The British Labour Party is in the process of rehabilitating Tony Blair. In my latest for Al Jazeera, I follow Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s shot across the bow with one of my own, presenting irrefutable evidence of exactly what Blair knew before he joined Bush’s war against Iraq.
It is a fact that by early 2003, British intelligence had established that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction or a weapons programme. In several secret meetings in Amman with Iraqi intelligence chief Tahir Jalil al-Habbush, the head of MI6 for the Middle East Michael Shipster had already received detailed reports on the absence of Iraq’s weapons.
This story was confirmed by former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove to Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ron Suskind who recounts it in considerable detail in his book The Way of the World. According to Dearlove, the meetings happened with the full knowledge of Bush, Cheney, George Tenet and Tony Blair. After the war, Suskind reveals, Habbush was resettled by the CIA and paid $5 million in hush-money to prevent him from undermining the official narrative.
Britain’s most fearless investigative journalist Peter Oborne follows up his excellent work exposing Britain’s Israel lobby and the Murdoch empire with another devastating documentary about the myriad conflicts of interest of the execrable Tony Blair. (Also see Ali Abunimah’s piece on Blair’s myriad shady dealings).
International viewers can watch the documentary below:
Tony Blair, with the blood of Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine dripping from his fingers, says Egyptian dictator Husni Mubarak is “immensely courageous and a force for good.” The opinion is based on working “with him on the Middle East peace process.” Mubarak’s record on the pacification process involves helping the Palestinian Authority transform itself into a (stateless) police state apparatus, obstructing Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, and constructing, in concert with US army engineers, a metal wall underneath the Gaza border.
Under Nasser’s police state Egypt had no popular sovereignty, but it did have national independence. This was lost at Camp David in 1979, when Sadat signed peace with Israel, retrieved the occupied Sinai peninsula, and received the promise of billions of dollars of annual American aid. After Israel, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid. American funding of the military is the reason why top officers remain loyal to the regime despite all the humiliations (for Egypt lost its Arab leadership role long ago) and committed to the peace treaty, although Israel has reneged on its Camp David undertaking to provide a just solution to the Palestinian problem.
I didn’t watch Blair’s performance at the Chilcot inquiry, for health reasons, but I did read that he mentioned Iran 30 times, as in ‘the same good case for war applies to Iran’. This comes in the context of America concentrating ships and missiles in the Gulf. It is unlikely that the US will attack Iran directly, but increasingly likely that Israel will provoke a conflict. Blair may be preparing the ground for this.
Blair felt ‘responsibility but no regret’ over the destruction of Iraq which has killed over a million, created at least four million refugees, and turned a fertile land into a diseased desert. He focused on Saddam Hussain’s monstrosity, but refrained from explaining how Saddam’s most monstrous crimes were supported by his Western backers. He was allowed to refrain. He didn’t entertain the possibility that Hussain could have been deposed in other ways. He blamed Iran and al-Qa’ida, neither of which had a presence in the country before its collapse, for Iraq’s problems, and again his illogic was not questioned.
Ah, Tony Blair…. inheritor and champion of Thatcherite neo-liberal economics and Zionist neo-conservative foreign policy, presidor over a dramatic rise in British Islamophobia, appointer of unelected Zionist tycoons to manage the good behaviour of the Palestinians while they lose the last of their land and rights, holy liar, war criminal, hypocrite, a man complicit in the Gaza massacre, and in the 2006 assault on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure … and soon, perhaps, first president of the European Union. I’ve written about this lovely chap before. Those of you who believe the appointment of Blair to the EU presidency would be the worst possible start to the post and a sure sign to the rest of the world that Europe has no interest in justice or good governance, can sign this petition. I certainly have. On the other hand, some of you may agree with George Monbiot’s provocative argument that Blair’s appointment to the post will provide the best opportunity for having him tried for war crimes. So far, Blair has only been rewarded for his crimes, with directorships, a book deal, and the joke post of ‘Middle East peace envoy’, which Monbiot calls “the supreme crime against satire.”
If the Irish vote to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, Tony Blair, former British prime minister and current lecturer on faith, peace, and Palestinian submission, is expected to become the European Union’s first president. I wrote the following hymn to Blair in October 2007, when the unpleasant prospect of his presidency was first raised.
I’ve often thought that Abu Hamza al-Masri, the ex-imam of Finsbury Park mosque, must have been designed in a CIA laboratory. Not only did he – before his imprisonment – fulminate in a shower of spittle against various brands of kuffar, he also had an eye patch and a hook for a hand. You can’t imagine a more photogenic Islamist villain.
If my supposition is correct, then Tony Blair may well have been invented by the Iranian secret service, for of all the neo-cons he’s the one who most looks the part. I refer to the physiognomic combination of weakness and fury, the slight chin wobbling beneath that eye with its wild glint of certainty – the staring left eye, fixed on something the rest of us can’t see, something that makes reality irrelevant – and the teeth both fierce and mouselike, and the shininess of both forehead and suit. Most politicians wear suits, but few suits declare ‘hollow salesman’ so much as Blair’s. The voice too – the hurried speech and breathy tones of a public schoolboy approaching orgasm – that repulsive aural mix of complacency, stubbornness and privilege.
Iraq is conspicuous by its absence, after all it was the beginning of a Neoconservative Likudnik plan to reshape the Middle East in Israel’s interest, killing around 1.5 million Iraqis in an illegal war of aggression. For this act alone, Blair should be recognised as a warmonger ineligable for any kind of peace prize, however, in Israel, the more Arabs you kill, the greater a statesman peacemaker you’re considered. This is the immorality they are celebrating and they only respect Blair’s support in “ending” conflicts through the defeat and total destruction of Israel’s adversaries, such as Iraq.