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Why Tony Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes

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Tony Blair is a war criminal. Not in the ‘traditional’ sense, there is no catalogue of crimes as there was with Nuremberg. Yet 300,000 people are dead and one country has never recovered because Mr. Blair misled and misinformed those he was elected by.

His motives have been constantly debated and are still unknown but his abuse of power is evident.

In 2003 Britain was scared. The fall of the World Trade Centre was a catalyst for fear and created a complex of suspicion and prejudice that remains even now. In one day the Islamic peoples of the world found themselves culpable for an abhorrent atrocity that has dictated so much about this century for the all wrong reasons. However, one nation became the great bogey-man who was apparently the puppeteer of this evil.

Iraq was no great power. It was not well respected internationally after years of rage which had seen war crimes, threats to the precious oil lifeblood of the world and a confrontation with the US and its allies. Saddam Hussein was a malevolent man, the Hitler of his time, giving the world a focus for its crusade against injustice. Iraq was quickly becoming the battleground for the campaign for Earth’s morality.

But Iraq was not the Third Reich or the Soviet Union or the British Empire. It was a small country whose people were led by a man, Saddam Hussein, drunk on his own power which in actuality amounted to very little. It had never truly recovered from the devastation inflicted upon it by the US for invading Kuwait; its nuclear programme was dead in the water and its ability to make war was ruined.

So why Tony Blair and George Bush Jnr. decided Iraq had to be tamed is hard to say. Oil is the most likely motivation. Expansion of their military footholds in the Middle East too. Settling old scores (Bush Snr was criticised and condemned for not removing Hussein from power a decade earlier) and avenging the tragedy of 9/11 on an Islamic population also seem likely drives. Whatever the reason it was not rooting out weapons of mass destruction, they were a fantasy.

The Chilcot Inquiry, launched by Gordon Brown in 2009, was set the task of finally comprehending why it all happened. Why did a Prime Minister who was enjoying relatively strong poll figures seek a war? And why, with no solid intelligence, launch a war far from his shores against an enemy widely considered weak, perhaps even on the verge of collapse?

By July 2016 the Inquiry had its verdict. It took seven years, Tony Blair himself was called twice to give evidence and several political, and legal, challenges but the report was released. Its verdict was described as “damning” by the BBC, Lord Chilcot considered the entire war “unnecessary” and in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The government had knowingly misled the people about the power of Hussein’s WMDs and links to global terrorism, greatly exaggerating the threat posed to the people. Reports since have suggested the weapons were exaggerated by security services and senior politicians using imagery from a Michael Bay film.

Using fear as a tool of manipulation is a common crime committed by those leading the masses into illegal wars. Tony Blair went one better though, not using just fear but instilling a sense of pride in Britain for toppling evil and saving the world despite it being a fallacy.

More damning than this though is the obvious disregard for international law which Tony Blair thought he was upholding by deposing a ‘bad-man’. The United Nations ruled there was no case for war and yet two of the founders of the UN, Britain and the US, trampled over its legacy as they raced to make war.

Even John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister at the time, said this was an illegal move in 2009. North Korea is punished for such violation, as was Libya and Syria. Not Britain though, and certainly not Tony Blair.

That within itself is simply unfair but is so easily forgotten now, a distant memory for the guilty that seem to hold no respect for international law. It is for that reason I applauded efforts to bring Tony Bair, his Foreign Secretary, and Attorney General at the time, Jack Straw and Lord Goldsmith respectively, to a criminal trial. At the very least, if they were not to be sentenced, they would have to answer for their actions outside the political safety net of an inquiry.

It would seem High Court judges desperate to swipe this under the carpet using all their legal knowledge have won. What have they won? Well, they have won the chance to let a man who prides himself on defending the freedom to walk freely, make money of his experiences and lecture us on the government when he committed several crimes.

Websites such as ‘Arrest Blair’ which offers a cash prize for the citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair may seem extreme but they raise a valid point that those directly affected the people have been barred the right to seek justice.

Lying is not a crime but why can the law not look to the hundreds of British families affected, the thousands of Iraqi’s dispossessed and hundreds of thousands dead. For those people, Tony Blair should stand trial for his criminally dangerous lies and leadership that abused the people’s trust, faith in government and worst fears.




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