Thursday, November 24, 2005

Blair saves Al Jazeera

Tony Blair is in big political trouble and a memo is leaked making him look like the savior of Al Jazeera by talking Bush out of bombing its headquarters in Qatar. I've always thought Al Jazeera was funded by the CIA, so such a bombing would have been an incredible waste of American taxpayer money, not to mention politically impossible (bomb a country which is a key American ally and one of the rare places in the Middle East where American troops can be based?). Nevertheless, it wouldn't be the first time that the United States has attacked Al Jazeera militarily, and this is the kind of fantasy a vulgarian like Bush might have. However, the whole set-up of the story looks like a Tony Blair PR move. The matter is published sufficiently to travel all around Britain and the world. Just to make sure that no one missed its importance, it is then emphasized by a completely silly attempt (or here) to put the genie back in the bottle by using the Official Secrets Act. It reeks of an attempt to make Blair look good. How often is the Official Secrets Act used as a tactic to make people feel that a story that might have been ignored is actually important?