Bill Sykes' - In Retrospect
Sykes looks back in retrospect at material which has
been published in previous editions of "View from
America", in an attempt to determine whether the
subject matter written then is still applicable in
In this edition of,"Looking back in retrospect", I
have decided that it is befitting on the eve of his resignation
as the Prime Minister of Great Britain that the life
of Tony Blair, who has been the head of the British Government
for the last ten years - a tenure which has covered many
major events in the life of the current day British people
- should be recorded as it certainly is deserving of
I have tried to cover the eventful life of the United Kingdom Prime Minister
Tony Blair as best I could by researching as many resources as possible. My research
has included information obtained from many various documents, including several
reliable sources, as I think that we the people should at least become more aware
of the background and achievements of this Prime Minister.
The rise and fall of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair - A.K.A. Tony Blair - the 73rd Prime Minister
of Great Britain, (that is if you count several Prime Ministers who served two
terms, or even three terms ), was born on the 6th of May 1953 in the Queen Mary
Maternity Home in Edinburgh, Scotland, the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair.
Tony Blair has one elder bother William who is a Barrister and Queens Counsel,
and a younger sister Sarah. The family resided for the first nineteen years of
Tony’s life in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh. In the 1950s the Blair
family spent three and a half years residing in the suburb of Dulwich, Adelaide,
Australia, where Tony’s Father was a lecturer who taught Law at the University
The family returned to Britain in the late 1950s and lived for a time in Glasgow
before moving to the city of Durham where his father was a lecturer at Durham
University. Tony went to Oxford University, initially to read jurisprudence at
St John’s College
and upon graduating from Oxford University he enrolled as a pupil barrister at
the renowned Lincoln’s Inn and sometime during this period met his future
wife Cherie Booth who was later to become a Queen’s Counsel.
Tony and Cherie were married on the 29th of March 1980 and have four children.
Mr. Blair Joined the Labour Party shortly after graduating from Oxford in 1975
and several year later stood in a forthcoming
bi-election as a candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Beaconsfield but
only won around ten percent of the vote and lost his deposit - but he apparently
impressed the electorate and subsequently acquired some degree of recognition
in the Labour Party.
In the 1983 General Election Mr. Blair was nominated for the newly created Sedgefield
constituency and his endorsement of left wing policies, (such as calling for
Britain to leave the EC and his support for unilateral nuclear disarmament),
plus the fact
that Sedgefield was considered to be a safe Labour seat he was elected as the
Member of Parliament for that district, which was quite an achievement considering
that the Labour Party suffered a national landslide defeat in that election.
Mr. Blair made his major speech in the House of Commons on the 6th of July 1983.
Once elected, Mr. Blair’s ascent in Parliament was rapid. He received his
first front bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesperson and
by 1988 had entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
and the following year he became Shadow Employment Secretary.
When Neil Kinnock resigned as party leader, after his electoral defeat, Mr. Blair
became Shadow Secretary under John Smith.
When John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack, Tony Blair beat John
Prescott and Margaret Beckett in the subsequent leadership election and became
Leader of the Opposition, and in the 1997 General Election the Labour Party won
a landslide victory thus ending 18 years of Conservative Party rule. This was
the worst defeat the Conservative Party had endured since 1832.
Now we come to the present day:
Due to certain actions taken by Prime Minister Blair
in the last several years - it can be assumed that
a main action for which he has been severely criticized
and censored by many people was his unconditional
support of the dictates of the United State’s
President George W. Bush, and the Bush Administration,
by going to war against Iraq for all the wrong reasons
and even worse for promoting the lies that were generated
by Bush and his Administration to support an un-winnable
war in Iraq. This war, which initially was classified
as being fought to remove the despotic dictator Saddam
Hussein was entered into for very different reasons
which included the American government’s burning
desire to force American type democratic rule upon
a Muslim country.
Of course other important reasons that have been mentioned,
were the actions of President Bush, Vice President
Cheney, and other close governmental officiates who
still have direct, or indirect, oil company investments,
and who obviously wished to protect American oil company
conglomerate interests in the region.
At that time the American public in general wanted
revenge for the terrible terrorist actions upon American
soil and even though Iraq did not play any part in
those terrorist actions and didn’t even support
the aims of Al-Qaeda, plus the fact that the people
involved in the terrorist actions were mainly Saudi
Arabian nationals operating out of Afghanistan under
the leadership of Usama bin Laden. Of course America
did initially attack the Taliban forces in Afghanistan,
and did try unsuccessfully to find Usama bin Laden,
but that has turned out to be as unsuccessful as the
war in Iraq which followed, and unfortunately the Afghanistan
war has become in general a forgotten war in which
Coalition troops are still fighting and dying.
By the way, America hardly ever, if ever, mentions
that the CIA financed and trained Taliban fighters
in their war against the Russian forces who for whatever
reason had invaded Afghanistan, and it was only after
the Russians called it a day and its troops left that
harsh, inhospitable, mountainous terrain, that American
forces appeared upon the scene to do what, why to try
to oust the Taliban, and try to capture Usama bin Laden
of course - which was not successful in either case
Can one say that there would appear to be a contradiction
in objectives somewhere in that scenario?
Prime Minister Tony Blair announced in the past few
days that he will tender his resignation as the leader
of the British Parliament to the Queen of England on
Wednesday the 27th of June 2007
So, we now get back to the real question: Did the Blair
decision to support America in going to war, (and in
addition provided false information in order to initiate
a war against Iraq), play a big part in Tony Blair’s
eventual downfall and subsequent resignation? You’re
damn right it did! Mr. Blair in my opinion made a big
political mistake by siding with the Bush doctrine
which included continued provision of support to Israel
by supplying them with financial aid and weapons of
mass destruction, whilst at same time antagonizing
the surrounding Middle East nations, and North Korea,
by referring to them as part of the "Axis of
there is also the question of what Bush called the
"Coalition of the unwilling", namely Russia,
China, France and some European nations.
Since 1925, the year of my birth, I have lived through
the Parliamentary control in Great Britain of eighteen
Prime Ministers, (that is if you count Ramsey MacDonald
who served two terms 1929/1931 and 1931/1935). The
list started for me with Stanley Baldwin 1924/1927
and included many prominent statesmen and apparently
has ended with the resignation of Tony Blair in 2007. One
now waits with baited breath to see how the new Prime
Minister designate Gordon Brown, the current incumbent
Chancellor of the Exchequer, will deal with what many
people believe to be a too close for comfort relationship
between Prime Minister Blair and President George Bush
with respect to the Middle East situation and Prime
Minister Blair’s support of an un-winnable war
Former President Jimmy Carter in a recent BBC interview
denounced the close relationship between Bush and the
outgoing Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair.
He characterized the relationship to be "abominable,
loyal, blind and subservient".
As far as President Bush is concerned, Jimmy Carter
also said, "I
think as far as the adverse impact on this nation around
the world, this Administration has been the worst in
our history and Bush has overseen an overt reversal
of American basic values", or words to that effect.
The White House vehemently dismissed President Carter’s
remarks with a biting rebuttal and dismissed the former
President’s remarks as "increasingly irrelevant",
whatever that means?
Comment: Jimmy Carter was not classified by the American
people during his term in office as being the best
that the United States ever had in power, in fact towards
the end of his term he got a very low rating, but in
my opinion he had to be one of the most honest Presidents
that I have experienced during my forty plus years
residence in the United States so as far I’m
concerned I will go along with former President Jimmy
Carter’s criticism of the current President and
his Administration as it is long overdue that someone
should take this current President to task and who
better than a former President.
Then there is a majority of British and American people
who having seen a disastrous war in Iraq turn into
a killing field of sectarian violence, mainly due to
the ineptitude of American politicians and the inadequacy
of several members of the American military hierarchy,
and who are now determined that the American and British
involvement be ended and the troops be brought home
as quickly has possible.
Then of course we have diehards amongst us who still
do not wish to concede that America has lost this war
and do not wish to see America do the correct thing
by capitulating and bringing its forces out of the
quagmire that it has created.
Some people both home and abroad apparently appear
to see Tony Blair as a British Prime Minister comparable
in moral stature to Neville Chamberlain, but I cannot
for the life in me see why, and they go further to
say that both Prime Minister Blair, and President George
Bush should be tried in The Hague Criminal Court for
crimes against humanity.
What a coincidence.
Tony Blair appeared as a guest at the White House on
the 16th of May 2007 for his last meeting as Prime
Minister of Great Britain with American President George
W Bush on the very day that it was announced that Paul
Wolfowitz was resigning as President of the World Bank.
Could it be that Mr. Blair is actively interested in
seeking a new job and what better than to obtain support
for a bid for the up-coming position of President of
the prestigious World Bank from the President of the
If Mr. Blair was really interested in the job, it certainly
would be advantageous if he got a quiet behind the
scenes vote of confidence from you know who. Surely
Mr. Blair couldn’t be prepared to toady up to
Bush for one more time, or could he? Stranger things
have happened in politics, and it is a very prestigious
Prime Minister Blair’s resignation, and his reluctant
admittance that mistakes were made, partially atoned
for his support of President Bush in a war that should
never have been fought for the false reasons given.
On the other hand President Bush and certain members
of his war mongering Administration have made no apologies;
To the contrary, they apparently are prepared to escalate
the war to include Iran and are in the process of sending
an armada of warships to the Persian Gulf with a view
to intimidating Iran into stopping its nuclear programs.
Surely this President and his Vice President should
have been impeached a long time ago, their resignations
demanded, and possibly should have been tried by an
International Court for the offence of committing crimes
But that is where the American "win at all cost
syndrome", (or appear to win at all cost syndrome),
comes into play - and as the American people in general
cannot bear to be on the losing side of any endeavor,
no matter what the consequences maybe, they certainly
wouldn’t condone such a thing as the trial of
Bush wins one more time as the Democrats capitulate - Another $120B
down the drain.
(Dateline: Thursday 24th May 2007),
One more time this demagogue of a President has got
what he wanted ie: The continued funding of the war
in Iraq without a withdrawal timeline for American
troops. One must blame the weakness of the Democratic
party and its leadership namely; Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
(D-Cal), and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev),
plus certain other members of both parties for capitulating
to the Presidential threat that he would veto any funding
bill that had timelines attached.
After drastic changes had been made to the original
bill, removing any timelines that previously had been
included, President Bush announced that he would sign
the $120B package which had been approved and passed
by 80 votes to 14 votes in the Senate, and 280 votes
to 142 in the House of Representatives.
One must note, that it was apparent that the Democrats
were reluctant to cut funding for the troops, (as they
were afraid that they would be labeled non-supportive
of the troops), and the very fact that they couldn’t
by law override a threatened Presidential veto obviously
influenced the vote and they took the easy way out
by approving a bill which did not contain time lines.
Anti-war groups demanding that the Democrats continue
to press for the immediate withdrawal of all the American
troops from Iraq bombarded the Democratic Congressional
Office with angry telephone calls and e-mails after
yesterday’s vote. As I have said in previous
issues of "View from America", (at the
time the Democrats came to power), that the American
people should not expect any radical changes in the
methods of Government but should expect the same old
political rhetoric and erratic non-action with respect
to making life better for its own citizens and there
would be the same, or similar attitude to conducting
wars abroad as the Republicans have done for the last
six years, as I was sure even at that time that the
Democrats would probably follow the same old path of
protecting their own rear end as the Republicans did
when they were in power. The Democrats have really
screwed up on this chance to establish a new era of
trust and goodwill in the world at large and instead
they have allowed the funding to continue in order
for America to expand its very expensive and deadly
imperialist militaristic actions against foreign countries
that the White House and the Republican Party have
conducted previously and are still conducting. The
time is long overdue for the American aggression to
cease and our troops be brought home.
The focus now shifts to September 2007 when the new
funding runs out and Representative John P. Murtha,
(D-Pa), Chairman of the House Appropriations Sub-Committee
on defense, who appears to be the one person in the
Democratic Party who has any guts with respect to denouncing
the wars that are being currently conducted, and announced
that he will remove the Iraq war funding from the 2008
Pentagon spending bill, which is expected to reach
the House in July of this year.
I’m obviously not a Constitutional scholar but
surely the founding father’s did not intend when
they drafted the Constitution at the Convention of
1787 in Philadelphia that one person, namely the President,
would have the power to override the will of a substantial
majority of the American people, by using a veto, or
threatening to use a veto, to overturn a constitutional
requirement of a timeline for the withdrawal of American
forces from Iraq which is supported by a majority of
the American people.
The Democrats are also to be faulted
for not standing their ground and insisting that the
bill be put forward in its initial and unmodified state,
providing that they have enough votes to sustain this,
and thereby challenging the President to veto the bill
if he so wished. If that happened then the immediate
course of action should be to impeach him for an act
of criminal intent bordering upon negligence.
If the Democrats expect to succeed they have got to
listen to the electorate and act accordingly - isn’t
that why we voted them into power at the last election?
As this is an open forum where everyone has the right
to express their own opinions, good, bad or indifferent,
readers are encouraged to state those opinions by contacting
me at the e-mail address provided.
The articles included in this edition are as follows:
Article # 7A.
Trying to understand Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Extracted from several editions of "View from America".
Article # 7B.
It’s the oil stupid.
Extracted from the October
2005 Edition of “View from America”.
Eric (Bill) Sykes. (Southern California).
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