So Tony Blair, Britain'sPrime Minister, will resign on June 27, 2007 after serving in that post for ten years, the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister and the first to win three elections in a row. In all of Britain'slong and turbulent history, he has been outlasted only by one Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher who lived in Downing Street for 11? years?quite an achievement.
Blair first got elected to the House of Commons in 1983 when he was barely 30 years old. He was then the Labour Party'syoungest M.P. When, on May 22, 1997, he became Prime Minister, he was the youngest Labour Prime Minister, Britain ever had. The Labour Party then had a massive majority of 179. In 2001, Blair won a second term but his majority was down to 167. On May 5, 2005 Blair won a third term, this time it was with an even thinner majority of 66. He has hardly finished two years of his third term when he has decided to quite. It is anybody'sguess who will win in 2009. Labour Party is losing because of the war in Iraq. On February 15, 2003 half a million citizens marched in London to oppose the war. It should have been an eye-opener for Blair. But some politicians become incapable of learning as they grow older. Age does not make them wiser. But Blair was so scared that the abusive epithet ?Bush'spoodle? may stick to him that to this day he has not picked up what the US Congress awarded him in July 2003?the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal for being ?a staunch and steadfast ally of the United States of America?.
Among Britishers who received the medal is Winston Churchill. Blair may say that the war against Saddam Hussain is justified. But who made Saddam the man he became? Of course, the United States of America which used him for its war against Iran. For Saddam to become what he became, the United Kingdom must take up as much blame as the United States. Both used Saddam for their own sinister purposes.
According to Michael Elliott, international editor of Time magazine, Blair had come to believe in two things: First, that it is wrong for the rest of the world to sit back and expect the US to solve the really tough questions. Second, that some things a State does within its borders justify intervention even if they do not directly threaten another nation'sinterest. As examples, Blair mentions how he helped bring peace in northern Ireland, Kosove and Sierra Loone. Neither Blair nor Bush have anything to say about how Pakistan stole technology from other countries to build its nuclear weapons. Both the US and the UK looked the other way while Pakistan was making its nuclear bombs.
How hypocritical can a nation be? For both the US and the UK, Pakistan was a useful poodle to be used against Afghanistan and indirectly against the then Soviet Union. Moscow did not create the Taliban. The CIA did. And Blair meekly supported the concept. Later Blair seems to have come to the conclusion that, as Elliott put it, ?in certain carefully delineated cases, the use of force for humanitarian purposes, might make sense?. Oh really? The western powers are responsible for building up Islamic extremism. But it is not they alone who are paying for that folly. India, too, is made to pay heavily, thanks to western greed for mid-eastern oil and the desire to keep out all other powers from mid-eastern and Iranian oil resources.
Blair was a co-conspirator in supporting Islamic terrorism in its earliest phases. India kept out of this calculated thuggery. But India is being made to pay for it. And the US has the nerve to accuse India of being friendly towards Iran. Britain, of course, has every reason to fall at US feet.
During the First World War, it will be remembered the US joined the Allies only towards 1917 when the War had actually begun in 1914. The long-awaited, but much-needed American troops were in action in Europe as late as April 20, 1918. Yet, in the end Britain was saved by US intervention.
During the Second World War, it was only after Japan bombed Pearl Harbour that the US joined the Allies when the War was three years old. But then US aid again helped Britain. After that Britain and the US became the closest allies, two English-speaking democracies with one aim: To maintain control over the rest of the world, especially the developing world. Both made life difficult for India. When Britain fought the Falklands War, the US was ready to help Margaret Thatcher.
On April 1982, the US agreed to impose limited military and economic sanctions against Argentina, which could rightfully claim sovereignty over Falkland Islands. For, all the help Britain received, it helped the US in setting up a defence system at Flingsdale Moor in Yorkshire, received more than $ 1,000 million for the purchase of machinery in 1948 and when Harold McMillan was Prime Minister, agreed to provide the US with a base and facilities to US submarines armed with Polaris missiles, at Holy Loch, on the western coast of Scotland.
On December 16, 1999, Britain was the only power which militarily supported the US ?Operation Desert? against military targets in Iraq. It is not just Blair who has been a poodle. Practically all UK prime ministers in their way have been poodles. Is it any wonder, then, that Blair has followed what has been a long British tradition? Even on Jammu and Kashmir, the two countries played their own dirty game and had not India stood firm, they would have stolen the state out of Indian hands.
Illustrating the American liberal way of thinking, Time magazine'sElliott writes: ?The questions Blair asked: When should we meddle in another nation'slife? Why should everything be left to the US? What are the well-springs of mutual cultural respect? How can the west show its strength without using guns??will continue to be asked for a generation.? Are there no answers to these questions? Yes, there are. What Iraq needs is not the use of American guns and bombs but Gandhigiri, the tried and successfully tested Gandhian philosophy of non-violence. Both the Americans and the British must get out of Iraq and leave Iraqis alone. India must take the lead in restoring peace in Iraq as only India can. The White nations must get out of the Middle East, bag and baggage. Only then will peace return to Iraq and Iran.
Gandhigiri is not a mere slogan, only, one wonders whether there is anybody left in India who can present the Gandhian philosophy in its true sense. Iraq today needs peace more than anything else and only a true Gandhian can help restore it. Not British soldiers of American guns. And they must stop playing Sunnis against Shias as once the British played Muslims against Hindus to stay in power.
When will the Sunnis and Shias realise that they are being made use of? When will they learn to unite against a common enemy? Blair is not going out on his own. He has been disowned by his own people: and rightly so.