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Politics

Tony Blair at the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry. War Criminal?

I was watching with some concern matters unfolding at Stormont last night as Brian Cowan and Gordon Brown flew in to try and rescue something from the wreckage as Power Sharing appears to be unravelling.

I thought back to Tony Blair and his amazing ability to square every conceivable circle in Irish politics.

I fear even he would find it impossible to take the sting out of Sinn Fein’s preposterous idea that the blood soaked ghoul that is convicted IRA terrorist Gerry Kelly take charge of Policing and Justice in the Northern Ireland Government.

But somehow you would almost expect Blair to come up trumps such was his conviction and desire to get things done.

Blair was a truly great Prime Minister, but before getting all gooey eyed let us consider Iraq.

This was written in 2005 and conveys my true feelings on the invasion, and Blair himself.

Having caught myself tutting as someone describe the former PM as a “war criminal” I feel time has lessened my feelings…

An Apocalyptic Slaughter of the Innocents.

That’s all I can find to say about the Lancet Report of this week which puts the casualties in Iraq since the 2003 invasion at well over 600,000, and that’s on top of the 1.5 million acknowledged deaths caused by the genocidal sanctions regime from 1990 onwards.

Tony Blair is a prima facie War Criminal.

The worst bit is that he has made us in the Labour Party ambivalent and effectively complicit to what has gone on in Iraq, as it is now relegated to as annoying interlude, a silly distraction from this, the most successful and just Government in our modern history. All the froth about the Leadership seems appallingly insignificant and it seems unbelievable that this, the biggest issue of the day was just ignored.

It never happened.

The language used is just breath taking. Iraq is described as Tony Blair’s “folly”, thought of a “mistake”, labelled a “blunder”, we are told it is time “to move the debate on”.

Sickeningly mendacious banalities that belie the inhuman and relentless suffering of a still, and God knows how, indefatigable people who are desperate for some kind of normal life in the midst of a massive insurgency which has led the UK Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannat, to call for our troops to come home “sooner rather than later” as our presence “serves to exacerbate rather than ameliorate” the situation.

The proof being that in July 1,666 bombs were detonated by the so called insurgents of which 70% were directed at Coalition troops, 20% at the new Police Force, and 10% of these devices were aimed at rival Iraqi groups so proving that we are the problem and should leave now.

He also accuses the Prime Minister of “being naive” if he believes democracy can ever take root if the current arrangements continue.

Dannat, when pressed on the Today Programme, admitted that Iraq could “break” the army.

“I want there to be and army in five years time”, he concluded.

None of this, of course has anything with Dannat’s concern for the Iraqi people. It is the sort of self pitying mentality that led to the American Military considering themselves as the victims of the Vietnam War and led to a spate of wallowing films in the 1980’s which gave no thought to the two million South East Asian dead.

In isolation Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter and other such pictures provide a valuable commentary on the futility of war, but have the common theme of the American victim with little acknowledgement of what was done by the West to this part of the world.

We can be “liberal with a small l crying in front of the TV”, as Billy Bragg put it, or business will go on at Westminster as the Labour Government continues to drive Britain forward and if Blair changed his mind and stood for re- election then I would vote for him without a second thought.

But the War and it’s aftermath diminishes and taints the Government, the Party, the country and every UK citizen as we ignore it’s horrific tragedy and pretend in reality that it never happened, the very ambivalence that allows terrible things to happen everywhere, every day, every hour, every moment and every second, be it domestic violence, petty criminality or genocide

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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