11 September 2010

Tony Blair’s ‘Long Awaited’ Memoirs – File Under Fiction

According to Tony Blair’s publishers his autobiography A Journey is a worldwide publishing sensation, publishers are of course prone to exaggeration.

But to many people in the UK, and around the world, his autobiography is another smack in the face from a man who has lied in order to bring a nation to war resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children, and of course British soldiers.

The factual evidence has already been well documented. Blair lied about finding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. He wanted regime change in Iraq and was prepared to use any means necessary for this to happen, including deceit and lying to the public. During a meeting with George W. Bush at the Oval Office, only two months before the March 10th 2003 start date of the war, Bush and Blair both doubted that weapons of mass destruction would be found - no WMDs were ever found in Iraq.

In the Oval Office meeting, Blair had said to Bush that an attempt to obtain the second UN resolution was necessary to provide Blair with political cover. Bush had stated that he would attempt to ‘twist arms at the UN’ although the start of the war had already been decided. With the start date already in place for the invasion during the Oval office meeting Blair had a choice. Wait for a second UN resolution and be left out of the war by not backing Bush or jump into bed with Bush and become a war-time Prime Minister.

On January 14th 2003, Blair was advised by the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith that the invasion of Iraq would be illegal without a second resolution from the United Nations. One week before the invasion Goldsmith had turned and decided that the war would be legal. In the end there was no second UN resolution turning the invasion in Iraq into an illegal war. This entire meeting and Bush's intended deception on a cover to justify the start of the war was omitted from Blair’s memoirs.*

Tony Blair has never apologised for the Iraq invasion although he has reflected on whether he was right to invade Iraq. He has also claimed that he took advice from a higher power when he stated, “In the end, there is a judgement that, I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people... and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well.” This seems to be a nice conscience salve for Blair, a man who is well regarded as a first class manipulator, egotist and someone who is adept at remaining conscience clear while the blood of innocent men, women and children drips from his hands.

At the Iraq Inquiry in January 2010 Blair was shouted at from witnesses in attendance including grieving relatives of British soldiers killed during the war who called him a liar and a murderer after he claimed he felt ‘responsibility but no regret for the war and that Britain would be able to look back on the conflict with immense pride’. Throughout the six hour hearing Blair was able to give no substantial proof as to why 40,000 British troops were sent to war to disarm Saddam Hussein of non existent weapons of mass destruction.

Tony Blair is no doubt more than aware that a huge number of British people hold him fully responsible for the illegal war in Iraq. There are websites and organisations devoted to bringing this ‘mass murderer’ to account with the end result that Blair is tried for war crimes in The Hague. A nice piece of spin on the part of Blair was to donate all of the proceeds from his book to the Royal British Legion. Anti-war campaigners are of course sceptical and claim Blair is simply trying to buy forgiveness. It has been pointed out more than once that what this actually means is that those who buy Blair’s book will be the ones making the donation.

Blair of course does not need the money; he has a network of money making ventures with an estimated personal fortune of over £15 million. He earns seven figure sums each year as an advisor to the investment bank JP Morgan and insurance giants Zurich. In fact Blair’s money making ventures are extremely complex and Blair’s finances are a secret thanks to ‘legal’ loopholes in UK company law.

Blair’s hopes that people will move on from the war in Iraq were obliterated at the first public book signing in Dublin on the 4th September 2010. Around 200 protesters hurled plastic bottles, shoes and eggs at Blair’s motorcade as he arrived. Protesters were reported to have chanted, "Hey hey Tony hey, how many kids have you killed today?" and four protesters were arrested. More protests are to be held when Blair’s book tour continues in the UK next week. Some anti-Blair websites are offering financial bounties for those who attempt a perfectly legal citizen’s arrest on the ex Prime Minister during the book tour.

According to reports, Blair’s book has become a bestseller in the US and stands at number 12 on the US best sellers lists. The French don’t seem that interested in the book and it has a ranking of 366 while Germany ranks the book at 529 on the best sellers. Undoubtedly his memoir will sell more than Blair’s successor’s latest scribblings. Ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s book entitled Why Is That Bastard Blair Still Blaming Me For Everything? managed to scrape in at only 32 copies. But Brown was never the most charasmatic or celebrity friendly politician. People were always more likely to be interested in Blair’s 700 pages of rip-roaring fiction, celebrity schmoozing and yes, even sex scenes.

Tony Blair is at present continuing with his book tour, shrugging off the chants and protests to the best of his ability. He knows that even if someone does attempt a citizen’s arrest it will simply be a gesture. The person making the arrest will be pushed away by Blair’s security staff. There have been at least three such attempts made already, one by protester Kate O’ Sullivan at the Dublin book signing.

You cannot mention Tony Blair’s career without mentioning the war in Iraq. His partnership with President Bush and the Iraq invasion may still be Blair’s ultimate downfall in the future. But it is the words of another former US President that come to mind when summing up Blair. The words spoken by Richard Nixon in that world famous television interview in 1977 with David Frost perhaps sum up Blair’s thinking on the legality of the War in Iraq, and what it means to be Prime Minister, “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal”.

* Information on Blair and Bush meeting from Huffington Post - Blair's Big Lie of Omission

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