Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called on the West to support the Egyptian military and intervene in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad in a Tuesday column for the Times of London:
Let us start with Egypt. To many in the West, it is clear: the Egyptian military have aborted a democratically elected Government and are now repressing a legitimate political party, killing its supporters and imprisoning its leaders. So we are on a steady track to ostracising the new Government. In doing so, we think we’re upholding our values. I completely understand why this view would be taken. But it is a grave strategic error.
The fallacy with this approach lies in the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood. We think of it as a normal political party. It isn’t. If you want to join the UK Conservative Party or the German Christian Democrats or the US Democrats, you can do so with ease and they will welcome you with open arms. And in all these countries, the basic democratic freedoms are respected by all parties. The Muslim Brotherhood simply isn’t like that. To become a member even at the lowest level is a seven-year process of induction and indoctrination. It is run by a hierarchy that is more akin to the old Bolshevik party system.
He went on to say that the West should support the new government in stabilizing Egypt.
Blair also said the West needs to take side against Assad in Syria.
In Syria, we know what is happening. We know it is wrong to let it happen. But leave aside any moral argument and just think of our interests for a moment. Syria, disintegrated, divided in blood, the nations around it destabilised, waves of terrorism rolling over the population of the region; Assad in power in the richest part of the country; Iran, with Russia’s support, ascendant; a bitter sectarian fury running the Syrian eastern hinterland — and us, apparently impotent. I hear people talking as if there was nothing we could do: the Syrian defence systems are too powerful, the issues too complex, and in any event, why take sides since they’re all as bad as each other?
But others are taking sides. They’re not terrified of the prospect of intervention. They’re intervening. To support an assault on civilians not seen since the dark days of Saddam.