Monday, September 11, 2006
Pariah. posted by Richard SeymourYesterday, Blair went to Israel to embrace Ehud Olmert, the butcher of Lebanon. During his visit, he told relatives of Corporal Gilad Shalit that his handover must precede any talks with Mahmoud Abbas. He did not say that Israel's handover of all people and land held illegally by it must precede talks with the Palestinians. Olmert duly announced that he would talk to Abbas - about getting Shalit returned and, in one of Israeli spokespeople's favourite phrases, "dismantling the terrorist infrastructure": which means dismantling the democratically elected government in Palestine, presently held hostage by the Israeli military.
Today, Blair thinks he can go to Lebanon after all that he has done, after openly calling for Israel to continue its slaughter, and be welcomed by the Lebanese government. Every time Blair is in some domestic difficulty, he scampers off on an overseas visit to shake hands with dignitaries and look presidential. It may not work this time. Blair has been warned by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Communist Party, the People's Movement, and a whole array of popular parties in Lebanon that he is not welcome. Siniora is the fool of the world if he thinks that he can survive a handshake with this hellbound lapdog. Mind you, if he's willing to kiss and make up with the Saudi monarchy who supported the Israeli aggression, I'd suggest he doesn't value his career much. But shaking hands with Blair? I hope the protesting crowds trample the bastard.
Update: awe, look at their little faces...
This report of the meeting says that people are angry over Blair's "perceived backing for Israel's monthlong blitz". Yeah, I "perceived" that too - when he said repeatedly that he opposed a ceasefire and even after some of the worst massacres explained to a press conference that "of course" he could demand an immediate ceasefire, but he wasn't going to. Yeah, I "perceived" that alright.
Siniora hasn't even criticised Blair in the press conference. People are talking quietly among themselves throughout his speech. Now Blair is babbling on about 9/11, expressing 'condolence and sympathy' for its victims. So, will we hear similar thoughts for the victims of Israeli aggression? Apparently not - Israeli aggression isn't going to be mentioned. Blair says something vague about "the crisis", mentions his own alleged beliefs and commitments regarding Palestine, hints at his "remaining time in office". He's having a hard time blaming Hezbollah as he would like to, adverting only nervously to "Lebanon being used".
There are some hostile questions and a protester has broken into the press conference to hold up a banner. The cameras are focused on her. Security guards are gathering round, but Siniora is saying "it's alright, this is a democracy". I can't see Blair saying that if a protester appears at a press conference run by him.
Now Siniora is saying in Arabic that he salutes the Lebanese who today stood up and expressed their opinion. He wouldn't say this in English, naturally. Blair has now asked for a translator. Blair has been challenged about his supplying of weapons to Israel - he fumbles, says that these haven't been sent for weeks. Of course they haven't been sent for fucking weeks! The war has been over for weeks! He now says "the only way to stop the conflict was to get a UN resolution": but he and Bush blocked a UN resolution. He is now babbling about "root causes". Nick Robinson asks if he feels a sense of shame or regret, and if Siniora feels it's appropriate to stand next to someone who his countrymen feel is a murderer. Blair repeats the schtick about the UN resolution. Says it about three times, says words like "frankly" before going on to fumble and say something vague. Blair mentions 9/11 again, says he has taken the view that, well, er, it's not an easy role, but he should stand by the United States etc. Oh yeah, of course feelings run high, he says high-mindedly. Innocent people have lost their lives, he reminds us. He repeats the UN line, mouths some glittering generalities, says he is prepared to work hard etc. Siniora keeps calling Blair "his excellency". Creep.