Dutch government warned Blair on Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rupert Murdoch Pressured Tony Blair Over Iraq

18 June 2012

Rupert Murdoch joined in an “over-crude” attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell’s government diaries. In another blow to the media mogul, who told the Leveson inquiry that he had never tried to influence any prime minister, Campbell’s diary says Murdoch warned Blair in a phone call of the dangers of a delay in Iraq…”.* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

*Read more here from Nicholas Watt in The Guardian.

Translated from Nu.nl in the Netherlands:

‘Balkenende warned Blair against invading Iraq

December 13, 2015 21:00

Former [Dutch] Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 [when they were both Prime Minister] that an attack on Iraq could lead to civil war in that country. …

[United States] President Barack Obama recently said that ISIS is an “unintended consequence” of the United State war on Iraq.

Balkenende is a right-wing politician. Unfortunately, Blair preferred to listen to other right-wingers; more powerful but less realist on Iraq: George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch.

Unfortunately, his relative ‘realism’ did not stop Balkenende later from sending Dutch troops to help occupy Iraq. Balkenende did not want Dutch Big Business like Shell oil to miss out on the spoils of bloody war in Iraq.

Warmonger Tony Blair not a ‘moderate’


This video from England says about itself:

Thousands of ardent “Stop Bombing Syriaanti-war protesters marching towards 10 Downing Street, London.

Saturday 12th December 2015, the marchers were on Haymarket Street (near Piccadilly Circus); they were on their way to 10 Downing Street (the home of the UK Prime Minister; David Cameron) to voice their concerns at the decision by the British government to start bombing Syria.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

World turned on its head by Blairites

Monday 14th December 2015

Burgon slams those claiming war criminal is a ‘moderate’

LABOUR frontbencher Richard Burgon took on Jeremy Corbyn’s critics head on yesterday, accusing those who view Tony Blair as the moderate of living in a “topsy-turvy” world.

The shadow treasury minister argued that “demonising” Mr Corbyn for opposing the bombing of Syria while “pretending that Mr Blair and others “got it right in Iraq” was wrong.

Speaking on the BBC Sunday Politics programme, Mr Burgon said: “It’s part of an open democratic process and people shouldn’t be demonised for being part of it and Jeremy Corbyn certainly shouldn’t be demonised for being part of it.

“It’s a topsy-turvy world we’re in when attending Stop the War events is controversial. We’re still pretending that Tony Blair and others got it right in Iraq is seen as moderate. That’s a topsy-turvy world indeed.”

He said the attacks on Stop the War were “proxy attacks” on the Labour leader.

“When Charles Kennedy was speaking at the 2003 demonstration against the Iraq War which two million people attended, the Liberal Democrats and Charles Kennedy weren’t attacked for that and quite rightly so.”

And Blair’s own deputy prime minister John Prescott waded into the row yesterday, saying that some Labour members were continuing “a war that they lost.”

He branded those who had failed to accept Mr Corbyn’s leadership as “bitterites.”

Mr Corbyn refused to drop out of a Stop the War fundraiser last week despite sniping from rightwingers.

He was not present at this weekend’s protests against Syrian airstrikes, but sent a message of solidarity to Stop the War chair Andrew Murray to be read out at the day’s rally.

It said: “The anti-war movement has been a vital force at the heart of our democracy.

“The attacks on it as somehow illegitimate are an attempt to close down democratic debate and campaigning.

“We in Parliament will hold this government to account for the conduct of their campaign — and step up the pressure to bring the conflict to an end.”

KIERAN CROWE
North London

I’m here because the Stop the War Coalition has been absolutely right for the last 15 years. We should have never gone into an aggressive war in the Middle East. It’s brilliant that we’ve been able to keep this going and that we finally have a leader of the Labour Party who supports us and we support him.

I think it’s a fantastic show of unity today, despite the ridiculous controversy that’s been in the media. There will be more of these demonstrations and I urge more people to get involved.

TOM HAYES
Manchester

I am here today because obviously I am opposing the bombing of Syria. I hope it stops. It’s related to that, but also in terms of more generally the leadership of the Labour Party and austerity.

The anti-war movement has been attacked by the media and by the political class and we have to defend our right to protest. If we don’t, then we have lost a big argument about international policy and it will weaken what has been recently a more hopeful situation for the left. It’s all connected.

NICOLA BELLE
University of East London

I’m the black students officer at my university and I felt I needed to come to represent my students. They are against the bombing.

This video from London, England says about itself:

Peter Brierley, Military Families Against the War: Stop Bombing Syria. Demonstration 12 12 2015.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

‘I lost a son in war, in Syria they’re losing entire villages

Monday 14th December 2015

THE father of a soldier killed in Iraq reduced anti-war protesters to tears at the weekend with a moving speech opposing British bombings in Syria.

Peter Brierley, whose son Shaun died in action in 2003, was addressing the thousands of people who attended Saturday’s Stop the War Coalition demonstration in London, where the Military Families Against the War spokesman took to the stage along with politicians and religious leaders.

“I lost my son and people often say to me: ‘I don’t know what it’s like. I can’t imagine what you feel like to have lost a son’,” said Mr Brierley.

“It’s only recently that I started thinking that, in a village in Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq, they are not losing a son, they are losing a family.

“They are losing their neighbours. They are losing practically their whole village. I cannot imagine how that feels.”

Speaking about David Cameron’s push for British air strikes in Syria, he added: “The gentleman in there thinks bombing brings peace — I wouldn’t want to live in his house. You cannot bring peace by bombing. The only way to bring peace is by negotiation.”

His words of solidarity with the Syrian people were delivered after a peaceful march from Broadcasting House to Downing Street brought traffic to a halt.

Syrian priest Nadim Nassar also addressed the march, saying: “It seems it is very difficult to learn from our history.

“I’ll tell you something. One party is winning: the warlords and those who are exporting and importing arms. Those are the winners on every occasion.”

‘Stop bombing Syria’ marchers on their way to Downing Street

‘Tony Blair complicit in torturing innocent Guantanamo prisoner’


This video from Britain says about itself:

Marr Show: Alex Salmond on British illegal kidnap+torture, Gitmo (13 December 2015)

SNP’s Alex Salmond talks about the British government’s illegal kidnap and torture of people like ex-Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) detainee Shaker Aamer.

By Luke James in Britain:

Aamer suffered ‘to save Blair

Monday 14th December 2015

SNP’s Salmond backs claim that Blair knew of torture

SHAKER AAMER’S Guantanamo Bay hell may have been prolonged to protect Tony Blair from claims he “collaborated” in torture, former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said yesterday.

Speaking about his almost 14-year ordeal at the notorious US prison for the first time since being released in October, Mr Aamer alleged at the weekend that Mr Blair and former home secretary Jack Straw were aware that he was being tortured.

Now SNP MP Mr Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, has backed his claim that the pair must have known about the “illegal abduction” and “torture.”

“As in so many things Messrs Blair and Straw have a great deal to answer for,” he told the Andrew Marr Show.

“They have to be asked a straight question: How could they possibly not have known about the fate that had befallen a British citizen?

“The prime responsibility of all governments is to keep their own citizens safe from harm.

“Governments are not meant to collaborate on the illegal abduction and then the torture of one of their own citizens.”

He went further, suggesting that concerns Mr Aamer would implicate the pair in his torture was behind the delay in his release.

The British resident was twice cleared for release from the gulag by a panel of US intelligence officers, most recently in 2009.

Yet he spent another six years in the camp, being placed in solitary confinement, suffering sleep deprivation and interrogations.

Mr Aamer has claimed that British intelligence officers witnessed this torture first-hand at Bagram air base in Afghanistan in 2002, where he was held before being tranferred to Guantanamo.

Mr Salmond pointed out that the spooks flew into the base on the same flight as Mr Blair, who was visiting British troops.

“One of the suspicions that people who have been campaigning for his release have had is that there had to be a reason for him not being released despite being cleared for release twice over that period.

“It’s obviously centred on the revelations he would have on what’s been going on at Guantanamo Bay.

“It now appears a reason might have been on what had gone on in January 2002 at Bagram air base.”

Mr Aamer demonstrated how he was “hog-tied” for almost an hour by US troops at the air base as part of the Mail on Sunday interview.

“It kills you, man. You cry, the pain is so bad,” he said.

“They were kicking me at the same time. I thought I was going to lose my legs.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Blair insisted he had “never condoned” the use of torture.

Mr Straw also refuted Mr Salmond’s allegations, ludicrously claiming: “I spent a large part of my time as foreign secretary making strong representations to the US government to get British detainees out of Guantanamo Bay and the US government’s ill-treatment and torture of detainees remains a terrible stain on its record.”

The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign called for their claims to be tested by a public inquiry.

Chair Joy Hurcombe told the Star: “I think they were party to it and therefor they should be made accountable for their involvement.”

Ms Hurcombe, who is one of the few people to have met Mr Aamer since his return, also called for him to be granted British citizenship immediately.

Forty-eight-year-old Mr Aamer also opened up this weekend about his new challenge of resuming normal family life.

He said: “I’m finally living. I’m here with my kids, trying to learn to be a father.”

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.

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.