I must admit to being completely puzzled by at least two lines in Conrad Black’s January 31/09 column for The National Post. I understand Black is a well respected historian, but his inclusion of these two glaring lines causes me to wonder how honest, accurate or indeed, even how intelligent Black actually is.
Look, people tell me he is a brilliant business man and academic, yet this is the same guy who just (wrongly) assumed that the cameras were not working as he defied a court order and smuggled various boxes from his Toronto office.
This is the the same guy who is sitting in an American jail for the next several years.
In a world where very little is as it appears to be, and the rich seem to be able to buy (when not incarcerated) an alternate truth if the one they have is not to their liking, I simply have no proof that Conrad Black is not his own media creation.
Or a know nothing windbag with a ghost writer.
Anyway, on first reading the following line seemed to just leap right off the page:
Iraq, most obviously, was shortly laid low, and Bush must be credited for turning that vital country from a nasty enemy of the West into an ally.(Bold added)
Does Black really believe that Iraq, as it stands now and in the foreseeable future, can actually be considered as an ally of the west?
If Black does believe this, then he may also believe that American Senators can walk through the streets and markets of Baghdad in perfect safety.
Maybe someday Iraq and the west can be considered as allies, but if that day eventually comes, the credit will only go to G. W. Bush if ideologically blinded class warriors like Black continue their fact defying historical revisionism.
The United States has waffled on Iran for many decades. Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower went to great lengths to restore the Shah in 1953, after he had been sent packing by the nationalist rabble-rouser Mohammed Mossadegh. This was perhaps the last identifiable national success of the CIA.Mossadegh sometimes appeared publicly in his pajamas and became so overwrought in some of his flamboyant public addresses that he broke down in tears. It was easy for the Americans and British to portray him as a lunatic, though he looks pretty good by current Iranian standards. (Bold Added)
I shudder to imagine what else a man like Black would consider as a CIA “success”. Clearly the context indicates that Black is onside with the concept of a cowboy CIA riding the world’s range and deciding and shaping – with God knows whose approval or oversight – the realities, histories and political outcomes of other countries.
So what if it’s nothing more than a crap shoot, eh Conrad?
As long as it’s rich, well educated and thoroughly entitled white guys calling the shots, what could possibly go wrong?
To paraphrase another Black quote from the NP column – I think Conrad Black arrived at where he is merely by surviving birth.