Tony Blair: False information and war

Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’, has urged the government to take action in Iraq or face terror attacks on British soil. These comments sound strikingly familiar as the legacy of 2003’s invasion is highlighted by mass-killing in the Middle East. Indeed, the former PM sent tens of thousands of British troops to Iraq while warning the UK about weapons of mass destruction. However, Blair rejects claims that he is partly responsible for the current destruction taking place in Iraq and the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of humans.

“We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven’t. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not: and whether action or inaction is the best policy. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it,” writes Blair in a recent essay.

Blair is correct in saying that issues within Iraq – such as religious extremism – have fuelled the carnage, but didn’t he have a role in lighting the match?
Blair took the UK to war, following the lead of the Bush Administration, on the account of Saddam Hussein’s alleged ability to launch weapons of mass destruction (WMD) at 45 minutes notice and the links to terrorism. This has proven to be false, however, and it seems that the intelligence was either dangerously flawed or hugely exaggerated to gain public backing.

The French government didn’t believe it and President Jacques Chirac refused to back the UN because the US-UK claims of WMD weren’t backed up by a shred of evidence. Across 600 cities, almost 10 million people protested against the invasion on one single day. London was the one of these cities and Londoners, in general, have rejected the war which has led to the death of many British Soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Now as militants cause bloodshed across the fragile nation and there is a real risk of destabilising the whole middle east which will lead to more human suffering, Blair has called for a ‘selective use of air power’ while washing his hands of any responsibility. “Even if you had left Saddam in place in 2003, with the Arab revolutions in 2011, you would have still had a major problem in Iraq,” he said. “You can see what happens when you leave a dictator in place, as has happened with Assad now. The problems don’t go away,” continued Blair.

The former PM is probably right, the problems don’t go away. It is unlikely, however, that the problem would be a brutal sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias. The current events in Iraq raise the question of whether it is time for leaders like Blair to rethink our stance on intervention. Is it time to make a case for choosing between the more palatable of two problem situations, rather than always intervening with force?

Saddam Husain will rightly be remembered as a murderous war criminal. However, Iraq’s current crisis only highlights the fact that the country was more stable under his dictatorship than it is now. This alarming realisation demonstrates how the invasion of Iraq, based on false information, was a complete failure. Perhaps Blair should be pointing the UK away from another war. We still do not know the Blair’s agenda behind the war…but can we still trust him? Or is he simply a war criminal? If so, then why is he not being prosecuted for war crimes and only judged by history.

16 thoughts on “Tony Blair: False information and war

  1. Jamal C

    I agree with this blog. Tony Blair lied to the world and this has led to the destruction of a whole country and destabilization of the whole region. All in the name of “Oil”, sorry I mean “Democracy”.

    Reply
  2. Jones

    Why doesn’t Blair give up? People will never forgive him for the mess he left behind him along with the lasting damage to this country.

    Reply
  3. S Hameed

    An intriguing, thought provoking piece from Publication, Integrity and Ethics. I have to say that I’m not convinced that you can call Tony Blair a war criminal, his actions merit much of the disdain fired at him, but ultimately he made a colossal mistake, he didn’t commit genocide.

    Reply
    • Leer

      What is going to war mistakenly if it is not genocide? Think about your statement. Blair should at least be a little bit more sorry than he seems to be.

      Reply
  4. C Bell

    What an almighty mess Tony Blair and George Bush left behind. All of the current issues with ISIS stem from their phoney war on terror. Still looking for those WMDs Tony?

    Reply
  5. S Neer

    There’s a reason why people call him Tony BLiar. He went to war on the back of a made up document. Middle Eastern oil for everyone was the plan, worked out well didn’t it Tony?

    Reply
    • Kim

      Wrong. This argument is not valid. In terms of declaring war, the end (deposing Saddam) does not justify the means (lying to the British people). I’m appalled by your reasoning.

      Reply
      • Ali S.

        I agree that Hussein committed atrocities against his own people. However, I think Blair using WMD’s as the reason to invade was a metaphorical shot in the foot. No-one trusted him afterwards.

        Reply

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