�No matter how
skilfully he ducked and dived today, Tony Blair�s legacy will forever be that of
the illegal, immoral Iraq war.� --Angus Robertson of the SNP
LONDON -- The
ineffectual Chilcot Inquiry was never designed hold Tony Blair to account;
rather it appears to have served as a lesson for future prime ministers not to
make �administrative� errors like submitting dodgy dossiers. Moreover, it gave
Tony Blair an opportunity to present his side of the story in a casual manner.
If innocent people were killed because of an illegal war, then a crime
has taken place. Therefore, Blair should have faced a panel of experts from
neutral countries, selected by the UN. The process would have focused on the
legality of the war, and the consequence for the innocent Iraqis; depending on
the outcome, it might have formed the basis for a criminal prosecution.
of the purpose of the Chilcot Inquiry, there was expectation from all sides
that it would clarify the motive behind the decision to join the US-led war,
and Blair�s testimony should have played a key role. That is on the assumption
that the information revealed by Blair and others is accurate and
comprehensive. Nevertheless, his testimony has raised further questions on the
following three issues:
a) The 9/11
claimed, 9/11 was the turning point; that is when Saddam Hussein became a
threat. Is he suggesting Iraq was behind 9/11? Saddam Hussein was a staunch
Arab Ba�athist and an Arab nationalist, whereas 9/11 was allegedly the work of
Al-Qaeda planned from the mountains in Afghanistan; the two groups are
ideologically poles apart and there were no historical connection between them.
Even his close assistant, Jack Straw, did not perceive 9/11 had increased the
�threat� posed by Iraq; only the Americans decided to view it in that light and
Blair followed this like a disciple.
So, what is
the connection between 9/11 and Iraq? The only connection I see is one of
vengeance for the US. Blair decided to join in like a vulture behind the
injured and angry US lion. Iraq is predominantly a Muslim country; the Muslims
had to pay regardless of their guilt or innocence. They would be civilised
through the bombs and bullets of �freedom� and �democracy�! Such crude ideas
are difficult for Blair to spell out, and the people are expected to read
between the lines.
Saddam was weaker economically and militarily in 2000 than in 1991, and
he was even weaker in 2003, yet paradoxically, the threat level from Saddam
Hussein went up after 9/11, according to Blair! Arrogant Blair was Bliar�ing
To date, it
is still unclear how Saddam Hussein posed a threat when the chemical and
biological Weapons were all destroyed, along with the capability to renew such
activities, after the First Gulf War of 1991. Even the conventional force was
stripped of its capability through a decade of rigorous sanctions; the UN
inspection team lead by Scott Ritter systematically ensured the Iraqi force was
paralysed. For that reason, the �smoking gun� would never be found. This is self-evident
from the invasion in 2003.
also argue the world was safer place in 2000 than in 1991, as Saddam did not
launch any further strikes against his neighbours, let alone challenge the
might of the US hegemony in the region. Therefore, the containment policy was
rationally understand the notion of an actual threat or an imminent one, but
how does one conjure up a potential threat from a country that is progressively
getting weaker? Even more absurd, how can anyone justify and invoke a war based
on potential threat? It is perplexing how Blair as a lawyer can construe the
argument that one can be punished for his intention. This confirms his
arrogance and dishonest nature.
Iraq was not
Germany pre-1939 rebuilding its military capability; it was confined to its
borders and getting progressively weaker through the rigorous sanctions. Even
if Saddam managed to acquire some primitive WMD, he would be in no position to
threaten anyone, let alone the mighty US forces in possession of �real� WMD.
elaborated the world is a safer place after the removal of Saddam, but this
cannot be the basis to attack another country. In any case, this sort of claim
is just sheer nonsense; no nation would want their country destroyed and
occupied by a foreign force to remove a dictator. The smug Blair is implying
the war was good for the Iraqis who were the biggest victims. Since the
invasion, the civilian casualties have continued to mount in Iraq and they face
numerous problems; all were absent prior to the invasion. As Blair spoke of a
better Iraq, a new generation of Iraqi children are born with deformities due
to the use of depleted uranium. In Fallujah, for example, the doctors are
dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike
in early life cancers.
Regardless of the facts, Blair proceeds to blame others
for the situation, as if the invasion were a reaction to that and not the cause
of the violence and suffering.
So has the
region become any safer subsequent to a regime change? Have the oil-less
Palestinians been given a fraction of the attention that was given to the
oil-rich Kuwaitis? On the contrary, peace in the region continues to mean
pieces (not just land but organs of dead Palestinians, too) for Israel, which
has launched two savage wars on the civilian population of Gaza and Lebanon,
and is constantly threatening to bomb Iran. In defiance of the UN, Israel
continues to build more settlements in occupied territories. However, since it
is Israelis killing Palestinians, and looting their lands and body parts, it
does not count for much in the book of neocon Blair who was also sabre-rattling
against Iran. Of course, he will always do that behind the US might. Remember,
a vulture always feeds on the leftovers after the lion has finished the kill.
Middle East issue, the so-called Middle East envoy blamed the Palestinians
entirely, unlike the moderate and pretentious two-faced Jack Straw. According
to Blair�s line of argument, the Israeli forces acted in self-defence by
slaughtering 1,500 defenceless civilians in Gaza, like the Anglo-US forces from
distant lands came to Iraq and fought a war in �self-defence�! The Middle Easy
envoy deserves a shoe full of excrement!
the testimony of Blair did clarify the following.
- It confirmed the Iraq war was instigated
by the Americans for regime change, and Blair subscribed to this in 2002.
This is corroborated by the testimony of Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain�s
ambassador to the US. According to Jack Straw, regime change was illegal,
a clear violation of the UN Charter, and carried little support amongst
the closest allies of Blair in the Cabinet.
- Therefore, Blair made the case
for war based on the mythical WMD of Saddam Hussein. Accordingly, Blair
alludes to disarming Iraq�s mythical WMD as synonymous with regime change.
It�s magic, they mean the same thing. So in the �logic� (or arrogance) of
Blair, UN Security Council
not only authorised war, but also authorised a regime change!
does not answer why Blair joined the US-led crusade. At the time, Blair�s camp
said British interests would best be served by siding with the Americans, not
just by giving political support but military, too, even though the US did not
need military support from the UK, which Blair confirmed in the testimony. It
was not an individual decision; the ruling elite within the UK permitted this
important action. Did they hope for a small slice of a large US cake by
offering their services to the American Empire? Is that why the Americans often
portray the butler in Hollywood movies as a Brit?
decision to join the US war was not based on any perceived threat to the UK,
which has only come into effect because of that action. It was most likely
based on some strategic and/or economic interests. But, there were no real
short-term benefits gained, the bulk of the lucrative contracts went to US
companies; the vulture was not even allowed to feed on the Iraqi carcass it
seems. Maybe, the US government will reciprocate in the future in some other
way. This would be tested when Britain faces another crisis like the Falklands.
My guess is Blair and his cabal made a substantive error in joining the US-led
war, without securing Britain�s share of the war booty, unless this is kept
hidden like the Sykes-Picot treaty.
Contact Yamin Zakaria