Friday, May 11, 2007

British Author Tariq Ali on the Resignation of Tony Blair: “The Fact That He’s Leaving is Because He’s So Hated”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

".....AMY GOODMAN: We return now to London to Tariq Ali, historian and one of the editors of the New Left Review, as well as author of many books, including Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London, Terror. He joins us from a London studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Tariq.....

AMY GOODMAN: Tariq Ali, President Bush in Washington, D.C., said he'll miss Tony Blair and that he's ready to work with his presumed successor, Gordon Brown, confident that he, quote, “understands the consequences of failure in Iraq.” Talk about that statement and also who Gordon Brown is.

TARIQ ALI: Well, I think Bush is right. He will miss Blair. I mean, you can't have a more loyal politician in Europe than Blair. I mean, he's done virtually everything the United States has asked for, and not just after 9/11. Even prior to that, he was extremely pro-Washington in everything. He never raised any questions. So I think Washington will miss him. Mercifully, very few people in this country will.

Now, as to his successor, Gordon Brown, he backed the war in Iraq, as he himself said yesterday, and it was felt it was necessary. He backed the war in Afghanistan, felt that that was completely necessary -- and think that they wiped out all the problems with this. But they're completely wrong. On all the central issues of the day, there is no difference between Blair and Brown. The tone Brown adopts will probably be marginally less aggressive, but in terms of substance, there's nothing to choose between them.

And this is essentially yet another New Labour trick: OK, we’ve got rid of the big bad war monger, and we’ve got a decent prime minister again. But this guy is also a war monger. The difference is he is more intelligent than Blair....."

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