Friday, August 06, 2010

Pilger: Blair must be prosecuted

John Pilger, New Statesman, August 4, 2010

Having helped destroy other nations far away, our former prime minister — “peace envoy” to the Middle East — is now free to profit from the useful contacts he made while working as a “servant of the people”.


Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes; Blair’s, which have earned him a £4.6m advance, will appear next month.

Now consider the Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, of a kind the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the “paramount war crime”. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide.

In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma. Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter “liberated” by the British) are now higher than those at Hiroshima. “UK forces used about 1.9 metric tonnes of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, told parliament on 22 July. A range of toxic “anti-personnel” weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and US forces.

Such carnage was justified with lies that have been exposed repeatedly. On 29 January 2003, Blair told parliament: “We do know of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq . . .” Last month, the former head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry: “There is no credible intelligence to suggest that connection . . . [it was the invasion] that gave Osama Bin Laden his Iraqi jihad.” Asked to what extent the invasion exacerbated the threat to Britain from terrorism, she replied: “Substantially.”

The bombings in London on 7 July 2005 were a direct consequence of Blair’s actions.

Continues >>
Post a Comment