Anthony Charles Lynton Blair currently back in Britain, cast a dark shadow over those campaigning to stay in the European Union in the 23rd June referendum. Inflicting himself on the Britain Stronger in Europe group, he spoke at every opportunity – reminding even the most passionate Europhile of the last time he assured: “I know I’m right” – Iraq.
If the “Remainers” had an ounce of sense Blair should have been ditched in a nano-second. He is not “Toxic Tony” for nothing.
However, since the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry in to the Iraq invasion is to be published just thirteen days after the referendum (6th July) it is worth revisiting more of the mistruths of which he is capable.
On 18th March 2003, Blair stood in Parliament and listed the times Saddam Hussein’s government had said they had no weapons of mass destruction (1) dismissing them all, including the 11,800 pages or 12,200 pages of accounting of that which they did not possess and delivered by the Iraqi delegation at the UN to the UN UNSCOM offices on 8th December 2002.
Lest it be forgotten, the reason for the uncertainty of the length of the volume is that the US delegation simply appropriated it and returned less than 4,000 pages so heavily redacted as to be indecipherable – and without the hefty index at the back listing the Western arms companies who had, prior to the first Gulf war, sold them weapons.
Blair told Parliament loftily:
“ … the 8th December declaration is false. That in itself is a material breach. Iraq has made some concessions to co-operation but no-one disputes it is not fully cooperating. Iraq continues to deny it has any WMD, though no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes them … We … will back it with action if Saddam fails to disarm voluntarily.”
Iraq of course, was telling the truth. Blair had appointed himself Judge, jury and executioner.
And here is a real whopper: “I have never put our justification for action as regime change.”
And another: “Iraq is a wealthy country that in 1978, the year before Saddam seized power, was richer than Portugal or Malaysia.
“Today it is impoverished, 60% of its population dependent on food aid.
“Thousands of children die needlessly every year from lack of food and medicine.”
What he omitted was stated in a piece I wrote back in 1998 (2) addressing the ever repeated propaganda. The conditions were caused directly by the US-UK driven embargo, overseen by Blair’s envoy to the UN, Carne Ross, who headed the Sanctions Committee after the August 1991 imposed embargo:
“In 1989 the World Health Organization recorded Iraq as having 92-per-cent access to clean water, 93-per-cent access to high quality health care and with high educational and nutritional standards.
“By 1995 the World Food Program noted that: ‘time is running out for the children of Iraq’. Figures – verified by UNICEF – record that 1,211,285 children died of embargo-related causes between August 1990 and August 1997. A silent holocaust in the name of the UN. These numbers are similar to those lost in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. It is three times the population of Kuwait in small lives.”
‘ “After 24 years in the field, starting with Biafra, I didn’t think anything could shock me,” wrote Dieter Hannusch of the World Food Program in l995. “But this was comparable to the worst scenarios I had ever seen.” ‘
The day after Blair’s address to Parliament, Operation Iraqi Liberation began, to which he had committed the country in his visit to George W. Bush’s Texas ranch in April 2002, without telling Parliament.
Moreover, in 2009 The Mail on Sunday disclosed (3) that: “Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote (a) letter to Mr. Blair in July 2002 – a full eight months before the war – telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a blatant breach of international law.
“It was intended to make Mr. Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Mr. Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.
He even concealed the bombshell information from his own Cabinet, fearing it would spark an anti-war revolt. The only people he told were a handful of cronies who were sworn to secrecy.
Lord Goldsmith was so furious at his treatment he threatened to resign – and lost three stone as Mr Blair and his cronies bullied him into backing down.”
The then Prime Minister did not alone ignore the Attorney General’s legal advice. In November 2002 “six wise men” gave Blair “bloody warnings” as to the outcome of an attack on Iraq. (4) They were: “ … all academics, expert on Iraq, the Middle East and international affairs. They had been called to the Cabinet Room to outline the worst that could happen if Britain and the United States launched an invasion.
“This was a meeting that could have changed the course of history and, with better planning for the aftermath, saved countless lives – if only the Prime Minister and his advisers had listened and acted on the bloody warnings on that day in November 2002.”
Dr. Toby Dodge, then of London’s Queen Mary University foresaw with extraordinary clarity the near certain outcome, warning: ‘… that Iraqis would fight for their country against the invaders rather than just celebrate the fall of their leader. A long and nasty civil war could follow. “My aim that day was to tell them as much as I could, so that there would be no excuses and nobody saying, ‘I didn’t know.’ ”
Others who shared their extensive expertise were Professor George Joffe of Cambridge University, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and a Blair adviser, Professor Charles Tripp of the School of Oriental and Asian Studies, Steven Simon, Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Professor Michael Clarke, then of Kings College, London. Before the gathering they were warned: “Don’t tell him not to do it. He has already made up his mind”, Dr. Dodge told The Independent.
Blair and his Cabinet had: “… no plan for what would happen after the invasion. The approach was, ‘The Americans are heading this up. They will have a detailed plan. We need to follow them’ ”, said Professor Joffe. However in reality, a year’s planning by the State Department for the invasion’s aftermath: “was junked. They were making up policy on the hoof.”
Professor Joffe also explained the complexities of Iraq’s power structures with Tony Blair seemingly disinterested in the potential cultural, societal and political minefields, responding with kindergarten simplicity (re Saddam Hussein) “ But the man is evil isn’t he?”
A chameleon-like absorption of George W. Bush, his political circle and his Generals’ simplistic “good guys”, “bad guys” rhetoric.
Steven Simon had little faith in bringing democracy to Iraq at the barrels of guns and deliveries of 30,000-pound bunker busters: “If everything had been done differently, there might have been some small shot at avoiding disaster. But only a small shot.”
Incredibly, according to Professor Joffe: “The people who were put in charge in Iraq had very little knowledge or experience of the Middle East.”
Professor Clarke commented that Blair’s attempt to justify the invasion was mistaken: “We knew there was no nuclear stuff in Iraq.” Moreover, he believed: ‘Blair did not actually decide to go to war on the basis of intelligence, but made it look as if he had with his two “dodgy” dossiers. “He presented the case to the public as if they had incontrovertible evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. That was rubbish. They were ridiculous documents, both those documents.” ‘ (Emphasis added.)
Late last year, Blair made what was described as a “qualified apology” for “mistakes” made in Iraq – among them: “our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime”. In the light of the above, blatantly untrue.
Blair’s dodging and weaving over the years since 2003 – in spite of his millions, numerous properties, jet (seemingly leased) and a yacht, accrued from advising some of the world’s most despotic leaders – seems to have worn him down a bit, though.
In an extraordinary television outburst (5) attacking Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn who said of Blair on BBC’s Newsnight last August:
“If he has committed a war crime, yes (he should stand trial.) Everybody who has committed a war crime should.” Blair responded: “I’m accused of being a war criminal for removing Saddam Hussein … and yet Jeremy is seen as a progressive icon as we stand by and watch the people of Syria barrel-bombed, beaten and starved into submission and do nothing.”
No mention of the US’ illegal “coalition” which includes the UK which has made 4,024 strikes to 1st June this year, according to the US Department of Defence. Strikes remarkably inept at affecting the countless foreign terrorist groups, but which have caused devastation to the Syrian people whose plight was caused by US plotting (6.)
46,615 bombs and missiles have been dropped Syria and Iraq in the seeming non-fight against ISIS and other criminal groups. (airwars.org)
Apart from his ongoing economy with the truth, Tony Blair also seems to be well past his sell by date. In Northern Ireland, probably the only place on earth which has a tenuous reason to give him some credit for the “peace process”, where he went to speak on the referendum at Ulster University, he was less than welcome.
Derry anti-war campaigner Frankie McMenamin said the former Labour leader was “not welcome” in Derry, telling the Derry Journal:
“I was involved in protests about the Iraqi War which Tony Blair was responsible for, Tony Blair is hated throughout the world and he has blood on his hands over Iraq.
I will be voting for the U.K. to remain on June 23rd but I think someone like Mr. Blair (urging the stay in vote) will put a lot of other people off.
Tony Blair is not welcome in our city and the people who organized this visit obviously knew this” – the meeting had not been publicly advertised and the address was to a specially selected audience. The co-speaker was Blair’s former Chancellor, Gordon Brown, near equally unpopular, who wrote the cheques for years of UK bombings before the invasion and then for the invasion’s destruction. Had the meeting been publicly advertised, assured Mr McMenamin, protesters would have been out in force”.
On 17th June, Blair was a signatory to an open letter, signed by two former deputy Prime Ministers and a number of MPs and public figures urging voters to stay in the European Union. It included the words:
“ … public life, whether in politics or elsewhere, should be about something else – something better.
“It should be driven by a desire to bring people together when it would be easier to tear them apart. A wish to build bridges rather than erect walls.” To promote that which is “Peaceful, tolerant, compassionate.”
As he added his signature, did he reflect on Iraq’s destroyed bridges – literally and metaphorically, on a nation of walls erected by US and UK troops over one of the most open landscapes anywhere to be found and on the accompanying destruction of peace, tolerance and compassion at the hands of US and UK policies aided by his ignorant determination and
Philippe Sands QC, Professor of international law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, has said (7) ‘he believes, unequivocally, that the 2003 invasion was illegal under international law. “In the UK, beyond those associated with the government’s effort, I cannot think of a single international lawyer who thinks the war was lawful. Not a single name comes to mind. That’s got to be telling.” ‘
It can only be hoped the Chilcot Inquiry’s findings deliver Charles Anthony Lynton Blair and his cohorts in a tragedy which will be his and George W. Bush’s place in history. A sharp and chilly return to reality.
Originally published on 2016-06-24
Author: Felicity Arbuthnot
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Nestling in a wooded valley that its citizens laid their lives down to defend, the town of Kacanik in southern Kosovo is fiercely proud of its war dead.
Well-kept cemeteries include nearly 100 victims of Serb-led ethnic cleansing in 1999, while in the town centre, a statue clutching an RPG honours fallen members of Brigade 162 of the Kosovan Liberation Army.
But a decade and a half on from the war that brought about Kosovo’s independence, there is rather less pride in Kacanik’s new crop of warriors.
Infamous son: Lavdrim Muhaxheri, from Kacanik, in Syria
In the last three years, some 24 local menfolk ...
If Pentagon chief James Mattis was seeking to reassure the world of American restraint in the North Korea crisis, he clumsily did the opposite. The US Defense Secretary was speaking after intense discussions with President Trump and other senior military officials in the White House Situation Room following the sixth nuclear test carried out by North Korea on Sunday.Mattis emerged from the meeting to say that any threat from North Korea to the United States and its allies would be met with an «overwhelming military response». He then added – with a weirdly presumed ethical tone – that the US «was not looking to ...
Several power centers were formed in Libya as a result of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the destruction of the statehood. None of them has a national legitimacy. The pursuit of personal interests by some political leaders to the detriment of the general state is intertwined with territorial fragmentation. The historic regions - Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan - have de facto separated from each other. The Libyan phenomenon of the city-state arose (Misrata, Al-Zintan, Sirte, etc.). The separatist tendencies of the tribes grew stronger.Along with it, the UN attempts to stabilize the situation in the country. ...
Part IThe historical background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is going back to 1917 (the Balfour Declaration) and the establishment of the British protectorate over Palestine (the Palestine Mandate) after WWI with its provision for a national home for the Jews, although formally not to be at the expense of the local inhabitants – the Palestinians. Nevertheless, it became in practice the focal problem to keep an appropriate balance between these stipulations to be acceptable to both sides – the Jews and the Palestinians.The people and the landSince the time of the Enlightenment followed by the Romanticism, in West Europe emerged ...
In George W. Bush’s home state of Texas, if you are an ordinary citizen found guilty of capital murder, the mandatory sentence is either life in prison or the death penalty. If, however, you are a former president of the United States responsible for initiating two illegal wars of aggression, which killed 7,000 U.S. servicemen and at least 210,000 civilians, displaced more than 10 million people from their homes, condoned torture, initiated a global drone assassination campaign, and imprisoned people for years without substantive evidence or trial in Guantanamo Bay, the punishment evidently is to be given the Thayer Award ...
It was in 2015 hundred years anniversary of secret treaty signed between three Entente members of the U.K., France and the Russian Empire on the one hand, and Italy on the other, in London on April 26th, 1915 nine months after the break up the Great War of 1914−1918.
In a political-military effort to involve Italy into the war on their own side against the Central Powers members of Germany and Austria-Hungary within a month, these three Entente block members confirmed the Italian possession of the ex-Ottoman province of Libya (acquired by Italy in 1912) and the Dodecanese islands in the ...
In British mainstream commentary, the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Slobodan Milosevic’s Yugoslavia is seen as a ‘humanitarian intervention’. Tony Blair still receives much praise for coming to the defence of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, whose plight was surely serious as they were subject to increasingly brutal abuses by the Yugoslav army towards the end of 1998 and early 1999. Yet the NATO bombing that began in March 1999 had the effect of deepening, not preventing, the humanitarian disaster that Milosevic’s forces inflicted on Kosovo. The bulk of the atrocities committed by Yugoslav forces took place after the NATO ...
PrefaceThe article deals with relations between on the one hand the supporters of pan-European identity, which has to take the place of the particular national ones, and on the other hand the proponents of maintaining specific national identities as the top priority within the European Union (the EU). Certainly, the European Union continues to expand its borders, individual national currencies are becoming unified into the common EU currency - Euro (€), and the political and economic climates are gravitating towards pan-continental unification. However, what does this unification process mean in terms of identity? The crucial question is: Will the success ...
The full extent of the damage to international peace and security caused by the US-led Syrian strikes will take some time to become clear. But its impact on the very concept of legality in international affairs is already evident.
Simply put, the most powerful county in the world and its chief satellites, the UK and France, have thrown the rule of law into the trash can. The only "law" now is the law of the jungle. There is no going back.
Ironically, the attack itself was claimed by its perpetrators as enforcement of legality, not of its obliteration. For example, NATO Secretary-General ...
“I can still see it very clearly, I have not forgotten,” says Títos Patríkios. “The Athens police firing on the crowd from the roof of the parliament in Syntagma Square. The young men and women lying in pools of blood, everyone rushing down the stairs in total shock, total panic.”And then came the defining moment: the recklessness of youth, the passion of belief in a justice burning bright: “I jumped up on the fountain in the middle of the square, the one that is still there, and I began to shout: “Comrades, don’t disperse! Victory will be ours! Don’t leave. ...
“I’ll never live to see 9/11 justice,” says Stephen Lendman. The 9/11 attacks have changed the course of humanity, even so for sixteen years have not been minimally clarified but turned the world in a place full of fear and hate as the United States spreads its military bases all over the world, having 737 and more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet.Stephen Lendman, one of the world’s most respected analysts, speaks with Pravda Report on the consequences of those attacks, and President Trump’s denial of his promises during the presidential campaign to investigate the day that has killed more than one million people ...
How Dumb is the CIA? With the hydrogen bomb test by North Korea, it should be recalled the CIA was dumb enough to be responsible for North Korea acquiring nukes.Reorganized Murder IncorporatedAccording to a Washington Post article, John Brennan has set out to restructure the CIA's longstanding model:"At issue is a basic structure that has been in place since the agency’s inception, with employees divided by function among four major directorates. The best known are the National Clandestine Service, which sends case officers overseas on spying missions and carries out covert operations, and the Directorate of Intelligence, which employs thousands ...
The leak of a secret BND dossier on Hachim Thaci which reports that the newly-elected Kosovan President had links to a contract killer and was involved in the trafficking of people, arms and drugs is more confirmation that Western politicians have chosen to support Thaci in the knowledge of his criminal past.Wikileaks has leaked a secret German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) dossier on Hachim Thaci that dates back to 2005, after the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader had served the first of his two terms in office as Kosovan Prime Minister.The dossier reports that Thaci, who has recently been elected president of Kosovo, was one of the leaders of organized ...
It is worth noting that 6 out of these 7 countries (with the exception of Lebanon) identified by General Wesley Clark “to be taken out” are now the object of President Trump’s ban on Muslims’ entry to the US: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Yemen.
All of these countries are on the Pentagon’s drawing board. These countries have been directly or indirectly been the object of US aggression (Global Research Editor).
General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.
Complete Transcript of Program, Democracy Now.
Today we spend the hour with General ...
Unification of Europe has brought about radical new divisions within Europe. The most significant split is between the people and their political leaders.The June 23 British majority vote to leave the European Union has made strikingly evident the division between the new ruling class that flourishes in the globalized world without borders and all the others who are on the receiving end of policies that destroy jobs, cut social benefits, lower wages and reject as obsolete national customs, not least the custom of democratic choice, all to make the world safe for international investment capital.Actually, the lines are not quite ...
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of ...
On February 2nd, 1943, the 6th German Army, under the command of Field Marshall Von Paulus, and elements of the 4th Panzer Army, surrendered to the Red Army at Stalingrad. This stunning victory is considered the turning point in the war in Europe, heralding the defeat of fascist Germany.That defeat came on May 2ndth 1945, when the German forces in Berlin, the capital of the Third Reich, surrendered to the forces of the Red Army that had captured the city. On May 9th the official act of surrender of the German government and military forces took place in Berlin when ...
Compare Donald Trump and Barack Obama: Trump bans people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia but Obama bombed people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia! The question is: Who is a bigger racist?Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
TerminologyA meaning of the term Great Power(s) (GP) in global politics from the beginning of the 16th century onward refers to the most power and therefore top influential states within the system of the international relations (IR). In other words, the GP are those and only those states who are modelling global politics like Portugal, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, united Germany, the USA, the USSR, Russia or China. During the time of the Cold War (1949−1989) there were superpowers as the American and the Soviet administrations refered to their own countries and even a hyperpower state – the ...
The chronic want of food and water, the lack of sanitation and medical help, the neglect of means of communication, the poverty of educational provision, the all-pervading spirit of depression that I have myself seen to prevail in our villages after over a hundred years of British rule make me despair of its beneficence. — Rabindranath Tagore
If the history of British rule in India were to be condensed to a single fact, it is this: there was no increase in India’s per-capita income from 1757 to 1947.
Churchill, explaining why he defended the stockpiling of food within Britain, while millions died ...
Inside Kacanik, Kosovo’s Jihadist Capital
An Isolated Tyrannical Regime – Not Pyongyang, It’s Washington
The Historical Background of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Duty, Honor, Atrocity: George W. Bush Receives a Character Award at West Point
“Italia Irredenta” Territories and the London Treaty (April 26th, 1915)
Britain’s Collaboration with pro-Jihadist Forces in Kosovo
The European Union and Common Pan-European Identity
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
Athens Massacre of 1944: Britain’s Dirty Secret of Winston Churchill
Democracy in America is Pure Fantasy
German Intelligence Service had Mafia Dossier on Kosovan President since 2005
Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran”
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
May 9th: Russian Victory, NATO Defeat
Trump is Racist? What is About Obama!
The Great Powers and Global Politics
British Colonials Starved to Death 60 Million-Plus Indians