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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/6/12

Colby, America's oldest Liberal Arts College, honors Tony Blair as Commencement Speaker

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Bia Winter
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"It is our pleasure to officially announce that our class' commencement speaker will be the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. Mr. Blair served as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 1997 to June 2007. He was also the leader of Britain's Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and a member of Parliament. You can learn more about Blair's current globalization efforts at his website: tonyblairoffice.org "

Oh Dear! I thought Colby was so much smarter and cooler than this!
Tony Blair!?? This little inglorious FOP of a man, GW's Lapdog?!?
What can a morally bereft war criminal possibly have to say to young people going out into the world?
How to "Sex-Up" information to suit your self-serving aims? How to pander to Fascists? How to start a war?
Hopefully Colby will re-consider this very poorly thought-out choice for a commencement speaker that can only tarnish its good name!
Already there are letters flooding in:
Tony Blair's Legacy

When I read that former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, will deliver the
Colby commencement address, I thought it must be somebody's idea of a joke,
somebody with bad taste in humor, at that. I assumed that Colby students
wouldn't accept such an insult to them and their college.

Blair is a person who remains a potent reminder of the greatest cause of
violence and human rights abuse in the world: war. When Blair was faced
with the gravest decision of his life, he chose unnecessary war, against the
advice of his top advisers. If there is any greater evil than waging a war
of choice, I don't know what it could be. It left millions of people
displaced, many thousands of orphans, widows and amputees. The war will
never be "over" for them or their families.

This speaker choice creates a poor image of Colby. It points to an appalling
lack of awareness and empathy in Colby students, while their contemporaries
have been recycled and damaged beyond anything Colby grads can apparently
imagine. (Military suicide deaths have exceeded combat deaths for 2 years).
Where is Colby's Amnesty International organization? Where are the women's
groups? (Innocent women and children are the one who suffer most in wars)

All of Blair's self-serving, alternative-history-building cannot erase his
real legacy: monstrous destruction, death and misery for so many. I urge the
Colby students to have open discussions about Blair and reconsider the
commencement plans.

Carole Whelan
Hope, Maine
Military Families Speak Out
Maine Chapter
Hope, Maine 04847
from Sarah Furo:
Sarah Furo also sent hers to the BDN:
William D Adams
Colby College
Office of the President
4600 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8846

Dear Mr. Adams:

I am sorry to hear that Colby College has invited former Prime Minister
Tony Blair to speak at the commencement ceremony. Consider the fact
that this man made a decision to support the American invasion of Iraq,
condemned by the most of the rest of world as an illegal act of unprovoked
aggression. Thousands of Americans, British and Iraqi people are now
dead or wounded because of his decision.
As a mother of a soldier sent to both Iraq and Afghanistan, I know the cost of this war first hand and hope that your graduating seniors will be spared the pain these wars have cost to so many.

I hope you will reconsider your decision to welcome this man who along
with his American co conspirators has set back the cause of peace an
international relations by decades.


Sarah Fuhro
Natick, Ma 01760

Dear editor,
I do not understand why anyone would be pleased to have Tony Blair speak at a commencement or anywhere else. Firstly, what could he say that would be of the least interest to anyone? Secondly, the man is a war criminal. One has only to read the Downing Street papers to realize that. The mayor of London told George Bush that if he came to London for a book signing he would be arrested as a war criminal. Canadians have threatened Dick Cheney with citizens' arrest if he ventures above the border. Colby should univite Blair; if he shows up he should be arrested.
Reverend Gerald Oleson, O.C.F.
Mother of a War Veteran wrote;
It is interesting that the Colby Echo is endorsing a man known to foster the war in Iraq with Bush on trumped up calls saying they had discovered weapons of mass destruction. There never were any such weapons and it all was a play to get the oil for Braitain and the US. We had ten or so years of useless war all on account of this man. He should be condemned, not honored.
Russ Christensen Human Rights Lawyer from Farmington

Dear Sir,
Your invitation to have Tony Blair address the graduating class is astounding and also dismaying.
He is one of the greatest example of this world's abusers of humanity and of human rights and dignity.
With no regard for the harm caused to his own country by the indiscriminant bombing of England by the Nazis in WW II, he has opposed his own constituency and has perpetrated a similar disaster upon another nation, Iraq , for no good reason, if there were such a thing
He has brought misery and sadness to millions of innocent citizens of that country for this generation and more to come, of death, loss of limbs, broken homes and displaced families.
Shame on him and those at Colby, who made the decision to bestow this honor upon him.
Hopefully, he will be arrested as a war criminal when he exits the plane, before he can besmirch the good name of Colby.
Yours truly,
Paul A Piraino
Boston Latin School
Boston College
Northeastern University)
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Bia Winter is an Artist/Writer from Maine, and has been an activist and letter-writer since the 60's. In 2004 she received the Roger Baldwin Award from the Maine American Civil Liberties Union for furthering Democracy after she got a Resolution (more...)
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Colby, America's oldest Liberal Arts College, honors Tony Blair as Commencement Speaker

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