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Tony Blair - Traitor or Peacemaker?


Cactus Jack
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Tony Blair has made a dramatic move by holding talks with Col Muammar Gaddafi on the first visit to Libya by a British prime minister since Winston Churchill went there at the height of World War II.

 

Mr Blair's trip came before the US had finally lifted sanctions, and as a reward for Libya's decision to give up its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Blair likes to be out ahead, doing eye-catching things a little sooner than people had expected.

 

He is not the first Western leader to shake Col Gaddafi's hand - the Italian and Spanish prime ministers have done so already.

 

But given the strained, even hostile, relations between Britain and Libya over more than 20 years and the background of the Lockerbie airliner bombing, Mr Blair's visit is far more significant.

 

He has also been working closely with the US in ending Libya's isolation.

 

In fact, Britain has been consistently out in front of the US - but not too far.

 

Public praise

 

The Bush administration has not yet lifted its main sanctions against Libya, but things are moving in that direction. On Tuesday a senior American official made the highest-level visit to Tripoli for 30 years.

 

Mr Blair has given Col Gaddafi the biggest public relations reward possible for his decision in December to give up efforts to develop nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.

 

 

The visit is designed as a signal and an incentive to other potential proliferators like Iran.

The timing may also be significant: Mr Blair can go on from Libya to the European Union summit in Brussels pointing to the success of his tough policy, as he would see it, whatever the criticisms of the war in Iraq.

 

In fact perhaps even because of it.

 

Libyan officials are talking of an alliance with Britain against terror. That will take many people aback, but Col Gaddafi has no love for Islamic militancy of the Osama Bin Laden variety and sees it as a threat to his own position.

 

British officials are talking of helping the Libyans draw up a new defence doctrine to meet their legitimate security needs.

 

Military training and arms sales - of great commercial interest to Britain - may not be far behind, assuming the EU lifts its arms embargo.

 

So, what do you make of the visit? Traitor (although thats a bit of strong term) or peacemaker?

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Cactus, I think Blair is fronting as a peacemaker, but is an excellent businessman! Forgive me for sounding cynical, but Shell has already negotiated a deal to drill for gas off of the Libyan coast.

 

However, seriously, I think Blair is doing the right thing by meeting Gaddafi. The media love to present polarized views of Blair, ie: peacemaker or traitor. He's hardly going to shake Gaddafi's hand and discuss his next visit to Downing St. He will be laying down the law to Gaddafi, putting him in his place, letting him know who the boss is, but at the same time encouraging Gaddafi to respond positively by offering an olive branch, probably by opening some trade agreement.

 

I've read some views today, in various media, and am of the opinion the only people who are against this are SOME people related Lockerbie victims, and right-wing anti-Blairites. I agree wholly with Blair when he says "It does not mean forgetting the pain of the past. But it's time to move on".

 

Blair will never forgive Gaddafi for his past scruples, the UK public will not allow it, but we can't just sit and fester over it, getting ourselves worked up and baying for revenge instead of talks, we have enough people in the world like that already.

 

Cheers!

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"It's all about oil, it's all about oil, it's all about oil!" cry some anti-Blair right wingers...

 

AND?

 

Of course it's about oil, this is politics, this is business. It looks extremely good for Blair and Gaddafi now the latter has relinquished his WMD (and I believe he has relinquished them ALL), and Blair looks like he is also making an effort.

 

Anyone who seems shocked about this meeting being for anything else other than oil should stop being so naive. This will probably secure Blair another 4 years. Our Petrol prices may (just may) go down and then all will be forgotton because the fickle public will have an extra couple of quid in their pockets.

 

Of course, we will never forget the Lockerbie tragedy, and Gaddafi will burn in hell for it, but this is a golden opportunity for Blair, his cabinet, and a step closer towards PEACE.

 

Cheers!

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Our Petrol prices may (just may) go down and then all will be forgotton because the fickle public will have an extra couple of quid in their pockets.

 

Even if it does secure cheaper petrol, I doubt highly that that dsaving will be passed onto motorists unfortunatly :mad

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I'd say people moaning about oil are unlikely to be right wingers. The left (like me) are more likely to complain about the loss of idealism in politics.

 

Anyway, I'm not too bothered about Blair going to Libya - but he has to also try to convince Gaddaffi to introduce fair elections at some point.

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I am all for Mr Blair going to places like Libya and trying to form worthwhile allegiances, I would much rather have us being freinds with powerful/dangerous countries than have them as enemies. However Col. Godaffi has been sponsoring terrorism for a long time, and also producing various dangerous weapons. It will take alot more than just an apology and giving up weapons for him to prove to me that he has changed for the better.
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And where did Libya get their WMDs?...that's right folks' date=' the UK and U.S. Oh, and there's also talk of [i']selling[/i] Libya more weapons, to 'defend' themselves.

 

I hate this argument. Someone would have sold them regardless of whether or not we would, so why not capitalise on the trade itself?

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