War has been very good to former British prime minister Tony Blair. He has gone from humble humanitarian interventionist pushing Iraq's "liberation," to a $30 million dollar yearly income and a private $11,000/hr jet plane. What a success story!
Of course he knew full well the evidence justifying the Iraq attack was bogus. He simply instructed his spooks to "find the intelligence" to support his decision to go to war. The US, desperate to show a broad international coalition supporting the Bush Administration's own lies about Iraq, welcomed Blair's lies like a long lost brother.
In the meantime, millions died and trillions of dollars went up in smoke. Never mind, Blair soon landed a brilliant opportunity with a huge South Korean oil company that, coincidentally enough, had significant interests in the "liberated" Iraq. For some strange reason, Tony Blair fought tooth and nail to keep his new job and great success secret. What modesty!
Blair has become the poster child for naked war profiteering. Not even Madeleine "it was worth it" Albright or Wesley Clark could approach Blair's brazenness.
Now Tony has a new gig. Albania. Last week Blair appeared in a press conference with former Tirana mayor and now prime minister Edi Rama to announce that he would put his lobbying skills to work to gain European Union membership for Albania, where seven in ten live on $2 per day. Rama assured the skeptics that Blair was back in full humanitarian mode, however, and would be working “personally, totally and voluntarily” for Albania's interests.
Has anyone ever gotten a telemarketer call where you were promised something "totally free"?
Rama is no doubt in on any new "secret" Blair is protecting. The offspring of the communist elite, his father Kristaq was selected to study in Leningrad in the notorious Stalin purge era 1950s -- long before Albania's break with Khrushchev's Soviet Union in favor of the "pure" communism of Mao's China. Rama père deserves credit for remaining a regime loyalist to the finish. At the end of the 1980s, as communism was collapsing everywhere, he affixed his signature to several communist party politically-motivated death sentences.
Perhaps Rama fils is made of different stuff. Though he played an important role in the 1996 bloody neo-communist coup in Albania and subsequently headed up the communist successor Socialist Party of Albania, once safely ensconced in his palatial mayoral chair he proceeded to apply some of the hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid to Albania to...painting the city! While the country was gripped by unemployment and the lowest standard of living in Europe, Rama decided that the key was to "instill pride in his citizens by transforming public spaces with colorful designs."
Someone so capable of seeing the "big picture" is a perfect partner for Tony Blair. It is a marriage made in heaven. Stealing is so much easier these days.
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