Robert Fisk viciously attacked the appointment of Tony Blair as the Quartet's Middle East peace envoy.
"I remain overwhelmed that this vain, deceitful man, this proven liar, a trumped-up lawyer who has the blood of thousands of Arab men, women and children on his hands is really contemplating being "our" Middle East envoy."
I, too, am incredibly perplexed by the decision to throw the cape of peace on a man of war. Undoubtedly, Blair proves as President Bush's prime candidate to deal with Middle Eastern issues on the Quartet's behalf. Despite Russian disapproval, the Quartet went ahead with the appointment of a man likely to create more anarchy in the region than reconciliation.
I beg to wonder whether the person responsible for reviewing Blair's CV for this job actually read it. This man, as Fisk so eloquently points out, lied to his own people about going to war in Iraq; has hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian blood on his hands; blocked every attempt to halt Israel's barbaric onslaught on Lebanon last summer; need I say more? Most experts, analysts, anyone who has common sense would conclude from reviewing such a CV that this man is certainly not fit for the job. So the question arises, why was the post given to him?
The Bush Administration is in no mood for dialogue, let alone a just peace proposal, thus the more neocons in the powerful diplomatic positions, the easier it will be to avoid the desperately needed negotiations to put an end to this quagmire.
The US and Britain are entangled (on Israel's behalf) in a regional war with Iran and Syria. Despite the mounting domestic and international pressure on Bush, he has shown no sign of relenting on the campaign. The only signs he has shown are that of his determination to see this war to the end. Who better to have on his side than the man that has been joined to the Texan's hip since the get-go?
Blair's role is not to resolve the Middle Eastern nightmare, but to serve as an American barrier to any European or Russian attempt to use the Quartet as a means to counter the US' war policy in the region. We can only expect what Blair can do best. He will sideline Hamas, endorse Fatah; continue to talk tough to Syria and Iran; deliver unwavering support to Israel; threaten Hizballah, and support the highly unpopular Siniora government; help to prop up the American proxies of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan; everything that is required of a participant of the US-Israeli axis and everything against peace.
A true peace envoy would engage with all sides of the conflict, from Gaza to Tehran. I highly doubt we can expect such effort from our mate Tony. The former British PM will only be another neocon element ensuring the flames will continue to burn in the Middle East.