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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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    And a big well done to Jonathan Marcus for his reply to “The Editors” (which editors by the way? whi are they? Mary omits to say) – his reply gave them exactly what their arrogant and presumptuous letter deserved.

    From now on, I’ll listen to anything from Jonathan Marcus with even greater respect and with a smile on my lips as I remember his excellent and robust reply.

  • fool

    Thanks Doug for that Link to the Harry Leslie Smith piece about this year being the last time he would wear a poppy, and Guano for your comment about Blair thinking a hand drier is a urinal (that made me laugh).

    Lin Yutang the Chinese writer and philosopher wrote:

    “In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from becoming lost as serially numbered units in the mass of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uninformed coolies. The scamp will be the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him.”

    1939 The Importance of Living (ch: The Scamp as ideal)

  • six hundred and sixty six formicating feudalist fighting flat headed fools

    I also read the list of six things that went wrong with Iraq and whilst I am not very political (sometimes I even have some sympathy for Habba) and am not aligned with any political wing I could not but immediately think hand on a mo there is a bit more than that which got fucked up.

  • six hundred and sixty six formicating feudalist fighting flat headed fools

    Note: “Formicating” derives from and is a reference to those who furnish with formica and is not a misspelling of fornicating.

    “Hand on a mo” is a misspelling for hang on a mo and has nothing to do with hands on ones mo.

  • John Goss

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    12 Jun, 2014 – 4:09 pm “Imposter” my dear friend, I don’t think anyone could impost the inimitable style of yours truly, except perhaps yours truly himself. Now if I was going to tell tales to teacher I would want him to know the full story and the chunk you lifted was quite clearly an addendum to the comment directly above it. I am not ashamed about what I write anywhere.

    “June 10, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Brian, I’ve never known Craig to express opinion that he dose not hold, and he has stuck his neck out against state misdoings which have not done him a bit of good. His campaigns and exclusives against the state have shown total resolve. I am thinking about the Atlantic Bridge, Gould, Fox, Werritty affair as well as his ongoing campaign against the Karimovs.

    I have no information but speculate with his experience in the diplomatic service there may be an opportunity for him with the new Scottish government should independence be voted for.

    What is happening in Ukraine, without a squeak from our media, is deplorable. How anyone could side with Poroshenko and the thugs he spearheads is beyond me. A village was razed to the ground yesterday.

    Ukraine is not going to pay its debt to Russia for gas it has used but I cannot see how how the gas can be cut off without cutting off Europe. So, unless I misunderstand, this may not be the negotiating lever I hoped it might be, but my wish is I’m wrong on this because there is no water in many areas of Eastern Ukraine, no means of withdrawing cash, no food.

    One thing I have noticed is that whenever the Ukraine debate is opened up on Craig’s blog most of the regular trolls go AWOL. It suggests to me that they are probably paid agents. That being so you would expect they could come up with more enlightened and informed trolls.
    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) ! 12 Jun, 2014 – 4:09 pm

    “Thanks Brian for the link.

    June 10, 2014 at 8:18 am

    The reason the trolls go away when Ukraine crops up is that if the debate is opened up enlightened people who use Craig’s blog as a source of news, and there are many of these, would see what is really going on, but with no debate they can’t. I am surprised that Craig himself seems to have joined them!!!”

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    @ Six Hundred etc (17h59)

    Your explanations are convincing and I accept them in the spirit in which they are offered.

  • craig Post author


    I by no means think we should ignore dictators either. But bombing their countries into the Middle Ages is not the solution.

  • Herbie

    That dismissive reply from the BBC chap suggests an attitude similar to that of Madeleine Albright, who admitted that she viewed the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children from Western sanctions as “a price that’s worth it”.

    Should anyone care to wonder at the ongoing slaughter and misery inflicted by Western foreign policy, they could do worse than begin with these callous attitudes displayed by Western leaders and opinion formers.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    John Goss

    So it was really you and not an imposter? I’m astonished because it’s not like you to badmouth o comment on people behind their back (=on another blog). Because I know you set great store by openness and transparency, you see.

    But that still leaves the nasty person who impersonated our Californian friend Ben.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Should anyone care to wonder at the ongoing slaughter and misery inflicted by Western foreign policy, they could do worse than begin with these callous attitudes displayed by Western leaders and opinion formers.”

    With great respect, Herbie, that seems rather circular and putting the horse before the cart, doesn’t it? But be that as it may, what is the point you’re trying to make?

  • fool

    One thing that struck me about the ISIS situation is the account that its 3000 to 5000 against 900,000. I don’t know who ISIS are and note the Independent’s suggestion that it is thought that they may contain senior officer from Hussein’s elite forces and security services and if so that may account for the lack of resistance, which they encounter in sunni areas, but apart from that and perhaps more generally it drives home the fact that the majority in all countries are usually passive. Still it makes you think. It seems so contrary to all those war games and top trump card scenarios.

  • fool

    And when I am here one last post: what is going on in the world in 2014. Egypt coup; Kiev coup; Crimea becomes Russian; Spanish King abdicates; ISIS; no electricity at all in Yemen; UKIP; Scotland planning on going it alone and I have no doubt missed several more relevant events. Are the wheels coming off the juggernaut of our sleepy lives?

  • Herbie

    If the deaths of 500,000 children are a price worth paying for Western policy objectives, then it’s worth asking what price is too high.




    At what point would the price be too high.

    Do the number of deaths even form any part of the calculus at all.

  • guano

    Heebijeeb, why are you late!?

    If you need time off to get your hair blue-rinsed and permed you can get it done while you are working.

    We nearly had a useful discussion today until you slid in under the door like alien saliva. Consensus and commonsense nearly prevailed on CM’s blog.

    Don’t let it happen again!

  • Tony M

    I always think the best way to deal with ‘awful dictators’ is for each country or polity or community to deal with their own. That the US should deal with Obama, Bush and friends, and the people of the nations of Britain should deal with Cameron, Hague, Blair, Straw et al. and do so severely. It is so much easier that way. There is in fact no moral obligation whatever to go out looking for other awful dictators, much less to ‘deal with them’, when so many who fit that description – the fig leaf of having been ‘elected’ or however anointed, however they obtained dictatorial power, making no difference the terms President, Prime Minister and others being perfect synonyms for dictator in these known cases – we’ve more than enough to deal with nearer to home and when we’ve dealt with them, I doubt even then we’ve any moral obligation to go looking for any more of them, any further afield, none surpass our own and those of our good buddie allies in the US (not forgetting its own newer allies in Al-CIADA and in the Kiev junta) and the Israeli right in frightfulness. If going after awful dictators and dealing with them is the game, it’s always best to go for the top, the head of the beast than its manifold arms and legs, peripheral little dictator-ettes, the place you want to look are their known-haunts of Downing Street and the Whitehouse, from there the trails both begin and end.

    You can’t have a decent foreign policy until the present indecent foreign policy is laid to rest and the culprits behind it face their crimes, their victims and a just fate.

  • mike

    So the US invades Iraq, fights Sunni insurgents, paves the way for a dodgy Shia regime, tries to depose the Syrian regime using Sunni insurgents (which are fought by Iraqi Shias) and now considers bombing those Sunni insurgents to help the regime which is heling thwart its plans in Syria.

    Does everyone in Washington have ADHD and below-average IQ, or are they not bothered by what chaos they create so long as someone, somewhere, is buying their weapons?

  • John Goss

    No Mike they don’t have ADHD. It’s the latter. Blair has no scruples, he was the one who phoned his friend Lord Falconer to organise the Hutton Inquiry before even the home office pathologist specifically chosen had attended the scene of death. How disgusting is that?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Tony M

    “I always think the best way to deal with ‘awful dictators’ is for each country or polity or community to deal with their own. That the US should deal with Obama, Bush and friends, and the people of the nations of Britain should deal with Cameron, Hague, Blair, Straw et al. and do so severely. It is so much easier that way.”

    Interesting indeed.

    Would you make to tell us how that doctrine of yours might have applied/been applied in the case of Adolf Hitler?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    John Goss

    “Herbie, for me the killing of one child is a price too high to be paid.”

    Probably without meaning to you have exposed Herbie’s comment at 18h48 for the maudlin tosh it is.

    Thank you.

  • Mary

    I keep saying Blair and his like are psychopaths. see Hare’s work on the subject.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “I keep saying Blair and his like are psychopaths. see Hare’s work on the subject.”_________________

    It would be nice to have some original work from YOU on something once in a while, Mary, rather than you just repeating the thoughts of others all the time.

    Heaven knows you have enough time at your disposal – after all, you seem to have ample time to comment on here and on Squonk (and who knows where else…!!??)the whole day long, and has not Craig himself congratulated you on your fact-finding skills?

    So get on with it please – some ORIGINAL work!!

    Thanks in advance, Mary.

  • Herbie

    500,000 deaths is far from maudlin, habby. You’re exposing a darkness in yourself there, which you generally take better care to conceal.

    Mine is a genuine question and valid question, which I’ll propose again.

    If these warmongers think the death of 500,000 children is a price worth paying in pursuit of their objectives, how many is too much a price to pay.




    Or, is any number, including 10,000,000+, a price worth paying in pursuit of their objectives.

    And what does that say about such people.

    Remember, she didn’t say it was unforeseen or unfortunate, she said it was a price worth paying.

    So, is there any price, any number, in terms of human death and misery, that she won’t think a price worth paying in pursuit of her objectives.

    And, again, what does such an attitude say about such people.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Mine is a genuine question and valid question, which I’ll propose again.”

    Even John Goss didn’t think so.

    BTW Herbert: just as a general tip, avoid as much as possible describing your own questions as “genuine”, “valid” and so on – it tends to make the reader think the opposite.


    “So, is there any price, any number, in terms of human death and misery, that she won’t think a price worth paying in pursuit of her objectives.

    And, again, what does such an attitude say about such people.”

    This time round, not only maudlin but also rhetorical, Herbert.

  • Herbie

    Your answer then, habby, is as I expected.

    It just don’t matter, how many die, in pursuit of Western objectives.

    And of course it’s maudlin to question the utter depravity of it all.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Brendan

    The US (and Abbott) look like they are up for the final installment of the franchise: Iraq III: Armageddon. These neocons really are psychologically incapable of learning a thing aren’t they? What an epic mess. It’s notable how little information we can get about Iraq, I well recall the media black-out around Fallujah war crimes. And the recent Guardian article maintains the 100,000 dead figure, disgracefully.

    If Cameron promises UK troops to help clear up this mess, I hope the UK people string him up on the lampost outside No 10. Him and his creepy Foreign Secretary. Oh, and Bliar obviously, seeing as the Hague seem too busy to deal with him. Alas, I can well imagine Cameron getting his war paint on, soon enough.

  • BrianFujisan

    International Law.. and the Brave Poff Bpyle

    In September 1991, Prof. Boyle filed a legal complaint on behalf of Iraq’s 4.5 million children. He submitted the petition to the UN Secretary General and to a number of UN agencies including UNICEF. “This Indictment, Complaint and Petition for Relief from Genocide accuses the Respondents (President George Bush Sr. and the United States of America) of committing the international crime of genocide against the 4.5 million Children of Iraq in violation of the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 and in violation of the municipal legal systems of all civilized nations in the world…” He cited existing evidence for his claim including the report of the Harvard Study Team which estimated that “at least 170,000 Iraqi children under the age of five will die within the next year… if the imposition of sanctions continues.” The petition was never acted upon.

    Boyle mounted another campaign before the 2003 US/UK invasion of Iraq, using his original genocide petition. This time he contacted senior Iraqi government officials, asking them to grant him the legal authority to file lawsuits against the US and UK governments in the World Court. He felt the case for genocide was even stronger in 2003, based of comments made by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during a 1996 TV interview on 60 Minutes. When asked if the reported deaths of a half million Iraqi children was “worth it” in terms of US policy in Iraq, Albright answered, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

    This statement, according to Boyle,

    Is what criminal lawyers call a classic ‘Admission Against Interest.’ This Statement by the then sitting US Secretary of State, acting within the scope of her official duties and speaking in the name of the United States government, could be taken to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and filed to prove that the United States of America possessed the required mens rea (criminal intent) necessary to commit the international crime of genocide. Under both international law and US domestic law, to be guilty of a crime a person or a state must possess the requisite mens rea at the same time that he or she or it commits the criminal act (actus reus).

    Iraqi government officials also declined to involve themselves in his case. Prof. Boyle called these failures “one of the great disappointments of my life.” As he added it up, more than 3.3 million Iraqi men, women and children died as a result of US/UK actions between 1991 and 2011 when the US officially ended hostilities with Iraq: 200,000 killed in the first Gulf War; 1.7 million dead as a result of sanctions; and 1.4 million dead as a result of the illegal invasion of 2003.

    In March 1998, two years after Albright’s infamous “admission against interest”, President Bill Clinton was in Rwanda where he apologized — not only for the US, but for international inaction in the face of the mass killings. As many as one million people are said to have died. “We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide.” he said. Why wasn’t the “rightful” name applied? Because when the term is applied, action is mandated according to Article 1: The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. (emphasis added)

    This is one reason why there is so much resistance, so much posturing, hedging and hesitation about invoking a legal determination for genocide, not only in Iraq, but in other countries too numerous to list: Vietnam, East Timor, Congo, Palestine…to name a few. Because if “the parties” to the UN convention label it a genocide, action must be taken. We can call it a genocide after- the- fact, in 1998 or in 2014. We can express our remorse, our regret and own our mistakes in Rwanda because we’re off the hook. The UN Security Council, and the government of Rwanda took action as required by the Convention, establishing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in November 1994 (UN) and instituting the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission as well as a modern-day version of a traditional approach to reconciliation, gacaca(Gov’t of Rwanda)

  • Peacewisher

    I suppose the Ukrainian Govt will claim they were using white phosphorus for incendiary purposes, rather than as a chemical weapon. Hopefully, such a claim will be discussed one day in The Hague. Even more hopefully, similar use in Palestine and Iraq in civilian areas will also one day be scrutinised in full detail at the International Criminal Court.

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