Letter to the Editor

Disappointed by Tony Blair's speech

Friday, March 7, 2008

To the editor:

I've just returned from hearing Tony Blair speak at DePauw, and I'm feeling very disappointed.

There were some inspirational moments and some funny ones, and he is, indeed, very charming, debonair and disarming, but overall, the chauvinism in his words and shallow presentation really came as a surprise.

I wonder if he even recognizes it. It's the kind of chauvinism which is deeply rooted in colonial leadership.

He is obviously aware that the issues of our day are multi-dimensional, but he refused to delve into them. He sees the dots but refuses to connect them.

He has clearly sided against critical analysis in favor of a self-congratulating first-world idealism.

In so doing, his presentation never addressed the ways in which the UK, Europe, and USA have de-stabilized the very places in the world he identified as terrorist hives -- the Middle East, Africa, and the Near East.

Instead of acknowledging these countries' roles in unnaturally carving up these ancient places and funding despots, such as Saddam Hussein, and enabling them to drag their countries into morasses of despair -- the breeding grounds for terrorism -- Blair totally ignored them.

Instead, he repeatedly underscored the importance of defending our "moral authority," even if it means invading countries to preserve our universal values of "freedom," (which he never defined), and democracy.

He repeatedly defended hard power (military force) without once recognizing that its miscalculations unfold into breeding grounds for hatred of us more effectively than any terrorist could ever dream of achieving.

No, Tony Blair is a product of colonial England. It is up to our children's generation, then, to recognize and right the sins of first-world countries' unregulated capitalism in destroying tribal communities, siphoning off foreign countries' natural resources to satisfy our own heinous levels of consumption, and leaving them in economic strangleholds which leave no future for their children -- which is, of course, the perfect formula for birthing terrorism.

Susan Parsons,