It’s not easy when you find out that your friends have been using you as a chump.
Tony Blair must have been really sick this week when Donald Rumsfeld casually let drop that Mr.Bush and his team couldn’t give a toss about Britain sending soldiers to Iraq. Truth is, they’d probably prefer it if we didn’t, but our participation at least means they can pretend it’s an international force.
But I bet Tony feels terribly slighted – after all he’s gone through to prove his devotion to the ideals of extremist Republican militarism. He’s practically split his party, put his own leadership in jeopardy and made himself look thoroughly ill in the process. And what has he got out of it? A few pats on the back and nice Christmas card from the White House, I expect.
I mean it’s simply not fair. Here he is – Prime Minister of Great Britain (just) – and he’s doing everything he possibly can including leaning over backwards and licking his own bottom. He’s spending vast amounts of money he hasn’t got on sending men to the Gulf. He’s put his entire nation in the front line for terrorist reprisals. He’s upset his other admirers in Europe, and – to cap it all – he’s put his name to a plan that is not just plain stupid but is actually wicked, and in return? Zilch.
All the contracts for reconstructing Iraq are to go to American companies – preferably ones like Haliburton, which remain such good friends with their old boss vice-president Dick Cheney. But not a single British company is to benefit from all the mayhem and destruction that the bombing is going to cause.
Poor old Tony doesn’t even get a bone.
I suppose he should have been more careful about who he was playing with in the first place.
But they took him for a sucker.
He thought he’d be able to cut a decent figure as the elder statesman, sagely steering his impetuous American friends away from actions they would later regret. And for that he was prepared to subscribe to the most hawkish, aggressive regime that has ever held power in the good ole US of A. A regime whose planners spelled out their schemes for American military world domination in a report for the Project for the New American Century published in September 2000, before the George Bush seized power. (You can look it up on www.newamericancentury.org).
Their aim, they say in their report, is “to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests”. And they make it quite clear that they envisage achieving those aims not by diplomacy but through military might. For which reason they need “increase defense spending gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross national product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.”
At the time they knew there was little hope of the American public buying into such imperialistic dreams. What was needed they said in their pre Sept 11th report was: “some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbour.” Well the dreams came true.
And now it’s quite obvious that instead of Mr Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney listening attentively to Mr Blair’s sage advice, they’ve simply been using him as a patsy – a convenient fig-leaf.
Tony Blair has merely been helping to give Mr. Bush’s barbaric planners for World domination credibility amongst the American public.
The only conceivable hope of stopping their militaristic global ambitions is for the rest of the world to oppose them. There might then be some hope that the American public would wake up to what sort of a government they currently have. The reawakening of American democracy is the only hope for a future world that is not ridden by terrorism and global warfare.
TERRY JONES was a member of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy troupe.