From Iraq to The Brexit Referendum: Tony Blair’s Toxic Legacy. Yes, He Should Stand Trial for War Crimes

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 29.06.2016

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair currently back in Britain, cast a dark shadow over those campaigning to stay in the European Union in the 23rd June referendum. Inflicting himself on the Britain Stronger in Europe group, he spoke at every opportunity – reminding even the most passionate Europhile of the last time he assured: “I know I’m right” – Iraq.

If the “Remainers” had an ounce of sense Blair should have been ditched in a nano-second. He is not “Toxic Tony” for nothing.

However, since the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry in to the Iraq invasion is to be published just thirteen days after the referendum (6th July) it is worth revisiting more of the mistruths of which he is capable.

On 18th March 2003, Blair stood in Parliament and listed the times Saddam Hussein’s government had said they had no weapons of mass destruction (1) dismissing them all, including the 11,800 pages or 12,200 pages of accounting of that which they did not possess and delivered by the Iraqi delegation at the UN to the UN UNSCOM offices on 8th December 2002.

Lest it be forgotten, the reason for the uncertainty of the length of the volume is that the US delegation simply appropriated it and returned less than 4,000 pages so heavily redacted as to be indecipherable – and without the hefty index at the back listing the Western arms companies who had, prior to the first Gulf war, sold them weapons.

Blair told Parliament loftily:

“… the 8th December declaration is false. That in itself is a material breach. Iraq has made some concessions to co-operation but no-one disputes it is not fully cooperating. Iraq continues to deny it has any WMD, though no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes them … We … will back it with action if Saddam fails to disarm voluntarily.”

Iraq of course, was telling the truth. Blair had appointed himself Judge, jury and executioner.

And here is a real whopper: “I have never put our justification for action as regime change.”

And another: “Iraq is a wealthy country that in 1978, the year before Saddam seized power, was richer than Portugal or Malaysia.

“Today it is impoverished, 60% of its population dependent on food aid.

“Thousands of children die needlessly every year from lack of food and medicine.”

What he omitted was stated in a piece I wrote back in 1998 (2) addressing the ever repeated propaganda. The conditions were caused directly by the US-UK driven embargo, overseen by Blair’s envoy to the UN, Carne Ross, who headed the Sanctions Committee after the August 1991 imposed embargo:

“In 1989 the World Health Organization recorded Iraq as having 92-per-cent access to clean water, 93-per-cent access to high quality health care and with high educational and nutritional standards.

“By 1995 the World Food Program noted that: ‘time is running out for the children of Iraq’. Figures – verified by UNICEF – record that 1,211,285 children died of embargo-related causes between August 1990 and August 1997. A silent holocaust in the name of the UN. These numbers are similar to those lost in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. It is three times the population of Kuwait in small lives.”

‘ “After 24 years in the field, starting with Biafra, I didn’t think anything could shock me,” wrote Dieter Hannusch of the World Food Program in l995. “But this was comparable to the worst scenarios I had ever seen.” ‘

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The day after Blair’s address to Parliament, Operation Iraqi Liberation began, to which he had committed the country in his visit to George W. Bush’s Texas ranch in April 2002, without telling Parliament.

Moreover, in 2009 The Mail on Sunday disclosed (3) that: “Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote (a) letter to Mr. Blair in July 2002 – a full eight months before the war – telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a blatant breach of international law.

“It was intended to make Mr. Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Mr. Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.

“He even concealed the bombshell information from his own Cabinet, fearing it would spark an anti-war revolt. The only people he told were a handful of cronies who were sworn to secrecy.

“Lord Goldsmith was so furious at his treatment he threatened to resign – and lost three stone as Mr Blair and his cronies bullied him into backing down.”

Continue reading here:  globalresearch.ca

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