24 June 2014

'Tony Blair continues his murderous lying'

.@HJBentham .#UK .#Blair .#Iraq.#ISIS.

This is a response to an essay published on Tony Blair's website, titled "Iraq, Syria and Middle East".

British ex-PM Tony Blair’s words absolving himself of blame for Iraq’s instability are the self-centered ramblings of an irredeemable war criminal.

It takes a long time for the blood of hundreds of thousands of people to drip from any hand, but this has not subdued Tony Blair’s confidence that he knows what is best for Iraq. Blair even maintains enough murderous pride and insensitivity to argue that the US and UK not attacking Syria is the cause of Iraq’s instability.

I realize that this sounds like a sick joke, but it isn’t. Tony Blair actually argued this in a rambling essay posted on his own website. His most preposterous claim was that the US and UK avoidance of bombing Iraq’s neighbor Syria, like Iraq before it, must be blamed for the instability now seen in both countries. Refusing to apologize for the role of his own filthy hands in the heinous conspiracy and aggression of 2003, Blair expressed his confidence in aggression as the only method for ending the violence unleashed by an earlier act of aggression.

As aggrieved as we must be to republish the words of this mass murderer, let us read what Tony Blair had to say:

“In Iraq, we called for the regime to change, removed it and put in troops to try to rebuild the country. But intervention proved very tough and today the country is at risk again. In Libya, we called for the regime to change, we removed it by airpower, but refused to put in troops and now Libya is racked by instability, violence and has exported vast amounts of trouble and weapons across North Africa and down into sub- Saharan Africa. In Syria we called for the regime to change, took no action and it is in the worst state of all.”

The United States government does not agree with Blair’s claim that the West “Took no action” in Syria. According to the US government, the US has donated tens of millions of dollars to the armed opposition in Syria. It has even bragged about supplying weapons to the armed opposition. US military instructors have been training opposition fighters in neighboring Jordan. Further, the United States has honored its favorite opposition figures by letting them have a diplomatic mission in the United States, and has treated them as the sole “legitimate” representatives of the Syrian people – even though they are unelected and have no relation to the Syrian state.

According to the Syrian government, if Western actions in support of violent regime-change in Syria were cut, terrorism would subside within about week, and the violence and terror would subside. The Assad government might be exaggerating. However, if the US government’s own boasts are accurate, the West has already taken heavily disproportionate “action” in Syria, and carries most of the blame for the deaths in excess of 100,000 in the crisis. So, “took no action” is the most disingenuous way of describing Western policy towards Syria.

One of Blair’s silliest arguments in his essay is that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not contribute to the current crisis in Iraq, but he contradicts himself when making this case. Blair writes, “Thought the challenge of terrorism was and is very real, the sectarianism of the Maliki Government snuffed out what was a genuine opportunity to build a cohesive Iraq.”

Wait a minute! If there was not a “cohesive Iraq” when Western forces left Iraq, then why did Western governments claim that they had completed the regime change successfully, and why did they withdraw from the country after celebrating how they had supposedly set up a strong state? Don’t Blair’s own words tell us that the invasion and the regime change over those years was indeed a failure, and that Iraq was not adequately healed after the invasion in 2003? If so, isn’t Blair basically admitting to the failure of his Iraqi project in his own essay, but resorting to finger-pointing at the Iraqi people to explain his failure?

Blair writes of the “failure to use the oil money to re-build the country, and the inadequacy of the Iraqi army to repulse the attack on Mosul and the earlier loss of Fallujah.” Again, whose job was it to train the Iraqi army to defend themselves against al-Qaeda in Iraq, if not the British and Americans who invaded the country and dismantled the original regime? Again, all Blair is doing is highlighting his own failure and using finger-pointing at the incumbent democracy (the same sort of Western-imposed democracy that he would like to see in Syria?) to blame it for its own problems.

What Blair has done is a little is like burning someone’s house down, and then blaming the victims for their own suffering when they get injured under a falling beam. Bush and Blair promised Iraq a bright future, and unilaterally imposed this future on Iraq without considering the long-term challenges. They lied. For that, they must be prepared to admit that they were wrong and led Iraq into the abyss, just as they are trying to lead Syria. They should be prepared accept the blame for every ill decision or movement towards destabilization and disintegration that has followed, rather than telling fairy tales about what might have happened if things were not so complicated.

Astonishingly, Blair also tries to defend the War in Iraq as necessary. His first reason is that Saddam might have rebuilt his chemical weapons at a later date, and so he had to be destroyed to prevent what he might have later done. However, this is nothing but an appeal to the idea of pre-emptive war, which is an eminent threat to world peace. All aggression comes from the countries acting pre-emptively. In this regard, pre-emptive war is indistinguishable from the crimes of aggression and conspiracy to wage war, and can be recognized only as a threat to the peace. How could global peace be preserved by tearing up the UN Charter and declaring that conspiracy and aggression should be permitted?

The second excuse given by Blair to justify the Iraq War is that the “Arab uprisings” would have occurred in Iraq. That is most probably true, but Blair did not know this when he invaded the country, so this is a post hoc justification. He had no idea there would be any uprisings. In fact, he had no confidence whatsoever that the Iraqi people would rise up – hence the reliance on a foreign invasion to remove the regime. Also, wouldn’t Saddam’s fall have been less destructive and paralyzing for Iraq as a nation, if the Iraqi people had accomplished this for themselves in a dignified uprising, rather than witnessing their state being wiped out by foreign powers who entered the country while reciting outright lies and propaganda?

Takfiri militants in Iraq, such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, only emerged after the US-led invasion, precisely because of the instability caused by the invasion. Presenting themselves as fighting an occupation, the Takfiris were able to gain support. Today, the same resentment towards the US-led occupation and the perception of the Maliki government as a US ally drives the militants into a religious militant frenzy that would have been impossible if there had been no US-led invasion.

However, the biggest factor contributing to the surge of militancy in Iraq is not the US-led intervention in Iraq. It is the US-led intervention in Syria, which Tony Blair pretends to be non-existent. Right now, there is an unprecedented reckless and destructive policy that Blair has not mentioned. US allies have been channeling arms and funding to an array of terrorist outfits in Syria, led by their empty-headed assumption that this will somehow topple Bashar al-Assad.

Considering the ease with which Syria-bound weapons and funds from Western allies could be directed into neighboring Iraq by terrorists, the crisis in Iraq is not just a long-term aftershock of the 2003 invasion. It is being directly aggravated, at this very minute, by the continued interference and aid by the West to the hopeless and failing prop of “revolution” in Syria.

The arrogance of Tony Blair, a war criminal who ravaged a country and now continues to encourage the same violence in the region, is unbelievable. If Blair had any sense of decency, he would withdraw from public life, or at least put an end to his warmongering. Only an absolute lack of conscience could lead to such a disgraced person continuing to advocate violent military intervention.

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