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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 100 -- Botswana. | WILLisms.com | Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Twenty-Three. »

Tony Blair's George W. Bush Moment.

busblast.jpg

I hate to trivialize the dastardly deed committed today in London by those terrorist cowards, but I can't help but wonder what Tony Blair was thinking when making his statement to the press:

blairstumbles.jpg
"It is particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa, and the long term problems of climate change and the environment."

Blair was clearly ad-libbing the entire speech, and it must have been a dizzying time for anyone in his position, but it strikes me as a little awkward to claim that it is "particularly barbaric" that this could happen in light of G8 leaders addressing "climate change and the environment."

When I heard that line, I cringed. Is he seriously going to plug the cause of global warming at a time like this? Frankly, Blair's entire statement, and the way he delivered it, left something to be desired.

Beginning with the peculiarly British statement that it is, "reasonably clear there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London."

I like Tony Blair. I love the way British people speak. But the way Blair delivered his initial statement vacillated between his best Hugh Grant impression and his worst George W. Bush impression.

At times, he seemed too stunned and flabbergasted to even express himself appropriately.

Historians of September 11, 2001 typically argue that President Bush was not really at his best in the immediate aftermath of the horror. The President's initial response was adequate, but Bush won over Americans in the days to follow, when he came through with brilliant and inspiring leadership. Those of us fond of Bush tend to remember that stoic, resolute version of President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11, and for good reason.

Contrast Blair's comments with President Bush's comments, elaborating on what Tony Blair really meant to say:

bushg8.jpg
The contrast between what we've seen on the TV screens here, what's taken place in London and what's taking place here is incredibly vivid to me. On the one hand, we have people here who are working to alleviate poverty, to help rid the world of the pandemic of AIDS, working on ways to have a clean environment. And on the other hand, you've got people killing innocent people. And the contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill -- those who have got such evil in their heart that they will take the lives of innocent folks.

The war on terror goes on. I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve. And that is we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists. We will find them, we will bring them to justice, and at the same time, we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate.

President Bush tied together what Tony Blair probably intended to say, noting the vast contrast between good and evil. Then he explained, succinctly and without a lot of dilly-dallying, that we will bring the bad guys to justice.

People need to hear that our leaders say, in plain language, that they plan to get the bad guys.

Now contrast Blair's comments from earlier in the day with his message of solidarity with the rest of the G8 leaders a little later on:


g8leaders.jpg

“We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We send our profound condolences to the victims and their families.”

“All of our countries have suffered from the impact of terrorism. Those responsible have no respect for human life. We are united in our resolve to confront and defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one nation but on all nations and on civilised people everywhere.

“We will not allow violence to change our societies or our values, nor will we allow it to stop the work of this summit. We will continue our deliberations in the interests of a better world. Here at this summit the world’s leaders are striving to combat world poverty and save and improve human life.

“The perpetrators of today’s attacks are intent on destroying human life. The terrorists will not succeed. Today’s bombings will not weaken in any way our resolve to uphold the most deeply held principles of our societies and to defeat those who would impose their fanaticism and extremism on all of us.

“We shall prevail and they shall not.”

tbone.jpg

We shall prevail and they shall not. That's a George W. Bush line. And, sure, Blair was just reading the statement on behalf of the assembled leaders, but at that moment, Blair assumed the role of leader that George W. Bush perfected after 9/11.

The U.K. needs its Prime Minister to lead, not appear stunned; Great Britain needs Blair to speak powerfully and simply, not equivocate and guess and bumble; London needs Blair to promise that justice will be served for those responsible for the horror, not talk about his pet political projects. The good news is that, after a few early forgiveable stumbles, Tony Blair is now right on track.


The Political Teen has the video of Blair's London comments.

At 10 Downing Street, Blair's leadership shined :

10downingblair.jpg
It is through terrorism that the people that have committed this terrible act express their values, and it is right at this moment that we demonstrate ours. I think we all know what they are trying to do - they are trying to use the slaughter of innocent people to cower us, to frighten us out of doing the things that we want to do, of trying to stop us going about our business as normal, as we are entitled to do, and they should not, and they must not, succeed.

When they try to intimidate us, we will not be intimidated. When they seek to change our country or our way of life by these methods, we will not be changed. When they try to divide our people or weaken our resolve, we will not be divided and our resolve will hold firm. We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs. The purpose of terrorism is just that, it is to terrorise people, and we will not be terrorised.

A well-delivered and important message from Tony Blair. Much improved over the convoluted message early on in the day.


----------------------------------------------

UPDATE:

Other noteworthy blog coverage-

*Wizbang.
*The democracy guy blog.
*Michelle Malkin.
*Winds of Change.
*Joust The Facts.

Posted by Will Franklin · 7 July 2005 10:01 AM

Comments

Tony Blaire shouldn't be quite so stunned! There are Islamic terrorist running rampid all through LONDON!
He may now have to open his eyes and see that Global Warming is not the most crucial matter of the day...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 7, 2005 10:33 AM

Pretty snarky analysis of Blair. Considering what he was responding to, and how quickly he was expected to respond, he did quite well. Bush had time to organize his thoughts, go over what he was going to say with advisors, and while Blair is his biggest ally - it wasn't Bush's country that got bombed while hosting leaders from around the world. You are being unfair.

Posted by: Sean at July 7, 2005 02:15 PM

No, I am really not. I suspect you didn't finish reading the post.

And your facts are off. Blair, too, had time to organize his thoughts and go over what he was going to say with advisors (plus, Bush made his comments not too long after Blair's). Blair just didn't articulate his thoughts very well in the beginning. Which, I said, is "forgiveable," given the circumstances.

As my post notes, though, T-Bone came through bigtime just a few hours later.

So, no, I am not being unfair.

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 7, 2005 02:21 PM

Maybe Sean is saying I am being unfair?... Perhaps I am?...Sorry! It upsets me when these idiot Al Qaeda freaks are able to place their attacks on innocent civilians! The Leaders of our World need to be strong and do everything to prevent this kind of attack from happening again! WHATEVER IT TAKES!...
Global Warming is not even a proven fact! I find it a little odd that he would even say a word about anything other than the Attacks!...Meanwhile ... Al Qaeda groups swarm London and the United States!...Just a little concerned. Sorry!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 7, 2005 04:24 PM

Frankly, I think you are talking bollocks.

Blair said that it was "reasonably clear" because, at the time, the police were reporting that the explosions on the tube were caused by a power surge. Blair was the first to say it was because of terrorism.

I'm no fan of Blair, but his appearence this morning was absolutely spot on. Recognising that, whilst the situation in London was serious, the vitally important business of eliminating poverty and stopping climate change needs to continue. To suggest that a few bombs in London are going to divert Londoners from the really important issues facing the world, is to misunderstand the nature of our city.

Posted by: Mavan at July 7, 2005 05:10 PM

Great job, Will. I love the line "We shall prevail, and they shall not." I've been irretrievably occupied all day with work, but I'm going to link this when I get a chance.

Posted by: Giacomo at July 7, 2005 05:23 PM

I appreciate the support Tony Blair has provided to the war on jihadic Islam and the sacrifice of a contingent of the British military in this effort. And I don't mean to unkindly parse well-meaning language offered in the worst of circumstances. But we are not dealing with common criminals who are owed due process. They are at war with us, whether we recognize it or not, and they should be treated as the enemy combatants they are. The UK demanded that British citizens held at Gitmo be released. I hope none that were released were in any way responsible for today's terror bombings.

Posted by: Bill at July 7, 2005 07:36 PM

The British demanded the release of known jihad prisoners at Gitmo and just let them go free???? WHAT? ...would make anyone believe that this would be a good decision? Al Qaeda terrorists released from prison after being captured! While holding steadfast to their desire for Jihad and vowing and NOW "REJOICING" in their murderous attacks on the WORLDS CIVILIANS... Innocent unarmed unsuspecting citizens attacked!... And yet we have Congress people and Senators who believe Guantanomo's conditions are not cozy enough!!! HELLO...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 7, 2005 08:52 PM

Zsa, you might have a point if the British citizens at Guantanamo were al qaeda terrorists. But, by common consent of the police and the security services, they weren't.

So yes, there were lots of people who thought that releasing innocent people from detention without trial was a good idea, and there are lots of people who still do.

Posted by: Tony at July 8, 2005 03:54 AM

Tony...My concern about releasing these "innocent people" is that they were not just plucked off the streets of London!...These individuals were enemy combatants that were shooting at British and U.S. Soldiers!...My real concerns are for innocent civilians of our World. I am very sorry for being so grouchy about Tony Blair yesterday!!!... I believe he is a very good man and Leader! I was just very upset about the attacks and I appologize for my comment! Global Warming is an important concept and issue!...Thanks!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 8, 2005 05:55 AM

Um, no. Global warming is a huge crock of crap.

Posted by: Beo at July 8, 2005 10:37 AM

God bless the British people!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 9, 2005 09:19 AM

Unfortunately, as we watched the twin towers fall again and again on our screens I reached the horrible conclusion that Bush, or whoever is actually controlling this empty headed cowboy, had either knowingly allowed terrorists to carry out their dreams or had deliberately organized or encouraged this madness.

In my mind and the mind of Ken Livingston (Mayor of London), the senseless bombing of London is an act of deliberate mass murder.

This is mass murder that I believe was carefully organized by agents, paid assassins or even military personnel who are in the pay of what I call the Bush-Blair project.

It no longer maters to me if Blair is aware of the insane plans and intentions of the current American administration. What is certain is that in the so called west, we have lost sight of democracy.

The Bush-Blair project must be stopped because they are guilty of mass murder. We will not forget that they sent troops to murder the people of Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by: zorg at July 9, 2005 07:21 PM

zorg,

You are totally funnin' on us, right?

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 9, 2005 08:33 PM

Zorg, ...You have got to be kidding? If not? You just might want to seek help immediately!!!... Bless your heart! ... Don't walk,... Run to your nearest Doctor!!!!!!!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 10, 2005 10:11 AM

this is a crass post. unfair, unjust and downright ridiculous. Wtf are you talking about "The U.K. needs its Prime Minister to lead, not appear stunned;" - I actually prefer a leader who is real rather than a puppet. The fact he very so slightly made a faltering speech makes him MORE in touch with the public at the time of a crisis. get off your soapbox

Posted by: steve at July 10, 2005 03:54 PM

Did you even watch the first speech? Or read the entire post?

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 10, 2005 03:57 PM

Why is no-one asking the one most important question: WHO BENEFITS??? Think about it: three days before, on 4 July, the British Ministry of Defense stated that it intends to drastically cut the amount of its troops in Iraq by early next year, down to a fraction of what it even is now. This was no secret in Britain and continental Europe (though the thoroughly castrated American media was silent when it happened, not surprisingly). Surely if "terrorists" were sophisticated enough to plan out and execute multiple bombings which the ever-changing "official" story now claims happened within seconds of one another on the subways, then certainly they would have had at least one fellow reading the British press for the latest developments. The phony "claim" of responsibility posted initially was written by people who have little knowledge of Islam, posted by a "never-before-heard-of" "group" that was phony. Two days later a second "claim" is made, this time by a "group" with so little credibility it claimed it caused the power blackout in the U.S. last year, as well as numerous other false claims that "group" has made. Two swings. Two misses. Still no credible claim of responsibility, even for an event of this magnitude. And where is the video footage from CCTV cameras that are all over every London bus stop and subway station? Why is all the footage seen so far been from individual passengers' video phones?? And why, when they knew beforehand that the G-8 Summit was soon to happen, why on earth would they LOWER Britain's "terror alert level"?? The only explanation so far has been "Well, we can't be extra-vigilant all the time" which avoids the obvious question of "So why were you at highest alert status a month ago, but decided to NOT be as concerned during the G-8 Summit, just in case?". Tony Blair was conveniently out of town at the time. Netanyahu was warned in advance. Otherwise he would have had to have been running IMPOSSIBLY late for his speaking engagement when he was allegedly "warned" according to the ever-more unbelievable "official" fable. Now Israel has ordered its officials to not speak on the matter. It is not anti-semetic to state that Netanyahu was warned in advance because he obviously was. As for Blair and company, I say again, look at who benefits from this. No genuine terrorists would, as it comes right after the British have stated their intentions to begin a phased withdrawl from Iraq and by next year they'll be a skeleton force. To give Blair and company a gift like this at this time, something to "rally" the whole country around, would be 100% counterproductive, and they certainly would have seen that. Blair has been trying to push this national ID card program amid widespread opposition. Who gets leverage out of this bombing? Blair's credibility is at its lowest standing ever, he's widely viewed as America's lapdog and his failed Iraq policy has been long since discredited in the eyes of a vast majority of British. Who benefits from this "rally 'round the flag" moment?? Why is Blair saying on the one hand there's almost no evidence yet, but on the other that "the evidence points to Islamic terrorists"? On day one the British said the explosive used in the bus bombing was RDX which is a British explosive, their version of TNT, the same kind their military and spies use. Though it could likely be "bought on the black market", it is certainly not something initially "pointing to Islamic terrorists" but back at the British. Who benefits?? That's the real question. This was an inside job, done by either MI5 or MI6. It would not be the first time they did that, as they have been forced to admit that some of the bombings that were blamed on the I.R.A. were planted by British agents when it would work to their overall advantage. It is so robotic and immature to not ask questions about a mysterious event, but to just gobble up what you are being spoonfed unquestioningly. ASK QUESTIONS. Find it out for yourself. But don't just accept the "official" fairy tale at face value when there are many important questions that they have yet to answer, all of which doesn't point to "Islamic terrorists" but to an INSIDE JOB. Ask who benefits?

Posted by: Louis Redding at July 11, 2005 03:56 PM

Cuckoo.

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 11, 2005 03:57 PM

Louis Redding has an interesting perspective!...I just don't like thinking that could ever be a possibility! When Diana died in her car wreck there were some interesting theories! I suppose there will always be those who want to believe such questionable theories? I would doubt it though!... Who knows?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 11, 2005 09:17 PM