When it comes to the art of deception, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is a genius worthy of the worst nightmares of Eric Blair (known more commonly by his pen name George Orwell). But while Eric Blair once wrote that “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”, as a warning to future generations about how the manipulation of langue can be used to create a numbing of critical thinking among the masses, Tony Blair not only took the fiction of Eric Blair and turned it into real life, but he did so with even less resistance than that portrayed in the Orwell novel 1984.
At its fundamental core, Blairism is neither a coherent nor an intelligent ideology. It is merely an avaricious lust for power that is cloaked in liberal sloganeering designed to trick people throughout the world into thinking that Blair’s declaration of war was somehow a declaration of a new kind of peace. In spite of his infamous dishonesty, Blair was actually quite forthcoming about his own doctrine for world domination in a post Cold War era. At a time when the wider world knew little if anything about George W. Bush, Tony Blair spoke in Chicago in April of 1999 and outlined his vision for how the western powers could not just economically, but militarily and politically dominate the world as never before.
Like most of Blair’s rhetoric, in his Chicago speech there is more fluff than substance, there are contradictions disguised as linear thinking and there are more grandiose adjectives than in an American Super Bowl commercial. But if one is willing to take the journey through the heart of darkness that is Blair’s rhetoric, one can clearly see that in his famous Chicago speech, Britain’s then Prime Minister advocated a doctrine of hegemonic military domination that would have made the warriors of the Cold War blush – either with envy or with shock.
During Blair’s speech, in the section headed international security, Blair presents a typically pontificating argument in which he seems to outline both the pros and cons of military invasion (aka intervention) against a sovereign nation that had not threatened Blair’s own nation, nor the safety and security of Britain’s allies (the US in particular). Yet in his cunning way, by daring to question the long established concept Westphalian sovereignty, Blair’s meandering words had already opened Pandora’s Box when it came to the concept of imperialism with liberal justifications.
Yet in spite of the jargon, Blair did not ultimately conceal whether he thought that the doctrine of Westphalian sovereignty was fit for the scrap heap of international legal history or whether he was merely engaging in a pseudo-intellectual thought exercise. In the following sentences, he made his intentions all too clear:
“No longer is our existence as states under threat. Now our actions are guided by a more subtle blend of mutual self interest and moral purpose in defending the values we cherish. In the end values and interests merge. If we can establish and spread the values of liberty, the rule of law, human rights and an open society then that is in our national interests too. The spread of our values makes us safer”.
Thus one sees that far from simply adhering to the old imperial idea of invading nations for self-declared economic self interests, let alone adhering to the old Cold War idea of competing ideological spheres of geopolitical influence, Blair admits that while the US and its NATO allies were not under any direct threat in 1999, it was the duty of the US, UK and NATO more widely to make war upon other nations in order to spread so-called western values – perhaps better defined as liberal values as defined by late 20th century westerners.
Furthermore, when Blair says that “the spread of our values makes us safer“, by that he meant that it makes the victors of the old Cold War safer from future geo-economic competition at the hands of both the vanquished power of the Cold War, let alone the emerging markets of the members of the Non Aligned Movement, as well as China.
In this sense, Blair’s seemingly ultra-modern doctrine of so-called “humanitarian intervention” (often called “right to protect”) was actually an updated version of a school or warfare that not only predated the Cold War and the imperialism of the 19th century, but one which predated the 17th century Westphalian system. Blair’s ideology is fundamentally that of the crusader and the Mujahideen (aka the jihadist). The system involves waging war in order to cultivate or otherwise co-opt the resources of other clearly defined sovereign entities under the guise that it is justified by a power greater than man. But instead of justifying this new jihad on holy doctrine, Blair justified it based on the unilateral worship of liberal values – a pagan deity by any other name.
While Donald Trump’s personal style and seemingly somewhat anti-war attitudes contrast sharply with that of Tony Blair, in many ways, the current US led Twitter Coup against Venezuela is the crowning achievement of Blairism. Blair once famously said that “it is not a day for soundbites” before delivering a classic soundbite in which he said that he felt the hand of history was on his shoulder.
Thus, as society becomes more numb to the narratives once used to justify Blair’s own wars (aka the fake news regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), today’s Twitter Coup in Venezuela is one where blood may soon flow as the result of banal sound bites being Tweeted across the world.
The US and European attempt at fomenting regime change in Venezuela is as Blair would put it “all about values”. In this case, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro does not value being a classic Latin American puppet president whose strings are pulled by policy makers in Washington. Since this clearly clashes with the “values” of Blairism, the US simply found a Venezuelan who putatively shares Blair’s values and after such a man declared himself to be president of Venezuela, rather than laugh at him in the way that a man proclaiming he is Jesus would be laughed at on the streets of New York City, the pretender president has been recognised by the US and its allies as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
The moral of this story is that it is no longer national sovereignty that matters, it is now just a question of using soundbites to install a leader in a foreign land who shares one’s values. Respecting sovereignty as defined in the Westphalian system is out and the selection of leaders in foreign countries based on “shared values” is very much in. It naturally helps that the spreading of such values is backed up by the threat of unilateral military aggression. Thankfully for Blair however, those with antithetical values to him are not yet so keen on enforcing their values at gun point.
The world is going through a period far darker than the original Cold War. This is because the Cold War had a set of half written and half de-facto rules. Today there are no rules, there are only values. These values have killed civilians from Yugoslavia to Libya, Ukraine to Iraq, Syria to Afghanistan and now Venezuela may be next.