Blair’s Bloomberg Speech
On Wednesday we witnessed the return of Blair on the political agenda. This time, Blair was warning the West to “take sides” in the Middle East, in order to accurately respond to ‘radical Islam’. This inferred that rather than treating each country in its own right, Blair wishes to see “an approach to the region that is coherent and sees it as a whole.” I do however; have a bone to pick with this. Blair’s advice, if it can even be called that, profoundly oversimplifies the Middle East. I suppose some things never change.
The region is overly complex to say the least, filled with countries that embody different identities made up of religion, region and linguistics that cannot all be tarred with the same brush. It does not take a genius to see that there have been great internal differences and therefore dissimilar outcomes for Libya, Egypt and Syria… Blair is wrong to want to see the West take on one strategy to the Middle East because this dangerously oversimplifies the region. Who knows what conflicts may arise in the future, and he’s obviously not one to give advice (easy).Unfortunately, Tony Blair is always given a platform far greater than he deserves.
Blair also made it sound as if it’s easy to take an us versus them approach, even though “them” is nowhere near as easy to identify. If I understood Blair’s Bloomberg speech correctly, then he was calling for Western intervention in the Middle East in order to promote globalisation and democracy. Hypocrisy springs to mind as Blair sided with the military overthrow of Moursi in Egypt, despite being democratically elected.
Perhaps Blair should sort out who and what he agrees with in the Middle East first, before preaching that the West does. Blair calling for more Western intervention in the Middle East, citing Syria as an example, must be taken with more than just one pinch of salt.
Author: Jane Eagles, politics student from London. @JaneAEagles