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Two Cheers for Tony Blair

April 16, 2007

British Prime Minister Tony Blair may have fatally undermined his legacy and the prospects for his Labor Party with his slavish devotion to George W. Bush and his calamitous project in Iraq. But on one small matter of rhetoric at least, the UK government may have seen the light.
As the BBC reports today, Blair's International Development Secretary Tony Benn declared that British government does not use the term "global war on terror" to describe either the current conflict against Al Qaeda or the quagmire in Iraq. As Benn put it:

"In the UK, we do not use the phrase 'war on terror' because we can't win by military means letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength."

As I wrote in August 2005 ("The Global War on Error"), the Bush administration's dangerous and misguided branding of the U.S. struggle against Al Qaeda obscures the true nature of the conflict, putting the American people at even greater risk:

This is not a case, as Shakespeare might have said, of a rose by any other name smelling as sweet. The United States is not engaged in a twilight struggle against a concept. The United States is fighting Al Qaeda, an organization with political and military goals, one that declared war on America in 1996 and attacked its homeland in 2001. Bin Laden's organization and its network of loosely affiliated cells and followers must be beaten back politically, diplomatically, ideologically - and militarily.
But almost from the moment the Twin Towers fell, President Bush has mischaracterized the enemy we face and failed to grasp the nature of the conflict we must fight and win...

For the full analysis, see "The Global War on Error."

One comment on “Two Cheers for Tony Blair”

  1. Tony Blair gets zero cheers from me. He should always be remembered as Bush's enabler.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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