The Blair Legacy 117

For years, neo-con apologists for the invasion of Iraq have parroted the lie that at least life is better than it was under Saddam Hussein. That was always blatantly untrue, from the massive destruction of water, power and healthcare infrastructure; not to mention the million dead, two million maimed and five million displaced. The neo-con commentators, of course, have not actually been there. Those of us who have, found the situation far worse than anything reported in the mainstream media. Indeed, perhaps the most irrefutable proof of the propaganda model of Western media is that 59% of the population believed less than 10,000 people died as a result of the Iraq War. That poll itself only made the mainstream media in a letter by known dissenters published on the Guardian’s letters page – a way of “othering” the information.

It is now extremely difficult for the media to pretend that everything is OK in Iraq, bar the odd car bomb. The AL-Maliki regime has been in the remarkable position of being both pro-Iranian and supported by the West with masses of military hardware – substantial quantities of which is now in the hands of ISIS. I don’t expect Al-Maliki to fall soon, but his area of control is decreasing by the hour. Whether the Al-Maliki regime has been any less vicious than that of Saddam Hussein is arguable. Certainly there has been a great deal less social freedom in Iraq.

I abhor dictatorship, but waging massive high technology war on a country, destroying its infrastructure and many of its people, because it has the misfortune to suffer under a dictator, is crazy. Those who genuinely believe in “liberal intervention” must finally admit that the revival of the concept of the “civilising mission” of imperialism has failed, disastrously, and brought massive misery to the world.

The harder-headed men on whose behalf Blair and Bush were acting, who never believed or cared about spreading liberal democracy, but simply wanted to gain vast wealth through control of natural resources, are less likely to be disillusioned. “Liberal intervention” has successfully acquired for these men assets in the diamond and rutile mines of Sierra Leone, and the oilfields of Iraq and Libya. My main hope from the current violent convulsions is that as few people are killed or harmed as possible. But over the next few years, it is essential that mineral riches are removed from Western interests in those countries that suffered “liberal intervention”. Otherwise we will see more of it, if it continues to appear a viable business model to the establishment.

What is Tony Blair’s current personal wealth?

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117 thoughts on “The Blair Legacy

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  • Richard B

    Tony Blair is the poorest man I know of.

    What does he have apart from money? Nothing. Not even self-respect. Deep down, he knows what he’s done. Denial can only take you so far.

  • jjb

    The think is, he do not know what he is done. He is no doubt surrounded of a coitery of ass lickers that countinuosly reasure him of hi nobility

  • Mr Nobody

    Can you please comment on Oded Yinon policy for the middle east and Africa. Its seems all these wars are going exactly as planned by Isreal/US/UK

  • Ruth

    The east of Libya contains 80% of Libya’s oil. These oilfields have been shut down for nearly a year and hence are not controlled by the West

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Agree, broadly, but I’d venture to say that Maliki is now toast. That it is even possible for a mixture of disaffected minority Sunnis and jihadis to take Samarra, Tikrit, and, astoundingly, Mosul, while the Iraqi standing army simply runs away, says it all, really.

    We will be helping the reviled Assad to hold the line in the north before the end of the year, is my guess…this assumes we have any sense. I am now wondering which way Erdogan will jump, too. And what of poor-little-Israel ™ ?

    I thought Iraq was a clusterfuck in 2003. Now bloody look at it.

    Mr. Blair is currently, or has within the last day or so been, in Beijing. The purpose of his mission is not known, this is completely unreported in the UK, but he has met Matteo Renzi – another neocon-lite fraud – there.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    The east of Libya contains 80% of Libya’s oil. These oilfields have been shut down for nearly a year and hence are not controlled by the West

    So, law of unintended consequences, again. Fortunately for big oil, the Kurdish Peshmerga are still sitting on Kirkuk, where the oil is. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, but the Peshmerga have a much better record for defending their positions.

  • Patrick Haseldine

    Blair syphons off more than $500 million of Libya’s assets

    In January 2008, the ‘Financial Times’ reported that Tony Blair had agreed to become a £2million-a-year adviser to the global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The newspaper reported that Blair “will use his experience and contacts to provide political and strategic advice to the US bank and participate in some client events.” Blair stated that he was looking at accepting “a small handful” of similar positions with other companies. “I have always been interested in commerce and the impact of globalisation. Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including the emerging markets, is very strong,” he said.

    In September 2011, the ‘Daily Telegraph’ revealed that Tony Blair was one of three prominent western businessmen (including an unnamed British businessman and a former American diplomat) who regularly advised Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan leader, over investment decisions of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the $70 billion fund used to invest the country’s oil money abroad. An LIA executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:
    “Tony Blair’s visits were purely lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan. Saif and his father played these people like musical chairs. At the end the reputation of the LIA was really damaged because of these interventions.”

    Documents found by the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ showed Mr Blair had made at least three visits to Tripoli, twice in the lead-up to the release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in 2008 and 2009 and once in 2010. On the first two occasions he was flown to the country on planes arranged by Colonel Gaddafi. A senior diplomat told the ‘Daily Telegraph’ that the British embassy in Tripoli had arranged transport for Mr Blair and his entourage in Tripoli and ensured that representatives were there to “greet him and see him off” at the airport. Mr Blair stayed overnight at the ambassador’s official residence in Tripoli and was accompanied by “several” British police officers for protection. The documents show that among the people he was due to meet in 2009 was Mohammed Layas, head of the LIA.

    A spokesman for Mr Blair said that the visits had largely been to discuss Africa, and categorically denied that he had lobbied Saif al-Islam on behalf of JP Morgan:
    “As we have made clear many times before, Tony Blair has never had any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the Government of Libya and he does not and has never had any commercial relationship with any Libyan company or entity.”

    In August 2011, American officials told the ‘New York Post’ newspaper that JP Morgan managed more than half a billion US dollars on behalf of the LIA. One of the letters arranging the 2008 visit, in which an aide to Mr Blair told the Libyan ambassador to Britain that the former prime minister was “delighted” that “The Leader” was likely to be able to see him, was on notepaper headed “Office of the Quartet Representative”, his formal title as Middle East envoy. The Quartet he represents is made up of the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the United States.

    A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, said: “It’s up to him to explain why he did this.”

  • Ed Davies

    It’s so lucky none of the countries to the south of Iraq which are such firm favourites of the west are run by brutal authoritarian regimes otherwise the intervention in Iraq would look hypocritical.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Extended discussion of Blair’s interesting relationships with (inter alia) “countries to the south of Iraq…”

    Blair’s predecessor as (Quartet – BZ) envoy, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn – who mostly based himself in the region during his year in the post – quit because he felt neither Israel nor the U.S. was serious about negotiating with the Palestinians. Why, given the absence of any achievement, does Blair doggedly cling to his role? Who benefits?

    But that question is answered earlier in the piece:

    But during the same seven years Blair has been Quartet envoy, he has managed to amass a personal fortune, now estimated to be in the region of $110 million, a large chunk of which has been paid to him by Middle East governments for his advice and contacts. This has led to accusations that his very successful consultancy business, Tony Blair Associates, is cashing in on contacts he has cultivated as envoy.

    The role of envoy is unpaid – although expenses are picked up by taxpayers – but it affords Blair an obvious business platform in the region for his role as a “consultant” to governments and various investment houses. For instance, last week, in addition to being in Jerusalem, Blair also popped up in Kuwait, where he met with the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah. Blair’s office said the visit was in his capacity as Quartet envoy.

    TBA has had a lucrative contract with the Kuwaiti government for many years and has also carried out work for Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government-owned investment vehicle. Blair has also visited both countries in his role as envoy.

  • guano

    On Radio 4 this morning a US military advisor stated that ISIS had abandoned its previous tactics of targeting civilians aka Al Qaida in Afghanistan Pakistan. ISIS core membership is Kurdish Iraqis who were refused pardon by Kurdish Leader Barzani’s predecessor Talebani for jihadist activities against his own party and against Saddam.

    The US advisor stated that they now fight military to military as an organised, disciplined force. This is the way/sunna of Islam. Destruction of the weak, even trees is completely forbidden in Islam. A Muslim Sunni army operating by the sunna of Islam, not by the madness of Mr Zawihiri in Afghanistan, blowing up kids on buses etc, will be an unstoppable force in any Sunni country whose Shi’a rulers like Maliki have oppressed them on sectarian grounds.

    ISIS made Jihad against the lunacy of Zawahiri terror against civilians in Syria, and killed the main perpetrators of indiscriminate slaughter who were following the instructions of the Zawahiri madman.

    With ISIS we now have the possibility of Iraq returning back to commonsense and order. Maliki is universally condemned for sectarian oppression. He will go within weeks in my opinion, under pressure from Obama.

    In the past, UKUSIS have used the Afghan and Pakistan Muslims to create an out of control monster of terror, simply because of the ignorance in these countries about the basic principles of Islam.

  • guano

    As to Blair, he’s like a man who thinks the toilet hand drier is a new type of urinal. He never stops covering himself with urine.

    King James Bible:
    To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

  • Mary

    Aa again. He wants more blood.

    From the Medialens editors.

    Aaronovitch yet again warmongering
    Posted by The Editors on June 12, 2014, 11:06 am

    ‘We must do everything short of putting boots on the ground to help the Kurds to defend themselves against Isis and similar groups.

    ‘Britain and France should give President Obama whatever encouragement he needs to take this action, and render whatever assistance the Americans might require.

    ‘We don’t have to agree on anything else – 2003, WMD, Syrian red lines, whatever – just this.’

    (Aaronovitch, ‘Forget the past. Iraqi Kurds need our help now; The 2003 invasion is irrelevant to what is happening in Mosul now. What matters is preventing the advance of Isis,’ The Times, June 12, 2014)

  • Abe Rene

    Blair is a multi-millionaire, but he covets the chance to make his mark more than anything. He had better be careful that he exerts a good influence.

  • Mary

    ‘Who leads Isis?

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of Isis, is now deemed one of the most powerful jihadi leaders in the world. He took over as leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2010 after its former leaders were killed in an attack by US and Iraqi troops, reports The Independent. Following the fate of his predecessors, he reportedly insists on extreme secrecy, sometimes wearing a mask as disguise. Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua, is believed to be in his early 40s, with degrees in Islamic Studies, including poetry, history and genealogy. Born in Samarra, a largely Sunni city north of Baghdad, he was later held prisoner by the Americans in Bocca Camp in southern Iraq between 2005 and 2009. The group’s leadership is almost exclusively made up of Iraqis, but it has gained thousands of volunteers from across the Middle East and hundreds from the West. Iraqi officials believe there are between 6,000 and 10,000 Isis militants in the country.’

    Isis: battle will rage in Baghdad, say militants

    Will we ever know how he was treated during those 4 years? Was it another place like Abu Ghraib?

    A hell hole.

  • Theodore

    So? if there are no personal repercussions then the mistake isn’t a mistake – it a subjective value judgement. Without personal judicial repercussions we are blowing smoke while people are being killed wholsesale.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Without personal judicial repercussions we are blowing smoke while people are being killed wholesale.

    True. Or letting off steam, anyway. But what institutional change do you propose to ensure that those presently protected by their money and influence should face the same justice and the same sanctions as ordinary frauds, burglars and murderers?

    Hard one.

  • doug scorgie

    “This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time”

    “I will remember friends and comrades in private next year, as the solemnity of remembrance has been twisted into a justification for conflict”

    “However, I am afraid it will be the last time that I will bear witness to those soldiers, airmen and sailors who are no more, at my local cenotaph. From now on, I will lament their passing in private because my despair is for those who live in this present world.

    I will no longer allow my obligation as a veteran to remember those who died in the great wars to be co-opted by current or former politicians to justify our folly in Iraq, our morally dubious war on terror and our elimination of one’s right to privacy.”

    Harry Leslie Smith

  • mark golding

    “..from the massive destruction of water, power and healthcare infrastructure; not to mention the million dead, two million maimed and five million displaced.

    Bravo Craig!

    Let us remind ourselves of recent blatant hypocrisy, deceit, mockery and bigotry.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron: “Russia has sought to annex Crimea . This is a flagrant breach of international law and something we will not recognise. This behaviour belongs to the Europe of the last century not this one. It cannot be ignored or we risk more serious problems in the future.” Labor Opposition leader Ed Miliband has adopted the same position as Obama, stating that what Russia had done was “unacceptable”.

    UK Foreign Minister William Hague: “You just don’t invade another country on phoney pretexts in order to assert your interests. The world cannot say it’s OK to violate the sovereignty of another nation in this way.” The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Labor Opposition leader Ed Miliband have voiced similar opinions.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text … It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President (Vladimir) Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations.”

    US President Barack Obama: “We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that is on, then not only us but the international community … will be forced to apply a cost to Russia ‘s violations of international law. There is another path available, and we hope that (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin is willing seize that path.”

    One Ukrainian soldier killed in Crimea versus 12 million Muslim deaths in the post-1990 US War on Muslims.

    US-backed Apartheid Israel in its short existence as an anti-Arab anti-Semitic, genocidal rogue state has invaded 12 countries and still occupies the territory of 3 countries whereas nuclear-weapons-free Iran – the bête noire (black beast) of the racist, pro-Zionist, nuclear terrorist and mendacious FUKUS Coalition and Apartheid Israel – has not invaded any country for centuries.

    Western double standards over Crimea overwhelmingly demanding re-union with Mother Russia versus Apartheid Israel’s Occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide:

    Sincere thanks and love to Dr Gideon Polya for his stimulas and epiphany.

  • Anon

    A million? Only the other day I was being told by Je that the figure was 188,000. What causes of death are you including to arrive at a figure over five times that given by the Iraq Body Count?

  • Mary

    BLiar took time out from the jetting and the money making to take Cherie to the new restaurant where one must be seen.

    Agent Cameron followed in his hero’s footsteps last night with SamCam.

    Bono, Kate Moss, the Beckhams. All the literati of the London set go there!

    We have shallow and hollow politicians.

  • Mary

    Not forgetting Harry Patch Doug.

    When Tony Blair met Harry Patch
    Heathcote Williams 18 August 2013 Video

    On 6 June 2006, Tony Blair posed with Harry Patch, no doubt seeing a flattering photo opportunity with the longest surviving soldier from World War 1. “War is organised murder,” Harry told Blair, who only three years earlier had taken Britain into the illegal Iraq war. Blair scuttled away.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    Not enough corpses, Anon? If it’s not 6 million, it doesn’t count?

    ” any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde;
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

    John Donne.

  • Jemand

    Of course, Islam inspired violence has nothing to do with the dire situation in Iraq, does it Craig? The Americans come along and trip the spring trap that was held in tension for so long by a gangster client and suddenly they get all the credit for the hundreds of thousands dead. I’m not an apologist for the US, just saying that others deserve credit where credit’s due.

    I posted this link on the previous thread. 

    ISIS spreading the word of Peace –

  • A Node

    I remember reading a letter in the Guardian signed by a number of ex-ambassadors, diplomats, and politicians. I think it was just before the invasion of Iraq, but maybe it was just after. They unambiguously stated their belief that British foreign policy was being dictated by Israeli interests and that the invasion of Iraq would be disastrous for Britain. I think the letter was also published in the Times letters page, and that a few weeks later a similar letter from US diplomats was published in US newspapers. I have searched the internet several times over the last few years looking but I can’t find mention of it. Do any other readers of this blog remember the letter I describe?

    P.S. I am not referring to this letter (or its US equivalent) written a year after the invasion by UK and US diplomats which expressed more general fears about Israel’s influence:

  • Ba'al Zevul (Diamond Geezer)

    A Node – This one?

    Policy must take account of the nature and history of Iraq, the most complex country in the region. However much Iraqis may yearn for a democratic society, the belief that one could now be created by the coalition is naive. This is the view of virtually all independent specialists on the region, both in Britain and in America. We are glad to note that you and the president have welcomed the proposals outlined by Lakhdar Brahimi. We must be ready to provide what support he requests, and to give authority to the UN to work with the Iraqis themselves, including those who are now actively resisting the occupation, to clear up the mess. (snip)

    So that didn’t happen, then.

  • Jemand

    A Node, the article you seek might have been quietly expunged. In any case, I look forward to the commentary of retired establishment figures like executives, bureaucrats and military personnel who can spill the beans on govcorp malfeasance without harming their pensions.

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