Iraq war, a criminal war


This video from Britain says about itself:

‘World’s worst terrorist’: Families attack Tony Blair as Chilcot Inquiry is published

6 July 2016

Sister of a serviceman killed in the Iraq War has branded Tony Blair the “world’s worst terrorist”, as the families reacted to the Chilcot report. Report by Sarah Johnston.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

The lessons of a criminal war

Thursday 7th July 2016

AT NO juncture in the Chilcot report are the words “lie” or “crime” juxtaposed with the name Tony Blair, but inquiry conclusions leave no doubt about culpability.

Blair has seen every accusation against him and been able to defend himself and yet the final report strips bare the web of lies he span to justify his determination to invade Iraq at George W Bush’s behest.

Career civil servant Sir John Chilcot couches his statements in moderate language, but the inferences are clear.

Blair first discussed regime change in Iraq with the US president shortly after the September 2001 al-Qaida atrocities in the US.

His July 2002 secret letter to Bush, promising “I will be with you, whatever,” committed this country to war.

His chosen task of confecting a pretext for war the following March involved misuse of intelligence, assisted by spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and the “far from satisfactory” manner in which Lord Goldsmith’s legal opinion was compiled.

As a lawyer, Blair knew that invoking regime change to invade Iraq was against international law.

Washington routinely disregards international law, but it could have proved problematic for Blair, which is why he encouraged and relied on fabricated assessments of Iraq’s capacity to deploy chemical and biological weapons — Campbell’s “dodgy dossier.”

Despite claims that all the world’s intelligence agencies believed at the time that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), UN weapons inspectors sent to the country after the first Iraq war 1991 reported all WMD destroyed.

Subsequent Iraq-wide inspections led by Hans Blix in 2002 and early 2003 found no trace of WMD before UN inspectors were forced to end their work because the long-planned invasion was about to begin.

The US-UK blitzkrieg soon defeated the Iraqi armed forces, prompting Bush’s Mission Accomplished braggadocio aboard a US warship, but the occupying powers’ destructive excesses sparked popular resistance to the occupation and sowed seeds of subsequent sectarian and national conflict.

Having crushed Saddam’s armies, the occupiers set about destroying Iraq as a state, until then among the most advanced in the Arab world.

The police, armed forces and civil service were disbanded while personnel learned they would receive no more salaries or pensions.

Ministries, apart from the oil ministry, were abandoned to looters, while state infrastructure, from power generation to clean water provision, was destroyed, opening the way for lucrative contracts for Halliburton and Bush’s other corporate paymasters.

Sectarian strife encouraged by Washington gave rise to Islamic State (Isis), even though Blair pretends that Isis was born in Syria.

His claim that there was no way of knowing that his war would bring about disaster for British troops and Iraqi civilians is dismissed by Chilcot, who does “not agree that hindsight is required.”

More pertinently, Jeremy Corbyn warned at the time that invasion would “set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation.”

Yet Blairite MP Ian Austin had the gall to heckle the Labour leader’s dignified response to David Cameron’s self-justifying parliamentary introduction to Chilcot.

Pro-war colleagues whined their support for Blair, defending their 2003 votes and accepting no responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of imperialist aggression.

Their abject backing for a man dubbed “the world’s worst terrorist” by Sarah O’Connor, whose soldier brother was killed in Iraq, confirmed their estrangement from not only Labour members but wider public opinion.

That these defenders of Blair’s crimes are the most ardent advocates of Corbyn’s resignation to be replaced by one of their own speaks volumes for their political degeneracy.

It confirms the need for Corbyn to remain as Labour leader.

Tony Blair was specifically warned that Isis could come into being – and now we’re paying the price. The Chilcot report specifically states that Blair had been warned this could happen, in great detail: here.

John Prescott reveals his guilt at the ‘illegal’ Iraq War will haunt him for the rest of his life: here.

Chilcot inquiry: Black ops in Iraq caused split between US and UK. How tensions grew between the American and British military as the security situation in Iraq unravelled: here.

Prosecute Blair for Iraq war, dead soldiers’ families say


This video from Britain about the Iraq war says about itself:

Military Families Against The War

27 September 2006

Represented by Rose Gentle at the Manchester Time to Go Demo.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 6 July 2016:

Chilcot report: Families of Iraq War dead lead calls for Tony Blair to be prosecuted

Families and MPs among those calling for Mr Blair to face legal action

Adam Lusher

The father of a soldier who died in Iraq has issued a stinging rebuke to Tony Blair amid calls for the former prime minister to face legal action over the invasion.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2005, said he had listened in amazement as Mr Blair delivered a 6,000-word statement in response to the Chilcot Report.

“I listened,” said Mr Bacon, “And I listened, and listened and listened as he went on and on and on.

“I began to feel that actually what was happening was that I was hearing Iraq Report Mark II – one that was completely different to the report Sir John Chilcot has just published.”

“I was amazed really,” added Mr Bacon, a former police officer.  “I knew he was going to make a statement, but then he started going into such forensic detail, disappearing down the road of what was happening now and what was happening in the future.  It was as if he was writing Iraq Report II.   It was one huge justification for his actions.”

Earlier Mr Bacon had revealed that he and other bereaved relatives were considering legal action against the former Prime Minister, at a press conference where the sister of one dead soldier called Mr Blair “the world’s worst terrorist”.

The shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn said the Iraq Inquiry’s findings amounted to an “utter condemnation” of Mr Blair’s “terrible” decision to commit British troops to the US-led invasion and prosecution of the former statesman should be given “serious consideration”.

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he would like to see Mr Blair investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a crime of aggression and face parliamentary action to stop him holding public office again.

And a former director of public prosecutions said the report indicated Mr Blair could face charges of misconduct in public office.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said it “seemed very likely” Mr Blair has “roundly abused” the trust placed in him by the public and that he had twisted the evidence that provided the justification for going to war.

After listening to Mr Blair, Mr Bacon laughed out loud at the ex-Prime Minister’s insistence that the Chilcot Report stated that Parliament and Cabinet had not been misled.

He directed Mr Blair to Sir John’s statement that: “We have also concluded that the judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”

Mr Bacon, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work helping other bereaved service families, said: “We were misled and the report effectively says so in black and white.” …

Mr Blair’s press conference performance came after Mr Bacon’s wife Maureen had predicted to The Independent: “I am sure he [Mr Blair] will be well rehearsed again when the report comes out.”

The retired primary school teacher had added that Mr Blair “Will be able to go back to his family, but 179 families will live the rest of their lives without their sons or daughters. And then there are all those who were injured, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died.  And after all this time, Iraq is still in a dreadful state.” …

Last March, Mr and Mrs Bacon had travelled to Iraq, to the spot where their son was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).

Rejecting Mr Blair’s insistence that he would “never, ever accept that those troops who got injured or gave their lives did so in vain,” Mr Bacon said: “Having been on the ground, meeting people out there and seeing something of it, all I can say is that I do not think that what occurred in Iraq was worthwhile.

“Do I feel that Matthew lost his life in a worthwhile cause?  The answer is no.”

I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair’s actions caused

Also from The Independent, today:

The Sun has deleted its list of ‘Iraq war traitors’ from 2003

by Louis Doré

The Sun appears to have deleted their 2003 story instructing readers to cut out and use the faces of those who opposed the Iraq war as a dartboard. …

“You can aim your own missiles at the cowards and traitors who opted to support Saddam Hussein rather than the brave troops who laid down their lives for freedom.

These are the people who wrongly told us that war would last months, the Iraqi people did not want it and many thousands of civilians and coalition soldiers would die.”

It targeted among others:

George Galloway

Jacques Chirac

Vladimir Putin

Lord Hunt

Robin Cook

Bob Crow

John Denham

Charles Kennedy

Clare Short

Kofi Annan

The story urged readers to cut out the dartboard and “launch your missiles”.

Robin Cook’s 2003 resignation speech to parliament over Iraq: here.

TONY BLAIR took Britain into war in Iraq before all “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted,” Sir John Chilcot said yesterday in the damning conclusion to his seven-year inquiry: here.

TONY BLAIR should be forced out of the Labour Party following the Chilcot Inquiry’s scathing assessment of his involvement in the Iraq invasion, an anti-war group said yesterday after paying respects to dead soldiers: here.

‘Blair toppled Saddam, brought 1,000 Saddams to Iraq’


Rumsfeld meets Saddam Hussein

The Iraq war of Tony Blair, George W Bush and his ‘Defence’ Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was based on lies.

They said the war was because of ‘Iraqi weapons of mass destruction‘. Oops … a lie.

They said the war was because the Iraqi regime was guilty in the 9/11 attacks in the USA. Oops … another lie.

As the two other lies were exposed, the Bushist-Blairite apologists for the Iraq war changed their propaganda to a third issue: Saddam Hussein, they said, was a dictator, and they wanted to replace him by war with democracy.

That Saddam Hussein was a dictator had not been the slightest problem for Donald Rumsfeld when he had gone to Iraq as US government special envoy to shake hands with Saddam and to try to sell him more United States poison gas to kill more Iraqi Kurds.

Pretty soon, it became so obvious, in the torture cells of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, in the disastrous fate of Iraqi women under Bush’s, Rumsfeld’s and Blair’s occupation, in the over a million people killed, in the over four million refugees etc. etc. that the Bushist-Blairite talk of democracy in Iraq was such a lie as well that the propagandists became fairly silent on it.

In 2015, Tony Blair went a step further. He said that he did not want democracy. Though that sounds, and is, pro-dictatorship, at least it was unusually honest for Blair, compared to his earlier lies.

Also in 2015, Donald Rumsfeld followed Blair’s example, saying he did not want democracy in Iraq.

Ali Abbas, who as a 12-year-old lost both arms and 16 family members in a United States airstrike on his country Iraq, recently said about George W Bush and Tony Blair’s war on Iraq:

They took away one Saddam Hussein and gave us many, many Saddam Husseins: killers, and also the corruption, because Iraq is so corrupt now.

What does another Iraqi say about this? From daily The Independent in Britain, 6 July 2016:

‘Saddam is gone, but in his place there are 1,000 Saddams’

Max Bearak

It is an image seared in the minds of war-ready and war-weary Americans alike. Just weeks after the invasion of Iraq, American armored vehicles bore down on Firdos Square in downtown Baghdad, where an emboldened man had already taken a sledgehammer to the base of a statue of Saddam Hussein.

That man, Kadhim Sharif al-Jabouri, had once repaired the Hussein family’s motorcycles, but was also imprisoned by Hussein after falling out of favor. He says that 14 or 15 members of his family were executed by Hussein’s regime.

In an interview aired Tuesday by the BBC, more than 13 years after the invasion, Jabouri speaks of his longing for the relative peace of the years before it.

“Now, when I go by that statue, I feel pain and shame. I ask myself, why did I topple that statue?” said Jabouri. The toppling of the statue became the iconic image of the beginning of the invasion. It conveyed hope — although many have since alleged that the whole scene was more or less staged. …

Iraq is yet to fully emerge from the bloodbath the invasion precipitated. …

Jabouri has long since left Baghdad, which he found to be too unsafe for his family. He now lives in Beirut, along with more than 1 million refugees from Iraq, Syria and Palestine, who have added incredible stress to Lebanon’s public infrastructure and services. Once a weightlifter and wrestler, he now continues with the hobby that brought him into contact with the Hussein family in the first place: motorcycle repair.

He, like many interviewed in my colleague Loveday Morris’s reporting, blames the current situation squarely on the Iraqi government. After the American invasion, he says, things got worse every year. “There was corruption, infighting, killing, looting. Saddam killed people, but it was nothing like this current government,” he said. “Saddam is gone, but in his place there are 1,000 Saddams.”

And that government was instituted by the invading coalition. For them, Jabouri had these words: “Bush and Blair are liars. They destroyed Iraq and took us back to zero, and took us back to the Middle Ages or earlier. If I was a criminal, I would kill them with my bare hands.”

British daily The Independent updates about the Chilcot report on the Iraq war: here.

Even British Chilcot semi-whitewash damning for Blair’s Iraq war


This video says about itself:

Chilcot Report Reveals Tony Blair’s Pledge to George W. Bush

6 July 2016

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a memo to then-U.S. President George W. Bush where he pledged “I will be with you, whatever.”

The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime, by Owen Jones: here.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

A bloody shambles: Blair didn’t tell truth about WMDs, didn’t tell truth about deal with Bush, and didn’t the truth about warnings of fallout– how Britain went to war in Iraq

Chilcot report: Tony Blair convinced himself Iraq had WMDs – but intelligence ‘did not justify’ his certainty

Damning conclusion finds former Prime Minister deliberately blurred lines between what he believed and what he knew

Andy McSmith, Charlie Cooper

Tony Blair convinced himself that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though the secret intelligence reports he had been shown “did not justify” his certainty, Sir John Chilcot concluded.

In a direct contradiction to what Mr Blair asserted to the Iraq Inquiry, Sir John found that he and George W Bush were made fully aware of the risk the country could descend into sectarian violence after the fall of Saddam Hussein, yet went to war regardless.

The issue of whether the then Prime Minister lied to Parliament to justify the UK’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq has been a source of damaging controversy for more than 13 years.

Follow the latest live updates

And while Sir John did not use the word “lie” – in fact his report specified that it “is not questioning” that Mr Blair believed in those non-existent WMDs – his damning conclusion is that the former Prime Minister deliberately blurred the distinction between what he believed and what he actually knew.

Sir John said the risks of internal strife, regional instability and the burgeoning of al-Qaeda in Iraq “were each explicitly identified”, yet planning and preparations for Iraq after Hussein were “wholly inadequate”.

He also criticised intelligence chiefs for allowing the Prime Minister to get away with misrepresenting what they had told him when he presented his now notorious dossier to the House of Commons in September 2002.

“The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified,” he said.

“The Joint Intelligence Committee should have made clear to Mr Blair that the assessed intelligence had not established ‘beyond doubt’ either that Iraq had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued.” …

Sir John’s report damningly added that as the prospect loomed that the US was going to invade Iraq whatever the British decided, the intelligence chiefs gave “no consideration” to the possibility that Saddam Hussein was – for once –telling the truth when he said that his regime had destroyed all the chemical weapons it possessed and used in the 1980s.

During August 2002, Tony Blair became worried about speculation that the US and UK had decided to invade Iraq but were not telling the public. His response to that pressure was to present Parliament with the dossier summarising the available intelligence, and a foreword in which he put his own interpretation on what he believed it meant. His foreword included the discredited claim that “military planning allows for some of the WMDs to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them.”

According to the Chilcot report: “The deliberate selection of a formulation which grounded the statement in what Mr Blair believed, rather than in the judgements which the JIC had actually reached in its assessment of the intelligence indicates a distinction between his beliefs and the JIC’s actual judgements.

“The assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.

“Nor had the assessed intelligence established beyond doubt that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued… The dossier made clear that, as long as sanctions remained effective, Iraq could not produce a nuclear weapon.”

The Iraq government announced in November 2002 – four months before the invasion – that it no longer had any weapons of mass destruction, but Mr Blair refused to believe it. Speaking on the telephone to President George W. Bush the following month he said that the Iraqi declaration was “patently false” and that he was “cautiously optimistic” that weapons inspectors would be able to prove that the Iraqis were lying. Two days later, he issued a statement saying that “this obvious falsehood”  meant that Saddam Hussein had “rejected the pathway to peace.”

Sir John’s report concluded: “The decision to use force – a very serious decision for any government to take – provoked profound controversy in relation to Iraq and became even more controversial when it was subsequently found that Iraq’s programmes to develop and produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons had been dismantled. It continues to shape debates on national security policy.

“Although the coalition had achieved the removal of a brutal regime which had defied the United Nations and which was seen as a threat to peace and security, it failed to achieve the goals it had set for a new Iraq.”

From September 2002, six months before the invasion, Foreign Office and intelligene reports raised the alarm that the war would create an “easier environment for terrorists” and the destabilisation of the country.

An FCO paper on Islamism in Iraq, shared with the Americans in December 2002, even foreshadowed the rise of extremist groups like Isis which went on to exploit the chaos of post-war Iraq.

It warned that it was likely groups would be looking for “identities and ideologies on which to base movements” and anticipated that a number of emergent extremist groups would use violence to pursue political ends.

Isis, which 11 years after the invasion declared a caliphate in Iraq, remains in control of vast swathes of the country, including its second city Mosul. The group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing in Baghdad, the death toll of which has now risen to 250– the worst such attack since the invasion in 2003.

“Mr Blair told the inquiry that the difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance,” Sir John said, as he released the report in London on Wednesday morning.

“We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and al Qaeda activity in Iraq, were explicitly identified before the invasion.”

Chilcot report destroys Blair’s case for war: here.

Families of bereaved speak on Chilcot: here.

Reg Keys hits out as Tony Blair set to avoid Iraq trial after Chilcot Report: here.

Chilcot Report: Bereaved families say Tony Blair is ‘the world’s worst terrorist’ and we want to see him in court. Relatives of servicepeople killed in Iraq are looking to use the report as the basis for legal action – with Tony Blair one of their main targets: here.

Tony Blair Got It Wrong: He And George W. Bush Did Fuel Terrorism: here.

No impunity for Blair’s Iraq war, dead soldier’s parents say


This video says about itself:

IRAQ WAR: BLAIR ACCUSED ON TERRORISM AND WMD

17 March 2015

Dr Hans Blix (Former UN Chief Weapons Inspector) interview

Talks of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush being convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction / Have to weigh the evidence before war / 9/11 motivated the Americans / Talks of military action based on poor intelligence / Iraq war has been breeding a lot of new terrorism /

Policy of containment had worked in the case of Iraq.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Chilcot Report: Parents of major killed in Iraq say Blair must now face legal action

A leader who sends a country’s soldiers to fight unnecessarily must face ‘consequences … because the consequences for the people they send is that some of them die,’ father says

Adam Lusher

The parents of the 95th British serviceman to be killed in Iraq have said there would be “something terribly wrong with our political process” if the Chilcot Report did not produce grounds for the families of dead soldiers to take legal action over the Iraq war.

Roger and Maureen Bacon lost their son Matthew, 34, a major in the Intelligence Corps, when his Snatch Land Rover was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Basra on 11 September 2005.

Speaking to The Independent hours before the long-awaited publication of Sir John Chilcot’s report on the Iraq War, Mr and Mrs Bacon accused Tony Blair of betraying their son and misleading Britain into a war that was “a total and utter catastrophe”.

However the former Prime Minister is expected to escape condemnation in the report, although Sir John revealed on the eve of the report’s publication that there were “more than a few” decisions which would be criticised.

There is already a growing backlash against the anticipated findings of the Chilcot Report, with Conservative commentator Peter Oborne arguing that “if Chilcot fails to nail Blair’s lies, it’s final proof our democracy is broken”.

And Mr Bacon, a retired police officer, said there had to be “consequences” for leaders who sent soldiers to war unnecessarily.

“Because the consequences for the people they send is that some of them die doing the job they were told to do,” he said.

As a result of the Chilcot Report, he added, “there has to be a basis for some kind of [legal] action, to ensure this never happens again. If not, I would say there is something terribly wrong with the political process.”

He added that the British and American intervention in Iraq had been “a total and utter catastrophe that was completely unnecessary”.

After Major Bacon died, Mr Bacon found himself thrust into the role of an unofficial spokesman for some of the families of the 179 service personnel who died in Iraq.

He was also awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2016 New Year Honours list for his work as the founder chairman of the Bereaved Families Support Group of the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA.

He revealed that he and his wife had been highly sceptical about the grounds for war right from the start. In February 2003 Mrs Bacon, a retired primary school teacher, had even marched through London along with a million others to voice her opposition to military action.

“It was my quiet protest,” she said. “There were a lot of people from military families there. The US wanted us to go in, and it was Blair who dragged us in. We were absolutely, completely misled by Tony Blair.”

She added that when she told her son she was going on the anti-war march, “he just said ‘If that’s what you want to do, mum, that’s fine”.

Mr Bacon explained: “Most soldiers would assume that if their senior officers told them ‘You are going to be doing this’ it would be the right thing to do – that the whole campaign was the right thing to do, because the Government wouldn’t do it otherwise.”

Which meant, Mr Bacon said: “From our point of view, Matthew was betrayed. Because the full facts weren’t there. Blair was the one who persuaded Parliament.

“We were misled into believing that there were weapons of mass destruction and that the intelligence showed we needed to do something about it.”

Mr Bacon added that he had been incredulous when he saw Mr Blair tell Parliament that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that were deployable with 45 minutes.

“I thought to myself ‘really?!’ It was part of the argument to make us feel directly threatened by WMD, as if Saddam had something like a Soviet-style intercontinental ballistic missile system.

“I thought to myself that if he really had that kind of sophisticated system, the intelligence on it would be a lot more solid than just a dodgy dossier.”

Mr Bacon also accused Mr Blair of delaying military planning and equipment procurement for the war “because he didn’t want it to be seen that he was pre-empting any UN resolution, he was manipulating the system”.

The result, said Mr Bacon, was that his son died in a Snatch Land Rover with inadequate detection systems to protect against IEDs that could go through the insufficiently armoured vehicle “like a knife through butter”.

Mr Bacon said: “Matthew’s was the 27th incident in which a serviceman got killed travelling in a Snatch Land Rover. The first incident had been in 2004. With Snatch Land Rovers it was like Russian roulette.

“If the IED had been laid on that patrol’s route, and if the insurgents had people in place to set it off, then that vehicle was going to get hit.”

Mr and Mrs Bacon said they would wait until they had seen the contents of the Chilcot Report before deciding precisely what legal action they and other bereaved relatives might take.

But when asked what he hoped the Chilcot Report would tell them, Mr Bacon replied: “It’s simple really – the truth as to why Matthew died.

“It was completely unnecessary.”

Last March Mr and Mrs Bacon travelled with a BBC Panorama crew to Basra, to see where the spot where their “always smiling, always joking” son died.

“We wanted to see for ourselves why Matthew lost his life,” said Mrs Bacon. “You try to make sense of it all … but you don’t succeed.

“It doesn’t get better. It gets worse. You don’t get over it. It doesn’t work that way when you have lost your child.

“You make your way through the fog as best you can. Because Matthew wouldn’t have wanted us to mope.”

Mr Blair, she said, “will be able to go back to his family, but 179 families will live the rest of their lives without their sons or daughters. And then there are all those who were injured, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died.  And after all this time, Iraq is still in a dreadful state.”

Mr Blair, she said, had declined to meet with them and other bereaved families.

But she had gone to the Iraq inquiry to see him give evidence.

“He acted his way through,” said Mrs Bacon. “It was like going to the theatre and watching a production where everyone had already learned their lines.

“I am sure he will be well rehearsed again when the report comes out. He will pop up abroad again, on a phenomenal salary.  What do they call him? Teflon Tony.”

Iraqi boy lost family, arms to Pentagon, now facing racism in Britain


This video says about itself:

Exclusive: Ali Abbas blames Britain and the US for troubles in Iraq

23 June 2014

12 year old Ali Abbas lost both of his arms and was severely burnt in a US missile strike on Baghdad. His mother and father and other members of his family were killed.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

‘Why don’t you go back to your country?’ UK border official allegedly asks man orphaned in the UK-US invasion of Iraq

Ali Abbas, who as a 12-year-old lost both arms and 16 family members in a US airstrike, says he was brought close to tears by a UK official

Adam Lusher

The orphan whose family was killed and who was himself maimed by a missile fired by Western forces in the Iraq War has said he was brought close to tears by a British border official who told him to “Go back to your country”.

On the eve of the Chilcot report into Britain’s role in Iraq, Ali Abbas who as a 12-year-old became a symbol of the war’s victims, said a border force security guard at London St Pancras station questioned his right to live in the UK after he returned on the Eurostar from a trip to Belgium.

Mr Abbas, now 25 and a British citizen, lost his mother, father, younger brother and 13 other family members when an American missile struck his home on the southern edge of Baghdad on 30 March 2013.

Both his arms had to be amputated and he suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body. Photographed in an Iraqi hospital, he became the face of victims of the UK and US-led invasion.

Thanks to money donated by the British public, he was able to come to England for treatment. With no sign of the death and destruction in his home country abating, he took British citizenship in 2010.

He has a younger half-brother who is now in the Iraqi army fighting on the front line against Isis.

But he told The Independent that when he returned on the Eurostar at about 6.30pm on 18 April, the only people stopped by security were him and his Iraqi-born friend Ahmed Hamza, who like him had grown up in England after losing limbs – a lower leg and a hand – in a coalition attack.

He said: “I was telling my friend I was so happy to come back home. Because Britain is my home now.  And then the security man stopped only us – because we were the ones who looked not British.

“This person brought tears into my eyes. He didn’t give me any chance to say anything. He took our British passports and said ‘Why don’t you go back to your country?  Why are you living here?”

“I told him this is what happened to us and Britain brought us here.”

“He could clearly see I had no arms,” Mr Abbas added. “This is what happened to me because of the war. It is only because of the war that I am in Britain.

“But he was shaking his head as he looked at my passport. He said: ‘It’s a British Government decision, but I’m not happy with it.’

“I was so upset, so shocked.”

Mr Abbas insisted that the vast majority of British people had been kind to him.

He said: “Of course, you will find bad people everywhere, but the British are really good people.”

Mr Abbas added, however: “Britain has changed in the last couple of years, because of what they hear about Isis. They are always thinking Muslims when they speak about Isis. But 99 per cent of Isis’ victims are Muslim. People here need to know that Isis are not Muslims. They have nothing to do with my religion.”

As he awaited Sir John Chilcot’s report into the Iraq war, Mr Abbas also told The Independent that he would like to ask Tony Blair “whether he regrets what he has done”.

He said: “Of course I am angry. I have to blame them [Bush and Blair]. They should not have gone to war. They should have done a better job with the reconstruction. I have lost my arms, my parents, my brother.  And you can see what is happening to my country.”

He added: “They took away one Saddam Hussein and gave us many, many Saddam Husseins: killers, and also the corruption, because Iraq is so corrupt now.

“I didn’t like Saddam. He was a dictator. But now the situation is probably worse. Lots and lots of people are still being killed. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost a member of their family. My country is gone, destroyed.”

The Independent has asked the Home Office for comment on the incident at the Eurostar terminal.

Chilcot report: How Tony Blair and George W Bush’s ‘liberation’ of Iraq backfired

Chilcot report: Tony Blair planned to go to war before UN resolution, says former naval chief. ‘They’d bloody decided. That’s the reality,’ says Admiral Lord West: here.

British dead soldiers’ families boycott Iraq war report


This video from Britain says about itself:

Families of dead service personnel demand answers over phone hacking claims

8 July 2011

The families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have had their phones hacked by News of the World investigators, it’s been claimed. MPH Solicitors – whose clients include Samantha Roberts, widow of Sgt Steven Roberts, the first British soldier killed in combat in Iraq in 2003 – called for clarity from authorities over the claims.

Solicitor Geraldine McCool said the firm had been contacted by press on Wednesday over the allegations surrounding high-profile military inquests in 2006 and 2007. …

And a lawyer for Rose Gentle, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed in Iraq in 2004, said he had contacted police to find out if the phones of Ms Gentle and other families were targeted. Steven Heffer, of Collyer Bristow Solicitors, said: “It is imperative that the families get to the bottom of this issue very quickly as any delay only adds to their grief and suffering. I am hoping the police will deal with their requests for information quickly and sympathetically.” …

Yesterday it was announced the paper would be shut down, with its last edition to be published on Sunday. Today David Cameron‘s former Communications chief, and former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, is reported to be facing arrest as part of the investigation into the hacking. Mr Coulson was recruited by the Prime Minister after resigning as editor of the paper four years ago when one of its journalists and a private investigator were jailed for accessing voice-messages.

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

‘Whitewash’ Iraq report faces boycott by families

Tuesday 5th July 2016

FAMILIES of soldiers killed in Iraq will boycott the launch of the Chilcot report tomorrow, fearing a “whitewash” following claims that it never looked into the legality of the war.

Sir John Chilcot will tomorrow unveil his report into Britain’s part in the Iraq war — seven years after the public inquiry was announced by then-prime minister Gordon Brown.

The International Criminal Court has already indicated that Tony Blair, who took the country to war, will not face prosecution as the decision to go to war in Iraq “falls outside the court’s jurisdiction.”

Julia Nicholson, whose son Gary died when his plane was shot down in 2005, said she was “absolutely disgusted,” adding: “I’m not going because it will be a whitewash.”

She accused Tony Blair of having “blood on his hands” and warned “he will have covered his back and [then US president George W] Bush’s back.”

And Janice Procter, whose 18-year-old son Michael Trench was one of the youngest Britons to be killed in the conflict, said that Mr Blair had “put 179 kids to the slaughter. There’s no justice.”

Ms Procter said she would not attend the launch as the report would not bring her any comfort or closure.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed in 2005, said he expected the report to reveal “what I’ve always believed, which is that [Mr Blair] took us to war illegally.

“If it’s a whitewash I will be hugely disappointed, no question of that.”

And David Godfrey, whose grandson Daniel Coffey was killed in 2007, branded Mr Blair a “war criminal” and said “he has to be held responsible.”

Lord Butler, who carried out the 2004 review of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), said the legality of the war “wasn’t actually put to [Mr Chilcot] and, of course, his review team wasn’t equipped properly to deal with that legal issue.”

However, a number of MPs are expected to try to impeach Mr Blair, and at the weekend shadow chancellor John McDonnell refused to rule out trying Mr Blair for war crimes.