Saturday, 12 December 2009

Tony Blair admits Iraq war lies: what happens at Chilcot?

What sort of madness is it that makes a person insist in the face of facts, principles and public opposition, that they alone are right in taking an action that results in over a million civilian deaths, impoverishes us as a nation and rips up our moral fabric?

What sort of moral bankruptcy allows that person to take money from the very companies that made a fortune from the war they started?

What sort of society allows this to happen with no constraints or consequences?

Tony Blair has now admitted in the softest of interviews with BBC's Fern Britton — not Jeremy Paxman or any of the other heavyweights, note —that his decision to go to war in Iraq was nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and everything to do with regime change.

Isn't this illegal under international law? How many service men and women died because of his faked-up reasons? I'm far from being alone in believing that Blair should now be tried as a war criminal. Blair did what he wanted like he was some third world potentate with divine right to rule with hardly any opposition from his own party to their eternal shame. (Honours, of course, to those few lone voices within the party who did put up a fight and deserve better company than the sheep.)

I never believed him for one moment about WMDs. To me and millions of others who opposed the war, it was a far-fetched cold-war paranoia about moustache-twirling, cat-stroking villains that served the neo-con agenda to grab oil and open up the nation's finance to foreign banks; banks such as JP Morgan charged with co-ordinating the plundering of Iraq and now paying Blair $2 million a year for services rendered.

He said in his typically self-pitying way: "There is no point in going in to a situation of conflict and not understanding there is going to be a price paid."

The trouble is, it's not you paying the price, is it, Tony? It's Iraqi civilians, British soldiers and our national finances. You, Tony, are very far from paying any price, having pocketed your loot.

His change of tack would indicate that the revelations heard so far in the Chilcot inquiry have had an effect on his morale and he's desperately slipping and sliding around to avoid being exposed as a lying, self-serving war criminal bereft of any moral compass save some cartoon Ivanhoe self-image in which he saves the world (TM Gordon Brown) and earns the undying gratitude of powerful men.

What happened to democracy? To British fair play? To the rule of law? For people like Blair, it's no longer about serving your country — it's how can your country serve you and devil take the hindmost.

The Iraq war has cost the UK £6.5 billion.
"Secret MoD documents leaked to the Press now confirm that preparations for the war began as early as February 2002." Paul Routlege in The Mirror.
179 British service men and women have died in the conflict.
Over a million Iraqis have been killed.
"Tony Blair is paid $2 million a year by JP Morgan, the bank at the centre of Iraq "restructuring".
"Total spending for both wars will reach 4.37 billion pounds ($7.15 billion) in the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2010, compared with 1.56 in the year ended March 2006, according to Ministry of Defense figures published by the House of Commons Defense Committee."


claude said...

I agree word by word.
What pisses me off is how he's got a way with it. Blair's name is hardly mentioned even though he's the one who's moulded British politics since the mid-90s at least.

Have I got your kind permission to crosspost your blog entry on to Hagley Road? I'd be very grateful :-) and needless to say I'll credit you.

I think you've been absolutely spot on th eway you assessed it all.


Madam Miaow said...

Please do, Claude. Thanks.

Also, I meant to contact you about the Orwell Awards. You should definitely go in for this.

willis said...

Unbelievable. I'm curious about Blair's (others of his party) opinion and actions with regard to Saddam's leadership in the years prior to the war. It's no secret although it's not within the memory span of your average US citizen, that the US right wing supported Saddam during its war with Iran and even provided WMD they later used on their own civilians. Saddam was never a good guy, he didn't just suddenly become awful in 2001.

claude said...

And there's so many 'bad guys' the US, the UK & co. have been propping up or ignoring for decades. Why all the sudden interest for Saddam?

But you won't find a single journo asking Blair that simple question.

Madam Miaow.
Thanks you! It's up. And thanks for the ups about the Orwell prize. I'll the think about it. :-)

guythemac said...

At the risk of sounding like I am defending him - I'm not sure that I can reconcile what he says in the Britten interview with "Blair admits war lies".

He says he thought there was a case to going for war even without WMD. There is a huge leap from that to knowingly lieing. As for chilcot - can tell you know what that will find...

Madam Miaow said...

Guy, I think that a good combative lawyer would draw out the contradictions in what Blair has said (he's already shifting his ground under pressure of Chilcot revelations thus far) and would nail his lies.

In admitting it was regime change that he wanted all along he has surely shown that he was lying all along, even if he doesn't say in so many words. He misled Parliament in the matter of WMDs and that's what the ultimate decision was based on.

Willis, as the great Saint Bill Hicks said, we know coz we got the receipts. Also, wasn't a German company found to have supplied the gas used to massacre the Kurds?

Claude, thanks for using the piece. I just saw there's a typo — could you remove the superfluous "s" in "serve"? IE, "how can your country serve(s) you".

splinteredsunrise said...

I also note that Mr Tony has just earned 90 grand from a speaking engagement in Azerbaijan. So obviously he isn't all that exercised about oil-rich dictatorships...

claude said...

Well...quite simply the underlying idea behind Blair's words is: they were gonna wage war againt Iraq anyway. They just needed something more 'urgent', 'dramatic' and immediately justifiable to parliament and public alike.

I wish I had some technological power, guythemac, to get together within half hour all the footage from Jan/Feb/Mar 2003 in which Blair, Hoon, Straw &C repeated like robots that the one and only reason for going to war was Iraq's WMDs and their imminent threat to the British public.

I wish there was someone at the BBC or Ch4 who could put together those bits. It would be tremendoulsy powerful and immensely damaging to Blair & his mates, given the extremely short memory and attention span of some of our fellow voters.

Madam Miaow said...

Yes, good point, Claude. I think a collection of all those statements is a fab idea and I hope someone does it soon. This is something a bit more imaginative that the STW should lead in.