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      09-14-2006, 08:00 AM   #1
MrSilver
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Blair jabs 'mad anti-Americanism'

POSTED: 6:03 a.m. EDT, September 14, 2006

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has launched a withering attack on on what he called "mad anti-Americanism" among European politicians.

Blair, U.S. President George W. Bush's closest ally in the so-called war on terror, said Thursday the world urgently needs the United States to help tackle the globe's most pressing problems.

"The danger is if they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage. We need them involved," Blair said, spelling out his political vision in a pamphlet published by The Foreign Policy Center think-tank.

"The strain of, frankly, anti-American feeling in parts of European politics is madness when set against the long-term interests of the world we believe in," he said.

Blair, accused by critics of being Bush's poodle who slavishly follows Washington's line, sought to stifle a revolt in his ruling Labour Party last week by promising to quit within a year after almost 10 years in office. (Full story)

His popularity has tumbled in opinion polls after government scandals over sleaze and mismanagement were compounded by controversy over the wars in Iraq and Lebanon.

As he did during the Iraq War, he sided squarely with Washington over the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas, angering Arab nations and European allies by refusing to call for an immediate cease-fire. (Watch the rise of anti-U.S. feelings around world -- 2:26)

Responding to those who have criticized the White House, Blair said in his pamphlet: "The danger with America today is not that they are too much involved."

"We want them engaged. The reality is that none of the problems that press in on us can be resolved or even contemplated without them," he added.

Laying out his vision for countering extremists, he said: "We need to construct an alliance of moderation that paints a future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian, Arab and Western, wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other."

Blair, returning from a trip to the Middle East, said the stand-off between Israel and the Palestinians remains "a -- perhaps the -- genuine source of anger in the Arab and Muslim world, going far beyond anti-Western feeling."

"The issue of even-handedness rankles deeply," he acknowledged.

Blair pledged to making Middle East "an absolute priority for the rest of my time in office."

But analysts believe his efforts are unlikely to break the logjam there, nor restore his reputation. His trip smacked of an attempt to burnish his reputation as his career draws to a close, they argue.

"He is not as instrumental as he needs to be, or would like to believe he is," said Rosemary Hollis, a Middle East expert at British think-tank Chatham House.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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      09-14-2006, 12:35 PM   #2
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I love Blair.

The man is an amazing speaker.
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      09-15-2006, 11:26 AM   #3
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Good for him! He must be one of the few Europeans that isn't pussified yet.
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      09-15-2006, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSilver
I love Blair.

The man is an amazing speaker.
Ditto. From the few speeches of his I caught, he sure is a great speaker (which seems to be a rare quality among a number of politicians).
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      09-15-2006, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcain
Ditto. From the few speeches of his I caught, he sure is a great speaker (which seems to be a rare quality among a number of politicians).
It's just because of his accent. =P
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      09-17-2006, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadBob
I'm not sure if the Brits consider themselves Europeans. How about it NFS?
Bob's right - the vast majority of Brits would not consider themselves particularly european. That's the basis of the 'special relationship' - that our culture is closer to the US than it is to say France, Germany or Spain.

We are european geographically and commerically, but not philosophically - hence the trouble Blair got into over the proposed European Constitution.

The most telling part of Blair's speech is this:

"The danger is if they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage. We need them involved"

He believes that he will have most influence with Bush if he stays close and sucks up. Public opinion seems to be that this is not the case and that his influence will be just as strong if he stands apart. Having seen the president in the 'yo blair' recording - I think Blair is right.

The other thing that is apparent about Blair is that he has almost achieved to much.

He has been a hugely popular prime minister and has led the UK through a period of sustained manageable economic growth - effectively ending the 'boom and bust' cycle. He did one very important thing to achieve this - giving control of the interest rate to the Bank of England to avoid it becoming a political 'plaything'.

He has also led the UK to a peaceful solution in Ireland - he is clearly considering his legacy and I am certain that he would love to tick off peace in the middle east on his CV.

Personally I support him - he has given us moderate socialism, which is effectively my personal philosophy.
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      09-17-2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSilver

[POSTED: 6:03 a.m. EDT, September 14, 2006

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has launched a withering attack on on what he called "mad anti-Americanism" among European politicians.

Blair, U.S. President George W. Bush's closest ally in the so-called war on terror, said Thursday the world urgently needs the United States to help tackle the globe's most pressing problems. . . . ]
The "so-called war on terror"?

Boy, you just can't get news without out the liberal slant anywhere.

I guess they've already forgotten July 7, 2005.

What a bunch of freaking boneheads.

So-called terror indeed!

If that wasn't terror, what is?

The idiocy is appalling.
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      09-17-2006, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Casuist
The "so-called war on terror"?

Boy, you just can't get news without out the liberal slant anywhere.

I guess they've already forgotten July 7, 2005.

What a bunch of freaking boneheads.

So-called terror indeed!

If that wasn't terror, what is?

The idiocy is appalling.
I think he was quoting reuters the internationally renowned POLITICALLY INDEPENDANT news agency rather than his own views.

See here also on CNN ....

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/eu...ty.blair.reut/

I also thing the 'so-called' comment refers to 'war' rather than 'terror'. The reality being that, by legal definition, the war on terror is not a true 'war', since it is not a conflict between nation states.

The 'war on terror' is a construct. By it's nature terrorism operates outside war and war (in a strict legal sense) cannot be declared upon it.

Hence the 'so called' war on terror.
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      09-17-2006, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Casuist
The "so-called war on terror"?

Boy, you just can't get news without out the liberal slant anywhere.

I guess they've already forgotten July 7, 2005.

What a bunch of freaking boneheads.

So-called terror indeed!

If that wasn't terror, what is?

The idiocy is appalling.
Come on, the Democratic party here considers terror as a few criminal acts committed by a band of renegades. If I'm not mistaken the BBC doesn't even refer to terrorists as terrorists.
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      09-18-2006, 04:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
Come on, the Democratic party here considers terror as a few criminal acts committed by a band of renegades. If I'm not mistaken the BBC doesn't even refer to terrorists as terrorists.
I don't understand your comment on the BBC. They have no issue with the use of the word terrorist.

I think you are seeing a non-existant political message in the reuters statement which was simply factual.

There are legal definitions of 'war' and the 'war on terror' does not meet them.

Regardless of you viewpoint it is not a true war (since it is not a battle between nation states) and hence it is rightly referred to as the "so-called war on terror".

If the statement was the "war on so-called terror" then your interpretation would be correct.

We have discussed this before, but terrorism is a difficult concept to define.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1555265.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4716957.stm

There are various definitions here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition_of_terrorism

There is actually a very clear definition in the UK Terrorism Act 2000:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrori...n_of_terrorism

This older definition from UK law is interesting as well:

"acts of terrorism means acts of persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom or any other government de jure or de facto."

It seems to me that the key difference between terrorism and an act of war is 'state sponsorship', but what about states which sponsor terrorism - like Libya did when it organised the Lockerbie bombing? Was that terrorism or a declaration of war? It makes a difference if the state sponsorship was overt.

But then what about Winston Churchills use of poison gas to quell an uprising in British occupied Iraq in 1917, or the use of phosphorous bombs by the allies at dresdon? Were these acts or terrorism or legitimate acts of war?

What about hesbullah and hamas are they state sponsored? Does that make their actions war or terror.

A declaration of war is key here and this is missing in the middle east. Bush's declaration of 'war on terror' is an important way of legitimising actions by the allies which could otherwise be misinterpreted as a war on Islam or a war on a nation state.
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      09-18-2006, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadBob
This may be slightly off topic, but did ya'll see the recently unearthed remains of the 10,000 year old liberal?

(source: National Geographic, August 2006)
Very funny Bob - I still don't know what a liberal is though.

BTW that is a seriously disturbing photo - don't you think?

I am presuming it is the skeleton of a mother and child both of which died during childbirth. Whats the background to it?
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      09-18-2006, 10:59 AM   #12
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NFS why don't you check and see if Reuters uses the word war in regards to Vietnam and Iraq. I bet they do. Neither of those conflicts were/are declared wars but I'm sure Reuters uses the word war in those cases.
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      09-18-2006, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed
Very funny Bob - I still don't know what a liberal is though.
If you look in the mirror I bet you can find one! LOL
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      09-18-2006, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
If you look in the mirror I bet you can find one! LOL
I have not voted liberal in my life and probably never will.

I am a moderate socially responsible capitalist.
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      09-18-2006, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
NFS why don't you check and see if Reuters uses the word war in regards to Vietnam and Iraq. I bet they do. Neither of those conflicts were/are declared wars but I'm sure Reuters uses the word war in those cases.
America hasn't issued a formal declaration of war since WWII.

However, the conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq were officially authorised by congress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declara..._United_States

The objective in each case was regime change - the toppling of the opposing nation states government - albeit in the Iraq 'War' the allies were at pains to try to avoid a situation where they were seen to be at war with the Iraqi people.

Notwithstanding the lack of a formal declaration of war, these conflicts were government sanctioned and between nation states. Hence in this situation war is an applicable description - even if that was is not formally declared.

However, the 'war on terror' can never be a true war, because 'terror' is not a nation state.

Hence the phrase the 'so called war on terror'.
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      09-18-2006, 12:03 PM   #16
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I think you are giving Reuters a lot more credit than they deserve, while overlooking their obvious political motives for their choice of words.
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      09-18-2006, 04:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
I think you are giving Reuters a lot more credit than they deserve, while overlooking their obvious political motives for their choice of words.
I really don't think this is true.

Reuters are a genuinely independant and apolitical organisation. Their very existence depends on the fact that they will independantly report the news without spin.

What motive would they have for denegrating the USA or it's allies?

I don't think this is politics it's just language. In a strict legal sense you cannot legally declare war on terror anymore than you could declare war on hedgehogs or the colour blue.

A war is a conflict between at least 2 nations states.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War

If you google the phrase you get 349,000 hits .....
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      09-18-2006, 07:03 PM   #18
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Reuters is know in the States as having a left wing slant compared to even our alphabet news networks which I consider fairly liberal. This is evident in the fabrication of photographs during the recent Israeli conflict in Lebanon which made it look like Israel was the bad guy.
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      09-18-2006, 10:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
Reuters is know in the States as having a left wing slant compared to even our alphabet news networks which I consider fairly liberal. This is evident in the fabrication of photographs during the recent Israeli conflict in Lebanon which made it look like Israel was the bad guy.
The photographer was a contractor to Reuters who was subsequently fired.
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      09-18-2006, 11:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws
The photographer was a contractor to Reuters who was subsequently fired.
I believe this happened more than once with more than 1 photographer. I can remember the F-16 flare photo and the smoke plume photo. That sounds like a pattern to me. I wonder how many times they got away with it? And how about all the times they went to scenes staged by the terrorists. You mean to tell me they couldn't figure out those scenes were staged?
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      09-19-2006, 04:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawarrant
I believe this happened more than once with more than 1 photographer. I can remember the F-16 flare photo and the smoke plume photo. That sounds like a pattern to me. I wonder how many times they got away with it? And how about all the times they went to scenes staged by the terrorists. You mean to tell me they couldn't figure out those scenes were staged?
I guess this is why you shouldn't believe everything you are told by the media.

Because we have a history of politically affiliated newspapers in the UK, a lot of people have become quite astute at 'reading between the lines' rather than taking the copy at face value.

Unfortunately, a huge number of people in the UK still seem unable to tell when they are being manipulated.

My thoughts on the reuters comment are as expressed above that it has a logical lingual explanation - which to me seems more likely than a political bias.

Since reuters exists by selling stories to other media it has an interested in avoiding political bias. It SHOULD be focussed clear reporting rather than editorial content.

Clearly this is easier said than done as your examples show.
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      09-19-2006, 05:02 AM   #22
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All Tony blair can do is speak and spin..... the majority of Brits want him to leave office...
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