British Prime Minister Tony Blair, or more accurately, George W. Bush’s lap dog, has resigned to England’s relief.
Boris Johnson at the Daily Telegraph wrote that "Blair cannot escape the blame for a disaster in which at least 60,000 (and possibly 10 times as many) Iraqis have died, and which is causing 40,000 Iraqis to flee the country every month."
The Daily Mail’s Piers Morgan wrote that Blair’s complicity in the invasion of Iraq transformed England "into a more dangerous, paranoid, despised and ridiculed country. Blair’s reign will be remembered for one disaster of epic proportions, one appalling legacy."
Claire Short, a former Blair minister, said, "I think Tony’s place in history is Iraq and the deceit and the desperate mess and it’s sad. It’s going to be a very bad place in history."
Many wonder why Blair destroyed his reputation and that of his country, put himself at risk of being hauled before the International Criminal Court, and squandered his time as prime minister providing cover for George Bush’s war of aggression. The answer must be money. We will see which US corporate boards take Blair as a director and which groups pay him six-figure honorariums for speeches.
Bush will have an even worse place in history. There is no longer any doubt that Bush deceived Congress and the American people. At great financial and human cost, Bush took America to war and destroyed Iraq for a hidden agenda. After years of swallowing Bush’s lies, the American people finally caught on. Bush’s approval rating is at 28 percent, but the TV and print media are still sycophantic.
Bush’s approval rating has collapsed despite a favorable press. The people are no longer fooled, but Bush’s favorable press intimidates the Democrats, who have failed to bring accountability to the Bush Regime.
People damn Bill Clinton for many reasons. Perhaps his greatest failure was in permitting the media concentration that destroyed the independence of the "mainstream media." The American media is no longer in the hands of journalists. It is controlled by advertising executives and corporate bosses who will never put their empires at risk by offending government and advertisers. They believe readers and viewers want to be entertained, not challenged by truthful news. Journalism schools now teach students how to spin the news away from uncomfortable truths. Reporters and editorial writers are being turned into shills for those in power.
Democracy is handicapped without the press. When news is spun, falsely reported, and not reported, the people are deprived both of information and of voice. The American people disapprove of Bush, but the American corporate press supports him.
Because of Blair’s support for the European Union, Blair could find himself hauled before the International Criminal Court. The US government has been careful to keep itself outside international law. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and a number of others are regarded as outlaws, but there is no marshall with the authority to arrest them and hold them accountable. Only Congress can do that.
Leaving Bush in office is extremely dangerous. He has proven himself to be a deceitful and harebrained leader. Bush has one and one-half years remaining in which to attack Iran, start a nuclear war, stage a 9/11 type event and declare a national emergency.
It is extreme folly to keep fanatics in office who have no respect for the US Constitution, civil liberties, and the separation of powers. The Bush Regime values nothing but power. Every day that Bush remains in office diminishes America and erodes its founding principles.
Paul Craig Roberts [send him mail] wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is author or coauthor of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholar journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He is also coauthor with Karen Araujo of Chile: Dos Visiones — La Era Allende-Pinochet (Santiago: Universidad Andres Bello, 2000).