‘War is Peace’ as Blair Gets Medal for Liberty

Tony Blair wins 2010 Liberty Medal award for work on peace

Richard Adams
The Guardian

Tony Blair, in his inevitable career progression from world leader to elder statesman, picks up another award, this time the 2010 Liberty Medal, a prize given annually by the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia.

In announcing the $100,000 prize, Philadelphia’s mayor Michael Nutter praised Blair’s “relentless pursuit of a long-elusive peace in Northern Ireland as British prime minister and his dedication to the Middle East peace process”.

The former prime minister has announced that he will donate the prize money to two of his charities: the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.

“It is an honour to receive the Liberty Medal,” Blair said, in a statement. “I am deeply indebted to the National Constitution Centre for adding my name to such a distinguished list of recipients.”

Blair will receive the medal from a previous winner, Bill Clinton, at a ceremony on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall on 13 September. Other winners include Bono, Nelson Mandela, Hamid Karzai, CNN and – last year – director Steven Spielberg.

Blair’s peace efforts in the Middle East presumably don’t encompass his support for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Philadelphia blogger Duncan Black noted: “I guess Tony Blair won this for his success in helping to liberate souls from the earthly existence.”

One of George Bush’s last acts as US president in 2009 was to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Blair.

The award was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the US Constitution in 1988. The first Liberty Medal was awarded in 1989 to Lech Walesa of Poland.

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