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The Liberty Medal

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Satire fails me.

Comments on “The Liberty Medal”

  1. A.J.P. Crown says:

    The National Constitution Center is some relatively new museum in Philadelphia. Their site says:

    The Liberty Medal is awarded annually by the National Constitution Center to men and women of courage and conviction who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people the world over. The Liberty Medal was established by We the People 2000 celebration of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution to heighten recognition of the principles that founded this nation and to serve as a lasting legacy to the Constitution.

    It looks to me like a bullshit prize given by a bullshit organisation. The 2009 holder is famous defender of the rights of man Steven Spielberg. Bono won it in 2007. In 2000 it was James Watson & Francis Crick, defenders of the double helix. A bunch of US Supreme Court judges and US presidents have won. Mandela established its cred by winning in ’93. Gorbachev was 2008 — Bob Geldorf is the only one of the usual suspects who hasn’t won.

    It’s all crap, Liberty as predicted by George Orwell. Tony should fit right in. He’s donated the money to the Tony Blair Foundation of Peace & Love.

  2. Bob Beck says:

    An update of that Marxian line about first-as-tragedy, then-as-farce is seriously overdue. Kissinger’s Nobel was farcical to begin with (howbeit that nobody was laughing). What lies beyond farce?

    It’s a pity Christopher Hitchens is so compromised on this subject, or he might weigh in with some mock-Blimpism on the order of “In my day, warmongers at least had a modicum of dignity, and posed as statesmen, not New Age I-feel-your-pain therapists, etc., etc.”.

  3. Phil says:

    BBC: “Tony Blair currently works as a Middle East peace envoy.”

    No he doesn’t. This seems absolutely unscotchable, but let’s just go through it. He was appointed as Representative of the Quartet (US, Russia, the EU, and the UN) in June 2007, with the remit of “working with the parties and others to help create viable and lasting government institutions representing all Palestinians, a robust economy and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people”. Asked whether Blair would have anything to do with negotiations for peace, the State Department spokesman replied

    “Well, Mr. Blair’s focus will be on building those Palestinian institutions which will form the basis of a Palestinian state. And I would say that without those institutions and without those institutions being developed, you’re not going to have a Palestinian state. So the idea of the political negotiations and the building of the institutions within the Palestinian state are really of almost equal importance as you’re not going to have a Palestinian state in the absence of one of those two, success in one of those two areas. So Secretary Rice and President Bush are going to focus on the political negotiations, as they have, and Mr. Blair is going to focus his considerable talents and his efforts on building those Palestinian institutions.”

    That’s a No, then.

    More details in Brian Barder’s blog post linked above, which I’ve canniblised for this comment.

  4. cigar says:

    Lord Blair of Kut-al-Amara (that’s how Fisk calls him), a willing tool of mass murder, self appointed man of peace, gets a sham prize honoring liberty from a country where only the filthy rich are free, to behave like criminals while the rest are free to die of starvation and bad health, where travelers are assumed guilty of terrorism the moment they dare buy a plane ticket and get treated worse than cattle before being allowed on a plane. A beastly man gets honored by a beastly state. The two deserve each other.

  5. Camus123 says:

    The world’s establishment sticks together through whatever stuff hits the fan. Blair might just possibly deserve some praise for the so-called ‘Good Friday’ agreement. I haven’t looked at the process in any detail but there seems to have been a reduction of violence since the agreement was made. What sticks in my throat is the creepy, moralistic support for Bush jun. which is as good a reason for doubling Blair’s security staff as any. There might be a new word for double-think – Blairism.

    • Thomas Jones says:

      On the subject of Blair’s role in the Good Friday agreement, have a look at this.

      • Camus123 says:

        Very informative. I might have guessed, but I admit that I was relieved that some sort of agreement had been reached that seemed to be going to work. Apropos agreements and the Near East, the ‘approved version of the camp David agreement has Israel getting ready to agree to a two-state system and Arafat blinking at the last moment and refusing to take up the offer. I wonder if there were some clever glitches in that one?

  6. Joe Morison says:

    I don’t think it’s that satire is failing TA, it’s that it’s become unnecessary because the world is satirising itself.

    • Bob Beck says:

      But ’twas ever thus, though — with power tending to satirize itself, I mean. Take Talleyrand, say, or Metternich. With a combination of adroitness (including though not limited to adroit toadying) and blind luck, they managed to serve in or least be taken seriously by a succession of otherwise incompatible regimes; fail more or less spectacularly at everything; and yet acquire reputations as sages or master manipulators, if not statesmen.

      In short, they were the Henry Kissingers of their day. Blair, by comparison — by comparison even with the unspeakably vile Kissinger — is a piker, not to mention a bad joke. From this point of view, he’s perfectly entitled to this bad-joke award; and long before he hits retirement age, his stock will revert to an appropriate level, i.e. it will become, and remain, a penny stock.

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