I thought that Tony Blair may have forgotten what "symbolism" meant when I read that he'd said:
"If it is concern for Iraq then why are they driving a car bomb into the middle of a group of children and killing them?"
But then I read his next line:
I am not saying any of these things don't affect their warped reasoning and warped logic
..and I thought, to myself, that this was nothing we didn't already know.
It certainly means that Mr. Blair recognizes that Iraq is a part of the warped reason that terrorists are striking innocent people in his nation.
When Mr. Blair says much of the world had dropped its guard to the threat of terrorism after the "wake-up call" of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, he may be right in some ways. Over 3000 people dead in one attack in America is certainly a candidate for a new Western-based consciousness (*the people of the Middle East and Europe have gone through these troubles with terrorism for years).
New York City's wake-up call came years before, however, when the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. To many jaded New Yorkers, 9/11 was expected (although no one expected the towers to fall - which is still a much-talked about mystery).
If world leaders used the "wake-up" call of 9/11 to unecessarily remove precious liberties from freedom-loving people, then it can safely be said that those freedom-loving people got a "wake-up" call after 9/11 as well. The alarm screamed "Hold fast to your freedoms lest they be stolen away by radical rightwing interests in the name of fear and terror!"
We, the people, must all be careful in this new age. If life is no good without freedom, then terrorists win by killing our spirits with the willing aide of leaders who employ fear. The terrorist wields fear and the leaders employ fear. The only person with secure and robust employment these days is 'old Mr. Fear.'
Do not read this as a voice against good government. Above all, do not consider this to be a support of any kind of violence against our fellow man. Take your politics out of it and hear the voice of freedom telling you to be cautious of that which you choose to rally around.
Mr. Blair's complicitous involvement in the Iraq war planning, which we learned about in the leaked Downing Street memos, has sent up a caution sign about anything he may say to defend his leadership on Iraq and the terror that has followed in London.
I'd like to put these misspent and sorrowful days in Iraq behind us and move on, with governments we can trust and who are willing to work with each other to end poverty, genocide, unjust wars, and disease. We need to end the bitter division between right and left. "Iraq" is not a fitting reason for killing innocent people in London, just as sure as "imminent threat" was not a fitting reason for the damage we've caused to the nation and the people of Iraq.
I think, with the greatest sorrow, of mothers and fathers who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq. If I could tell them anything, I would tell them that their children were honorable soldiers who were loyal to the ideals of their nation. Even as I talk about the ones who, in shadows, found a way to convince their nations to go to a war that was not necessary, I will never diminish or demean the lives of the men and women who, like so many Americans, trusted in the good faith of their leaders.
Now they are looking for a way to pull out of the awful mess they led us into. I am very angry - and I can imagine that those families must feel the confusion and anger far deeper than I do.