And so, ‘Vicar Blair’ has delivered another homily from his ‘pulpit’ at the Guardian/Observer, beseeching us to see the true, dark forces driving war, conflict and terror in the Middle East and wider world:
The fact is that, though of course there are individual grievances or reasons for the violence in each country, there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith.
No intimation here, of course, that, by far, the greatest levels of terror and violence originate in the abuse of power and perversion of office, rather than religion and faith – all helping to evade the actual truth that the worst acts of terrorism, in terms of scale, impact and inhumanity, have been perpetrated by war-seeking states and ‘religiously’-driven evangelists like Blair himself.
With standard deceit, Blair also uses his Observer sermon to lament the conflict in Syria as a core problem of internal religious imbalances between Shia and Sunni, faithfully omitting the religious-sectarian agenda of his Saudi Arabian and Qatari friends, and the West’s/Israel’s own malevolent part in fomenting this catastrophic civil war.
Behind the sham ecumenical lines, the key target of Blair’s facile piece is Islam and its ‘particular’ cultivation of ‘terrrorist tendencies’. Predictably, the key link between Western invasions and political radicalisation of Muslims is completely ignored. It’s all just attributed to wayward religious fanaticism.
Akin to his posturings as Middle East Peace Envoy, he does include a token nod to other religious violence:
But this issue of extremism is not limited to Islam. There are also many examples the world over where Muslims are the victims of religiously motivated violence from those of other religious faiths.
What ‘revelation’. Should we be astounded by this great ‘admission’ – or just by the kind of money he gets paid for such ‘insight’?
Blair’s invocation of ‘good religion’ rallying to combat ‘bad religion’ isn’t just cringing rhetoric. It’s a seeming intensification of his own religiously-pitched psychosis in rationalising more violence.
Even after his zealous part in the brutal destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, the sermonising crusader goes relentlessly on:
Such religious tolerance has to be taught and argued for. Those who oppose it have to be taken on and defeated not only by arms but by ideas.
Thus, the still-resolved missionary handing down his lofty injunction: you will be educated for your own good, whether by our righteous bombs or our ennobled words.
Given the alarming mindset of someone who, with Bush, invoked ‘Christian guidance’ over the ‘deliverance’ of Saddam, Blair’s latest ‘appeal’ to religious tolerance and compassion suggests either a deepening descent into even starker delusion, more calculating efforts – in lieu of Chilcot’s report – to whitewash his actions, or some disturbed mixture of both.
Whatever the underlying psychiatry, the Guardian has acted as a complicit, discipled liberal in hosting Blair’s vacuous gospel and the crux of this shabby article, a brazen advert for Blair’s ‘religious’ foundation.
Thus, does unctuous litany slip seamlessly into shameless self-promotion:
The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance. In the 21st century, education is a security issue. For that reason, when I left office, and in part based on my experience post-9/11 of how countries whose people were freed from dictatorship have then had democratic aspirations thwarted by religious extremism, I established a foundation whose aim is to promote greater knowledge and understanding between people of different faiths….The foundation is now active in more than 20 countries, including some of those most affected by sectarianism, with a multimillion-pound budget, full-time and part-time staff, and expanding rapidly.
A nice ‘moral’ earner to sanctify his multiple other mammonic urges, corporate dealings and shady payola.
Suffice to say, any associating body – faith-based, academic or otherwise – participating in or accepting funding from this spurious front organisation is, in effect, a ‘holy’ accomplice to Blair’s murderous criminality.
Meanwhile, highest praise to the real humanitarian impulses of one Twiggy Garcia for endeavouring a citizen’s arrest of Blair.
Hopefully, one day soon, we may be giving thanks over Blair’s criminal conviction rather than cravenly indulging his ‘religious’ ones.