That shallow flim-flam man, Tony Blair, is now doing what so many failed political leaders, especially Americans, have done before him: attempting to Make Peace, a Permanent Peace, between what used to be called Arabs and Jews, or Arabs and Israelis, but since the late 1960s, with malice aforethought, are carefully called Israelis and “Palestinians.”
It has been six years since 9/11/2001. Like Bush, Blair spent the months just after 9/11/2001 telling his own public, and the world, how wonderful and peaceful and truly impressive Islam was and is. He told everyone that he carried around a copy of the Qur’an for reading and ready reference. Yet apparently all of Sura 9, and another 100 verses outside of Sura 9 (see the Calcutta Koran Petititon), escaped his notice. And what also escaped his notice was the “Sunnah” — that is, the Hadith, the stories that contain, supposedly, the record of what Muhammad said and did, stories that more than a thousand years ago were collected. Within a few centuries there were many tens of thousands of them, because what else could people do but weave further stories out of the stories they knew? They were carefully collected and their chains of transmission, or isnad-chains, solemnly studied, to determine their likely authenticity. Then they were ranked accordingly, and those assigned the highest of the ranks by the handful of most authoritative muhaddithin — Bukhari and Muslim above all the rest — are the Hadith that count the most.
But does Blair know this? Does he know about the Hadith, and has he read, say, a few hundred of the best-known? Has he read, and thoroughly assimilated, the Muslim biographies of Muhammad? Does he understand the central role of Muhammad in the Muslim worldview, a role more important than that of Allah? Does he know that Muhammad is the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana, the Perfect Man, al-inan al-kamil? And if he does know that, what does he make of a billion Believers taking as their Model of Conduct, as their idea of a Perfect Man, someone who watched the mass killings of the bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, who greeted with pleasure news of the deaths of Asma bint Marwan (a woman who had merely composed a few mocking verses against him) and Abu Afak? Someone who raided and killed and seized the women of the inoffensive Jewish farmers quietly tilling the soil at the Khaybar Oasis, a raid that was conducted purely for the sake of that loot and those women, and that became a model for subsequent Muslim raids on those who had done nothing to oppose Muhammad at all, but rather were guilty of the crime only of being non-Muslims?
And finally, and most importantly, does Tony Blair think, given that he has taken on the task of deciding the fate of Israel, essentially, by Making Peace, that all that is irrelevant? Does he think that the time-honored practice (the U.N., William Rogers, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Dennis Ross, Bill Clinton, tutti quanti) of compelling the Israelis to make further concessions will somehow cause the Arab Muslims, the local ones called the “Palestinians,” to change their beliefs? Does he think that he can do anything to compel other Arabs and Muslims to accept, in perpetuity, the existence of an Infidel state, the state of Israel, in the midst of what the Arab Muslims see as forever Arab and Muslim land?
Would it be too much to ask the well-paid Mr. Blair, since he is determined to do what No Man Has Done Before, to read just one book, if that’s all his busy busy schedule permits? (Does he really have time to Make Peace In the Middle East, by the way, what with having to fly here, and make a speech there, pocketing the fat check in the envelope, and of course having to get cracking on that memoir for which he has just received a $9 million dollar advance?) That one book should be Majid Khadduri’s War and Peace in the Law of Islam. Let him study carefully the parts devoted to how Muslims regard treaties, agreements, hudnas, with all Infidels. What do they think? Are they just like us, in the West? Do they adhere to the principle of Pacta Sunt Servanda — treaties are to be obeyed? See Grotius, Vitoria and Suarez, see Lauterpacht, see Stone, see see see.
I’m sure he does. I’m sure he, Tony Blair, simply assumes that treaty-making is the same everywhere in the world. It has never occurred to him — why should it, given his temperament, given his mental makeup — that possibly in the world of Islam, treaty-making with Infidels is not a matter of Pacta Sunt Servanda, but of doing exactly as Muhammad did, in 628 A.D., when he made the Treaty, or Agreement, with the Meccans, a treaty that was essentially a “truce treaty” or “hudna” that was to last ten years, and that he broke at the first opportunity, just as soon as he felt strong enough to attack the Meccans. It is regarded in Muslim commentaries as the final word on how Muslims should regard any treaties, agreements, hudnas, that they might sign, at a time when such signing is made necessary by events.
Does Tony Blair know that? Does he care to examine all the other treaties and agreements that Israel entered into with the Arab Muslim states, starting with the Armistice Agreements of 1949? Does he?
Or is he too busy interviewing those researchers, and that ghost-writer, whom he will thank so generously for their unspecified “assistance,” just as they all do, our Great Men of the age, with their fat unreadable memoirs, and their inner essential stupidity that never catches up with them, but that leaves all kinds of victims, sometimes millions of them, in their colossal wake?