Tony Blair wants the West to reign supreme, but ignores his own role in its decline

Tony Blair wants the West to reign supreme, but ignores his own role in its decline

The divisive former UK Prime Minister acknowledges that the world has become multipolar, but not the fact that it is his own legacy.

In British politics, Tony Blair is a highly controversial former prime minister and a polarizing figure. His support for and participation in the 2003 Iraq War, brandished under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’, is one of the most memorable features of his tenure. Along with the internal politics of his ‘New Labour’ project, he illustrates that Blair, despite being a Labor Prime Minister, was a de facto right-wing leader who embraced the political consensus of Thatcherism.

Blair was an ardent neo-conservative, representing the ‘Pax Americana’ era in the 1990s and early 2000s, and taking part in more military action than any other British prime minister in modern times. Yet to the British psyche this is accepted as normal, and Tony Blair is ultimately not disgraced by his foreign policy, even as his domestic policy ignites bitter divisions in the Labor camp. Blair recently delivered a speech at the Ditchley Annual Conference, which focused on the challenges posed by Russia and China.

The speech ultimately covered the need to maintain Western supremacy in a rapidly changing international environment. Blair cited the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of Western unipolarity and attributed the domestic economic policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as central to Western success; in other words, free market capitalism and neoliberalism. He proceeded to argue that poor economic decisions since that time, and an inadequate response to the global financial crisis, had led Western politics to ultimately turn. “dysfunctional” y «feo» through the rise of populism.

Blair expressed his belief that with the challenges posed by China and Russia, “We are reaching the end of Western political and economic dominance.” Believing that China is the biggest challenger because of its economic strength, he noted that Beijing will take countries out of the West’s orbit and align with Moscow as well as Tehran. In response, Blair called on the West to unite, maximize its soft power, overcome populism, achieve hegemony in various regions, including Africa and the Middle East, and maintain technological leadership. He described it as “The Foreign Policy Project of Western Democracy in the Third Decade of the 21st Century: Protecting Our Values ​​and Way of Life in the Age of China That Rises Not But Rises.”

But Blair, ironically, speaks as if he were a mere observer, rather than having been an active player in creating the world he now mocks. He rebuked at the end of his speech: “How did Britain get to a point where Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn came in for a brief but important time to shape our politics?” The answer to that is Tony Blair himself. He was the product of the lopsided, disillusioned and faltering Britain he shaped, leading to the rise of populism, Brexit and, above all, the overriding issues that have cemented the pushback against the West.

Blair speaks unequivocally of Western supremacy and argues that the global South admires Western powers and “prefer” them to China. But hasn’t Blair’s own legacy (the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and, above all, the ‘war on terror’) influenced the way non-Westerns perceive the West? Has it not led to a ‘geopolitical pushback’ in the form of Russian reactions to NATO’s expansionist policies? The nuclearization of North Korea and Iran? The increase in tensions with China? Could it be that the conclusion of the Cold War was not ‘the end of history’ but the beginning of the backlash to a US-centric world, and Tony Blair’s actions were instrumental in strengthening that backlash?

As an arch-conservative, Tony Blair remains unapologetic and seemingly oblivious to the legacy of his own mistakes, both at home and abroad. He talks about the supremacy of the West, but fails to acknowledge that he is a key figure who brought about the West’s disillusionment with itself and the demise of its supremacy. The fact that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, are being held accountable for alleged war crimes, but Tony Blair remains a free man still advising the foreign policy of the future, is the reason for the shift to a multipolar world. – That Blair admits that he has arrived, but that he hates it so much.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.