Tony Blair, godfather of ISIS, wants to bomb Syria

This video says about itself:

Inside Iraq – Are Bush and Blair above the law?

7 June 2010

Many attempts have been made to try Tony Blair and George Bush for war crimes, but to no avail. In this episode of Inside Iraq, we ask: Is justice the property of the strong and is this a case of might is right?

Tony Blair is not only literally the godfather of a child of fellow warmonger Rupert Murdoch (with whom he quarreled later in a sexual jealousy conflict). Blair is also figuratively the godfather of ISIS terrorism. Because, as President Obama and many others have pointed out, without George W Bush’s and Tony Blair’s 2003 war on Iraq, there would be no ISIS now.

By Luke James in Britain:

Blair renews call for Britain to take military action in Syria

Friday 27th November 2015

TONY BLAIR has made a renewed call for Britain to bomb Syria — during a recording for a comedy podcast.

The unpopular former prime minister made a belated apology last month for dragging Britain into the Iraq war in 2003 on the basis of his “dodgy dossier.”

But now Mr Blair has backed David Cameron’s campaign for another British military intervention in the Middle East.

He played cheerleader for the Tory PM on Wednesday evening while recording the lighthearted Political Animal podcast, which is hosted by Labour adviser turned comedian Matt Forde.

Asked if he supported bombing, Mr Blair replied: “I would support the position that has been set out, not just by David Cameron, but by many Labour MPs.

“I think it’s important that we take strong action against Isis and take that action against them where they are headquartered, which is in Syria, so obviously I would support that.”

Stop the War convenor Lindsey German said Mr Cameron has failed to explain how bombing would improve the situation in Syria.

And she told the Star: “Tony Blair conveniently omits that these groups have grown since the war on terror began.

His policies of bombing and invasion set the world on fire. Now he wants to fan the flames even further.”

Mr Blair also indicated that further unwelcome political interventions could be expected from him.

He said he would be willing to appear alongside his historic rival Gordon Brown at events in the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.

Syrian air strikes mean civilians seeing their family killed by a faceless enemy – leaving Isis free to choose a face for us. The Prime Minister states that complexity should not be an excuse for non-intervention. True. But complexity is not an excuse, it is an important reality: here.

Thousands protest against Syria air strikes as Stop the War Coalition marches on London: here.

Pro-refugee rock music in England

This music video on an Iraqi rock band is called Acrassicauda – “Garden of Stones” Vice Records.

From daily The Morning Star in England:

Festival’s heavy sound of solidarity with refugees

Monday 23rd November 2015

A HEAVY metal gig in solidarity with refugees is to be held in Leicester as part of the city’s human rights arts and film festival.

Metal for Refugees will showcase local bands Urethra Franklin and Ubiquitous in the fundraiser for refugee charity Leicester City of Sanctuary.

Event organiser Nerissa Fields said: “The Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda, which formed in 2001, received death threats after the Iraq regime change.

“The band fled first to Syria and then to Turkey before being granted refugee status in the US.

“One of the most important aspects of metal, as with all musical genres, is being able to express yourself and having the freedom to do so without prejudice.

“It is a human right to be able to play the music you want to play.”

The gig at the Pi Bar on Friday December 4 starts at 8pm.

Video shot by the Turkish coast guard appears to show a man on a Greek coast guard ship attempting to sink an inflatable raft full of Syrian refugees in the Aegean Sea. Reuters reports the video was shot on November 12: here.

Wars help, don’t stop terrorism

This video about the USA says about itself:

UNINTENDED Consequences’: OBAMA traces Origin Of ISIS to Bush era IRAQ INVASION

17 March 2015

President Barack Obama traced the origins of Islamic State militants back to the presidency of George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq back in 2003, arguing that its growth was an “unintended consequence” of the war.

In an interview with Vice News, President Obama said the rise of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) can be directly linked to America’s excursion into Iraq under Bush.

“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”

Obama stated that he is “confident” a coalition consisting of 60 nations “will slowly push back ISIL out of Iraq,” but added that the challenge of stopping extremism won’t stop unless there is a political solution to the internal strife affecting so many countries in the Middle East.

“What I’m worried about” he said, “is even if ISIL is defeated, the underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis around the world – but particularly in some of these areas including Libya, including Yemen – where a young man who’s growing up has no education, has no prospects for the future, is looking around and the one way he can get validation, power, respect, is if he’s a fighter.”

“That’s a problem we’re going to have, generally. And we can’t keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education.”

The president dismissed concerns that the US spends too much on foreign aid, noting that just over one percent of the federal budget goes to other nations. He argued that “we should be thinking about making investments” overseas that will prevent America from sending troops to engage in military operations.

Obama’s comments regarding ISIS mark the first time he has framed the extremist group’s existence as a consequence of American foreign policy decisions. The president’s opponents have often argued that his withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2011 left space for groups like ISIS to grow. At the same time, the Shia-dominated central government of Iraq failed to effectively bring the country’s Sunni minority into the governing process, leaving ISIS with a disaffected ethnic group more willing to join its cause.

When reports of Al-Qaeda-linked militants causing violence in Iraq first burst onto the scene, Obama also characterized the group as a “JV team,” or a small-time operation.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told the New Yorker in early 2014. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

Here is a translation of parts of the open letter by Dutch philosopher Joke Johannetta Hermsen to King Willem-Alexander, which she published in weekly De Groene Amsterdammer today:

Amsterdam, November 19, 2015

Dear Your Majesty, dear Willem-Alexander,

While it certainly is not my habit as a true republican to turn in moments of despair to the royal family, I see just now no other way out: God is these days quite deaf, the homeland and the politicians are in serious confusion; so then, in the name of peace, a letter to the king. In previous centuries, this was a thriving tradition, including in your kingdom by writers such as Belle van Zuylen and Multatuli. It’s time to do a follow-up now. Last week in our flat country, the emotions ran so high that our prime minister the day after the attacks in Paris perplexedly and looking pale around his nose declared that “we are at war.” A letter in the name of peace therefore seems to be appropriate.

The declaration of war by the Prime Minister a few months ago would have caused many people to frown, if only because of the damage which the war on terror declared by George W Bush has done the past 15 years. But now there was a lot of political support, in spite of protests by terror experts and by well-known sociologist Willem Schinkel. Additionally David Van Reybrouck wrote on Facebook a fiery indictment of the war rhetoric of the French president, for “he who talks war, should wage war’. It was read by millions, translated and shared, but apparently not by the French or the Dutch parliament. Reybrouck’s fear came true. …

Moreover, if we are already at war, we have already been so since Bush and Blair began bombing Iraq under false pretexts. Out of the chaos that they inflicted, ISIS arose, so we can hardly close our eyes to the fact that the attacks are a response or hide our heads in the sand for the knowledge that new bombings are very likely to lead to further attacks.

What we saw in Paris was a handful of hatred and anger blinded young people putting on bomb belts or taking a kalashsnikov into a car, to shoot in the street at random innocent people. That’s not a war, but an expression of despair and a burst of madness. So you’ll have to learn about the roots of madness, to acknowledge them and then fight them. Then you can not keep retaliating with bombs, as Jewish writer Amos Oz recently said in TV show Buitenhof. Instead, you’ll need to examine the nature of the injuries. A new war on terror will only add fuel to the fire. The question is, as Reybrouck also writes, whether we want to destroy ISIS, with the result that elsewhere new terror cells will arise, or that we want to prevent new attacks.

The experts and history tell us again and again: only in 7% of cases, terrorist groups are successfully defeated by violence. That is not a very hopeful percentage. Instead of military intervention a political process must be properly set in motion in the hotbeds of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. And the same should, and that is why I address this letter especially to you, happen in our own country. We will have to focus on dialogue, prevention, tolerance and resilience in our homes, such as terrorist expert Beatrice de Graaf repeatedly said. Precisely here, in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, so in those countries that have apparently produced most of the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

We will have to learn that violence at the macro level is fueled by abuses at the micro level, even within the borders of our own country. The violence of attacks is not only capricious and unpredictable, it is also too big for us: we can only feel powerless or frightened by it. We will have to look at smaller, more local connections, contexts and situations have to be able to something. You have in our country an important symbolic function and can therefore help. This letter is intended to help persuade you get to do a few simple symbolic gestures in these dark days before the Saint Nicolas holiday instead of violence, encouraging a different, more sensible course. About the chaos in Syria nor the government nor any opinion makers of the Netherlands can change much in the short term. The key question is therefore what we can do and indeed to combat racism in our own country as well as radicalization.

Because, if you will allow me here just to mention a few risk factors, there certainly slumbers revolt within the ranks of your own kingdom. So there is refugee accommodation which needs extra protection because some citizens already can not wait to personally do their contribution to ‘the war’. There are Dutch employers who still stubbornly refuse to give trainees or job seekers signing their applications with Fatima and Abdelkader a fair chance, excluding them of possibilities to build a life of their own. Still other compatriots are not even doing any no more efforts to disguise their racist feelings. They shout abuse on camera or on Facebook against their black countrymen like when these in Meppel protest against the hurtful inability of the Saint Nicholas holiday committees to organize parades in 2015 with no more blackface ‘Zwarte Pieten’, but with helpers of Saint Nicholas in all colours of the rainbow. How hard should that be?

This 18 November 2015 video from the Netherlands is called Kick Out Zwarte Piet hosts first Meppel freedom ride against racial discrimination.

Apparently these committees feel empowered by the government, which on the one hand claims that the Zwarte Piet debate is not a political issue, but on the other hand it wants to abolish the subsidy for commemorating slavery. It is probably also encouraged by some provincial governments who have stopped funding anti-discrimination hotlines after January 2017, while the number of reported cases of discrimination continues to rise unabated. Last year was the number of reports nationwide even doubled, thanks to Wilders’ call for “less, less, less” Moroccans. …

So, what do you think, would not it be wiser instead of some quasi heroic “war” to try at home to prevent the possible causes of radicalization, by doing what we can really do, ie, stopping needless injuries, unfair humiliations and unequal opportunities on the labor market? We can then work in a joint dialogue on mutual trust and solidarity. Would it not be nice, dear king, if you would take the lead in this. ….

To start off, we need to start somewhere, shouldn’t we paint over the panel depicting slavery on your nineteenth century Dutch royal golden carriage? The vehicle is still under restoration for several years, so there is a chance that you can grab immediately. What king can still ride comfortably as all the inhabitants of the kingdom watch in that? You must then send a royal messenger with the chocolate letter S of Solidarity to all those politicians who only want to think of bombs and to all provincial and municipal governments that right now want to inflict spending cuts on the prevention of discrimination, on anti-racism projects at schools, on community centers and on classes.

In this 2014 video, in Dutch with English subtitles, Dr Barryl Biekman, chairwoman of the slavery commemoration platform in the Netherlands, speaks about ‘The [Dutch Royal] Carriage in the context of Afrophobia’.

Paris terrorism abused for wars, attacks on civil liberties

This video says about itself:

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Iraq War

9 September 2012

I was completely against the war with every fiber of my being, and I was thinking, ‘How can we stop this?’ But it became clear it was unstoppable. Many nations around the world in Latin America and Africa spoke out against the war. I was relieved that the United Nations did not give approval for the war. It would have been a disaster for the United Nations. Many Americans at the time were upset that the United Nations wouldn’t support the war, but I think they now understand that we made the right decision.”

-Kofi Annan, Former U.N. Secretary General

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

A hell of our own making

Saturday 21st November 2015

This is all getting horribly predictable. The West wages war and in doing so ostracises and radicalises a new generation of terrorists who bring the war back to their front doors with a vengeance.

Said Western state condemns the attacks as cowardly assaults on their freedom and way of life and vows to escalate the bombing and crack down on civil liberties at home, thus ensuring the cycle continues in perpetuity.

Other nations jump on the band wagon and use said atrocity to ratchet up the fear quotient in their own countries as a pretext for brutal repression and the further erosion of free speech and human rights in the name of national security.

Rightwingers seize the news agenda with their denunciations of barbaric Muslims, as if there were some form of hive mind in action and billions of people around the globe thought as one in their hatred of the West.

’Twas ever thus. The enemy may change but the response and rhetoric do not.

And of course as the true extent of the sickening massacre in Paris unfolded they took primacy over attacks mere days beforehand in non-western countries including Egypt, Lebanon and just yesterday Mali, not to mention the almost daily slaughter in Iraq and Syria.

But then they’re all savages over there and that’s just what they do, right?

These atrocities warrant no more than a few column inches or a soundbite on the news, and then usually only if there are any white westerners involved.

This is despite the glaring fact that most of the fighting and factionalisation in these regions can be directly traced back to colonialism, imperialism and Western intervention.

There was no Al-Qaida in Iraq until the 2003 invasion.

For all its faults Iraq was one of the only secular states in the Middle East. Now it is riven with sectarianism and extremism by Sunni and Shia alike.

Likewise Isis did not exist until the assaults on Libya and now Syria.

No one in their right mind would attempt to justify the barbaric slaughter that claimed over 120 lives on the streets of Paris in the space of just a few hours.

The murder of innocent civilians can never be justified under any circumstances.

But there is a massive double standard at work here.

Are the appalling deaths of innocents in Paris somehow worse than the deaths of tens of thousands of blameless people across the Middle East and Africa?

Does the fact that it is the state carrying out these killings make them justifiable, merely unfortunate collateral damage as the time-worn phrase would have it?

To both of these questions I would argue that the answer is an emphatic no.

By the same token, is it more cowardly to murder civilians with assault rifles and suicide vests than from a comfortable seat thousands of miles from the carnage operating an unmanned drone as if playing the latest playstation game?

Or by be-suited warriors in Westminster, Washington of elsewhere giving the go ahead for indiscriminate bombing raids and pontificating about the righteousness of their cause?

I think not.

Murder is murder.

There is no grey area or ambiguity here.

At the risk of sounding cynical and indifferent there is a simple correlation here: France does not send forces to Iraq, no attacks on French soil. Sarkozy gleefully cheerleads for the bombing of Libya and the policy is extended by Hollande…

So now we face the prospect of spiralling even further into a hell of our own making.

Greater oppression, greater suspicion, further attempts to justify the intensification of the abhorrently racist asylum and immigration systems in the majority of EU states.

Closing the borders to the needy and starving, the further paramilitarisation of the police and the granting of even more invasive surveillance powers to the security forces.

It will not make a blind bit of difference in terms of preventing or deterring such horrendous atrocities, only a major shift in Western foreign policy can do that.

But then it is not really meant to. It is all a pretext for suppressing dissent and criminalising free thought.

While peoples of all nations stood in solidarity and sympathy with the people of Paris, their governments are using it as an opportunity to force through their own draconian agendas.

Now that is truly despicable.

Numerous media reports over the past several days have revealed that most of the Islamists who engaged in the suicide attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, as well as the reputed organizer of the attacks, were known to the French and Belgian security services well before November 13. But no intelligence or police agency took action against them to prevent the murderous rampage: here.

Popular frustration spread across Belgium yesterday as contradictions mounted in the official justification for the continued police lockdown of Brussels and the national state of alert: here.

After Paris attacks, Spain offers to reinforce French troops in Africa: here.

Terrorism, open letter to French President

This 16 November video from the USA is called American Ahmadiyya Muslims condemn Paris Shooting.

From in Belgium:

President Hollande, you’ve got mail from Brussels!

Mon 16/11/2015 – 14:27 David Van Reybrouck; translation: Colin Clapson

The celebrated Flemish author David Van Reybrouck has written an open letter to President Hollande of France attacking his choice of language during a speech to the French people following Friday’s unprecedented terrorist attacks in Paris.

Dear Mr President,

That was a rather foolhardy choice of words in your speech on Saturday afternoon when you repeatedly spoke of an “act of war” perpetrated by a “terrorist army”. You said:

“What happened in Paris and Saint-Denis is an act of war and faced with war a country must take the appropriate measures. It was an act committed by a terrorist army, Daesh (IS or Isil), against what we are, a free country that speaks with the entire planet, an act of war that was prepared and plan[n]ed from without with support from within that is now the subject of an investigation. It was an act of total barbarity.”

I am in total agreement with those last words, but the rest of your speech is a horrible, nearly word perfect repetition of the words of GW Bush to the US Congress shortly after the 9/11 attacks: “The enemies of freedom have committed an act of war against our country.”

The consequences of those historic words are well known. A head of state qualifying an event as an act of war is obliged to come up with an appropriate response. … This was followed by the totally mad invasion of Iraq, without UN mandate – for the sole reason that the US suspected it possessed weapons of mass destruction.

That was the main pretext, but not the only pretext.

The other pretext were the lies about Iraq supposedly being involved in the 9/11 atrocities in the USA.

The United States Bush’s administration’s third pretext, turning up when the two other pretexts had turned out to be lies, was ‘Saddam Hussein is a dictator violating human rights’.

True in itself, but NOT a pretext for aggressive war violating international law, as:

1. Saddam Hussein committed his worst crimes when he was still an ally of the United States Reagan-Rumsfeld-Cheney administration.

2. Under George W Bush’s occupation of Iraq, human rights violations became even worse than under Saddam.

3. Recently, Iraq warmongers Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair both confessed that they had never been in favour of democracy in Iraq and the Middle East; contrary to their March 2003 war propaganda lies.

None were found, but the invasion led to the total destabilisation of the region that we witness to this day. When US troops left the country in 2011 a power vacuum ensued. When civil war broke out in neighbouring Syria shortly afterwards as part of the fallout from the Arab Spring it became clear to all how destabilising America’s military intervention had been. In the North West of a dismembered Iraq and in the East of a Syria shot to bits there was room, next to the Syrian army and the FSA for the establishment of a third, major player: Isil, Isis or IS.

In short, without Bush’s idiotic invasion of Iraq there would never have been any talk of IS. Millions of us demonstrated against the invasion in 2003. I was among them. It was a worldwide protest. We were right. Not that we were able to look twelve years ahead into the future. We were not that clairvoyant. But now we do realise it: what happened in Paris on Friday night is an indirect consequence of the war rhetoric that your colleague Bush employed in September 2001.

And what do you do? How do you respond within 24 hours of the attacks? You use exactly the same terminology that your US counterpart at the time employed. You are making wine from the same barrel.

You walked straight into it, with your eyes open, Mr President. You did it because you could feel the hot breath of Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen in your neck. True, you already had a reputation for being a weakling. Elections are on the way on 6 and 13 December, even though these are only regional elections, following the attacks they will be dominated by national security issues. You walked straight into it, because you gave the terrorists what they wanted: a declaration of war. With great pleasure you accepted their invitation for a Jihad. In your attempt to respond in a forthright fashion you are risking an escalation of the spiral of violence. To me this doesn’t seem like a good idea.

You spoke of a “terrorist army”. First of all, no such thing exists. It’s a contradiction in terms. A “terrorist army”, that’s a bit like a bulimic diet. Countries and groups can have armies, when they fail to establish one they can opt for terrorism. This means that they commit incidental actions aimed at a maximum psychological impact instead of a structural, military deployment of power involving geopolitical ambitions.

But an army? Let’s be clear: so far we do not know if the perpetrators are returning Syria fighters or people dispatched from Syria on purpose. We do not know if the attacks were planned in the caliphate or in European suburbs. Even though there are indications for a Syrian master plan (the near coincidence of the attacks in Lebanon and the Russian plane crash), it strikes me that the IS communique came late in the day and hardly contained any elements that had not circulated on the internet. Is this a question of co-ordination or recuperation?

For equal measure, these could be individuals who have simply run amok, probably chiefly French nationals who have returned from Syria where they became experienced in explosives and fire arms and where they were submerged in a totalitarian ideology, crypto-theory and acts of war. They became monsters, but not an army.

The IS communique spoke of locations that had meticulously been chosen, your own services stress the professionalism of the perpetrators. As far as that is concerned you both speak the same language. But the facts beg to differ. The three who went to the Stade de France where you were attending a friendly against Germany seemed amateurs. They clearly wanted to get inside, possibly to launch an attack against your person; it is possible. But whoever blows himself up next to a McDonald’s and only manages to kill one other person is a poor terrorist. People who need three suicide attacks to kill four others, while minutes later a human mass of 80,000 souls sets itself in motion are bunglers. Someone who together with four others wants to exterminate a concert hall but fails to block the emergency exit is no strategic genius. Someone who steps from a car are shoots at unarmed, innocent civilians on pavement cafes isn’t a soldier schooled in tactics, but a coward, a bastard, a loner who has completely gone off the rails and who has aligned his fate with several other completely derailed individuals. It’s a pack of lone wolves.

Your analysis about a “terrorist army” does not hold water. Your term “act of war” is exceptionally biased, even though this bellicose rhetoric has unashamedly also been adopted by the Dutch Premier Mark Rutte in the Netherlands and Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon in Belgium. In your attempt to placate your nation you threaten to make the world less safe. In your attempt to use forceful language, you have shown your weakness.

Other forms of firmness to bellicose language do exit. Immediately after the attacks in Norway Prime Minister Stoltenberg unreservedly called for “greater democracy, greater openness and greater participation”. In your speech you spoke of freedom. You should also have pointed to two other values of the French Republic: equality and fraternity. I believe there is greater need of these at this minute than of your questionable war rhetoric.

David Van Reybrouck is the author of the award-winning “Congo. A History”. He is a writer of prose, poetry and drama as well as an essayist.

David Van Reybrouck also wrote Dear rest of the world on the Paris crimes and politicians’reactions to it.

Guests at the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel in Antwerp because suspicious on Tuesday night and called the police. They thought that one of the hotel’s guests had been acting suspiciously, but the suspicious person turned out to be no one other than the Red Devils’ [Belgian international football team] star Radja Nainggolan: here.

Radja Nainggolan is of Christian Flemish and Christian Indonesian ancestry.

Tony Blair’s criminal Iraq war

Tony Blair and the truth on the Iraq war, cartoon

By Felicity Arbuthnot in Britain:

Tony Blair’s criminality is plain for all to see

Tuesday 10th November 2015

Recent revelations about Blair’s war plot serve to bolster an already strong case, writes Felicity Arbuthnot

GIVEN the ongoing revelations on the extent of Tony Blair’s duplicitous collusion in the illegal bombing and invasion of Iraq, it seems the “bunker busters” and cruise missiles are finally coming home with a bang.

In what has been dubbed “an apology,” Blair recently took to CNN in an interview with his pal Fareed Zakaria to (sort of) explain himself.

It was no apology but a weasel-worded damage-limitation exercise as more and more revelations of his disregard for law and “to hell with public opinion” attitude surface.

The fault was that “the intelligence we received was wrong,” there were “mistakes in planning” and a failure to understand “what would happen once you removed the regime,” said Blair.

Statements entirely untrue. It is now known he plotted with George W Bush in April 2002, a year before the onslaught, to invade, come what may.

He also found it “hard to apologise for removing Saddam.”

Blair brushed off the mention of a war crimes trial and made it clear that he would have trashed Syria as he did Iraq, had he the chance. Despite being a barrister by training, legality is clearly inconsequential to Blair.

Now no less than Britain’s former director of public prosecutions (2003-8) Sir Ken Macdonald has weighed in against Blair. That he held the post for five years during the Blair regime — Blair resigned in 2007 — makes his onslaught interesting. Ironically Macdonald has his legal practice at London’s Matrix Chambers, which he founded with Blair’s barrister wife Cherie, who continues to practice from there.

In a scathing attack in the Times, Sir Ken stated: “The degree of deceit involved in our decision to go to war on Iraq becomes steadily clearer. This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions.”

Of Blair’s CNN interview, he witheringly said: “Playing footsie on Sunday morning television does nothing to repair the damage.

“It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner, George Bush, and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.”

Macdonald cuttingly cited Blair’s “sycophancy towards power,” being unable to resist the “glamour” he attracted in Washington.

“In this sense he was weak and, as we can see, he remains so.” Ouch.

“Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that, ‘hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right.’

“But this is a narcissist’s defence, and self-belief is no answer to misjudgement: it is certainly no answer to death.” No wonder Sir Ken was the top prosecutor in England and Wales.

His broadside coincides with a further “bombshell revelation” in the Mail on Sunday recently that “on the eve of war” Downing Street “descended into panic” after being told by attorney general Lord Goldsmith that “the conflict could be challenged under international law.”

There was “pandemonium.” Blair was “horrified” and the limited number of ministers and officials who had a copy of the written opinion “were told ‘burn it, destroy it’,” alleges the Mail.

The “burning” hysteria centred on Lord Goldsmith’s 13-page legal opinion of March 7 2003, just two weeks before the attack on Iraq.

The “pandemonium” occurred as, with “the date the war was supposed to start already in the diary,” Goldsmith was still “saying it could be challenged under international law.”

It is not known who ordered the briefing destroyed, but the Mail cites its source as a senior figure in Blair’s government.

No 10 then “got to work on” Lord Goldsmith. Ten days later his lordship produced advice stating the war was legal. It started three days later, leading eminent international law professor Philippe Sands QC to comment: “We went to war on a sheet of A4.”

A Blair spokesman dismissed the alleged order to destroy Lord Goldsmith’s original advice as “nonsense”, claiming that it was “quite absurd to think that anyone could destroy such a document.”

With what is now known about the lies, dodging and diving related to all to do with Iraq under Blair, the realist would surely respond: “Oh no it wouldn’t.”

The US of course stole and destroyed or redacted most of the around 12,000 pages of Iraq’s accounting for its near non-existent weapons, delivered to the UN on December 7 2002, and Blair seemingly faithfully followed his master.

Given the enormous lies and subterfuge on both sides of the Atlantic at the time, it is worth remembering Bush gave an address to students that same December, on the eve of a Nato summit, in which he compared the challenge posed by Saddam with the nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

“We face … perils we’ve never seen before. They’re just as dangerous as those perils that your fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers faced.”

On November 1 this year, in an interview on BBC1, Blair was asked: “If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?”

He replied: “I would still have thought it right to remove [Saddam].

“I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat.”

Thus he would, seemingly, have concocted a different set of lies to justify regime change in a sovereign state.

Perhaps he had forgotten the last line of Lord Goldsmith’s original legal advice: “Regime change cannot be the objective of military action.”

So is Anthony Charles Lynton Blair finally headed for handcuffs and a trial at The Hague?

Ian Williams, senior analyst with US think tank Foreign Policy in Focus, believes that “it’s increasingly serious enough to be worrying to him. And I think Tony Blair is rapidly joining Henry Kissinger and Chilean dictator [Augusto Pinochet] and other people around the world.

“Now, he’s got to consult international lawyers as well as travel agents, before he travels anywhere, because there’s … maybe, a prima facie case for his prosecution either in British courts or foreign courts under universal jurisdiction or with the International Criminal Court, because there is clear evidence now that he is somebody who waged an illegal war of aggression, violating the United Nations charter and was responsible for all of those deaths.”

Justice, inadequate as it might be given the enormity of the crime, may be finally edging closer for the people of Iraq as international law slowly catches up to Tony Blair.

Tony Blair to be quizzed by MPs over his ties to the Gaddafi regime. Exclusive: Former Prime Minister has agreed to appear before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee early next month: here.

Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq war liar, and media

This video says about itself:

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi (Curveball) admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

15 February 2011

• Man codenamed Curveball ‘invented’ tales of bioweapons
• Iraqi told lies to try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime
Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion

Ahmed Chalabi, the convicted embezzler who played a leading role in providing the phony “intelligence” used to justify the US invasion of Iraq, died Tuesday of a heart attack in Baghdad: here.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Friday 6th November 2015

SOLOMON HUGHES looks back at the instrumental role Ahmed Chalabi played as ‘PR man’ for the US Establishment in building the case for the Iraq invasion

The death of Ahmed Chalabi earlier this week prompted a number of obituaries talking about how his Iraqi National Congress “lobbied” or even “fooled” the West into the Iraq war by spreading false WMD stories.

But Chalabi was actually paid by the US government to set up a London office and pump out rubbish stories, many through the British press.

Fleet Street doesn’t like to talk about the lies it is told — which are far worse than any Blair dossier — so it doesn’t always tell the truth about Chalabi.

Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) was one of many anti-Saddam groups. But it was the least effective or popular with Iraqis.

In 1995 Chalabi tried to lead an uprising against Saddam Hussein from Kurdish territory, but Saddam’s forces viciously counter-attacked, making it a bloody failure.

In 2003, when he returned to Iraq on the back of the US invasion, his party never won more than 1 per cent in any Iraqi election.

He was bad at Iraqi resistance or politics. But he was good at spreading lies. The INC acted more like a PR or propaganda group.

It received up to $100 million from first the CIA and then the US State Department.

The money was used to hire PR firms and lobbyists, like the Rendon Group or Burson Marsteller.

The INC’s one successful scheme was the Information Collection Programme, which mostly involved disseminating dodgy “information” from its London offices.

In March 2004 the Knight-Ridder news agency got hold of a letter from the Iraqi National Congress to the US Senate appropriations committee justifying its US funds.

The letter was effectively a bill for stories placed in the press between October 2001 and May 2002 — its regular $4m payment for an “information collection programme” authorised by the US. It reads like an invoice from a PR firm to its client.

The INC listed 108 articles in British and US newspapers that had been inspired by INC material. Many of the newspaper articles contained “information” that was completely untrue.

The INC was invoicing the US government for spreading stories about Saddam’s imaginary WMD programme and false tales about Iraq’s links with al-Qaida.

By paying a private organisation to take control of this part of the information war, the US government was able to put stories into the public arena via the newspapers which were too absurd to put even in their own inflated “dossiers.”

By using a paid-for third party to tell these tall tales, the US government was also able to avoid responsibility for these particular lies after the war.

The INC’s propaganda invoice charges for many stories in the British press. The claims of Iraqi civil engineer Adnan al-Haideri feature heavily in the INC list of stories. He claimed to have built underground biowarfare labs and worked on an Iraqi nuclear programme.

The INC list includes an article by Marie Colvin in the Sunday Times

owned by Rupert Murdoch, like the Times

(March 17 2002) headlined “Saddam’s arsenal revealed,” publicising Haideri’s claims.

According to Colvin, a second defector revealed the existence of seven mobile biological labs “disguised as milk trucks.”

Colvin quotes an unnamed official describing the information as “high-grade” and expresses no scepticism. Neither the underground nor mobile labs existed.

The INC also claimed credit for two articles by Damian Whitworth in the Times in December 2001 uncritically reporting Haideri’s claims “about the acceleration of President Saddam Hussein’s work on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.”

Also on the list is a December 2002 article by Andrew Gumbel of the Independent and a story by Toby Moore in the Express, both reporting Haideri’s claims without scepticism.

The INC also cites Ben Fenton in the Telegraph on the same subject, under the banner “Defector tells of Saddam’s nuclear arms.”

Christopher Hitchens also features prominently in the INC’s list of articles, including his March 2002 piece for the Evening Standard.

Hitchens stated Saddam was “within a measurable distance of acquiring doomsday materials.” He praised the “heroic” Chalabi, “the symbolic and actual head of the Iraqi opposition” and his “information concerning the whereabouts of the Ba’ath Party’s weapons of mass destruction.”

The INC list also cited a Hitchens article for the Guardian in the same month. This time Hitchens stated Saddam “certainly has nerve gas and chemical weapons.”

Hitchens’s piece shows all the hallmarks of INC “information.” He cited the discredited exile Khidir Hamza to show that Iraq would soon have nuclear weapons and used an INC source to show Saddam was linked to the September 11 attacks.

The linkage between Saddam and terrorism feature heavily in the INC’s list. Roping Iraq into the war on terror was one of the central functions of the INC.

Claims that Saddam was behind September 11 are prominent in the list of INC propaganda funded by the US.

They highlight a March 2002 piece by Toby Harnden in the Daily Telegraph saying that Saddam “armed bin Laden and funded al-Qaida allies.”

Relying on INC information, Harnden reported that “Iraq sent conventional and perhaps biological or chemical weapons to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.” The piece quotes former CIA boss James Woolsey and Chalabi.

The list includes a November 2001 piece in the Times by Richard Beeston on the city of Salman Pak headlined: “Saddam’s terror training camp teaches hijacking.”

Beeston’s account, “along with similar testimony from other recent Iraqi defectors, is likely to increase suspicions in America that President Saddam Hussein may have had a hand in the September 11 attacks.”

The INC list also features a November 2001 2,500-word “Focus Special” by David Rose of the Observer which claimed Saddam was not only behind the September 11 attacks but also probably linked to the spate of US anthrax letters.

Rose has given a very honest examination and explanation of how he got caught up in these WMD lies. But none of the newspapers has explained to their readers how or why they pumped out Chalabi’s propaganda.

His death was one last opportunity for the British press to examine their role in the worst reporting failure for decades, one that helped lead to death and destruction. It is an opportunity that, with rare exceptions, they did not take.

America’s Chalabi legacy of lies: here.