Back to Suez? Tony B-liar toes Israel war line
AS anti-war demonstrators gather for a march in Tel Aviv, and two British warships head for Beirut, British prime minister Tony Blair has lined up his government behind Ehud Olmert's war on the Palestinians and Lebanon.
Speaking after talks with US president George Bush, and on a day when Israeli air strikes left 35 civilians dead, Blair blamed Iran and Syria for the latest flare-up.
"According to witnesses and photographs from the scene of the worst incident, an Israeli missile incinerated a car and a small truck full of families leaving their Lebanese border village of Marwaheen near Tyre after the Israeli army used loudhailers to tell residents they had just hours to go. Pictures showed charred bodies of children strewn across the road".
(Children die in convoy attack as Israel widens Lebanon assault, The Observer, July 18, 2006)
Promising that he and Bush would try to bring other leaders behind "a common and unified position" on the Middle East crisis in their talks at the G8 summit, Blair told reporters: "Sometimes there's been a hesitation in putting the real truth of the situation up there in front of people."
The idea that Blair wants to tell the truth must cause gasps, if not ribald laughter, not least in Britain. This is the prime minister who used a dodgy dossier of cooked-up "evidence" to con his country and parliament into going to war on Iraq by Bush's side. The head of a government, members of whose armed forces were caught in Basra, disguised in Arab clothes with explosives and detonators, clearly bent on carrying out a terrorist attack against civilians with the aim of provoking sectarian war. The prime minister who broke the BBC's claims to independence and has whipped its commentators into line.
Blair is also the prime minister whose special Middle East envoy is currently unavailable for diplomatic missions, due to his arrest and bail in connection with police investigations concerning his other job, raising New Labour funds.
To shake off its historic link with the trade unions, Blair's Labour turned to wealthy businessmen, who were promised the prime minister's ear and more in return for cash. To avoid declaring the donations they were made as "loans".
Labour's Treasurer Jack Dromey said he knew nothing about what went on. His partner Harriet Harman quit the committe on House of Lords reform. Many people say it wasn't just honours, but policy decisions, that were obtained in return for donations. After the arrest and questioning of Lord Levy, the prime minister himself could be "helping police with their enquiries" when he gets back from St.Petersburg.
The truth? Tony Blair would not know it if it bit him in the ass.
This war in the Middle East has been in preparation some time. Israelis, including the father of Corporal Gilad Shalit, the soldier captured in the Gaza raid, have said that their government could negotiate the release of prisoners if it wanted to, but the military used the incidents to launch its pre-planned war strikes.
War veteran, former Knesset member and peace campaigner Uri Avnery says: "THE REAL aim is to change the regime in Lebanon and to install a puppet government.That was the aim of Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It failed. But Sharon and his pupils in the military and political leadership have never really given up on it.As in 1982, the present operation, too, was planned and is being carried out in full coordination with the US".
But the US war aim, as already voiced by neo-cons before this started, and for which the pro-war US and British media are preparing people, is for Israel to spearhead a war against Syria and Iran. Tony Blair is doing his bit.
Fifty years ago the British and French governments conspired with Israel to wage war against Egypt, to punish the Egyptian people for supporting the Algerian liberation war and nationalising the Suez Canal. The Israeli government had its own aims, claiming it was acting to stop Palestinian fedayeen raids and Egypt had threatened war. But Ben Gurion knew that Nasser had earlier offered peace talks, and Israel had OKayed secret negotiations (involving among others British Labour MP Maurice Orbach), only to pull the rug from under their feet as it went ahead with its allies making war.
In those days, British Prime Minister Eden pretended he was intervening to separate the two belligerents. To facilitate this hypocrisy, Israeli diplomat Abba Eban even had to perform gymnastics at the UN, agreeing then rejecting a cease fire, to give the British invasion force more time. In those days, too, not only did Khruschev threaten the British and French alliance, but the US administration used economic pressure to pull Eden back. The war aim of toppling Nasser failed, and instead it was Eden who fell.
Nowadays, without the Soviet Union to worry about, America feels pretty well free to do as it pleases with the Arab world, especially if it can use Britain and Israel to do its dirty work. The only thing you can say about Blair is that he does not pretend as Eden did that Britain is neutral between Israel and the Arab peoples. In fact, as we saw with the Jericho operation, the British government under Blair is backing the most aggressive actions by Israel, and Labour is far less willing to criticise the Olmert government's policies than many Israelis would.
It is time to put the truth in front of people, as Tony Blair says. The truth that if you want a just peace in the Middle East, an end to brutal repression and freedom for the Palestinian people, the Blair government is on the other side. Say it loud and clear - IT IS TIME FOR BLAIR TO GO!