu dan daya mencapai maksud.
Budi dan harta merangkum noda.