Anorak News | Tony Blair’s Mission

Tony Blair’s Mission

by | 18th, December 2006

"CAN Tony Blair make a difference?"

The Guardian asks that question.

Tony is touring the near and middle Orient, following up visits to Turkey and Cairo with trips to Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

In Iraq, the paper looks on as Tony’s Puma helicopter – easily identifiable on account of it being one of only two in Baghdad – lands him within Baghdad’s Green Zone of safety. In this cocooned area, Tony talks with the Iraqi leader, the country’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Given the apparent state of the city, you’d half forgive Maliki for hitching a ride on Tony’s vehicle of choice and heading out of the place. But this is no time to cut and run. And before Tony can leave, he says that there will be no sudden pull out from Basra. "As the Iraqis become capable of taking over the city of Basra, our forces will stand back and we go to a supportive role."

That said, Tony was soon back aboard his helicopter – lights off to minimise the risk of being shot at – and on his way to southern Iraq. There Tony is ready to talk some more. "If we don’t stand up and fight for the people of tolerance and moderation,…then the people of ill-will, hatred and sectarianism will triumph. That is easy to say it is you who will do it."

Easy to say, indeed. And perhaps easier to do if Tony could deliver a few more helicopters, Vipir infra-red thermal imaging equipment and mine-protected vehicles to the troops he is surrounded by.

And then Tony is off to Israel and the Palestinian territories. And, like Iraq, Tony’s been here before. The Times remembers a past visit to Gaza. The paper recalls Tony’s visit of eight years ago. It remembers his trip to Youssef Abu al-Anzayn’s home in Gaza. And it remembers the address.

The Times knocks at the door. Al-Anzayn is at home. He too remembers. "Every day after his visit we waited, we hoped that he would do something for us, that somebody would come to rebuild our house or help to improve it. We waited for two years, thinking maybe we were on a list,” says he.

But nothing. This homeowner would have done better had TV cameras filmed not Tony but a holiday show about how Britishers can buy up cheap properties in Gaza, do them up and make a mint.

The home owner says nothing has altered for the family since Tony smiled his beatific smile upon. So what can he do this time round?

Well, in answer to its question, the Guardian says Tony can do something if he can persuade militant Hamas and Fatah to work together. And then if he can get Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass to meet with and talk to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Of course, Tony has tried before. But he will not let that put him off. Well, not until the democratic process kicks in and he is sent on his way…

Posted: 18th, December 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink