Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Road Rage and Convictions

NPR often talks about "driveway moments"-- its stories that are so engaging that you can't get out of the car until they're done. I'd suggest a collection of "road rage" stories -- ones that are so biased and distorted that they make you want to pull the car over and scream "Enough!" I had one of those today hearing Rob Gifford's rather perverse adulation over the noble "convictions" of that great liar and war criminal across the pond, Tony Blair.

In light of the Downing Street Memo and other leaked documents, it is clear that Blair - like Bush - is a calculating liar, and that in the service of one of international law's greatest crimes, a crime against the peace, aggressive war.

In a real rhetorical twist of logic Gifford notes that Blair was intitially seen as being like Bill Clinton -- a creature who based decisions on polls and focus group studies. He then notes that the Iraq war unveiled the nobler Blair, a man of convictions and integrity (like Bush!) who was willing to go against "popular opinion" to support a war he believed in. This is astounding and thoroughly dishonest. To compare poll-watching political maneuvering (which for Blair and Clinton was always serving establishment interests) to the blatant anti-democratic actions of Blair in ignoring literally millions-in-the-street public protests and overwhelming public and "expert" disapproval of the war against Iraq is really grotesque.

Also, to describe the arrogant, dishonest, and self-serving delusions of Bush and Blair as convictions is contempuous of even the most basic ethical codes of human behavior. Ironically, Blair and Bush should have convictions -- in an international criminal court of law!

And yes, Blair rolled the political dice in supporting the Bush war machine and has lost the gamble (along with hundreds of thousands of human lives), but his actions are not contradictory to his New Labor politics, which are decidedly right-wing in nature. Only in our own narrow and debased political universe could someone like Rob Gifford describe (without irony) the likes of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as being left-of-center. What center--the Liebermann, Limbaugh, Berlusconi center of politics?

No comments: