DN! 'I won't read Tony Blair's book – John le Carré Novelist – Democracy Now Amy Goodman



and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now democracynow.org the war and peace report I'm Amy Goodman well we're on the road here in London and much of Britain remains abuzz over the publication of former Prime Minister Tony Blair's memoir a journey in the book Blair's continue to defend the 2003 US British invasion of Iraq is justified the memoir broke sales records but Blair was forced to cancel a recent book signing in London over fears of a large turnout from anti-war protesters the cancellation came just days after three people were arrested for throwing eggs and shoes at Blair as he arrived for a book event in Dublin well on Sunday I had a chance to interview David Cornwell the legendary British novelist who writes under the name john lecarre a he's a former spy with the mi5 which were broadcasting just across the thames from and the mi6 which is just down the river these are the British equivalents of the FBI and CIA Licari began writing novels in the early 60s his books include the spy who came in from the cold Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the constant gardener John Mackay Ray's latest novel our kind of traitor will be published soon in the United States in the lead up to the Iraq invasion john lecarre ii was a fierce critic of President Bush and Tony Blair in January 2003 published a widely read essay called the United States of America has gone mad will broadcast our full interview with John McCrae soon but today we thought we'd share an excerpt of his comments about former British Prime Minister Tony Blair I asked John McCurry if we would go too if he would go to one of Tony Blair's book events no I wouldn't nor would I buy the book at the last election in which he stood I was invited by The Guardian newspaper to interview him and after much thought I declined because I did not see how I could lay a glove on him and I've asked some pretty heavy hitting journalists what questions they would have asked in retrospect that might have unseated him a little that might have thrown him and they said almost with one voice as there's nothing you can get past him listen we're doing it I think I would have asked him one question perhaps and I'd have asked it repeatedly I'd have asked him but his face because we were told when journalists asked about Blair's face the reply was we don't do God here well of course he does do God and he reports that his actions have been put before God and confirmed as if somehow God has signed him signed a chip for him I think that the good question of somebody's religious faith is absolutely central to what we think of them if we are members of the electorate we have to know if it is for example somebody's conviction widely held among Christians in the United States that the second coming of Christ is not possible till the greater Israel is established we need to know that that's an important political perception in Blair's case I would have asked him that question and I'd have pressed him on it I'd have asked him whether God had ever restrained him I I find it very strange that we elect a politician who then claims to serve a higher deity who guides him I did what I believe is right what will you tell us please how that relates to the Christian ethic do you believe in war first and negotiation afterwards exactly how does this work and the second question I would ask him is the really painful one which I could not have asked if if I hadn't gone on my own journey have you ever seen what happens when the grenade goes off in a school do you really know what you're doing when you order shock and awe are you prepared to kneel beside a dying soldier and tell him why he went to Iraq or why he went to any war I think that if anything has happened to Europe since 1945 that defines it it is collectively Europeans do not believe in war anymore until it comes as an absolute last resort and then they're going to do it rather badly the United States I think still sees war as a necessary part of its existence it's impossible to maintain the military on that scale or Pentagon on that scale without turning it over you've got to have officers who are experienced in command and control you've got to have troops who who've been blooded so we were in that sense at odds I was as a European I was at odds with the whole notion of a preemptive strike and I think many Europeans have that in common of course with very many Americans to feel the same so I would have tried to challenge him in that area and as I think I said earlier in the interview for me there are very few absolutes about human behavior but I think a leader who does take his country to war under false pretenses is simply not an acceptable person I don't think that we should be we should be weighing the rights and wrongs of that it seems to me to be quite simply wrong and if you could interview President Obama what would you ask him what he reads what I would ask him and what is your assessment of him and has a change well we has been you know I think all decent people wept with pleasure when he was elected and so that faith in him will will will die only slowly and there is a lot of evidence that he's done a lot of things that are amazingly good I mean he has advanced on the health front I think his opening speech is to for example the Muslim community in was it Picaro I think I mean those earliest statements of intent were magnificent and I suppose the sadness at the moment is we we see them in practice being diminished but I certainly haven't given up hope so I would ask him whether he still hopes I think

5 thoughts on “DN! 'I won't read Tony Blair's book – John le Carré Novelist – Democracy Now Amy Goodman

  1. 2019 and these events are of historical interest but I don't see anything getting better; Obama took the brunt of the huge recession created largely by the Bush administration policy based on Milton Friedman's school of economics which is an unmitigated disaster with repercussions reaching to the present moment. David Cornwell and his literary predecessor Graham Greene must be profoundly respected for their ability to portray humanity with so much empathy — one example is Jim Prideoux (sp) in Tinker Tailor etc., a victim of betrayal who does in my view has the right to exert his own justice … goes on and on. Excellent interview, very grateful for this video!

  2. If anyone knows foreign affairs and the ins and outs of diplomacy it's Le Carre. Brilliant. Thanks for posting Start. Europeans have learned from their history…judging from the Tea Bagger movement many in the US have learned nothing from theirs.

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