Heroes– Tony Blair–Leadership

PM Tony Blair is visiting Israel and was quoted in Haaretz: What makes him heroic is that he is a LEADER who doesn’t rely on opinion polls, but makes up his mind and pursues the course that he believes is just. This is exactly what the West needs in this conflict and much of the EU (and all of the UN) is bereft of leadership. PM Angela Merkel, Germany, seems to be another exception.

excerpts:

  • …There is one major strategic question that has changed in the whole of the international community. People everywhere now see this global movement of extremism, they see Iran putting itself at the head of it, and there is a huge strategic interest that includes America, Europe, Israel, and any Arab and Muslim countries that want a modern future…in making sure that that extremism doesn’t succeed.
  • I think that there emerged from the Lebanon conflict a clearer notion of how this came about and how Iran and to an extent Syria are pulling the strings and ensuring that there is such conflict. And so I think there has been that greater clarity amongst the leaders (my emphasis) in Europe. Amongst the people in Europe and Western opinion there is a big battle to be won. I think there is a desire not to face the fact that we are fighting a global struggle.
  • There is sometimes a naivete about organizations like Hizballah and the activities of Iran. I think there is a battle, and it is important that we take our case out and win that battle. And one part of winning the battle is making the case as to why Israel is entitled to its security and why it’s important to revitalize the Palestinian process.
  • The first way to win a battle is to realize you’re in a battle. That’s part of the trouble: We don’t yet really understand this is a global movement and it requires a global strategy to beat it…This is an ideological battle.
  • When you have the president of a country as powerful as Iran say those things, it may be very foolish of us to assume he doesn’t mean them. And when he’s also trying to acquire a nuclear weapon, then I think the warning signs are pretty clear….I think for a president of a country to say they want to wipe another country off the face of the earth and at the same time he’s trying to acquire a nuclear weapons capability – if we don’t get worried about that, future historians will raise a few questions about us and about our judgment…
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