Don’t mention the war
My eyes hurt when I read this article in The Guardian by Zoe Williams. She praises the achievements of the Blair government and laments the failure of many members of the Labour Party to do so:
Generally speaking they have allowed Blair to become a pariah – and this leaves them unable to celebrate his achievements, incapable of examining what didn’t go to plan. It leaves them without any pride in more than a decade of Labour government.
She lists the national minimum wage, the reduction of pensioner poverty, the progress towards abolishing child poverty, the modernisation of the NHS and asks:
Can you imagine Northern Ireland’s Good Friday agreement coming out of this coalition?
No, I cannot. Then she concludes:
But none of these conversations can even begin until we stop calling Tony Blair a war criminal.
No sooner had the blinding light of understanding dawned, however, than it dimmed again:
Maybe that sounds like dishonouring the dead; but what kind of wolves are we leaving in charge, while we nurse this hostile “honour”?
Her meaning is obscure, but this much can be discerned. She thinks Blair is a war criminal, but that Labour supporters should stop going on about it because it subtracts from the great achievements of their government under his leadership.
Unfortunately, the simpletons she chastises have a better grasp of the argument than she does. If you think someone is a war criminal, this is an important point about him. You cannot say, “He may have committed crimes against humanity but look at all those Sure Start centres.”
In this, her article is revealing of the insincerity of the Guardian anti-left’s Blair rage. They do not mean that Blair is a war criminal – indeed, many of them barely understand what the phrase means. What they mean is that they really, really, strongly disagreed with his foreign policy.
It is offensive and reflects badly on those making the allegation. If Williams could admit that, then we could get on with assessing the Blair government’s record – on balance, good – fairly.Tagged in: blair rage, international law, iraq, iraq war
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