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Iraq crisis: Lying zealot Tony Blair is a fundamental danger to world peace

By Eamonn McCann

Published 18/06/2014

Image posted on a militant website appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers dressed in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo via militant website)
Image posted on a militant website appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leading away captured Iraqi soldiers dressed in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo via militant website)
Image posted on a militant website, verified and consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) taking aim at captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
Image posted on a militant website appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
Image posted on a militant website, verified and consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with truckloads of captured Iraqi soldiers after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq.
This image posted on a militant website on Saturday, June 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. The Islamic militant group that seized much of northern Iraq has posted photos that appear to show its fighters shooting dead dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers in a province north of the capital Baghdad. Iraq's top military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi confirmed the photos authenticity on Sunday and said he was aware of cases of mass murder of Iraqi soldiers. (AP Photo via militant website)
This image posted on a militant website on Saturday, June 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leading captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes to an open field moments before shooting them in Tikrit, Iraq. The Islamic militant group that seized much of northern Iraq has posted photos that appear to show its fighters shooting dead dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers in a province north of the capital Baghdad. Iraq's top military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi confirmed the photos authenticity on Sunday and said he was aware of cases of mass murder of Iraqi soldiers. (AP Photo via militant website)
Iraqi refugees from Mosul at Khazir refugee camp outside Irbil, 217 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, June 13, 2014. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida breakaway group, on Monday and Tuesday took over much of Mosul in Iraq and then swept into the city of Tikrit further south. An estimated half a million residents fled Mosul, the economically important city. (AP Photo)
Shiite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 15, 2014. Emboldened by a call to arms by the top Shiite cleric, Iranian-backed militias have moved quickly to the center of Iraqs political landscape, spearheading what its Shiite majority sees as a fight for survival against Sunni militants who control of large swaths of territory north of Baghdad. (AP Photo/ Nabil Al-Jurani)
FILE - This still image from black and white gun camera video made by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, shows what the ministry says are airstrikes on fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in an area near Mosul in Nineveh province, Iraq. The militants' capture of Iraqs cities of Mosul and Tikrit makes their dream of a new Islamic state look more realistic. It already controlled a swath of eastern Syria along the Euphrates River, with a spottier presence extending further west nearly to Aleppo, Syrias largest city. In Raqqa, the biggest city it holds in Syria, it imposes taxes, rebuilds bridges and enforces the law _ its strict version of Shariah. (AP Photo/Iraqi Ministry of Defense)
In this photo taken on Friday, June 13, 2014, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, speaks to volunteers at the main army recruiting center in Baghdad, Iraq. Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much-revered religious shrine. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken on Friday, June 13, 2014, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, exercises a shooting drill in the main army recruiting center in Baghdad, Iraq. Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much-revered religious shrine. (AP Photo)
Iraqi refugee children from Mosul sits at Khazir refugee camp outside Irbil, 217 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, June 13, 2014. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida breakaway group, on Monday and Tuesday took over much of Mosul in Iraq and then swept into the city of Tikrit further south. An estimated half a million residents fled Mosul, an economically important city. (AP Photo)
This image posted on a militant news Twitter account on Thursday, June 12, 2014 shows militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) people raising their flag at the entrance of an army base in Ninevah Province. Iraq. Fresh gains by insurgents, spearheaded by fighters from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, come as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government struggles to form a coherent response after militants overran the country's second-largest city of Mosul, Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and smaller communities, as well as military and police bases often after meeting little resistance from state security forces.(AP Photo/albaraka_news)
This image made from video posted by Iraqi0Revolution, a group supporting the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows a militant standing in front of a burning Iraqi Army Humvee in Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week has vowed to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led governments ability to slow the assault following lightening gains. Fighters from ISIL on Wednesday took Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces. (AP Photo/Iraqi0Revolution via AP video)
This image made from video posted by Iraqi0Revolution, a group supporting the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday, June 12, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows militants on Al-Sharqat base north of Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week has vowed to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led governments ability to slow the assault following lightening gains. Fighters from ISIL on Wednesday took Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces. (AP Photo/Iraqi0Revolution via AP video)
ERBIL, IRAQ - JUNE 15: A man makes wooden sieves in the Qaysari Market on June 15, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq. In Iraq's capital city of Baghdad and other towns and cities effected by the recent conflict, people who can afford to do so have begun to stockpile essential items of food, which has increased prices dramatically. The US dollar which is normally a relatively stable currency in Iraq, rose about 5 percent in one day making many household items more expensive. Potatoes increased approximately sixfold, to about $4.50 USD a pound. People continue to leave Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants. Many have been temporarily housed at various IDP (internally displaced persons) camps around the region including the area close to Erbil, as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
ERBIL, IRAQ - JUNE 15: Currency is exchanged in the Qaysari Market on June 15, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq. In Iraq's capital city of Baghdad and other towns and cities effected by the recent conflict, people who can afford to do so have begun to stockpile essential items of food, which has increased prices dramatically. The US dollar which is normally a relatively stable currency in Iraq, rose about 5 percent in one day making many household items more expensive. Potatoes increased approximately sixfold, to about $4.50 USD a pound. People continue to leave Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants. Many have been temporarily housed at various IDP (internally displaced persons) camps around the region including the area close to Erbil, as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
KALAK, IRAQ - JUNE 14: Families arrive at a Kurdish checkpoint next to a temporary displacement camp on June 14, 2014 in Kalak, Iraq. Thousands of people have fled Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISAS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants. Many have been temporarily housed at various IDP (internally displaced persons) camps around the region including the area close to Erbil, as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Tony Blair is right that religious fanaticism has fuelled the violence in Iraq but refuses to admit his own role. I wonder has he ever read Acts 5. That's the bit where Ananias sells a piece of land and then lies that he has donated all the proceeds to the Apostles when, in fact, he has donated only a portion. God strikes him dead on the spot.

When Ananias's wife Sapphira rushes distraught to the scene and insists that her husband had been telling the truth. God strikes her dead, too.

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

You'd think Blair would be cowering for cover from thunderbolts. But there he was at the weekend, aglow with certainty, describing any suggestion that he bears a sliver of blame for the blood-burst as "bizarre".

How about God's hatred of liars as expressed in Proverbs 6:16-19: "Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, one who sows discord ... "

"Haughty eyes" is the giveaway.

Blair lied in advance about the invasion and has been lying ever since to sustain the lie. He took the UK to war on the basis of a claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction which could be launched at 45 minutes notice. Now he says that, although this has since been shown to be untrue, "everybody" believed it at the time.

No they didn't. Millions who marched didn't believe a word of it. The French Government refused to back a UN resolution for war precisely on this basis. Blair now renders this as France refusing to fight "in any circumstances", leaving the US and UK to go it alone. Wrong again. Jacques Chirac's position was that there were no circumstances in which France would go to war unless evidence of WMD was produced.

Linking the invasion to current events, Blair argued at the weekend that: "Even if you had left Saddam in place in 2003, then when the Arab revolutions (emerged) in 2011, you would have still had a major problem in Iraq."

Possibly so. But half the country overrun by cutthroat zealots?

Blair's thinking in 2003 paralleled the jihadists' today. According to Alastair Campbell's diaries, in the weeks before the invasion, Blair was guided by his faith and regularly spoke to "his Maker".

His agent of 24 years, John Burton, has written: "It's very simple to explain the idea of Blair the Warrior. It was part of Tony living out his faith ... he believed strongly that intervention in Kosovo, Sierra Leone – Iraq too – was all part of the Christian battle."

George W Bush was of the same mind. In July 2003, at a Palestine-Israel summit in Egypt, according to Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath: "President Bush said to all of us, 'God would tell me, "George, go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan", and I did. Then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq", and I did.'"

The jihadists' religious motivation is regularly emphasised. But we rarely hear reference to the religious impulse which drove Bush and Blair to bomb the country to bits and then invade.

In August 2006 Blair took time out from a trip to California where he was to pay homage to Rupert Murdoch – there'll be less of that sort of thing after wistful Wendi's paean of praise for the former PM's shapely thighs – to address the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles. The fundamental point of the invasion had not been to find WMD, much less to overthrow the Saddam regime, he explained, but to extirpate a particular set of values. What was happening in the Middle East, not only in Iraq, was "a struggle between what I will call Reactionary Islam and Moderate, Mainstream Islam ... not about changing regimes but changing value systems".

Veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn commented at the time: "I only hope al-Qaida, Hezbollah or Hamas do not translate (Blair's) speech into Arabic since every paranoid paragraph confirms their claim that they are battling a western crusade against Islam."

The speech was translated and widely published across the region and gave another vicious twist to the spiral of hatred which has brought us to the mass murder of unarmed prisoners handcuffed and huddled into ditches. Direct responsibility for the horror lies with the perpetrators. But Blair was at least a key accessory before the fact.

Now he is on the stump again, calling for more of the same, believing that God is in Heaven smiling down on the hell Blair has helped bring about on Earth.

The man is a constant danger to peace in the world. For how much longer can the international community allow his religious rampage to continue?

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