Ten Years Since the War in Iraq, Blair Is Still a Warmonger
Ten years after Tony Blair defied the British populace and took the United Kingdom into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, he spoke to BBC2′s Kirsty Wark. When Wark asked about the conservative estimate of 100,000 civilian casualties and 179 British service casualties, Blair referred to the Iraq-Iran war in which one million had died, as though the dead from the more recent war in Iraq are not quite as dead because there are fewer of them. There was a whiff about this pre-recorded interview that reeked of pre-arranged questions and answers, with before and, possibly, after-the-fact editing. What Blair did not say about the Iran-Iraq war was who had armed Iran and Iraq. It was of course the United States. He also did not mention how year after year, the body-count increases and in 2012 the figures were closer to 200,000 than 100,000. Another creditable figure puts the Iraqi civilian death toll as high as one million. Blair further neglected to say anything about the alarming way in which infant and newborn mortality rates are adding to these totals on a weekly basis due to unexploded mines and the “allies’” use of white-phosphorous weapons. Another victim of Blair’s war was Dr David Kelly who, whether he was murdered or committed suicide, was also a figure in the death toll from Iraq. Furthermore, the program made no mention of the total cost in human lives of all Blair’s wars in the Middle East and North Africa.
A decade on, and Blair claims to have discovered a conscience. Could he sell his plausibility to an unwitting public yet again? Kirsty Wark reminded him of how he wrote in his memoirs that every day of his life he thinks about those who died in Iraq. “What do you think about?” she asked. His answer was that he thought about the loss of life, the terrible consequences for the families of those who died, but — and with Blair there is always a “but” — he was “elected as prime minister to take these decisions.” Wark also reminded him that the removal of Saddam Hussein was not the reason he went to war, but Blair, in the way only Blair can, twisted his weasel words so as to make them sound like Hussein was the real reason, and there was a mandate to prosecute the war on those grounds. Although the former prime minister has already lost a lot of credibility, he further added to his untrustworthiness by stating that every day of his life he thinks of those who died in Iraq. Such a statement would be ludicrous were this not so serious an issue.
There are other things on Tony Blair’s mind to distract him from never letting a day pass without remorse for the Iraqi dead. There is, for example, the £3 million per annum he reputedly gets from JP Morgan, the US investment Bank and Zurich International. It all helps top up the reputed annual £20 million his consultancy company gets. This means he can console himself from daily contemplations of Iraqi losses by calling to mind that he is receiving, every year of his life, something in the region of £140 for each victim of his illegal war, based on a conservative death toll. Then there are the Blair family houses – or rather estates – which must be another distraction from his altruistic ponderings. His three children have had bought for them properties worth over £1 million. On top of this, the Blair property portfolio includes a mansion in Buckinghamshire, a family home in Connaught Square, plus several others. This makes ordinary mortals ponder which of his many properties he uses for contemplating Iraqi losses. At his Buckinghamshire retreat, he is visited by a yoga teacher. Perhaps he uses the meditation session after his limb stretches and breathing exercises to assuage his guilt over those who can no longer stretch and breathe.
Blair likes to think of himself as a peacemaker. Others might have a different perspective on his character and even question his motivation for pretending to be a peacemaker. Greed might come high on the list of some. He takes credit for having brokered the peace deal in Northern Ireland in 1998. Taking credit for success is Blair’s way. “I won an election after Iraq in 2005,” he reminded Kirsty Wark. Those who are cynical about Blair’s peaceful intentions might be inclined to think it was Mo Mowlam who did the groundwork for brokering peace in Northern Ireland rather than Blair, but it was Blair who got all the glory. Making an illegal warmonger the Peace Envoy to the Middle East is almost as laughable as the incredulity of believing that he spares a thought every day for the loss of life in Iraq. Peace Envoy is another post for which he is paid for achieving nothing peaceful. The only kind of peace Blair could achieve in the Middle East is one based on what his Zionist masters tell him is an acceptable deal. His office in Israel gives him convenient access to Mr Netanyahu, and as Peter Oborne writes “This has meant the provision of cast-iron, copper-bottomed diplomatic cover for Mr Netanyahu’s settlement programme” which is illegal under international law.
While the voice of BBC foreign affairs, John Simpson, informed an invited audience that the underlying tensions and conflict between Sunnis and Shi’as had always been there, even before the war, and these tensions were likely to erupt again at any time into another civil war, Professor Nadje al-Ali brought a little realism to the program. She described how women’s rights had grossly deteriorated, giving examples such as the fall in the number of girls who finish their school education, the rise in gender-based and domestic violence, the increase in forced marriages, and other abominations and mistreatments of women. Her findings are borne out by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal of May 2012. As well as discussions of increases in childhood cancer, birth defects, deaths from clusters and landmines, and increases in drugs’ misuse, there have been disclosures about increases in child prostitution and sales of children into slavery. Unite runs a campaign to put an end to the trade in Iraqi women and girls. All this misery is the real legacy of George W. Bush and Tony Blair’s war in Iraq.
Keen observers will have been watching the large letter W which God, in his wisdom, has etched into Tony Blair’s forehead. It is becoming more evident as the years progress. For all his money there is little that can be done short of a “forehead job” to hide this branding. But in fairness, when you are a warmonger your forehead ought to be etched with the letter “W” so that everyone knows how you made your riches on earth. George W. Bush’s branding is in his name. Well, this is my interpretation of what the “W” stands for, although I am aware that others might have different ideas about its meaning.