Let’s give the Palistanians a state, weapons, money…
* He should have been put out to pasture, long ago. Along with his illustrious wife, Cherie BLair. But he loves the limelight too much to just go away, Â he sees himself as an important dancer on the world stage, and strangely, in this ‘global village’ of insignificant, mediocre bureaucrats and pretend-leaders, he has found a place, where he believes he belongs. Just like a village idiot belongs…
Israeli-Palestinian peace key to relations with Islam: Blair
By JANICE ARNOLD, Staff Reporter Â / Â CJN
MONTREAL â€”Â Solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the single most important step in improving relations between the West and the Islamic world, former British prime minister Tony Blair, left, said last week in Montreal.“If we are able to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, protecting the security of Israel and [creating] a state for the Palestinians, nothing will do more to say to that region that we in the West do not have a double standard, that justice is not only for those of the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is also for the Islamic people,” he said.
It will also be a powerful symbol in promoting Western values elsewhere in the world where allies are needed, added Blair, who has been special envoy of the so-called “quartet” of Middle East peace negotiators â€“ the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia â€“ since July 2007, shortly after leaving political office.
Blair, the guest of TD Bank Financial Group, spoke to about 1,000 people at the Palais des congrÃ¨s under heavy security that included an electronic search of everyone entering the room.
“I’m absolutely convinced that there is no way we can tackle this global menace of Islamic terrorism unless we are capable of persuading people in that region of our ideas and values,” he said.
“Yes, they are about freedom and democracy, but we stand for more. The idea of justice and equity is what our societies are about, not just getting and spending, but compassion for the less fortunate,” he said.
That altruism extends beyond our borders, he added.
“Our values are not just right for us, but are what is best for mankind, not because they are superior but because they are the values free people choose, and what people want today is to be empowered, not to have the state sitting on them.”
Virtually every country in the world today faces the threat of Islamic extremism, he said, and many Arab countries are just a fearful as the West, including Libya, Algeria, Yemen and the Gulf states. He called this extremism a “perversion of Islam,” and said heÂ believes that many Muslims are still moderate and want peaceful co-existence with the West.
The rapid global economic downturn has demonstrated dramatically the interdependence of nations in the world today, he said, calling for the strengthening of international alliances and institutions to find global solutions.
“The challenges are global, and countries can’t exist in isolation politically, economically or on security anymore. The worst thing we could do is disengage and shut ourselves off from others. We must be more open than ever before.”
The United Nations, he said, is not capable of the global response that’s needed, because it is operating as if it was still 1948.
He underlined the need to strengthen relations between Europe and North America.
Canada can play pivotal role because it understands the perspectives of both Europe and the United States, Blair said.
“Without strong alliances across the Atlantic, strategies against terrorism are not going to work,” he said.
“Being an ally with the United States can be difficult, but it has stood us in very good stead over the years.”
He later said that the reason he was so supportive of America after 9/11 is that he viewed the attack as one on the West as a whole.
“If it’s true that no country today is strong enough on its own to guarantee solutions to these problems and that it is true we must build alliances, then the idea of pursuing narrow national interests is simply wrong â€“ not morally, but because it is not realistic,” he said.
Later, in conversation with former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, now deputy chair of the TD Bank Financial Group, Blair urged Canada to keep its troops in Afghanistan.
“This has got to be won, because if we retreat from Afghanistan we will be pushed back everywhere. If we do not stand up and fight for what we believe in, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Shiite militia and Al Qaeda will all take heart in it.
“They will lose heart if we stay and get the job done… We have no option but to see this through.”
He added that the battle “cannot only be won with weapons, but by the force of our ideas.”
McKenna also wondered how long it will be before Israel feels “it has no choice but to act unilaterally against Iran,” an comment to which Blair did not respond directly.
Blair said he felt U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made some progress in the Middle East conflict in the past year. “We now have a strategic understanding of how to move the process forward.”
The next U.S. president should be a strong leader who is able to take tough positions, he said, but he should also be able to listen.
Tony Blair: “I regularly read the Koran, practically every day”; Muhammad “an enormously civilizing force”
* This awful, stoopid man, and his equally awful, shrill and depraved wife. A disgrace for once Great Britain. But as we shake our heads, we can only wonder in bewilderment: how the hell did they get were they are?
I regularly read the Qur’an myself — practically every day. Nothing wrong with that. But does Blair ever read the uncomfortable bits? The wife-beating verse (4:34)? The verse enjoining warfare against and the subjugation of Jews and Christians (9:29)? The “verse of the sword” and other verses that exhort Muslims to slay unbelievers wherever they’re found (9:5, 4:89, 4:91, 2:190-193)? The verse saying the Jews and Christians are under Allah’s curse (9:30)? The verse that says that unbelievers are the most vile of created beings (98:6)? The verse enjoining the beheading of unbelievers (47:4)? The verse exhorting Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah (8:60)?
If he does read these passages, what does he think of them? Does he gloss over them and tell himself that the Book of Deuteronomy has some tough passages also? Or does he reflect on the relative paucity of Deuteronomy-inspired terrorists worldwide, as compared to the number of Qur’an-inspired terrorists worldwide? Does he ask his Muslim friends about these verses?
No answers to these questions are likely to be forthcoming from Mr. Blair, and more’s the pity. For it shows that his attachment to the Qur’an is just pandering, just window dressing, and is agenda-driven, rather than an honest attempt to understand what motivates Islamic jihad terrorism. And so instead of shining some light on what we’re dealing with, Blair has just added to the fog.
“Blair says faith is vital to understand Middle East,” fromÂ DPA, December 23 (thanks to DW):
Berlin – Religious faith – any faith – is needed in order fully to grasp the Middle East conflict, former British prime minister Tony Blair said Tuesday in an interview with a German weekly, Die Zeit. “If religious faith were not to play any role in the 21st century, which I cannot imagine, something decisive would be missing,” he said, according to the German version of the interview.Blair, 55, said his own Catholic beliefs helped him in his current role as envoy for Mideast peace.
“In the first place, you understand what it means to believe. What you often find is that you immediately have something in common with another person of faith, even if he belongs to a different religion.
“As well as that, one is interested in other religions. One’s motivation is greater. I regularly read the Koran, practically every day,” Blair told the interviewer. He said the Prophet Mohammed had been “an enormously civilizing force.”
But when asked if he planned to convert to Islam, he smiled and said, “No, let’s not start on that,” Die Zeit reported….