Tony Blair has blamed Iranian intervention for prolonging conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regime change in Tehran would make him "significantly more optimistic" about the region's prospects, the former prime minister told The Times. BBC News, 9th September
Ah, Tony Blair. God help us if he ever becomes self-aware, like SkyNet in the Terminator movies - it could be a catastrophe on the species level, like nuclear war or the Black Death.
So. Here we have a leading light of an aggressive, expansionist political system that regularly employs extreme violence and coersion to replicate itself across the planet, warning a medieval theocracy to desist interfering in the affairs of its neighbours, on the grounds that those neighbours have been made protectorates of said expansionist system by force. It's a bold gambit, I have to say, and one that a sane nation might find a little peculiar.
As it happens, I do agree with Tony - I too would be more optimistic about the region's prospects, were the Iranians to ditch the glowering caste of priests that have blighted the development of their country and brutally repressed the population. God knows, we have enough historical experience of what it's like to be at the mercy of the clergy ourselves.
Let's note another irony here, though. No doubt the Mullahs would be overjoyed to impose their wacky Koranic idiocies on Edinburgh or London; if they could push a button and overthrow the American state, they'd do it in a heartbeat. On the other hand, in the absence of the ability to do so, I imagine that they have no concrete plans for how the United Kingdom should be governed...
Well, you can't say that Tony Blair has no designs on the governance of Tehran.
Update!: It's actually worth shelling out a quid for the Times today, just to catch the barking yet entirely earnest lunacy of the Tony Blair interview. Here he is, explaining why Afghanistan and Iraq went so badly wrong, against all of his expectations...
"The real reason why it was difficult in Afghanistan and then in Iraq - and is difficult, actually, all over the region of the Middle East at the moment - is that the narrative in which religion is mixed up with politics and in which the idea that 'the West is inherently in conflict with us', that ideology, that has those ideas in it, in a very toxic way, is far more widespread than we understood at the time".
Now, I'm aware that Tony is referring to religious and political extremism here but equally, I can't help but point out that the former Prime Minister is complaining that some irrational, crazy people believe that the UK is "inherently in conflict" with them at a time when the UK is bombing, invading and occupying their countries.
He also unironically blames much of the carnage on "external factors" and says that there will be no "external players trying to cause difficulty" in Libya; Insists that the War on Whatever must continue because the people of these countries "want democracy", while failing to note that substantial minorities amongst them have in fact sacrificed tens of thousands of their own lives explicitly in order to prevent such an outcome, and proclaims that all of this bloodcurdling mayhem has made him realise one thing - that the "scale of the problem" was far greater than he'd imagined.
Also, this little peach of a quote is nestled near the end...
"I was saying even two or three months ago, if he (Bashar al-Assad, Syrian dictator) was prepared to lead a process of reform, then I would give him the chance to make the evolution work".
You really have to hand it to Tony - a man who believes a sincere apology should always include a restatement of how very fucking right he was all along; whose idea of questing for peace between Israel and the Palestinians is to deliver sucky speeches telling one of the warring factions how very fucking right they are about everything; who seems to think that the only problem with bombarding cities is that the public sometimes see too many bloody corpses, and who appears to believe that he has right of veto over the leadership of Ba'athist dictatorships.
As I've said before, the problem with Tony wasn't that he was a liar - he wasn't any worse than his predecessors or successors in that regard, I think. No, the real problem with Tony was and is that he is an actual, for real lunatic who sees validation in every error and the Promised Land in every bombed out cityscape. The man is a maniac of the most dangerous type - a politician who actually believes his own propaganda... And, let me remind you, this guy is the Peace Envoy to the Middle East.