Tag Archives: Blair

The beginning and end of A Journey

Working my way through the 80 or so articles published by the Irish Independent, Sunday Tribune, Irish Examiner and Irish Times on the opening day of Blair’s disastrous book signing tour and thought a ‘word cloud’ might throw up something interesting. It didn’t, but here they are anyway. A real analysis will follow.

Removing the words ‘Blair’, ‘book’, ‘Tony’ and ‘signing’.

via Wordle

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Interview with Kate O’Sullivan…Arresting Tony Blair

via DublinOpinion via Workers Solidarity Movement

For more info…

War Criminal to come to Dublin

“He believed in peace. And peace came to pass.”

“As he giveth so shall he taketh away” Blair on life

I won’t get out of bed for anything less than a “real genocide”

I won’t get out of bed for anything less than a “real genocide”

Geraldine Kennedy: “The view of the newspaper is in the Editorials.”

The Irish Times Editorial on Tony Blair’s PR tour:

“Blair’s problem is that, little lies notwithstanding, in burnishing his claim in his book to a statesman’s legacy he can’t shake off the Big Iraq Lie that will in the medium-term colour all assessments of him. Some even want him arrested this weekend in Ireland as a war criminal but, whatever one’s views of the legality of the Iraq war, such posturing does nothing but deflect from the difficult pursuit of real perpetrators of genocide.” [Irish Times, 3/09/10]

Ethnic cleansing in Iraq, a Baghdad example:

Map via the Washington Post.

“As he giveth so shall he taketh away” Blair on life

[Updated]

This is a follow up to the post below.

Hi David,

calling war with Iraq a mistake and a flawed decision doesn’t absolve him from the consequences of his actions. That’s a leap too far. Your other points are fair enough. Except I do believe you can compare the North and Iraq: one was an achievement and the other was an atrocity. One doesn’t cancel out the other. I never suggested that. But you can’t look at his legacy and not take the North into account.

Best,

Martina

And our response:

Hi Martina,

Every person has their successes and failures, the fact Blair contributed to peace in the North and at the same time death in Iraq is simply a reflection of the power his position granted him. The reality is he had a vested interest in both.

Mistake, blunder, error, all imply mere bad judgment or ignorance, they put aside the deliberate and intentional nature of war. Blair is no fool, he digested and then disregarded the advice he was given, he “fixed the facts around the policy” to convince the public and he sent young British troops to kill and die.

The scale of suffering and devastation the US and UK have left in Iraq is incalculable. What emotional and physical scars will the “50,000 Iraqi refugees forced into prostitution in Syria” bring back to Iraq, if they ever return? In Fallujah a new study has revealed “a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s,” “exceeding those reported by survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Imagine ten years from now trying to explain Shannon airport’s role to an Iraqi child that manages survives?

Blair will appear on the Late Late Show tonight, he will be welcomed and treated with deference by Tubridy. He will be praised for his work in the North, asked about the tough decisions and late nights. At some point Tubridy will become somber and perhaps ask whether he has any regrets about invading Iraq. Blair will say it was the right decision, and that while he regrets the lives of those killed (the lives the British government made no attempt to even count), he believes Iraq is better off. The interview will end on a lighter note and he will leave with a smile and a round of applause.

And the North really has very little to do with this. Whether Blair had contributed to peace there or not, he would still be welcomed by the media and establishment here, because evidently they really see very little wrong with killing and maiming the other side of the world.

Yours sincerely,

Another a reply:

You’re wrong on one point David, though right in many others. Blair’s contribution to the peace process is not simply a reflection of his position. He had the will to do it. if it was simply a case of position, any of his predecessors could have brought about peace. They didn’t. Of course he was helped by a readiness to negotiate and compromise within the IRA at that time. But it diminishes his role to say it’s just down to the fact he was PM. The Late Late will be exactly as you describe. That’s partly because this is how all interviews are carried out on chat shows – I don’t defend that either, it’s froth – and not because Blair is being singled out for an easy ride. But I like that you challenge me, and make me think harder. Thank you for that. Martina

“He believed in peace. And peace came to pass.”

Dear Martina,

I’ve just read your article and I wanted to make a few comments, if you’ll humour me.

You argue that Blair’s decision to invade Iraq was a “mistake” and a “flawed decision”, but he contends that it was the right thing to do. He says he “can’t regret the decision to go to war” only that he “never did guess the nightmare that unfolded.” On this point he has been entirely consistent since 2003. In 2006 he said in conversation with Michael Parkinson that he will be judged by God, not by man: “If you believe in God (the judgement) is made by God.” To call the invasion a mistake is to negate his right to free will and absolve him from the consequences of his actions.

When he writes in his memoirs that “the intelligence on Saddam and WMD turned out to be incorrect…how this came to be so remains a mystery” we can take it for granted that he is attempting to conceal the facts. We are both aware the British government made numerous (ultimately successful) attempts to “sex-up” the evidence for an active WMD programme – for the very reason that the information provided by the inspectors and the intelligence community did not justify an invasion, there was no “imminent threat” and the UN would not allow military action. The very body that was set up with “the goal of preserving peace among nations.” It’s no mystery why the evidence was incorrect, it was clearly fabricated.

Further still, during a meeting in January 2003 between Bush and Blair in the White House they both expressed “their doubts that any weapons of mass destruction would ever be found in Iraq.” They talked about ways to “provoke a confrontation,” one of which, was to “fly US aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, over Iraq, falsely painted in United Nations colors.” The same memo confirms that Blair thought it “unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.” But this is because he chose to ignore the best advice he received.

In November 2002 six of the UK’s top experts on Iraq and international security warned Blair that the consequences of an invasion could be catastrophic. He was told “the regime had embedded itself into Iraqi society, broken it down and totally transformed it. We would be going into a vacuum, where there were no allies to be found, except possibly for the Kurds.” In February 2003 the Joint Intelligence Committee warned again that the threat from Al Qaeda “would be heightened by military action against Iraq.”

Blair’s post hoc justification for the war centres on Saddam’s threat to Iraq’s people. Yet Saddam’s greatest crimes took place during periods of support from the US and UK, so they cannot be used as a justification for an invasion a decade later. During the preceding years of the invasion Saddam did continue killing people, a lot of people, maybe even hundreds each year. However, the invasion and occupation resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands (some studies estimate a million dead). Not to mention the fact the war created nearly 4 million refugees. Whether they regret it or not, Bush and Blair have killed more Iraqis than Saddam. That is a horrific legacy.

Imagine that, and then try and compare it to Blair’s contribution to the North.

Yours sincerely,

War Criminal to come to Dublin

Tony Blair will be at Eason on O’Connell Street on 4th September 2010.

For your information:

Prosecuting a crime against peace (otherwise known as a crime of aggression) depends on one of two factors… www.ArrestBlair.org

The Human Cost of the War in Iraq, A Mortality Study, 2002-2006