Saturday, May 27, 2006

Blair confirms lapdog status

Telegraph Co. U.K. has the story (hat tip Raw Story ) detailing how Tony Blair made three significant changes to a keynote address he made during his recent trip.

The changes came in parts of Blair's speech dealing with his outlook on Iran, the World Monetary Bank, and Global Warming. It is apparent that the alterations insisted upon by the Bush administration irritated Blair as demonstrated by the following portion of the article linked above, yet he still knuckled under and altered the speech.
Another planned section was intended to take a tough line on global warming and the Kyoto Treaty, which Washington still has not signed.

In the event, Mr Blair merely claimed: "We must act on climate change", but did not go into detail. At this point, as a mobile telephone rang in the audience, he even made a joke about American interference. "I hope that isn't the White House telling me they don't agree with that," he said. "They act very quickly, these guys."
It is clear that Blair considered the treatment he recieved in this case to be the near equivalent of a Godfather preapproving a hoods speech at a family gathering. We are now given the final confirmation that Blair is entirely subservient to his masters pulling the strings in Washington D.C.. Can anyone imagine if Bush were to visit England with a message not approved by the Blair government, that he would be silenced? This is a decidedly one sided relationship.

Further the next time someone from this administration claims to be the great democratic enablers for the entire world, let us question why it is that our allies are given the very words they must utter when they come to our shores. Freedom of speech? Only if you are an administration parrot.

However this story will not be given any coverage in the U.S., and few if any questions will be asked about this of any administration officials. Any previous administration who made such a large public display of defending democracy that tried to pull such a stunt would have caused a feeding frenzy of gotcha journalism. The fact is that this actually is such a routine example of this administrations ham handed attitude towards any sign of dissent that it will hardly elicit any notice at all from this side of the Atlantic.

The real question is, how will the British, where Bushism is an obscene word, react to the final proof that their p.m. is the closest thing that can be had to being, in a literal sense, George Bush's lap dog.

I'm pleased to see the Blair factor getting some space in the US.
All too often the US dynamic is considered in isolation, which is limiting in understanding the reality.
If a European leader is anti-Bush, the liberals blame Bush. And if a European leader is pro-Bush, the liberals blame Bush.

The British Prime Minister is taking advice from our president and that is a bad thing? Only if you are anti-Bush.
Jeff, that is all very well if you happen to be an American. We non-Americans sometimes resent it when our leaders yield pressure from the US leadership.
As sovereign nations, with our own domestic and International outlooks, the needs of domestic US politics might not always meet our needs.
My Australian PM is on slippery ground now for his fawning devotion to George W, as is Blair.
I would just ask one question Jeff. Can you imagine our President changing his speech if he visited another country. I can give you repeated examples where Bush or his minions have speechified on subjects not agreed upon by the nation in which the speech was given. The real anwer to the question posed above is "of course not."

It is clear that by expecting foriegn leaders to behave in a way that our President would never do in their country, Bush is violating the basic precept of moral universality. Not only do we not hold ourselves to the standard we hold others to, we violate the basic concept of free speech in imposing our will in the foriegn leaders chosen speech. This truly is a black eye to both Bush and Blair.
Of course, cartledge, I agree with you. If I weren't American I wouldn't want my government bowing to Bush.

My point is that Bush should be admired for winning friends. bhfrik implies that there were threats involved, comparing Bush to a "Godfather." The only evidence presented is that Bush asked for changes to Blair's speech and got them. With no evidence of coercion, so there is no violation of the basic concept of free speech.
Actually Jeff, the evidence presented included the line by Blair when the Celly rang after Blairs tepid statement on global warming. "I hope that isn't the White House telling me they don't agree with that," he said. "They act very quickly, these guys."

Without that line in particular, I would never have made the statement immediately following the Blair line: "It is clear that Blair considered the treatment he recieved in this case to be the near equivalent of a Godfather preapproving a hoods speech at a family gathering."

I mean the way he says that, in my opinion which is what this is all about in the first place mind you, reminds me of a line you might hear on the Sopranos. They act very quickly, these guys...
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]