“The hand-wringing has to stop. We must act” wrote Tony Blair.
In a passionate article Blair calls for intervention in Syria. He comments, “It is time we took a side: the side of the people…”
Blair pulls no punches in his opposition to Assad. At one point, Blair even compares the violent Bashar al-Assad regime to the “dark days of Saddam”. An awkward reminder of his illegal war in Iraq.
His opposition to this murderous dictator (connected to the death of over hundred thousand Syrians) has not always been this clear cut.
It has emerged, that the previous New Labour government considered bestowing a knighthood on Assad during his trip to the UK in 2002. This is despite 10 downing street referring to him at the time as, “this nasty dictatorship that locks up its own MPs”.
During his visit he also had an audience with Elizabeth Windsor and a platform in parliament.
Of course, it wasn’t just Blair who was flirting with Assad. Buzzfeeds have done an excellent job in reminding us of the on-going relationship between Assad and the US.
Here is a photo of Kerry sharing a cool drink with Assad in 2009 (after widely documented human rights abuses took place – eg cracking down on human rights activists in 2007):
The US and their old friend Tony seem to be clear enough now on whose side they are on (or at least whose side they are NOT on) – but it hasn’t always been that clear.