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I can't remember where I read about Bush and Blair's mutual dislike for each other. I know that I read about it after I read these articles by Greg Palast.

This article from The Observer has some usefull information. An interview with Buzzflash was the first tip off that something was amiss with the truth.


PALAST: You're getting warm. The answer is Irwin Stelzer. He is the guy who is a good friend of George Bush from the Hudson Institute, and the most powerful lobbyist in Britain representing British-American interests and, by the way, chief lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch. As soon as Bush seized the White House, Stelzer walked into Blair's office and said ‘we noticed that you were supporting Mr. Gore during the Presidential election' - even though clearly that didn't carry many states. Blair's effective endorsement of Al Gore did not go unnoticed. And there was a price to be paid. Blair was given a list of the things that would befall Britain from military subsidies and equipment, to a reduction of value in the dollar versus the pound, which would destroy England's exportability. And Blair was basically told get in line, stand up and salute or "here's your last cigarette, Tony."

I read this interview just before hostilities in Iraq commenced; and along with Blair 's famous Chicago speech it went a long way to understand why Blair's position regarding the Second war with Iraq.

Many of our problems have been caused by two dangerous and ruthless men - Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. Both have been prepared to wage vicious campaigns against sections of their own community. As a result of these destructive policies both have brought calamity on their own peoples. Instead of enjoying its oil wealth Iraq has been reduced to poverty, with political life stultified through fear. Milosevic took over a substantial, ethnically diverse state, well placed to take advantage of new economic opportunities. His drive for ethnic concentration has left him with something much smaller, a ruined economy and soon a totally ruined military machine.

Blair was in America drumming up support for military intervention in Kosovo. In an attempt to garner support he drew parallels between Milosovic and America's, then, current bogeyman, Saddam Hussien.


Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 12:13:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair was given a list of the things that would befall Britain from military subsidies and equipment, to a reduction of value in the dollar versus the pound, which would destroy England's exportability.

This sounds at least partially fantastic? Reduce the dollar to spite the UK? Doesn't sound likely.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 12:58:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ordinarily I would agree with you Coleman. It is just that I do not think the Bush Administration are ordinary politicians. However, whether they would actually have done these things or not is less important than the fact that Blair believed that they would.


Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Blair has civil servants to explain this to him. I don't buy it: it's a partial explanation but not near a complete one. This might have been the stick. What was the carrot?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that the carrot was that the US would cooperate in really pushing a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine.  Right afterwards, there were indeed talks and Bush mentioned it in a couple of speeches, but Bush dropped it pretty quickly.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:33:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've just realised why I never noticed any of this stuff: I was busy getting married at the time. That would explain it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would too join Colman in normal times, but when it comes to the Bush administration, one should never forget Brad Delong's immortal words:

The Bush administration is not only worse than you imagine even after taking account of the fact that it is worse than you imagine. It is worse than you can conceivably imagine.
by Francois in Paris on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the first link:
To my knowledge, Stelzer is the only policy adviser who can walk into the Prime Minister's office at will. But now he won't bother.

Stelzer has determined to deliver a nasty little dressing-down to the PM in public and nail George Bush's wish list to Blair's forehead with a rusty tack.

Rather than speak to his friend Tony directly, Stelzer chose the forum of the Times to deliver the word from Bush's team. In his column on 4 January Stelzer wrote, 'Tony Blair has lost two big bets and the British people will have to pay up.'

That would be 4 January 2001. We should be able to dig up the article.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:30:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the same page of Will Hutton's The World We Are In as I quoted the other day:

(Irwin Stelzer) also advises Rupert Murdoch, acting as a key intermediary with the British government: during the negotiations over the relaxation of Britain's media ownership laws in 2001 and early 2002, for example, the ministers concerned were obliged to offer him any access he wanted where he pressed his anti-regulation case. At the heart of the economic, government, media and business establishment he can get away with consistent presentation of unsubstantiated ideology as the truth -- and does so regularly.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 02:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Found the Stelzer article from 4 January 2001 in the Google cache here.

It's an incredible piece of bully talk. Because it comes from before 9/11, it sounds unbelievable, but it's just proof that 9/11 changed fuck all.

Here's a sample re the topic of Rogue Trooper's diray:

To add to Blair's woes, Bush has nominated Donald Rumsfeld to be his Secretary of Defence, specifically rejecting his old friend Tom Ridge, the Pennsylvania Governor, because of the latter's lack of enthusiasm for the national missile defence system (NMD) that Bush has promised to deploy at the earliest feasible date. Rumsfeld is a long-time proponent of a missile shield to protect America and any who would shelter from missile attacks from "rogue Governments" such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq, or from a newly hostile Russia.

To put that shield in place, America will need to upgrade radar equipment at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire. That means Blair will have to say "yes" or "no" -- "maybe" or "later" won't do. The French, of course, are violently opposed to the plan, as are many other European nations which Blair has been so assiduously courting, some of which are eager to curry favour and contracts with the likes of President Saddam Hussein and Iran's ayatollahs. Bush aims to make Blair choose, and if the Prime Minister thinks he can fob off the allegedly not-so-bright new President and his formidable team of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, with talk of a bridge between America and Europe, he had better think again. America wants an ally, not a bridge.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 02:44:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that the article is not easy to find outside of Google's cache we might want to consider backing it up somewhere.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's astounding. Two sites it was cached from have disappeared.

It could go in the wiki. I'll have a look where.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the article in The Memory Hole?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Google doesn't seem to find it there, and The Memeory Hole doesn't have a search facility.

It's no doubt in the archives at TimesOnline, but you have to subscribe.

I can't get the wiki for the moment (happens at times), but I've backed it up as a .doc on my disk.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have it backed as a .html, it's not a proprietary format ;-P

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The full article is in the EuroTribWiki under Britain and also United States in PoliticsAndPolicyByCountry.

Title: Why Blair has got George W so wrong by Irwin Stelzer

Link: Stelzer

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 24th, 2006 at 04:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this system even workable?  I remember when Reagan was funneling billions to his cronies for years to develop it, they finally admitted it was a completely unworkable notion, which is what scientists had been saying all along.

So that's the last I heard.  When W. brought it up in the 2000 debates I was flabbergasted that he was bringing up the discredited Star Wars plan.  I could not believe the media never even mentioned it had been discredited and that the public had seemingly forgotten.  

So... did it get re-credited somehow?  Is there some technology advance that's made the system workable?  Or are we just haggling over where we're building bases and who we're funneling money to for an imaginary future system?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it did not get re-credited. They faked the results of trials, rigged the tests, and finally decided to claim it worked without any further testing.

It's just an elaborate scam of the national treasury.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for confirming.  It's breathtaking.  Honestly, not a single mention of this should be uttered without noting it's an imaginary/impossible/hypothetical system.  May as well be arguing about where we're going to install our time machines.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't want America to develop time machines?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean those machines that will always loop back to the beginning of Bush's first term, giving him each time another go at not screwing up the world?
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Y'know, I think we have already.  It really feels like 1988 here.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Going for 1984!
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I almost said that but figured there was no need to sully a great piece of literature by having it confused with memories of the Reagan/Bush era.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's funny, I remember you saying that already. It's begun. We're screwed.
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:58:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now what does that "n/t" stand for by the way, I've seen it used all over the place and have no clue.

Will iron clothes for this info.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:56:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It means no text.  It's for people who are only seeing the subject lines.  Now about that ironing!!!!

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well since we've been looping for eons, you'll know by now that I'll find some excuse not to do it, you'll protest, and it'll all end in an ugly stand-off with no clothes ironed in the end. So let's just break the cycle now while we can, what do you say?
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice try.  The way I remember that it's gonna happen is that you not only get all my ironing done, but my sewing as well.  No use trying to change the future past, Alex.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, I remember now. But that was another me from the future past, it wasn't the me from now, I think.
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dammit, do you people always want me to go for the easy line?  Where's the nuance anymore?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 03:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We don't do nuance.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you'll find it's spelled nukluance...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 04:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.  We're headed for a weaker pound, anyway.  I don't know how Bush would do this, even if he wanted to.  He doesn't control the money supply.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair could have consulted Brown about this stuff, but I think they hate each other's guts. Or is that another urban legend?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I get the sense that they do dislike each other, from an ideological standpoint.  But they certainly seem to love each other when they're poking at the Tories.  (British debates are much more fun to watch than the American ones.  Witty little buggers, they are. ;-)  Whether he consulted Brown or not, I can't say.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:59:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading those, and other things about their dislike of each other way long ago.  I also specifically remember reading that Blair asked Clinton's advice on how he should handle Bush.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 01:04:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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