SARANAC LAKE - Tony Blair was here in the Adirondacks the day The Times of London published his essay urging military intervention in Syria and elsewhere.
The former British prime minister reportedly flew into the Adirondack Regional Airport Monday. Several people there in Lake Clear recognized him as he disembarked from a large black private plane decorated with gold and silver stripes.
"We saw it was him with our own eyes," a woman who works at the airport told the Enterprise. She refused to give her name, saying she has been told not to talk to the media about people who fly in and out.
Tony Blair reportedly flew in on this plane, seen Monday at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear.
(Photo — Ruth Chasolen)
Tony Blair speaks at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 29, 2009.
(Photo — World Economic Forum)
The plane left Tuesday, she said.
She said she was in the airport's cafe Monday when she saw Blair through the windows, on the tarmac near the plane. His security personnel came into the restaurant, she said.
The Enterprise has also heard several other, secondhand reports that Blair was here. Furthermore, the plane matches, in both tail number and appearance, one attributed to Blair Monday on Britian's Daily Mail newspaper online. The plane was pictured landing in the Italian island of Sardinia last week, reportedly with the ex-prime minister on board.
The Daily Mail reported that the 60-year-old Blair "was spotted in some of the most glamorous locations in the Mediterranean" last week, including three "super-yachts" each worth more than 100 million pounds ($155 million), one owned by American music mogul David Geffen.
Blair is currently serving as the special envoy for the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia, with direction to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
On Tuesday, the day he reportedly flew out of Lake Clear, an opinion piece by him was published in The Times, urging nations to use their military power against Islamic extremists in Syria's civil war and beyond. Blair also posted the piece on his own website.
"In this struggle, we should not be neutral," Blair wrote. "From the threat of the Iranian regime to the pulverising of Syria to the pains of the Egyptian revolution, from Libya to Tunisia, in Africa, Central Asia and the Far East, wherever this extremism is destroying the lives of innocent people, we should be at their side and on it."
Titled "Time for action," it was Blair's first policy statement on his official website since Aug. 4, and it was clearly intended as a rallying cry.
"After the long and painful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil," he wrote. "But we have collectively to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work."