Why is Tony Blair saying nice things of any kind about Dick Cheney? Even if you stand by your claim that the Iraqi invasion was absolutely necessary, you don’t have to agree with Cheney about his ideological worldview.
Dick Cheney believes in a hard-line approach because he is out of touch with the reality that hard-line approaches always results in lots of casualties, military and civilian alike. Look no further than what the hard-line Israelis have done over the past few years.
With regards to Iran, perhaps I am in no position to harshly criticize Blair’s views, because I am unfamiliar with the circumstances that he was under that has prompted him to possess those views. But speaking from my education and what I’ve learned (my History BA Degree is a concentration in Middle Eastern history), the Middle East is an immensely complex region that cannot, and must not, be simplified into ‘who’s good’, ‘who’s evil’, ‘who ought to be contained’, etc. Countries such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, while somewhat volatile in their own right, act as a natural barrier in containing the more ‘dangerous’ countries such as Iran, and to lesser degrees, Yemen and Afghanistan.
Why is Iran a threat? Not because of its people, but because the government is currently headed up a selected group of unique nut jobs (radicals with extreme views, being the better term). President Ahmedinejad has the backing of Ayatollah Khamenei. The country itself, in terms of political / social progress and human rights, is miles ahead of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, infamous for its suppression of human rights.
So why has Tony Blair, and the rest of the Western World, been doing next to nothing to help rid the dictatorships of these countries? The obvious reason is of course business interests. The oil-addicted Western World dare not mess with its main source of supply.
I, along with a lot of political commentators in Canada and the US, have been under the impression that Tony Blair is a very smart and savvy politician. And I’m trying to make sense of Blair’s believe to leave military action against Iran on the table. I can’t, because it doesn’t make sense.
Maybe David Cameron will bring something new for Britain’s foreign policy agenda. Then again, maybe not.