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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair’

William Blum, Foreign Policy Journal, August 5, 2010

If and when the United States and Israel bomb Iran (marking the sixth country so blessed by Barack Obama) and this sad old world has a new daily horror show to look at on their TV sets, and we then discover that Iran was not actually building nuclear weapons after all, the American mainstream media and the benighted American mind will ask: “Why didn’t they tell us that? Did they want us to bomb them?”

The same questions were asked about Iraq following the discovery that Saddam Hussein didn’t in fact have any weapons of mass destruction. However, in actuality, before the US invasion Iraqi officials had stated clearly on repeated occasions that they had no such weapons. I’m reminded of this by the recent news report about Hans Blix, former chief United Nations weapons inspector, who led a doomed hunt for WMD in Iraq. Last week he told the British inquiry into the March 2003 invasion that those who were “100 percent certain there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq turned out to have “less than zero percent knowledge” of where the purported hidden caches might be. He testified that he had warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a February 2003 meeting — as well as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in separate talks — that Hussein might have no weapons of mass destruction.[1]

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by Miles Goslett and Stephen Frost, Daily Mail/UK, June 26, 2010

The official story of Dr David Kelly is that he took his own life in an Oxfordshire wood by overdosing on painkillers and cutting his left wrist with a pruning knife.

He was said to be devastated after being unmasked as the source of the BBC’s claim that the Government had ‘sexed up’ the case for war in Iraq.

A subsequent official inquiry led by Lord Hutton into the circumstances leading to the death came to the unequivocal conclusion that Kelly committed suicide.

Yet suspicions of foul play still hang heavy over the death of the weapons expert whose body was found seven years ago next month in one of the most notorious episodes of Tony Blair’s premiership.

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Row: Gordon Brown (L) is said to have screamed at then Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) during a phonecall in 2006, pictured at the party conference the same year

By James Chapman
Last updated at 2:30 PM on 25th February 2010

  • Row as he demanded to know when Blair would quit
  • ‘Titanically demented’ Brown also rang PM at Balmoral
  • Brown denies unleashing ‘forces of hell’ on Darling
  • PM likens team woes to Fabio Capello’s England

Gordon Brown repeatedly yelled at Tony Blair ‘you ruined my life’ in a final row before the former was made Prime Minister, it was claimed last night.

The then chancellor also accused Mr Blair of a ‘Trotskyist plot’ in attempting to stop him from getting into No 10, according to a book by the journalist Andrew Rawnsley.

Mr Brown’s infamous temper flared during a two-hour meeting with Mr Blair in September 2006.

He insisted that Mr Blair give him a resignation date and ensure that no other candidate stood for leader – a promise he said he could not deliver

The new revelations about the Prime Minister’s temper came after he was forced to deny unleashing the ‘forces of hell’ on Alistair Darling and again deny being a bully.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253653/Gordon-Brown-yelled-ruined-life-Tony-Blair.html#ixzz0gZmfxSN6

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It’s more than a year since Israel launched its immoral attack on Gaza and Palestinians are still living on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. So what has Tony Blair done to further peace in the region? Virtually nothing, argues the historian Avi Shlaim

Tony Blair visiting Gaza, June 2009Tony Blair in June 2009 speaking at a press conference in Gaza calling for a quick reconstruction. Photograph: Hatem Moussa/AP

The savage attack Israel ­unleashed against Gaza on 27 December 2008 was both immoral and unjustified. Immoral in the use of force against civilians for political purposes. Unjustified because Israel had a political alternative to the use of force. The home-made Qassam rockets fired by Hamas militants from Gaza on Israeli towns were only the ­excuse, not the reason for Operation Cast Lead. In June 2008, Egypt had ­brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement. ­Contrary to Israeli propaganda, this was a success: the average number of rockets fired monthly from Gaza dropped from 179 to three. Yet on 4 November Israel violated the ceasefire by launching a raid into Gaza, killing six Hamas fighters. When Hamas ­retaliated, Israel seized the renewed rocket attacks as the ­excuse for launching its insane offensive. If all Israel wanted was to protect its citizens from Qassam rockets, it only needed to ­observe the ceasefire.

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• Blair ‘lied’ over war preparations
• Attorney general ‘misled’ government
• Brown ‘marginalised and unhappy’
Clare Short at the Iraq war inquiry – as it happened
James Sturcke, The Guardian/UK, Feb 2, 2010
Clare Short arriving to give evidence at the Iraq Inquiry

Clare Short arriving to give evidence at the Iraq inquiry. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Clare Short, the former international development secretary, today accused Tony Blair of lying to her and misleading parliament in the build-up to the Iraq invasion.

Short, giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war, also said that the 2003 conflict had put the world in greater danger of international terrorism.

Declassified letters between Short and Blair released today show she believed that invading Iraq without a second UN resolution would be illegal and there was a significant risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

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Letter from Clare Short to Tony Blair on humanitarian planning and the role of the UN, 14 February 2003 (pdf).

Letter from Short to Blair on the UN and US roles in post-conflict Iraq, 5 March 2003 (pdf).

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A sea of placards filled Parliament Square on Friday morning

A sea of placards filled Parliament Square on Friday morning

“Blair lied, thousands died.” That was the chant which reverberated around Parliament Square on Friday as former prime minister Tony Blair gave evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

Even from the safety of the Queen Elizabeth II centre, where he had been spirited by his security detail hours before the inquiry was due to start, Mr Blair could not have failed to hear the fury of the hundreds of protesters who thronged the square throughout the morning.

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Associated Press, 29 January 2010
Former prime minister Tony Blair defended his decision to take Britain into war with Iraq, telling an investigation panel that he would do the same again if he had to.

Iraq Inquiry: In the end,Tony Blair will be judged by history

Daily Telegraph, 29 Jan 2010

Telegraph View: The great and unforgivable error was not the invasion of Iraq, but failing to prepare for its aftermath.

Finally, the Prince appeared in Hamlet. Witness 69 in the inquiry into Britain’s decision to go to war in Iraq took his seat looking tanned, fit and thoroughly unapologetic. Outside, protesters waved placards denouncing Tony Blair for making what they considered to have been a mendacious case for war; inside, he made his position clear: “I would not have done Iraq if I had not thought it was right. Full Stop. It is a decision I would take again.”

Anyone who thought that the former prime minister would suddenly resile from his view that the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was justified by a genuine belief that Saddam Hussein was building an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction was always going to be disappointed. Recantation or tearful pleas for forgiveness may be the stuff of some daytime TV shows; but this particular one was not going to provide them.

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Tony Blair at Iraq inquiry – the key points

What the former prime minister told the Chilcot panel in brief

guardian.co.uk, Friday 29 January 2010

In evidence to the Chilcot inquiry today, Tony Blair said:

  • “No regrets at removing Saddam Hussein. He was a monster and a threat. The world is safer as a result. He reflects on his decision every day.

“If we had left Saddam in power, we would still have had to deal with him, possibly in circumstances where the threat was worse.”

Read more

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