In his New Year message 2003 Tony Blair said that it is “foolish” to dismiss “the importance of politics and political decisions”, because “whether we [the British people] survive and prosper or decline in the face of this [present] insecurity depends crucially on the political decisions Britain [i.e. Tony Blair] now takes”.
It is true that the decisions, “political” or not, taken by Tony Blair will have important influence on the future of many people in Britain and beyond. But, if these decisions are “political” rather than administrative, then one can be sure that the influence of these decisions will be detrimental, and will lead to decline and further insecurity. And the only positive effect of such decisions can be the lesson learnt by the future generations that politics is nothing else than abuse of government powers.
The difference between “political” and “administrative” decisions is that administrative decisions are motivated by the need to perform the duties of government, while “political” decisions are motivated by vanity, pride, lust for power, and desire to use the powers of government to favour oneself, or some favoured group at the expense of somebody else.
The differences in motivation also determine the methods of arriving at the decisions. Administrative decisions are based on honest and impartial examination of facts and application to these facts of the fundamental principles of justice.
Political decisions are based on concealment, distortion and fabrication of facts to suit one's “political objectives”, and then using perverse logic to give one's political objectives a semblance of legitimacy.
Honest government is doing one's duty, political government is imposing one's will on others.
We shall illustrate how the political and administrative approaches to government decision making work in practice by considering some of the issues mentioned in Tony Blair's New Year message.
On the pending American war against Iraq Tony Blair says:
“We must confront the issue of Iraq and WMD (weapons of mass destruction) because to fail to do so would make the world a very dangerous place in the future, with countries free to flout the will of the United Nations.”
In this passage Tony Blair conceals the facts:
This is clearly a political approach. Tony Blair is not concerned about the dangers of WMD, nor about the authority of the United Nations. He has taken a political decision to support the US in its belligerent foreign policy, and he uses the issue of WMD to justify his decision.
The administrative approach would have been general prohibition on development and use of WMD, and disarmament not only of Iraq, but of the United States, Israel and of all other countries. This would also require establishment of supranational institutions for maintenance of international law and order and resolution of international disputes on the basis of justice. This is the way to peace and security in the world, not super‐power gangsterism promoted by the United States and advocated by Tony Blair.
On the current Israeli war against the Palestinians Tony Blair says:
“We must push on with the Middle East peace process, whatever the problems, because otherwise we are guilty of the very double standards we are accused of.”
And on the same topic:
“We have to reach out to the Arab and Muslim world, and show that the hand of friendship is sincerely extended. We must understand too the anger they feel, that progress in the Middle East peace process has been so slow, so painful, so deadly.
We must focus on moving the process forward: on security, on political reform, on the only viable solution the whole world now supports — an Israeli state, recognised by all, and a viable Palestinian state. And we have to do it quickly which is why the UK will host a conference on Palestinian reform early in the New Year. Until we give a sense of hope and progress this issue will continue to cast a dark shadow over our world.”
The above three paragraphs contain volumes of hypocrisy and political sliminess. Tony Blair has allowed a year of slaughter and bloodshed in Palestine with weapons supplied by his friend and ally, G.W. Bush's government, and by his own government, and now he is in a hurry to offer a solution which cannot achieve any positive results, while talking of a sincerely extended hand of friendship reaching out to the Arab and Muslim world. This is just as the notorious Middle East Speech by G.W. Bush. But we can still derive some positive benefits from his statement by using it as an example of “political” rather then “administrative” approach.
Tony Blair proposes to “give a sense of hope and progress” to the “Middle East peace process” by hosting a conference on “Palestinian reform”, which will remove the “dark shadow [of the ME conflict from] our world”.
The idea that the solution to the Middle East Conflict lies in reforming the Palestinian Authority originates from the leadership of the Israeli Likud, the leading party in the present Israeli government. Its purpose is to provide an excuse for continuation of the present military operations against the Palestinians and further entrenchment and expansion of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian land. This excuse has been sold by the Israelis to the American government (as part of the War on Terror package) and has been accepted by the Blair government.
How can a reform of the Palestinian Authority lead to a settlement of the Middle East Conflict?
Anybody who has even a minimal knowledge of the causes and history of the ME Conflict will understand that the structure or composition of the Palestinian Authority is irrelevant to the resolution of the conflict. Even Tony Blair understands that. But, being a politician, rather than an honest and competent world class statesman, he is not concerned with resolving the conflict. He knows the proposed by him conference will not resolve it. But it will allow him to posture as a “peace maker” before those who want peace in the Middle East, while at the same time allowing the Israeli war against the Palestinians to continue and supporting the policies of the American administration. It is the same hypocrisy as exhibited by the present American Middle East politics — maintaining an illusion of a “peace process”, while supporting the Israeli war.
So, this is a clear example of a political approach — stances, posturing, hypocrisy. But what would an honest and competent world class statesman have done in Tony Blair's place?
He would have collected the relevant facts about the conflict, established the causes of the conflict on the basis of these facts, and resolved the conflict on the basis of justice1.
But people who are sincerely concerned about peace in the Middle East, like the American Senator Lieberman, understand that the solution to the Middle East Conflict lies in reviving the Saudi Peace Plan, not in restructuring the Palestinian Authority. Will Tony change his tune if Senator Lieberman becomes President?
On the American “War on Terror” Tony Blair says:
“We must continue to take a leading role in the fight against terror. Doing so doesn't make us a target. We are a target anyway, as is every country in the world in the eyes of today's breed of terrorist, and the only way to stop being a target is to stop the terrorists.”
The terrorism to which Tony Blair refers in this passage is the direct and inevitable result of the American foreign policy. And the way the American administration reacted to the events of the 9/11 has turned occasional terrorist incidents into a global war. Yes, thanks to this “War on Terror” proclaimed by G.W. Bush and supported by Tony Blair the world has indeed become a very dangerous place.
Had G.W. Bush and Tony Blair been world class statesmen, rather than political demagogues, they would have seen the events of the 9/11 in the global context, and instead of using them to justify an orgy of world‐wide violence, would have used it as a starting point for establishing a world order based not on super‐power gangsterism but on rule of law. This would have brought peace and security to the world.
It is not the first time Tony Blair tries to pose as a World Class Statesman, he tried to do so about a year ago, when he visited the “World's Trouble Spots”. He came, he saw, and nothing happened. This was a political step, and it failed to achieve any positive results. But Tony is still at it — playing politics. And politics cannot resolve any problems, it can only cause them, or make them worse.
But, in spite of all the harm caused by politicians to Mankind, politicians can play a beneficial role in Human History. They can help Mankind to get rid of myths and illusions and to develop a better understanding of human nature. Hitler has taught Mankind some good lessons in leader following and leader worship, and Stalin and his successors have helped Mankind to realize that Communism is not inevitable and not even as good as many people once believed it to be.
The role of G.W. Bush and Tony Blair in Human History is to make people understand that politics is not the same thing as government, but is an abuse of government. And once people realize, that politics is the cause of all wars, as well as of terrorism, and replace politics with rule of law, then peace and security will come to Mankind.
1) We have been considering the issues involved in the ME conflict, as well as the possible solutions and obstacles to these solutions, and interested parties can find the relevant articles by following this link.