Number One - Logic is an ass
Still now, I am amazed at how many people will say, in effect, there is increased terrorism today because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They seem to forget entirely that September 11 predated either. The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it.I hear any number of seemingly intelligent people making this point and, to be entirely honest, it baffles me every single time. That I'd even have to highlight the absurdity of the argument is itself absurd. There is no logic to the statement. It don't make no sense.
The logic of Blair's claim is that the attacks of September 11th predated our response and that our response cannot therefore have made the situation worse. Have a think about it. He's effectively claiming that because September 11th happened, nothing we now do could possibly cause an increase in terrorism . It's just ludicrous. Every time he says it, the correct response is to point, laugh, and then worry that the leader of our country actually appears to believe his own logic defying nonsense.
Number Two - Two plus two equals frog (on the crisis in Lebanon)
Their [Hezbollah's] terrorism would provoke massive retaliation by Israel. Within days, the world would forget the original provocation and be shocked by the retaliation. They want to trap the moderates between support for America and an Arab street furious at what they see nightly on their television. This is what has happened.He seems to have got his facts slightly muddled. It seems highly unlikely that Hezbollah expected Israel to react the way they did to their limited assault on a military target. Blair, later in his speech, suggests that the Hezbollah provocation which led to the Israeli response included "fir[ing] rockets indiscriminately at the civilian population in northern Israel". That isn't actually what happened and Blair, I'm sure, must know that it isn't. It was Israel who made the decision to escalate the current conflict, not Hezbollah.
Just to recap, Hezbollah launched a limited attack on a military target. At the same time, they fired a small number of diversionary mortar attacks. They expected to use the soldiers they captured as hostages to negotiate the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel as they had done in the not to distant past. Just to be clear, this wasn't an acceptable way to behave and it's illegal under international law but it was primarily an limited attack on a military target.
Israel then responsed by hitting a wide number of targets inside Lebanon, the Beruit airport for example. In response to these attacks, Hezbollah started firing rockets indescriminately at the civilian population in northern Israel. (In fact, it appears that Hezbollah claim to be attempting to hit military targets but their rockets are inaccurate, and they know it, so they are effectively firing rockets indescriminately, whatever they may claim.)
That Blair feels the need to regurgitate Israeli propaganda he know's not to be true shows just how serious he is about being "even-handed".
But on the wider stragetic point, he's nearly on to something. He seems to understand that extremists often look to provoke "massive retaliation" because that will be useful to their cause. Why then, if he sees that it plays into the hands of extremists, does he effectively support Israel's "massive retaliation" now? You surely don't need to have read Sun Tzu to understand that in war, it's best not to do what the enemy wants you to do.
Oh OK, one more.
Number Three - Killing for the fun of it
The purpose of the terrorism in Iraq is absolutely simple: carnage, causing sectarian hatred, leading to civil war.Er, no. What he's described there is a tactic, not a purpose. A minor quibble perhaps but the underlying suggestion, that "this terrorism" enjoys killing for the sake of it, is carefully crafted propaganda.
In conclusion then, the man's a logic defying, propaganda spewing menace. The day he resigns will be a good day for the whole world. It can't come soon enough.
Tags: News, Politics, Tony Blair