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To Blair, With Love

June 28, 2007

A more deserved standing ovation, I’ve rarely seen. I only wish I could have been there to join in personally. Alas, I must make do with the written word and my own personal tribute to Prime Minister Blair.

While I likely would disagree with PM Blair on a whole host of issues, primarily big government type schemes, he has always seemed to me to be more of a Nanny 911 kind of Labour Party. A bit tougher with some common sense not above knocking some sense into his wayward charges. I won’t presume to opine on his domestic policies, however, as I am not a British citizen and, thus, it isn’t my place nor my business. I will say, on a personal note, that his eulogy at Princess Diana’s funeral did make me cry. I know it isn’t “cool” to admit to liking Diana, but I did. Likely because I grew up with her; My Mom is originally from Scotland and she summoned me out of bed in the early hours near dawn to watch the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. She had me at her flub of his name during the vows.

I will speak to, however, Prime Minister Blair’s foregin policy. He was there for us, and the entire World, when push came to shove. A rarity in politics these days. I’m certain his alliance with the USA and, in particular, our President, didn’t bode well for his tenure as Prime Minister. But he didn’t balk. Ever. And still isn’t.

He stood his ground always, even during his resignation speech. Then, he said

“I ask you to accept one thing. Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong. That’s your call. But believe one thing: I did what I thought was right for our country.”

And last year, at his last speech to his Party’s Conference, he declared:

“And of course, the new anxiety is the global struggle against terrorism without mercy or limit. This is a struggle that will last a generation and more. But this I believe passionately: We will not win until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible.

This terrorism isn’t our fault. We didn’t cause it. It’s not the consequence of foreign policy. It’s an attack on our way of life. It’s global. It has an ideology. It killed nearly 3,000 people including over 60 British on the streets of New York before war in Afghanistan or Iraq was even thought of. It has been decades growing.

Its victims are in Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Turkey. Over 30 nations in the world. It preys on every conflict. It exploits every grievance. And its victims are mainly Muslim. This is not our war against Islam.

This is a war fought by extremists who pervert the true faith of Islam. And all of us, Western and Arab, Christian or Muslim, who put the value of tolerance, respect and peaceful co-existence above those of sectarian hatred, should join together to defeat them. It is not British soldiers who are sending car bombs into Baghdad or Kabul to slaughter the innocent.

They are there along with troops of 30 other nations with, in each case, a full UN mandate at the specific request of the first ever democratically elected Governments of those countries in order to protect them against the very ideology also seeking the deaths of British people in planes across the Atlantic.”

OH, would that we had such an eloquent Leader. Prime Minister Tony Blair is one of the best orators of my time, right up there, I must say, with our own great Ronald Reagan. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to decide who was the better speaker. And that is high-praise coming from an American, believe me. Wait…who am I kidding. I’m a girl and the accent would put him over the top. We can’t help it. The accent gets us every time. Just ask Kevin Godlington.

But, seriously and most importantly, he acted solely on his convictions regarding what was best for his Country and not what was politically expedient. In fact, he hurt himself politically, for the sake of his Country and, truly, for all of us. A better ally the United States couldn’t have.

For that, he will always have my utmost respect and all the best wishes in the World. I also can’t think of a better suited man for the job as Chief Envoy to the Quartet of Mideast peace mediators. I wish you well, Sir. With Love, most deeply heartfelt gratitude and Sincerity.

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