The Blair-Bush Leadership Legacy

As a baby boomer and now of the third age, I look back fondly on the certainties that the world presented in terms of employment, peace and security for nations and the certainty that this would all go on forever due to a capitalist system which was clearly defined and able to assure me of my place in the world and others like me and that we could rest assured that growth would continue and our children and grandchildren could be certain of a good and productive life in the future.

I served for much of my time in the Army maintaining this status quo in West Germany, as it was at the time, defending a way of life that others had fought for in two World Wars and letting the Soviet bloc know in no uncertain terms that should they wish to force their political belief on us in the West, there would be consequences which may destroy us all, but we were willing to do this, rather than be placed under the yoke of a political system which was alien and completely unacceptable to all we had fought and died for previously.

These were dangerous, but in a way the most productive and peaceful times for many generations.

Fast forward to our world today and the threat of a terrorist group masquerading under the banner of a peaceful religion and using literalism to set up a state or caliphate of hate and terror, a politically reinvigorated Russia, threatening a sovereign state of Ukraine with clear intentions to expand Russian borders into the previously dominant and malevolent Soviet bloc, the world unable or unwilling to confront a deadly Ebola virus which threatens large swathes of the continent of Africa. Israel’s hateful persecution of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and a failed 10-year military campaign in Afghanistan. Surely we are in the most dangerous times for several generations and the world’s leaders seem immobile and frozen into inaction, staring into an abyss and stunned into inaction by the enormity of the dangers confronting them.

Why has this come about?

I believe the state of the world today can be laid squarely at the feet of Blair and Bush. They created the circumstances which, in a war torn Iraq, permitted the rise of various competing factions smashing the country apart because of the complete lack of a post operational plan to bring a political solution to a country manufactured by the British and the French decades ago. These groups then metamorphosed and coalesced, changing and spreading so quickly across the region that the West ended up chasing shadows when determining who they were dealing with and whether they were elsewhere in the world or frighteningly in our own back yard.

Meanwhile Putin seized his chance and sensing the hesitancy of the West’s political elite and public’s tiredness of war emphasised by the lack of action in Syria (irrespective of whether it would have been right or wrong at the time) manufactured a political incident, which is an age-old ruse to expand a country’s borders to “rescue” and invade the Ukraine.

So the West is now confronted by every military persons’ nightmare, a war on two fronts which historically has been the nemesis for many expansionist leaders including most notably, Hitler and Napoleon.

What are we to do?

It is clear to me that this situation is not the sole responsibility of individual nation states, we are past nationalist self interest and even though Britain and America bear a huge responsibility for what has happened, these are problems, which at last may bring the world together whatever the boundaries of religion, faith, ethnicity or nationhood. This is a time for co-operation both politically and militarily if necessary to destroy a terrorist infant state and rein in the egotistical megalomania of a dangerous rogue leader.

Every leader in the world must lay aside personal interest and recognise the ethics of acting cohesively as a unit to bring to heel the biggest threat to mankind since 1939, if that threat ever really went away.

It is now time for the United Nations to accept a world role, remove the veto from the Security Council permanent members and deal globally on a democratic basis with the dangers confronting the world today, whether that is security, health, or any of the other destabilising influences that confront us in the future.

In summary, as long as nation states have no higher authority to answer to, they will continue to pursue their own political ends at the expense of other nation states.

The UN could, given the authority, legislate against the Caliphate, Russian expansionist actions, coalesce world health authorities to deal with the Ebola outbreak and provide a genuine forum to arbitrate on international disputes and grievances, let’s give it a try before it’s too late.

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