Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tony Blair: without mercy or limit

Follow-up: the guy Bush attacked as an “obscure” spokesman for an “obscure organization” turns out to be Gijs de Vries, the counter-terrorism coordinator for that obscure organization, the European Union. Still not sure what it was he said Tuesday.

Condi claimed today, “We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight Al Qaida. For instance, big pieces were missing, like an approach to Pakistan that might work”. They had to come up with the idea of threatening to bomb Pakistan into the Stone Age all by themselves. (Also, Condi is lying, as Raw Story proves, just in case you didn’t already assume Condi is lying, or know that she’d made this claim before and been shot down before; it’s bad enough that she’s portraying the Clinton admin as being as incompetent and ill-prepared as she is, but that she assumes we are too).

Divine retribution of the day: “A man who bred fighting cocks died after contracting the H5N1 bird flu virus, bringing the human death toll in Thailand to 17.” (AP)

The WaPo is late posting Wednesday’s A Section, so I’m still seeing yesterday’s top story, “Detainee Measure to Have Less Restrictions.” Fewer, goddammit, the correct word is fewer! I blame it on Bush, the man who doesn’t know a comma from a quagmire. He just lowers lingual standards for the entire nation. In 2008, we need to make all presidential candidates pass a strict test on grammar. Of grammar? Oh dear God it’s getting to me now! Or is it “its getting too me now”? Aaaaaayyyyy!!!!!

In truth, there isn’t much more meaning in a Blair speech (yesterday he gave his very last address as party leader to a Labour party conference) than in a Bush one, it’s just that his nothing is better expressed than Bush’s nothing. “But believe me there are no half-hearted allies of America today”. I believe you, I just don’t know what you’re talking about.

He also said, “We can only protect liberty by making it relevant to the modern world. ... Let Liberty stand up for the law-abiding.” His idea of liberty: identity cards with biometric technology and a national DNA database, which I believe John Stuart Mill called for in chapter 23 of On Liberty.

“The new anxiety is the global struggle against terrorism without mercy or limit.” Notice how it isn’t quite clear which side he’s saying is without mercy or limit.

He said that looking for any explanation for terrorism other than that they hate us for our freedom is “wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy... This terrorism isn’t our fault, we didn’t cause it. It’s not the consequence of foreign policy, it’s an attack on our way of life.” Yes, they’re definitely more concerned with what we eat and watch on tv than with our support of Israel and military invasion of their countries.

Speaking of our way of life, he said that Labour must tailor its policies for the “Google generation.” (There wasn’t any reason for that hyperlink; I just thought it was amusingly meta.)

Blair: “I know I look a lot older. That’s what being leader of the Labour Party does to you. Actually, looking round some of you look a lot older. That’s what having me as leader of the Labour Party does to you.”

Actually, it’s worse than that. In this picture, doesn’t he look a lot like Bush, sort of the way dogs and their masters start to look alike?

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