Well, it's happened: Tony B-liar has finally quit, kicking and screaming the whole way. Gordon Brown after 13 long years of waiting now has his day in the sun. His scintillating speech this morning in front of #10 Downing Street, announcing that "Her Majesty the Queen" had asked him to form a new government, was pretty much as snoozifying as I expected it would be. This is definitely the beginning of a new, more boring era in British politics.
I am going to miss B-liar's articulate and always entertaining speeches -- and especially the Prime Minister's questions on Wednesdays, my favorite show -- but that's not to say I'm going to miss his endless line of BS. Change is a good thing.
Here's hoping Mr. Brown is not going to be the same enabling puddle to every hair-brained scheme W. & Co. can cook up that his predecessor was. It is doubtful that he will be: There are already rumblings that Brown has in mind a quicker than expected withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. [AFP
] Such a drastic change in the policy from our closest ally in the "Coalition of the Willing" might shock the fence-sitters in Congress to get off their duffs and start seriously moving on getting our troops the hell out of Iraq.
Gordon Brown may not be the slick operator he's replacing, but he's had plenty of opportunity to see that a toothy smile and a line of crap that never ends doesn't save you from political disaster when you insist on clinging to a failed policy that the vast majority of the electorate wants you to change. I'm thinking Brown could go a long way towards ensuring himself being elected in his own right, perhaps next year, by extricating his country from Bush's folly.
I'm not going to waste my time going over my impressions of the B-liar era, that's already been done to death by many others. There's nothing I could add to the universal eulogizing of the era of "cool Britannia," that hasn't already been said. I will say, though, that no matter how much good B-liar has done, and he has done some good, he'll always have Iraq hanging around his neck.
It would be nice to imagine that as he exits the scene he would be a bit more circumspect about his role in the whole Iraq fiasco, but he's not. Although, he accepts the fact that his decision to go along with W.'s invasion wasn't popular and he recognizes that his critics are entitled to their opinions -- he doesn't accuse those critics of being in league with al-Qaeda -- he remains in total denial about what made him think this was a good idea in the first place.
In his essay "What I've Learned
," in the June 2nd edition of the Economist, he continues to hue to all the reasons for going to war that have since been debunked and he deludes himself into thinking if it wasn't for al-Qaeda in Iraq everything would have gone great.
According to B-liar:
"We can debate and re-debate the rights or wrongs of removing Saddam. But the reality is that if you look at al-Qaeda (in Iraq before Saddam's fall) out of the conflict in or around Baghdad . . . It would be possible to calm the situation. . . Remove al-Qaeda, remove the malign Iranian activity, the situation [in Iraq] would be changed, even transformed."
First of all, al-Qaeda came in after he and W. overthrew Saddam. When his good buddy W.'s minions hired L. Paul Bremer to go in and fire all the Baathists and disband the Iraqi army, that created the vacuum al-Qaeda swooped into fill.
If the al-Qaeda in Iraq B-liar's referring to "before Saddam's fall" is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then he should go back and check a map of Iraq. Zarqawi was living comfortably in Iraqi-Kurdistan, back then protected by the UN no fly zone; a part of Iraq Saddam had no control over. And, on top of that, Zarqawi wasn't much of an al-Qaeda operative back then. He only made a name for himself after the invasion, after the US propaganda machine
had run out of suitable boggy men on playing cards.
There is no debating and re-debating these fundamental facts. Tony is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts (to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan). This is the reality: Al-Qaeda is in Iraq because of B-liar's and Bush's bungling. Ergo, B-liar's argument that if only al-Qaeda wasn't there his and W.'s great plan would have worked in Iraq is either incredibly cynical or unbelievably deluded.
One other ridiculous claim B-liar makes is that Iran is supporting the Taliban, a charge mainly pushed by the vice-president's office but not backed up with any proof
as of yet. B-liar says his critics: "Point to the historical absurdity of . . . Iranian elements linking up to the Taliban. . . Revolutionary communism took many forms. It chose unlikely bedfellows."
He's making the same mistake the US made in thinking that China and Russia were backing the North Vietnamese. The commies may have made unlikely bedfellows in other cases, but China and Russia never got into bed together. They despised each other almost as much as they hated us.
The only other country the Vietnamese have fought longer than the US and France is the China. For centuries these two countries have been at each other's throats. It was just as absurd back in the 60's to think the Chinese would be helping the Vietcong as it is now to think Shia Iranians are assisting the Sunni Talibs.
the Iranians were threatening to take out the Taliban themselves, when they moved 100,000 troops to the Afghan border. The Iranians may be putting a lot of road blocks in our way in Afghanistan and helping out their Shia brethren in Iraq, but they're kind of stuck in the neighborhood. The last thing they want is the Taliban moving back in right next door.
Obviously, despite the title of his piece, B-liar hasn't learned much. I'm thinking perhaps the world would have been better off if he had stuck with his musical career instead of getting into politics. And there are "ugly rumors" that his new gig as peace envoy to the Palestinian/Israel conflict is going to go down like a Led Zeppelin, too.
If W. is behind the appointment, then you know we're just weeks or months away from another Wolfowitz moment.