| Demented warmonger Tony Blair is wrong, wrong, wrong, says Lindsey German!

Demented warmonger Tony Blair is wrong, wrong, wrong, says Lindsey German ~ Joana Ramiro,  Morning Star + Stop the War Coalition.

 

Tony Blair should step down from his role as Middle East peace envoy, says Lindsey German. It’s a job for which he lacks a single qualification.

 

Don't attack Iraq

Stop the War poster from February 2003

Tony Blair was branded a “demented warmonger” yesterday after the slippery former prime minister tried to rescue his reputation from the embers of the Iraq conflict.

Mr Blair argued in a long essay published on his website that Iraq would be a much worse place today if he had not ordered British troops to invade the country.

He added that the ongoing occupation of Mosul by jihadist organisation Isis could have been prevented with British intervention in the Syrian civil war.

Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German condemned his discredited views and the airtime he was given to peddle them, including an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Ms German told the Star: “Blair has yet again been given a lengthy platform to promote his demented warmongering.”

And she said it was precisely the bombing of the country’s infrastructures 11 years ago that lead to “disastrous consequences which are still playing out to the cost of the Iraqi people.”

Ms German called on Mr Blair to step down from his role as Middle East peace convoy. She said it was a “a job for which he lacks a single qualification.”

Ms German wasn’t alone in her criticisms as politicians and the public piled into the ex-PM.

Former international development secretary Clare Short — who stepped down from her role over the invasion of Iraq — labelled her former boss as a “complete American neocon.”

Mr Blair’s opinions, she argued, were “absolutely, consistently wrong, wrong, wrong.”

“More bombing will not solve it, it will just exacerbate it,” she urged.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond suggested the former Labour leader was suffering from “breathtaking amnesia.”

He said: “No reinterpretation of history will absolve the former prime minister of a direct line of responsibility for this sequence of disasters.”

Even security academics at the Royal United Services Institute weighed into the row, with spokesman Michael Stephens saying: “I think Mr Blair is washing his hands of responsibility.”

Journalist Owen Jones was among hundreds who took to Twitter to hit back at Mr Blair’s statement.

He wrote: “Tony Blair says we’re not to blame for Iraq disaster. Quite right. Him and his cheerleaders are.”

Source: Morning Star

| White House lawyers ‘unable to find’ critical Iraq letter from Tony Blair telling George Bush: ‘I’m with you whatever!’

White House lawyers ‘unable to find’ critical Iraq letter from Tony Blair telling George Bush: ‘I’m with you whatever’ ~ ADAM WITHNALL, THE INDEPENDENT.

A letter sent by Tony Blair to George Bush that is “critical” to the Iraq Inquiry has gone missing from official White House records, it has been reported.

David Cameron has called for Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq Inquiry to report by the end of 2014 – but it still faces delays over Blair-Bush correspondence.

The publication of secret correspondence between the UK and US administrations in the build-up to the Iraq War has become a major stumbling block for Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the 2003 invasion.

While the Cabinet Office has said privately that it wants to release as many of the Blair-Bush communications as possible, there is one letter which lawyers at the White House say they have “not been able to locate”.

The letter, which was quoted from directly in Andrew Rawnsley’s book The End of the Party following interviews with David Manning, Blair’s foreign policy advisor, and Sir Christopher Meyer, then Britain’s ambassador to the US, predates the March 2003 Commons vote on whether Britain was to go to war.

In its opening sentence, Mr Blair is said to have told the US President: “You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I’m with you.” The letter was reportedly hand-delivered by Manning to Bush’s national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Yet according to reports in the Mail on Sunday, a British source involved in the ongoing efforts to get the Bush-Blair records released said: “The lawyers are taking months to evaluate the letters and decide whether to release them.

“However, they claim not to have been able to locate the ‘with you whatever’ letter.”

Though Mr Blair said after 9/11 that Britain stood “shoulder to shoulder” with the US, and in 2011 he told Chilcot that he had been quite open about his support for Bush in dealing with Saddam Hussein, he denied the “with you whatever” wording.

And more than three years after the inquiry completed its public hearings, the letter has been described as “absolutely critical” among all the correspondence in determining whether or not Mr Blair gave Mr Bush a “blank cheque” on Britain’s cooperation.

Meanwhile, David Cameron said it was “frustrating” that the publication of the inquiry has been so delayed, and said that the public “want to see the answers of the inquiry”.

The House of Commons Public Administration Committee described the delay as “very serious” and its chairman, Bernard Jenkin, has written to the Cabinet Office demanding an explanation for the hold-up. The report could prove difficult for Labour in the build-up to the 2015 general election.

The inquiry has previously said that it submitted 10 requests to the US to publish material, including 200 cabinet-level discussions, 25 notes from Mr Blair to Mr Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between either Mr Blair or Gordon Brown and Mr Bush.

There are reportedly several thousands of documents involved, and lawyers must determine not only whether details could harm national security and foreign policy objectives, but also whether publishing secret letters between a UK prime minister and US president could have an impact on the “special relationship” in future.

Following the completion of his inquiry, Sir John also began a process known as “Maxwellisation”, under which individuals facing criticism may respond before publication, and which may also be leading to delays.

Radio 4’s Today programme reported that the Cabinet Office said the process would be concluded “as quickly as possible”.

 

| #Phone-hacking trial: #Blair ‘advised #Brooks before arrest!’ #DavidKelly

Phone-hacking trial: Blair ‘advised Brooks before arrest’ ~ BBC.

Tony Blair gave advice to newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks on handling the phone-hacking scandal six days before her arrest, a court has heard.

The court heard Mrs Brooks spoke to the former prime minister and passed on what he had said to James Murdoch, then News International executive chairman.

In an email, she said Mr Blair had said he was “available” to her, James and Rupert Murdoch as an “unofficial adviser”, the Old Bailey heard.

Mrs Brooks denies any wrongdoing.

In the email, Mrs Brooks said Mr Blair had urged her to set up a “Hutton style” inquiry – a reference to the inquiry into the death of government weapons adviser Dr David Kelly.

She said Mr Blair’s offer of further advice “needs to be between us”.

The Hutton report exonerated Tony Blair and other officials of any involvement in the so-called “dodgy dossier” of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Copy of 2011 Rebekah Brooks email to James Murdoch

Mrs Brooks sent the email on Monday 11 July 2011 – the day after the final edition of the News of the World had been published.

She resigned as News International’s chief executive the following Friday, and was arrested on Sunday.

During the email exchange, she told Mr Murdoch there was no indication that the News of the World had suffered from a sales boycott on its final weekend.

‘Tough up’Her email read: “I had an hour on the phone to Tony Blair.

“He said:

“1. Form an independent unit that has an outside junior counsel, Ken Macdonald [former director of public prosecutions], a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact checkers etc in it. Get them to investigate me and others and publish a Hutton-style report.

“2. Publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept shortcomings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over.

“3. Keep strong and definitely sleeping pills. Need to have clear heads and remember no rash short-term solutions as they only give you long-term headaches.

“4. It will pass. Tough up.

“5. He is available for you, KRM [Rupert Murdoch] and me as an unofficial adviser but needs to be between us. He is sending more notes later.”

The defence case for Mrs Brooks is expected to start later this week.

She denies conspiracy to hack voicemails, conspiracy to make corrupt payments to public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Mrs Brooks is one of seven defendants in the phone-hacking trial. They all deny the various charges.

Who are the defendants?

Hacking trial defendants

Related Stories

Rebekah Brooks and Tony BlairTony Blair advised Rebekah Brooks six days before her arrest over phone hacking, a court has heard

ALSO SEE:
Tony Blair advised Rebekah Brooks on phone-hacking scandal, court hears http://gu.com/p/3mq6p/tw via @guardian

Blair Truth1

Blair Innocent

 

| War Criminal: Tony Blair enjoys ‘Best Year Yet’ with over £13m in bank!

Tony Blair Enjoys ‘Best Year Yet’ With Over £13m In Bank ~ The Huffington Post UK.

Tony Blair has banked over £13 million to mark his most financially successful year since stepping down as prime minister.

Blair’s wealth, including a London home, a country estate and numerous other properties, is estimated to come to £70m. The former PM has built up his fortune over the years as an official adviser to investment bank JP Morgan and Swiss-based global insurance giant Zurich International.

Blair also advises governments such as the Kazakhstan regime and earns as much as £250,000 a time for private speeches and appearances.

The bumper financial results for the 12 months to April 2013 have been revealed in the latest accounts for Blair’s two firms, Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures, which were lodged with Companies House last week.

Windrush Ventures, which employs 35 people, posted a £14.9m turnover and a post-tax profit of nearly £2m, marking a £650,000 rise over the previous year. It paid corporation tax on its profits of £653,000, the accounts show.

Windrush also paid out £12.1 million in expenses, to cover the cost of office rents, travel and hotel bills for Blair and his entourage.

Blair’s staff are estimated to earn an average of £86,000, with the company’s highest paid director getting £273,000.

One City accountant told the Sunday Telegraph: “These numbers are a big improvement on last year. Mr Blair has had a very good year. This is a bumper year – his best year yet.”

A statement on Tony Blair’s website said: “The latest annual financial statements…[are]…the financial statements of the two companies through which the operating costs of the Tony Blair group’s global activities are paid. They do not represent his earnings or the earnings or the profit of his businesses and are not referable to them.”

Blair Innocent

| Tony B’Liar denies asking Thabo Mbeki to ‘help invade Zimbabwe!’

Tony Blair asked me to ‘help invade Zimbabwe’, says Thabo Mbeki ~ David Blair, Chief Foreign Correspondent, The Telegraph.

South Africa’s former president claims that his country was asked to help Britain topple Robert Mugabe

Prime minister Tony Blair (L) and South African deputy President Thabo Mbeki in 1999

Prime minister Tony Blair with South African deputy President Thabo Mbeki in 1999 Photo: AFP

Tony Blair’s Government asked South Africa to help Britain invadeZimbabwe and topple Robert Mugabe by force, Thabo Mbeki, the former president, has claimed.

When Zimbabwe began sinking into economic collapse and political repression in 2000, South Africa and Britain held starkly different views over how to respond to the crisis. Mr Mbeki favoured a negotiated settlement; Mr Blair wanted Mr Mugabe to go, by force if necessary.

“The problem was, we were speaking from different positions,” said Mr Mbeki, who served as South Africa’s president from 1999 until 2008. “There were other people saying ‘yes indeed there are political problems, economic problems, the best way to solve them is regime change. So Mugabe must go’. This was the difference. So they said ‘Mugabe must go’. But we said ‘Mugabe is part of the solution to this problem’.”

Mr Mbeki recalled an interview given by Lord Guthrie, who was Chief of the Defence Staff and Britain’s most senior soldier throughout Mr Blair’s first government. In 2007, Lord Guthrie disclosed that “people were always trying to get me to look at” toppling Mr Mugabe by force.

He did not say whether these requests had come from the Prime Minister himself. In any event, Lord Guthrie said that his advice was: “Hold hard, you’ll make it worse” – suggesting that the idea was never a serious proposition.

But Mr Mbeki noted: “There is a retired chief of the British armed forces and [he] said that he had to withstand pressure from the then prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, who was saying to the chief of the British armed forces, ‘you must work out a military plan so we that can physically remove Robert Mugabe’.”

Mr Mbeki said this came as no surprise. “We knew that, because we had come under the same pressure, and that we need to cooperate in some scheme – it was a regime change scheme – even to the point of using military force, and we said ‘no’,” he said in an interview with al-Jazeera.

Mr Mbeki explained that the idea was rejected on principle because Britain had no right to decide who leads African countries. “You are coming from London, you don’t like Robert Mugabe for whatever reason – people in London don’t like him – and we are going to remove him and we are going to put someone else in his place? Why does it become British responsibility to decide who leads the people of Zimbabwe?” asked Mr Mbeki. “So we said ‘no, let Zimbabweans sit down, let them talk’.”

In 2000 and 2001, Mr Mugabe repeatedly accused Britain of plotting not only to overthrow his regime, but also to re-colonise Zimbabwe. At various points, he claimed that Britain had sent “hit squads” to assassinate his cabinet – and deployed warships to intercept Zimbabwe’s fuel supplies on the high seas.

This became a central pillar of his rhetoric as he tried to rally support against a new opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

State television reported in 2000 that a British invasion force had been deployed in neighbouring Botswana, implausibly claiming that a naval flotilla was present in the landlocked Okavango Delta.

But Mr Blair’s memoirs have no mention of Mr Mbeki, or of any planned operation in Zimbabwe – and only fleeting references to Mr Mugabe.

Given that Lord Guthrie declined to look at the idea – and no military preparations appear to have been made during that period – it seems highly unlikely that any British intervention was ever a real possibility.

UPDATE:

A spokesman for Mr Blair later said: “Tony Blair has long believed that Zimbabwe would be much better off without Robert Mugabe and always argued for a tougher stance against him, but he never asked anyone to plan or take part in any such military intervention.”

Additional reporting by Peta Thornycroft

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Tony Blair denies asking South Africa to help overthrow Robert Mugabe ~

David Blair, Chief Foreign Correspondent, The Telegraph.

 

Tony Blair says that he believed Zimbabwe would be better off without Robert Mugabe, but he never asked anyone to ‘plan or take part in’ military action.

 

Tony Blair has denied ever planning to intervene in Zimbabwe and topple Robert Mugabe after Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s former president, claimed that he was asked to help such an operation.

The former Prime Minister took the unusual step of denying Mr Mbeki’s version of events, recounted in an interview with al-Jazeera.

When Zimbabwe sank into economic collapse and political repression in 2000, South Africa and Britain had starkly different views over how to respond. Mr Mbeki favoured a negotiated settlement; Mr Blair wanted Mr Mugabe to go.

“The problem was, we were speaking from different positions,” remembered Mr Mbeki. “There were other people saying ‘yes indeed there are political problems, economic problems, the best way to solve them is regime change. So Mugabe must go’. This was the difference. So they said ‘Mugabe must go’. But we said ‘Mugabe is part of the solution to this problem’.”

Mr Mbeki recalled that Lord Guthrie, who was Chief of the Defence Staff throughout Mr Blair’s first government, said in 2007 that “people were always trying to get me to look at” the option of toppling Mr Mugabe by force.

Lord Guthrie did not say whether these requests had come from Mr Blair himself. In any event, Lord Guthrie said that his advice was: “Hold hard, you’ll make it worse” – suggesting that the idea was never a serious proposition.

But Mr Mbeki noted: “There is a retired chief of the British armed forces and [he] said that he had to withstand pressure from the then prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, who was saying to the chief of the British armed forces, ‘you must work out a military plan so we that can physically remove Robert Mugabe’.”

Mr Mbeki said that was no surprise. “We knew that, because we had come under the same pressure, and that we need to cooperate in some scheme – it was a regime change scheme – even to the point of using military force, and we said ‘no’.”

However, a spokesman for the former Prime Minister said: “Tony Blair has long believed that Zimbabwe would be much better off without Robert Mugabe and always argued for a tougher stance against him, but he never asked anyone to plan or take part in any such military intervention.”

In 2000 and 2001, Mr Mugabe repeatedly accused Britain of plotting not only to overthrow his regime, but also to re-colonise Zimbabwe. At various points, he claimed that Britain had sent “hit squads” to assassinate his cabinet – and deployed warships to intercept Zimbabwe’s fuel supplies on the high seas.

This became a central pillar of his rhetoric as he tried to rally support against a new opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

State television reported in 2000 that a British invasion force had been deployed in neighbouring Botswana, implausibly claiming that a naval flotilla was present in the landlocked Okavango Delta.

Mr Blair’s memoirs have no mention of Mr Mbeki – and only fleeting references to Mr Mugabe.

Given that Lord Guthrie declined to look at the idea of intervening, Mr Blair denies asking for any such plans – and no military preparations appear to have been made – it seems unlikely that any British operation was ever a real possibility.

Additional reporting by Peta Thornycroft

Phoney Tony

| War Criminal B’Liar still avoiding responsibility + insulting intelligence by playing innocent!

Tony Blair: People are still ‘very abusive’ to me 10 years after the Iraq War ~  , Senior Political Correspondent, The Telegraph.

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Tony Blair has told how people are still “very abusive” to him 10 years after the Iraq War, adding that he has given up trying to “persuade people it was the right decision”.

_________________________________________________________

In comments which could be interpreted as self-pitying Mr Blair said that it did not matter whether the continuing controversy about Iraq had “taken a toll on me”.

He said that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was “20 times as bad” as Syria’s President Assad but admitted that it would take a “generation” to make Iraq safer than it was in 2003.

Mr Blair is still crticised for sending British troops into Iraq on March 20, 2003 in the mistaken belief that its Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

In the weeks leading up to the invasion, more than one million people marched through London against the Iraq invasion.

Asked in a candid interview on BBC2’s Newsnight whether he minded if “people call you a liar, some people call you a war criminal, protesters follow you; it’s difficult to walk down the street in a country”, he replied: “It really doesn’t matter whether it’s taken its toll on me.

“The fact is yes there are people who will be very abusive, by the way I do walk down the street and by the way I won an election in 2005 after Iraq. However, yes it remains extremely divisive and very difficult.”

Mr Blair conceded that he had “long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision”.

He added: “In a sense what I’ve tried to persuade people of now is understand how complex and difficult decision it was. Because I think if we don’t understand that, we won’t take the right decision about a series of these problems that will arise over that next few years.

“You’ve got one in Syria right now, you’ve got one in Iran to come, and the issue is how do you make the world a safer place?”

He said: “The question is supposing I’d taken the opposite decision. Sometimes what happens in politics, unfortunately these things get mixed up with allegations, deceit, lying and so on but in the end sometimes you come to a decision where whichever decision you take the consequences are difficult and the choices ugly.

“This was one such case. If we hadn’t removed Saddam from power just think for example what would be happening if these Arab revolutions were continuing now and Saddam who’s probably twenty times as bad as Assad in Syria, was trying to suppress an uprising in Iraq.”

Mr Blair admitted that life in Iraq today was not what he had hoped for when he sanctioned the invasion by British troops 10 years ago.

He said: “There are still terrorist activities that are killing innocent people for no good reason. The country’s economy as a whole obviously is growing very strongly.

“It’s got huge amounts of oil revenue but no there are still problems… People have deliberately tried to destabilise the country and this is the problem you’ve got all over the region.”

With estimates of 100,000 civilians, and 179 British soldiers, killed since 2003, Mr Blair conceded that the price of the Iraq war had been “very, very high”.

But he added: “Think of the price that people paid before Saddam was removed. Think of the Iran-Iraq war in which there were one million casualties, hundreds of thousands of young conscript Iranians, who were killed, many of them by the use of chemical weapons.

“Chemical weapon attacks on his own people, the Kurds. People oppressed, deprived of their rights, tortured and killed on a daily basis year on year on year…”.

Asked if Iraq was “safer today”, he said: “No I wouldn’t say that. But what I would say is it is safer, in my view, as a result of getting rid of Saddam. In other words I think we are in the middle of this struggle, it’s going to take a generation, it’s going to be very arduous and difficult.

“But we are making a mistake, a profound error, if we think we can stay out of that struggle because we are going to be affected by it whether we like it or not.”

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former LibDem leader, accused Mr Blair of being defensive.

He said: “The fact remains that he made two cardinal errors. First by allying himself too closely to the policies of George W Bush and second by ignoring the fact that Bush’s objective of regime change was contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and illegal.

“Ten years on, it is almost impossible to find anyone in this country or even in the United States who is willing to support the military action against Saddam Hussein.”

The full interview with Tony Blair is being broadcast on Newsnight on BBC2 tonight, starting at 10.30pm

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NO MORE LIESa

honest-mistake1 Blair Innocent