May 11, 2007

But he didn't pass by


After Tony Blair’s resignation speech—delivered on May 10 to party activists in his Sedgefield constituency—I must confess that, among the dozens of comments I have come across on the subject, I have especially loved the sobriety with which my favourite British blogger has expressed his point of view. He simply quoted this passage from the speech “against a whole heap of the commentary” on Blair’s depart (though pointing out that, unlike me, he doesn’t get the ‘belief’ stuff …):

In Sierra Leone and to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, I took the decision to make our country one that intervened, that did not pass by, or keep out of the thick of it.

Then came the utterly unanticipated and dramatic. September 11th 2001 and the death of 3,000 or more on the streets of New York.

I decided we should stand shoulder to shoulder with our oldest ally. I did so out of belief.

So Afghanistan and then Iraq, the latter, bitterly controversial.

Removing Saddam and his sons from power, as with removing the Taliban, was over with relative ease. But the blowback since, from global terrorism and those elements that support it, has been fierce and unrelenting and costly. For many, it simply isn't and can't be worth it.

For me, I think we must see it through. They, the terrorists, who threaten us here and round the world, will never give up if we give up.

UPDATE - Sat, May 13, 2007 - 10:30 pm
There is a full version video in two parts of the speech at You Tube: part one, part two.

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