Monday, August 07, 2006

U.S. Got Blair To Fire Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

A distinguished (not to mention, well-connected) British insider is alleging that the United States prevailed upon Prime Minister Tony Blair to fire Foreign Secretary Jack Straw because he wouldn't support an attack upon Iran.

When Jack Straw was replaced by Margaret Beckett as Foreign Secretary, it seemed an almost inexplicable event. Mr Straw had been very competent -- experienced, serious, moderate and always well briefed. Margaret Beckett is embarrassingly inexperienced. I made inquiries in Washington and was told that Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, had taken exception to Mr Straw's statement that it would be "nuts" to bomb Iran. The United States, it was said, had put pressure on Tony Blair to change his Foreign Secretary. Mr Straw had been fired at the request of the Bush Administration, particularly at the Pentagon.

The Lebanon War skullduggery -- being connected to the plans for attacking Iran -- also figures into Baron Rees-Mogg's narrative:

It is also possible that Mr Straw was moved sideways because Mr Blair already had preliminary information that Israel planned to hit back hard at any aggression by Hezbollah. When the Hezbollah kidnapping and the Israeli counter-attack took place, the United States and Britain jointly refused to call for an immediate ceasefire. The fighting, with its terrible impact on Lebanon, has now continued for four weeks. There is an allegation that Israel's plans for the counter-strike were given to the Americans, and that information was passed to the Prime Minister. These questions will be pressed if Parliament is recalled. Obviously Mr Straw's potential resignation in these circumstances would have been very difficult for the Prime Minister.

The "who knew what and where" issue will not go away. If there is no immediate and effective ceasefire in Lebanon, there will be increasingly urgent demands for the recall of Parliament. Lebanon will be raised at the Labour Party conference, as will Iraq and Afghanistan. The Labour Party is pro-Palestinian, critical of Israel, and hostile to the Bush Administration. Many Labour Members of Parliament want a new leader, if only to save their seats. The annual July political crisis started in April this year, and will still be running in November.

10 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

Weird synchronicity of posts with SMC. I've stopped being surprised.
Nice one!

8/07/2006 11:27 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Your recent pieces have been rather illuminating of the deeper goings-on these days in the ME.

I have been specializing in the cheap knock-off pieces lately.

8/07/2006 11:49 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Ya could've fooled me

8/07/2006 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to know whether to feel pity for Blair, or just contempt. He's sold his soul to the devil. At least Bush is, as they say, dumber than a second coat of paint... but what's Blair's excuse? That he's a self-deluded weakling waiting for a cushy spot on Murdoch's board and speaking engagements in the U.S. once his gig is up? (And his country and "democracy" be damned...)

Jack Straw did the honourable thing. I'd rather be in his shoes than Blair's.

- and somehow I doubt it's Rumsfeld calling the shots as much as the CEO of BP or the like...

-- meanwhile, I've got relatives in England and I was told that it now costs $150 to fill up... my cousin apparently switched to propane this weekend...

Dena

8/07/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

I remember that Blair was good friends and ideological buddies with President Clinton. When George W. Bush was elected there was speculation that Blair would never get on well with the new president, due as much to a clash of personalities as to political differences. (Kinda like how Pierre Trudeau didn't get along with Nixon and Reagan.)

After 9-11, Blair couldn't have made himself any more helpful to the Bush agenda.

I agree that there must be something else we are not hearing about the longtime "special relationship" between the two countries. And it must be something big for Tony "Cool Britannia" Blair to jeopardize his place in the history books for.

That is pretty grim news about the petrol situation over there. But what could have anyone expected as a result of a war of choice in the Middle East?

I have heard that Blair's presumptive replacement Gordon Brown will probably be as subservient as Blair to the U.S.

8/07/2006 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that Blair's presumptive replacement Gordon Brown will probably be as subservient as Blair to the U.S.

That's depressing news..but somehow not surprising... I wonder how, knowing we're part of the axis of evil, we can change anything about it? I find it very stressful.
Dena

8/07/2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

The British voters probably have a better chance to change things (at least as to their involvement) than do the American people.

This is because the average Brit is opposed to the whole nefarious program. The average American has objections to one aspect or another (such as the Iraq war) of the national security state, but enthusiastically supports other parts (such as enabling Israel's less than moderate approach to its neighbors).

Until it is time to take to the barracades, the best one can realistically do about it is to be a conscientious citizen and try not to let the bastards get you down. Because the way they maintain control is by keeping everyone off balance and worried about the everyday necessities of life, so that people have no time to question the whole sick political framework in which their leaders thrive.

8/07/2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until it is time to take to the barracades, the best one can realistically do about it is to be a conscientious citizen and try not to let the bastards get you down.

Thanks, Eff. You're right.

Dena

8/07/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger michele said...

Blair is bush's stepchild.

8/07/2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Michele:

I have heard more unflattering descriptions of their relationship.

8/07/2006 8:50 PM  

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