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Brian Eno: Bush and Blair were pawns in the game

The system will effortlessly produce another generation of smirking Bushes and grinning Blairs

Brian Eno 2008

Photo: Brian Eno licenced under CC BY 2.0


I’ll be happy if Chilcott does point a trembling, timid finger at Bush and Blair, but it’s worth remembering that those two were the puppets of a neo-conservative storm that overtook a large sector of the power elites at the end of the last century. They didn’t arrive at the idea themselves: the people who articulated and evangelised that ideology - the intellectual powers behind the throne - are now all holding down multiple well-paid directorships, professorships and think-tank posts.

You would have thought that after the biggest foreign policy disaster in a century - and a million dead - they would have quietly retired to various golf courses, but, no, they're all doing fine, thank you, lording it as ‘elder statemen’. Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfleld, Cheney, Bolton and the rest of the whole sorry crew surely deserve at least as much opprobrium as B&B.

But the people who really need a good kick up the arse are the media-owners who were, almost without exception, strongly pro-war and used their every effort to promote it. Surely it makes a difference when the most powerful media figure in the western world strongly and vocally supports going to war - to the extent that every single one of his 300-odd media outlets falls in line with that support.

This to me is the problem: Bush and Blair were pawns in the game. What I would really like is for Murdoch and his ilk to be in the dock. They created the winds in which these little boats - our leaders - were blown back and forth. They gleefully recycled the false intelligence reports, paid their brainless columnists to whip up fear, belittle the opposition as ‘appeasers’ and ‘idealists’ and ‘traitors’, and sell the war as some kind of gung-ho adventure in democracy. And where are they all now? In exactly the same place they were before, raking in the cash and peddling new wars, whilst blaming all our problems on the refugees from the last ones.

While they remain in place, it doesn’t really matter what Chilcott says: the system is still fundamentally screwed and will effortlessly produce another generation of smirking Bushes and grinning Blairs when it needs them.

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