Arab media report on Tony (the Weasel) Blair visiting the rich moneyed part of Middle East. Tony Blair, the consummate warmonger of our region, has landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is also visiting Bahrain, but that is only a footnote visit to a footnote dynasty. You never see him visit poorer Arab countries: Yemen or Sudan or Somalia or Gaza.
Tony must be up to ‘something’. He is as credible among Arab peoples as, say, Benedict Arnold has been in American history. Even though Arab princes and potentates seem to deal with him, actually hire him. So what is he cooking for the Saudi King, whom he reportedly has met with a large delegation? Is Tony trying to keep his useless job of “Middle East Quartet” bullshitter? Is he giving advice on how to achieve “victory” in Yemen?
One thing is certain: Tony Blair never diverges from what the oil princes and potentates like. His eyes are always on the wallet, since long before he kissed Gaddafi on the cheeks (no, the other ones) as he lobbied for J P Morgan Bank. That was just months before he rediscovered how evil and “dictatorial” Gaddafi was.
So what is the weasel up to these days?
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“The Kazakh despot who bought Blair for £16million (and Cherie for £320k): How ex-PM sold himself to a ‘virtual gangster’ linked to torture, money laundering, bribery and murder ………. Tony Blair makes a business out of providing consultancy to mostly unacceptable and disreputable clients. How else to explain the work he does for President el-Sisi in Egypt — who obtained his power by a military coup — or Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not to mention the consultancy he provides, at great expense no doubt, to the unelected leaders of Gulf countries………. Since leaving office, in the wheels-within-wheels world that he now inhabits, Blair, in his turn, was recommended for the job of promoting Kazakhstan and its president by one of his most influential contacts — Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi…………”
He has become a specialist in promoting despots from the Persian Gulf to Central Asia and Africa. It is not so much the ‘consultancy’ as using whatever political and public capital he has left to lobby for their political agendas. The motto of his business empire should be: “Have no morals, will travel“.
Not so much more to say here about Blair, this former British prime minister who is the least respected of former British PMs. Friend and enabler, nay servant, of corrupt despots and princes worldwide. Now why can’t he just vanish from public attention? Like the others, from Churchill to Wilson to Major to Lady Thatcher? It almost feels like an insult mentioning him in the same sentence as Churchill and Wilson.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Tony Blair’s company is alleged to have brokered multi-million pound deals that earned £41,000 a month and two per cent commission on each transaction with an oil firm founded by a senior Saudi royal family member………The leaked 21-page contract apparently shows that the former Labour prime minister’s umbrella company, Tony Blair Associates, agreed in November 2010 to arrange deals for PetroSaudi with his senior Chinese officials contacts during his visit to Beijing that month, as reported by The Sunday Times. ………. PetroSaudi, which is registered in the Cayman Islands tax-haven to legally avoid 85 per cent oil and gas company taxes in the Middle Eastern nation, was jointly founded by Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid and Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, one of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah’s seven sons………….”
Middle East envoy. Pray tell, what has he done about the Middle East problems? (If I were rude and crude, I’d say “whatthefuck has he done” but I ain’t rude, so I won’t). Besides urging more war on behalf of his Persian Gulf benefactors, the absolute princes and potentates.
Tony Blair introduced the ‘stuff’ about New Labor. And it was “stuff” if you know what I mean. Just as Bill Clinton was touted as a New Democrat. Both terms mean moving halfway toward the right, gutting certain programs and introducing extreme deregulation that increased economic instability and widened income and wealth gaps to unprecedented levels.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“The world will face terrible consequences over many years to come for failing to intervene in Syria, Tony Blair has said. The former prime minister, who serves as the envoy for the Middle East quartet of the UN, US, EU and Russia, said the failure to confront President Bashar al-Assad would have ramifications far beyond the region. Speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4 on Monday, he said: “We have not intervened in Syria. The consequences are, in my view, terrible and will be a huge problem not just for the Middle East region, but for us in the years to come”………….The former PM, who acknowledged that many people did not want a repeat of the Iraq invasion elsewhere in the world, launched a strong defence of his decision to remove Saddam Hussein in 2003………………Blair said he did not know when the Chilcot inquiry would publish its report into the Iraq war…………..”
Blair now seems to believe he has fully busted out of the prison of his own making. But he has a long way to go to emulate Bill Clinton and get fully rehabilitated. He just doesn’t have that Arkansas je ne sais quoi: he is not nearly as good a bullshit artist as Clinton is, nobody is.
Tony has of late been talking about “political Islam” and its dangers. He is reflecting this new Saudi-UAE-Egyptian-Sisi line of painting the Muslim Brotherhood as ‘terrorist’. Mr. Cameron has also been edging in the same direction in Britain, trying to ingratiate himself with the oil princes and potentates (actually pandering to them).
About Iraq and WMD, Tony might have added, like old Sergeant Schultz would have: “I know nothing, nothing”.
“Washington is playing the lead role in delaying the publication of the long-awaited report into how Britain went to war with Iraq, The Independent has learnt. Although the Cabinet Office has been under fire for stalling the progress of the four-year Iraq Inquiry by Sir John Chilcot, senior diplomatic sources in the US and Whitehall indicated that it is officials in the White House and the US Department of State who have refused to sanction any declassification of critical pre- and post-war communications between George W Bush and Tony Blair……………… Without permission from the US government, David Cameron faces the politically embarrassing situation of having to block evidence, on Washington’s orders, from being included in the report of an expensive and lengthy British inquiry..………”
Mr. Obama, in other words, is trying to save Tony (the Poodle) Blair’s nuts for now (for the war that I supported). But not for long.
Against popular demand, at least my popular demand, Tony Blair refuses to just vanish. Once in a while he crawls out of whatever rock he happens to be under and makes some stupid policy recommendation.
Now he has called for the Western powers to support the Egyptian military grab of power in Cairo, elections be damned. He has also called, again and again, for Western intervention in the Syrian civil war, starting with a no-fly zone. The goal being to liberate one side of Syria, just as they liberated Iraq and Libya. Before that he has repeatedly called for a new Anglo-American war in the Middle East, against Iran. The goal being to liberate Iranians from their regime and from themselves. No mention of liberating Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or the domains of any of his Central Asian paymasters.
My mysterious source, wherever the hell Tony is hiding, tells me that Tony was offered the option of being dropped by parachute behind Syrian regime lines, behind enemy lines, to soften them up. She reports that he has declined, claiming that the oil potentates who keep him may not be agreeable to that. Besides, he claims he speaks neither Arabic nor Persian, which is odd given how much he opines on our countries and on what we really want, or should want.
She, my source whom I shall never call Deep Throat, also tells me that some wags have suggested that as an alternative, Tony be dropped inside Fallujah or Sadr City in Iraq, well behind liberated enemy lines. They said he ought to feel fine and comfy among the people that he has helped liberate. She claims Tony has not responded yet to this latest reasonable proposal.
“Britain should arm the Syrian rebels and consider imposing a no-fly zone over Syria to prevent “catastrophic consequences”, Tony Blair has said. The former prime minister said the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and the involvement of Iran in the civil war meant intervention was necessary. “You’ve got the intervention of Hezbollah, at the instigation of Iran. The other big change is the use of chemical weapons. Once you allow that to happen – and this will be the first time since Saddam used them in the 1980s – you run the risk of it then becoming an acceptable form of warfare, for both sides,” he told the Times…………………”
In the past Tony Blair has frequently called for war against Iran. Now he has his greedy neo-colonialist sights set on Syria as well. Britain imposing a no-fly zone in Syria? He must think we are back in the pre-Suez glory days.
Nothing corrupts Western leaders, even discredited former leaders, more than association with corrupt potentates, especially petroleum potentates in the Middle East and Central Asia. Add to that some Western bankers and you have a very high low bar indeed. And boy, nobody mingles with these characters better than Tony Blair, perhaps the most undignified of former British prime ministers. From the Persian Gulf to Central Asia to North Africa (Qaddafi) and back, Blair has schmoozed and kissed and done whatever he has had to do after leaving office.
I will not repeat here about the most famous case of Tony Blair and SFO and BAE Systems. The BAE Systems has had a long and cozy inglorious history with the Saudi princes. It goes back at least to the famous Al Yamama scandal when they paid prince Bandar Bin Sultan $2 billion as
bribe commission for a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia. Tony Blair (as New Labor prime minister) famously killed an investigation of the scandal by the British Serious Frauds Office (SFO). Gulf potentates have been quite grateful to Tony for that. So, no need for me to repeat that shameful case. No need to repeat all that. Perhaps a few links to earlier posts, leading to other media sources, would help:
Netanyahu, Ahmadinejad, and Tony Blair all Pleased with NYC Trip, not Romney
True Arab Opinion of Tony Blair Expressed by a Gulf Man
Return of Tony Blair, Elder Statesman (not)
Bribes and Monkeys and Aesthetics: Babanov of Kyrgyzstan vs. Princov of Arabia
Ugh: More on Tony Blair
The Tony Blair Israeli-Palestinian Barbershop Quartet
Tony Blair Bin Bandar Meets Borat: the Great Money Machine Moves to Kazakhstan
Another Huge Saudi-British Bribery Scandal, Missing Tony Blair
Tony Blair as Scarlett O’Hara: Blair-Gate and the never Ending Saga of International Corruption
ony Blair’s Never Ending Lobbying Act: Living on Uranus
Qaddafi and his Friends, the Rendition of Tony Blair
Miliband and Blair Straddling the Atlantic: Greedy, Selfish, and Immoral
BAE Systems Flexes its Arabian Muscles Again, Ghosts of al-Yamama