The Blair Hitch Project – Christopher Hitchens


Christopher Hitchens has written an article within the February issue of Vanity Fair regarding his thoughts and impressions of Tony Blair. Having debated him during a recent face-to-face debate in Toronto, what impression did Tony leave? … remember now, this is the chap who led the UK into an invasion of Iraq on a very dodgy premise, and also converted to Catholicism when he left office (which came as a bit of a surprise since Blair’s press secetary had once famously said “We don’t do God”).

To give you a passing taste of the article, here are some sound bites that I’ve selected from it …

…he was traveling with a very small but devoted staff, and looking like a Prince Charming in exile. The high-wattage grin was still there…

…At a bookstore signing in Dublin he had been pelted with shoes and other objects by a mixed mob of anti-war types, stiffened with some gaunt lads from the periphery of “the Real I.R.A.”…

…He now operates under the somehow touching name of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which can sound rather like a body set up to express faith in Tony Blair. His principal day job is to serve as mediator for the “Quartet” of powers that supervise the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” This means regular efforts to reconcile Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the Holy Land. Cheer up, I want to tell him. At least it’s a job for life.

…he really does possess one of the most mobile and expressive faces I have ever seen. I asked him in private what it was like to be hated: not hated a bit but hated really quite a lot. The receptive grin stayed in place…

…When Tony Blair took office, Slobodan Milošević was cleansing and raping the republics of the former Yugoslavia. Mullah Omar was lending Osama bin Laden the hinterland of a failed and rogue state. Charles Taylor of Liberia was leading a hand-lopping militia of enslaved children across the frontier of Sierra Leone, threatening a blood-diamond version of Rwanda in West Africa. And the wealth and people of Iraq were the abused private property of Saddam Hussein and his crime family. Today, all of these Caligula figures are at least out of power, and at the best either dead or on trial. How can anybody with a sense of history not grant Blair some portion of credit for this?…

…As we said good-bye, he was being taken straight to the airport, staying one jet-lag stage ahead of his demons, and heading back to Jerusalem—that birthplace of all our dreams and graveyard of all our hopes.

I encourage you to read it all. As always, anything written by Hitchens is well worth the time spent doing so, here is the link.

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