Cigars in the Sand

Commentary, Notes and Pictures from my time in Iraq

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Location: Baghdad, Iraq

Farmer by genetics, Lawyer by training, currently "vacationing" in Iraq and advising the Iraqi government on border security issues. Before moving to Baghdad, I served in the White House as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. I can be reached at opusxryanathotmaildotcom.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Tony Blair: Davos speech, 26 January 2005

Tony Blair spoke earlier this week on the subject of climate change and African policy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But he also added a few words about the President's Inaugural Address:

"President Bush's inauguration speech last week, marks a consistent evolution of US policy. He spoke of America's mission to bring freedom in place of tyranny to the world. Leave aside for a moment the odd insistence by some commentators that such a plea is evidence of the 'neo-conservative' grip on Washington - I thought progressives were all in favour of freedom rather than tyranny. The underlying features of the speech seem to me to be these. America accepts that terrorism cannot be defeated by military might alone. The more people live under democracy, with human liberty intact, the less inclined they or their states will be to indulge terrorism or to engage in it. This may be open to debate - though personally I agree with it - but it emphatically puts defeating the causes of terrorism alongside defeating the terrorists.

Secondly, by its very nature, such a mission cannot be accomplished alone. It is the very antithesis of isolationism; the very essence of international engagement. It requires long-term co-operation.

And it is based on enlightened self-interest. Freedom is good in itself. But it is also the best ultimate guarantee that human beings will live in sympathy with each other. The hard head has led to the warm heart."

Amazing stuff; most news outlets were emphatically NOT emphasizing these words. I think a large number of Americans assume Blair is of the same political fold as the President; a completely false assumption. I guess I will never understand the progressive opposition to the war in Iraq.