“It is massively to our advantage that President Sisi succeeds. We should help him.” ~ Tony Blair
In a shocking sentence from his essay Tony Blair called for unfettered support for Sisi. You see, the Western powers have a selective hate when it comes to undemocratic regimes. Some will be bombed for the apparent reason that they are undemocratic, as was the case in the Iraq war. In other instances, democratically elected governments like Hamas and others, will be boycotted and the bombing of the “demos” for choosing their government tolerated in a show of latent support. In Egypt, Sisi’s secular military dictatorship exceeded Mubarak’s oppression by being involved in mass rights-violations, massacres of civilians, discharging mass death sentences and violently overthrowing the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood. Through David Cameron’s investigation into the thus-far peaceful, democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood at the behest of the Saudi regime (which is funding Sisi), the UK is tacitly supporting the Egyptian military regime, against “British values” of democracy, rule of law and individual liberty.
Apart from the paradoxical situation of promoting human rights and democracies whilst supporting coups and attacking a democratically elected political party purely upon the assumed propensity towards violence courtesy of “Islamism”, Blair’s statement on Sisi and his cosiness with despotic brutality was given extended context a few days ago. In a previous article I noted the well-known profiteering Blair enjoyed after his tenure as a Western power-hungry war-monger through military-focussed corporations like the Carlyle Group.
Source: the Guardian
Despite the fact that Tony Blair has lost credibility amongst the masses, his Tony Blair Faith Foundation has operations in 30 Middle Eastern and African countries where it exports his thinking and has recently discussed domestic policies which strike a disturbing semblance with existing strategies in place. As such I felt it necessary to write a series of pieces on Tony Blair, the neoconservative “persuasion” embedded in his rhetoric, and his declarations which are reflected in his recent essay and which seeks to implement more broadly the contemporary neocon Western foreign policy.
The “Original Neocon”
The public refutations and exposes of neoconservatism during the 2003 Iraq war rightfully condemned the idea and its proponents surrounding George W. Bush like Paul Wolfowitz to the point that it became even more recluse than the natural propensity of neocons to disguise their policies.
During that time, it was not the likes of Douglas Murray, but Tony Blair who supported and implemented neoconservativism in his foreign and domestic policies. Tony Blair was in fact ahead of the neocons and for one commentator, he was “the original neocon”. William Kristol, the inheritor of Irving Kristol’s neocon legacy, approvingly said of Blair,
“Blair was one of the first world leaders, I think, to really grasp what had happened on 9-11 and its implications, that we were in a global war in terror, that we had to transform the Middle East, the whole thing… I think after the attacks in July, Tony Blair has now gone the next step.”
In an interview with Panorama, Kristol gave his conclusion on him: “I think Tony Blair is a kind of neoconservative, despite himself”. Recently, when Blair tried to remove himself of blame from the Iraq war, calls were made for him to be removed as a (laughable) “peace” envoy. However this shifting of blame was not dissimilar to the behaviour of the US neocon architects of the Iraq 2003 war. William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz also distanced themselves, blaming the current state of Iraq on Obama for failing to intervene.
Guest Post: By Uthman Ahmad
There are few issues which are more contentious and divisive to Muslims than the role of Saudi Arabia in the Muslim world. This nation has polarised opinion amongst religious scholars, Islamic thinkers, political activists, pilgrims and even non-Muslims. In an Arab world dominated by ruling dynasties, the Saudi regime is perfectly consistent with its neighbours, but no other regime can simultaneously evoke such feelings of loyalty and detest from across the Muslims world.
The ‘Land of Tawheed’ is a phrase affectionately used to describe Saudi Arabia as a bastion of monotheism. It is after all the birth place of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Salutations be upon him) and his place of final rest. And within this peninsula is the Sacred House of God, the Ka’bah in Mecca, and the Prophet’s Sacred Mosque in Medina. Every year millions of Muslims make pilgrimage to the holy sanctuary to renew their faith while chanting the ‘talbiyyah’ which is a profound statement of the Oness of God. The scenes of countless Muslims making ‘tawaaf’ around the ka’bah are perhaps the most iconic symbols of Muslim unity and spirituality known across the globe, but consider this: Over the years the Makkan skyline has increasingly become dominated by exclusive hotels and shopping malls generating obscene sums of wealth for Saudi princes . They tower over the ka’bah physically and metaphorically as poorer pilgrims are driven further and further away to the outskirts of Makkah. The House of God, once accessible to all, seems increasingly accessible only to those who can afford it. Also coupled with the fact that the pilgrimage is the second largest source of income for Saudi Arabia after oil, it does bring into sharper focus the opinion of some scholars that profiteering at the expense of pilgrims is prohibited. Even the pre-Islam pagans of Makkah prided themselves on the altruistic service of pilgrims without charge.