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.

British Iraq war inquiry, still no publication

Tony Blair and dead British soldiers in Iraq, cartoon

By Paddy McGuffin and Luke James in Britain:

Chilcot Inquiry – Eight More Months

Friday 30th October 2015

BEREAVED families of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq were told yesterday they will have to wait at least another eight months to hear the official verdict on Britain’s role.

Six years after launching his inquiry into the Iraq war, Sir John Chilcot announced he will belatedly publish the final report by next summer.

The 2 million-word document, which has cost £10m to date, will be finished by April and published by “June or July,” he said.

The latest delay was the final insult for many relatives of the 179 military personnel who lost their lives thousands of miles away from home.

Rose Gentle of Military Families Against The War, whose son Gordon was killed in a bomb attack in Basra in 2004, branded the news “another let-down.”

“It’s another few months to wait and suffer again,” she said.

And Reg Keys, whose son Tom was killed in 2003, expressed fears that the final report would be a whitewash.

“All we will get now from the report is a watered-down version of some of the criticisms that Sir John put to these civil servants and senior politicians,” he warned.

Sir John said the latest delay was caused by a need for “national security checks” to ensure human rights obligations and security “will not inadvertently be breached by publication of the inquiry’s report as a whole.”

He also said it will “take some weeks to prepare the report for printing” because of its “considerable size.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a vociferous opponent of the 2003 invasion, said the wait was “getting beyond ridiculous.”

“We need to know what happened. We need to know why it happened. We need to know who made the decisions. And we never need to make these kind of catastrophic mistakes again,” he said.

Mr Corbyn added that he hoped the inquiry was “not still negotiating with Tony Blair” over the report’s contents.

Mr Blair issued a statement insisting that any suggestion he had delayed the report through the Maxwellisation process was “categorically incorrect.”

But Stop the War coalition spokesman Chris Nineham warned the process, along with the report’s vetting by the security services, could leave the report a “long-delayed whitewash.”

He told the Star it was “extraordinary” that Chilcot should have taken so long to try to establish facts that most people already believed had been settled.

“The key issue is that of deliberate fabrication,” he said. “Recently leaked documents show that Tony Blair lied to Parliament and the people to take them into an illegal war of regime change.”

The inquiry, ordered by former Labour PM Gordon Brown, has been beset with delays since its launch on June 15 2009.

They included the Maxwellisation process where those criticised in the report, including former Labour PM Tony Blair, were given advance warning so as to prepare their defence.

Tony Blair dressed as French King Louis XIV in Iraq, cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

An insult to Iraqi victims

Friday 30th October 2015

TONY BLAIR denies responsibility for constant delays in completing the Chilcot inquiry, but he has always had a problem with putting his hand up.

Whether it is Blair personally, his lawyers or accomplices who have elected to spin out proceedings by raising one pretext or another, the inquiry, which has already lasted six years and will take another, is a prime example of the political and legal Establishment pulling together to frustrate public sentiment.

Blair took Britain into the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003, honouring his pledge to George W Bush the previous year.

It beggars belief that the people of this country, and especially the families of the service personnel who died at his behest, should still be waiting over 12 years later for our rulers to cough up some elements of the truth concerning the real reasons for this conflict.

Bush made no secret of his determination to overthrow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the once extremely close US and British ally who had become an irritant to Washington.

As a lawyer, Blair understood that stating this openly would be problematic under international law, so his case for war accused Baghdad of possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in breach of UN security council motions.

Both Bush and Blair stressed that the Iraqi dictator had used poison gas against his own citizens in the Kurdish region in 1988, but neither mentioned that this had happened against a background of Saddam’s unprovoked war of aggression against Iran, which Washington and London actively supported.

Indeed the US government went so far as to blame the gas attacks on Tehran.

There was no call for action to be taken against Iraq for the atrocities visited on defenceless Kurdish civilians.

Saddam was certainly a murderous bastard, but he was our murderous bastard. That was the US line until he miscalculated, invading the corrupt emirate of Kuwait in the belief that the administration of George Bush Snr had signalled tolerance of his expansionism.

The Iraqi people paid a heavy price for his adventurism, suffering a vicious 12-year UN sanctions regime that more than doubled the child mortality rate.

This video from the USA is called [then United States Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright Says Deaths Of 500,000 Iraqi Children Is Worth It.

Hundreds of thousands perished, leading one US politician to speak of “infanticide masquerading as policy.”

The United Nations sent teams of weapons inspectors into Iraq charged with detecting and destroying chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.

This programme was carried out successfully by 1995, as Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law, reported in 2002, but his testimony was misrepresented by Blair who needed Parliament to believe — or affect to believe — his lies that Iraq was armed to the teeth with WMD.

The Bush-Blair axis forced the evacuation of new teams of UN weapons inspectors in early 2003 by rigid adherence to the March invasion date decided the previous year.

Criminal conspiracy to prevent a peaceful resolution of the WMD “crisis” and to launch a war that would claim the lives of up to a million Iraqis and prepare the ground for the growth of the Islamic State (Isis) death cult should not be the subject of interminable polite legal diplomacy conducted by Chilcot.

The Morning Star has always insisted that the correct forum for Blair and his closest associates to answer for their deeds is the International Criminal Court.

Punting the enormity of the Iraq invasion into a genteel “lesson-learning” exercise, as Gordon Brown did, was a betrayal of the war criminals’ victims — the people of Iraq and the service personnel directed to invade and die there.

Whatever soggy long-winded compromise eventually emerges from Chilcot, Blair and company cannot escape the guilty verdict of history.

Tony Blair’s pseudo-apology for the Iraq war

Tony Blair and the Iraq war, cartoon by Steve Bell

By Robert Fisk in daily The Independent in Britain today:

Tony Blair didn’t see the people, he saw the policies – which is why he chose war

There’s no doubt that the dark shadow of the Chilcot report has brought forward his midget apology

Tony Blair’s at it again. He apologises – but not for the war, only for the “intelligence”. There are “elements of truth” – whatever that means – in the view that his and George W Bush’s 2003 Iraqi adventure might have caused the rise of Isis. There are some, I suppose, who might also say that this wretched man started a regional war that has totally obscured the tragedy of the Palestinians, who continue to endure the longest military occupation in modern history – one that Blair did nothing to end after he was sent outrageously as a “peace” envoy to Jerusalem. Perhaps he would agree that there are “elements of truth” in this suggestion, but I doubt it.

I have been infuriated by Blair’s failure to own up to the catastrophe. No doubt the dark shadow of the Chilcot report brought his midget apology, although Chilcot may well hide the truth and thus cast only sunlight on the man. What I found so appalling in his CNN interview, however, was the assumption that the Middle East is a place of inherent instability.

I am minded of this because of an article by the Palestinian Rami Khouri in which he comments on an article by Henry Kissinger. Khouri remarks that Kissinger’s view of the Middle East “seems to have no place for – or is simply blind to – the nearly half a million [sic; billion] men and women, mostly Muslims, who live [there] and shape its societies and states … These people all seek the same thing that Kissinger presumably seeks for Americans: a stable, decent society where citizens can live in peace.”

Khouri acknowledges the “non-state actors and ethno-sectarian nationalisms” that have emerged. I would have said this in blunter language, but he rightly spots the US tendency to see the Middle East in terms of religious or ethnic groups (Shia, Sunnis, Maronites) waging existential wars “in an urban wasteland defined by armed gangs”.

I rather think that’s how Blair sees the Middle East. He sees territory, but he doesn’t see people. The mere fact that he could drag out the rotting corpse of Saddam Hussein shows what the problem is. Yes, Saddam did use gas “against his own people”. But when he was doing that, George Bush Snr was giving him military assistance in his war against Iran. And when we staged our 2003 adventure, most of those who were subsequently killed were not Saddamites or anti-Saddamites but “tens of thousands” (as CNN coyly states) of innocent civilians. By defining these people as Sunnis and Shia or Maronites, we demean them, forcing them into a box with labels – and very often into wooden boxes, too.

It does no good to ignore, as Khouri says, how American and other foreign powers’ policies contributed to the problems that shattered the superficial calm which, barring Arab-Israeli wars, defined the region for years after the Second World War. But we do not see the people, we see policies – which is why Blair chose war. That’s what wars were to Kissinger. That’s why he made peace between Iran and Iraq all those years ago, and sacrificed the Kurds.

That’s what the Americans did when they bombed Iraq again and again between 1991 and 2003, long after we had freed Kuwait from Saddam’s clutches. And that’s what we did when we invaded Iraq in 2003. And still it goes on. Did Isis start in Iraq or Syria?

I suspect that what we fail to do is take responsibility for our actions. We don’t plan, because we have no long-term plans. Churchill started planning the British occupation of a conquered Germany in 1941, even before the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. But when the first US tanks crossed the Tigris river in 2003, neither Blair nor Bush had thought ahead. They were too busy with intelligence reports with “elements of truth” in them.

German brands TV confession ‘damage limitation’ in wake of Powell memo leak. TONY BLAIR’S weasel words justifying the invasion of Iraq were dismissed yesterday as more of his infamous spin as he dramatically admitted some responsibility for the rise of Islamic State (Isis): here.

Tony Blair’s apologies over Iraq War are ‘spin operation’ ahead of Chilcot Inquiry report, says Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister says the delay to Sir John Chilcot’s review being released is a ‘scandal’: here.

Tony Blair, George w Bush, and their destroyed Iraq, cartoon

Tony Blair uses CNN interview to cover for his lies on Iraq: here.

FELICITY ARBUTHNOT charts how Blair conspired with the US to invade Iraq while feeding the British public a very different story: here.

By Patrick Cockburn in British daily The Independent, 25 October 2015:

Tony Blair apologises for Iraq War: The former PM’s mind has been paralysed by what happened in 2003

Blair has an arrogant inability to admit he was mistaken

What is striking about Tony Blair’s latest comments about his role in the Iraq War is how little he had learnt about the country in the 12 years since the invasion. …

He conflates two events that should be looked at separately. He says that he does not apologise for removing Saddam Hussein: one could argue that most Iraqis wanted this to bring an end to Saddam’s disastrous rule at that time. But the US and Britain then went on to occupy Iraq and it was the war against the occupation, waged separately by Sunni and Shia, that destroyed the country and enabled al-Qaeda to gain its first foothold there.

It is difficult to understand Mr Blair’s position, because here is an intelligent man whose mind seems to have been paralysed by his experiences in 2003. His comments on Iraq and other events in the Middle East since that date are consistently ill-informed and partisan.

This is in sharp contrast to his understanding of the problems of Northern Ireland about which he writes knowledgeably and lucidly in his autobiography. It is as if Iraq turned his political strengths to weaknesses: his self-confidence turned into rigidity and an arrogant inability to admit he was mistaken and to avoid such mistakes in future.

It was evident from the first days of the invasion that President Bush and Mr Blair might get away with the invasion, but if they tried to stay in the country they would be in trouble. The reason they did so had nothing to do with the greater good of the Iraqi people, but because they did not want Iran, the greatest Shia power, to benefit from the fall of Saddam Hussein. But this was always going to happen because any election in Iraq would bring to power the Shia who made up 60 per cent of the population.

Iraqis say that sanctions destroyed Iraqi society and the invasion destroyed the Iraqi state. There have been claims since that if there had been a post-invasion plan in Iraq then all would have been well, but this is patronising nonsense. The only Iraqis who welcomed the occupation were the Kurds, who were not occupied. Moreover, all the states neighbouring Iraq, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, did not want the occupation to succeed. Any insurgency inside Iraq was always going to receive arms and money from outside.

The state in Iraq that the US and Britain claimed to be rebuilding was delegitimised from the beginning in the eyes of Iraqis because it was so openly a foreign creation. The same was true in Afghanistan where the great strength of the Taliban was the contempt and hatred felt by so many Afghans for the government in Kabul. British forces were sent to Helmand in 2006 with same lack of understanding of the dangers, just as they had been sent to Basra in 2003, and with the same disastrous results. Actions that were supposed to show the US how effective Britain was as an ally achieved exactly the opposite result. …

It is not just that he made mistakes then, but he went on making them. In his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry some five years ago, he was lauding the successes of the Iraqi government of the day, though everybody in Iraq knew it was dysfunctional, kleptocratic and sectarian.

Tony Blair’s acceptance that Iraq war facilitated rise of Isis is a first step to acknowledging the conflict was a disaster: here.

‘Tony Blair cheated me into voting for Iraq war’, Labour politician says

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 October 2015

As the same establishment press that sold the public the Iraq WMD lies “breaks” the “news” that Bush and Blair planned the invasion in advance, James shows the documents we’ve had for a decade telling us the exact same thing. And people wonder why trust in media is at an all-time low…

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Tony Blair duped me over Iraq and I feel ashamed, former Labour MP who voted for war says

Andrew MacKinlay says he feels stupid for voting for the war

Jon Stone

A former Labour MP has said he is “ashamed” to have trusted Tony Blair about the Iraq War after new evidence emerged about his views in the run-up to the conflict.

Andrew MacKinlay, who sat on the foreign affairs select committee in the run-up to the war, told LBC Radio that a new memo shows Tony Blair “duped” him along with the rest of the country.

“Looking at this these documents this morning and everything else that has gone before we know that this was a complete and utter deceit to me and to others,” he said.

“Obviously I feel both deeply ashamed and very stupid having trusted a British prime minister, but it was a British prime minister.

“One assumed that even allowing for exaggeration or inaccuracies in intelligence, I never thought it would be one hundred per cent untrue, but it was and myself and the British people, all of us, were duped.”

Mr MacKinlay was responding to the release of a memo that showed Mr Blair supported a war with Iraq in 2002, when he publicly claimed to be searching for a diplomatic solution.

At the time he told voters that Britain was “not proposing military action”, a claim contradicted by the memo, which was leaked to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

The former Labour MP reported a private conversation with the then PM, who he says had promised there would be no invasion if supposed weapons of mass destruction were removed from the equation.

Following that conversation, he voted for war in the House of Commons.

No weapons of mass destruction, the existence of which were used as the pretext for war, were found in Iraq.