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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2022

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

Tony Blair, Tory infiltrator into Labour, photo Chatham House (Creative Commons)

Tony Blair, Tory infiltrator into Labour, photo Chatham House (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Heron, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and Hackney Socialist Party

On New Year's Eve, Buckingham Palace announced that former Labour prime minister Tony Blair would be rewarded with the Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter by the Queen. Should we be appalled? Or do we in fact see it as appropriate? After all, the British Empire itself is dripping in the blood of millions of people it had conquered. Maybe it is a perfect match.

Tony Blair will be remembered as the prime minister who, alongside the United States, sanctioned the invasion of Iraq. In the months building up to the invasion millions of people in the UK and internationally protested against the prospect of war. This was ignored.

In March 2003 the US, with support from the UK and others, invaded Iraq. The invasion was based on a multitude of lies. However, the foundation of this deceit was the incredible claim that Iraq - that had been subject to sanctions for decades - was able to launch 'weapons of mass destruction'. This falsehood was built by British 'intelligence' but at the behest of Blair and his cohorts.

On the 1 May 2003 - barely six weeks after the invasion - US president George W Bush declared the Iraq War over, and that, in his view, the mission was accomplished. How wrong could he or Western imperialism be?

Middle East destabilised

Iraq, and indeed the whole of the Middle East, was destabilised as a result. This was partly triggered when the 'Coalition Provisional Authority' launched its catastrophic 'De-Ba'athification' programme - which left those in government jobs without work, and the country falling into chaos, with an insurgency following.

The website Iraq Body Count places the number of confirmed civilian deaths as a result of the invasion at over 200,000, with the Lancet reporting about 600,000 civilian deaths. However, both estimates are likely to be a massive underestimate.

The Chilcott Inquiry into the Iraq War was damning of Blair and the security services. It found that Blair had committed himself to joining with the US come what may, and potentially peaceful options were ignored. Blair did not tell the truth about the weapons of mass destruction or, as Chilcott himself explained, the threat of the weapons was "presented with a certainty which was not justified."

At the end of World War Two the leading Nazi's were tried and convicted for crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of the aggression of war. The reality is that Tony Blair, George W Bush, Jack Straw, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should have faced the same. It is said that history is written by the victors; it is also the case that law is for the victors too.

I cannot face to read about Blair or hear him when he pops up on the TV to give his opinion. He should not be indulged. He is a war criminal. I have to agree with Frankie Boyle when he said: "Personally I don't see anything wrong with Tony Blair giving his opinions on Iraq, it's just that he should be doing them at the Hague."

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In The Socialist 12 January 2022:


News

Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four

Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown

Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from £600 hit

Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'


Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Solidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan


Campaigns news

Protests against BBC transphobia

Leeds People's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

Communities fight back against Rio Tinto mine

North London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

Southampton student vote for online exams must be accepted


Workplace news

Coventry bin workers' pay strike

10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

Carmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

Jobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call

South Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

Invergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins


Reviews

Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism


Readers' opinion

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

Bullying weighing room culture at the races

Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older


Obituaries

Obituary - Pauline Wall

Obituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021


 

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Related links:

Tony Blair:

triangleBlair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleAttacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win

triangleTony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

War:

triangleFor workers' unity against war in Ukraine

triangleUkraine: Workers' unity needed

triangleWar in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

triangleMoney Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism

Iraq:

triangle9/11 and the 'War on Terror' twenty years on

triangleTV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

Invasion:

triangleUkraine: Workers' unity against capitalist warmongers and imperialist meddlers

triangleAfghanistan in crisis:

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