Archive for the ‘United States of America’ Category

Tony Blair in the Land of The Free

April 25, 2012

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25th April 2012

I’ve been meaning to get this mainly pictorial post up for the last day or two. But I got a little tied up on Tuesday with the rest of the gang down at Twitterland.

What with James Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry doing a job that surely made his Dad proud, while throwing the press (off the scent with) a nice piece of fresh meat for them to get their teeth into. But enough about Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary to whom, as serendipity would have it, Leveson will eventually report its findings.

I think we’re in need of a political super-starry kind of smile, don’t you? Just to strengthen our resolve before 10:00am when Chief Big Daddy Mogul Rupert Murdoch gets sworn in and selects another delicacy or several to chuck at the slavering feral beasties.  So, a propos nothing in particular …

Back To The Land of The Free, Home Of The Brave

No, dear ones, not here in Britain. Our former PM has been in the USA.

While here at home the Labour party, Liberal Democrats and the strategically challenged Conservatives struggle to work out what exactly they’re for and what leadership is supposed to look and behave like, Tony Blair commands full houses on the other side of the pond.

A few pictures follow from his various events last week -

Florida - Tony Blair talks to a full house on world affairs

Picture above with thanks to @AlexSanz on Twitter And See source article here – C5 exclusive

Mr Blair’s speech on Philanthropy raised an eyebrow or two.  As though Mr No Strategy Cameron hadn’t already boobed with his plans to tax charities, here was his political hero reminding him.

Tony Blair wrote here on one of the main planks of last week’s talks, Philanthropy. Speaking at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington, DC he made the case for the value of innovative philanthropy.

“Former PM and current philanthropist Tony Blair #gpf2012 ” – Source & larger Instagram with thanks to Salexish

Tony Blair at World Leaders Conference, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Michael Nutter says it was a "great honor to welcome former British Prime Minister Tony Blair back to Philly"

Source – Michael A Nutter picture (above)

Pics above & below, source – Palm Beach Post

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Tony Blair on Philanthropy

April 20, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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20th April 2012

Catch-up time on a busy week for Tony Blair on the other side of the pond, including this -

If the Mail, Guardian, Independent, BBC & the rest haven't told you of this award for our great former PM, well... what do you expect? The truth?

Keynote speech: Tony Blair outlines his philanthropic vision

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 in Office of Tony Blair, Africa Governance Initiative

Tony Blair speaking at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington, DC made the case for the value of innovative philanthropy. You can read the full transcript of his speech below.

Video of speech & questions, & transcript of speech

A consequential risk of the continuing travails of the global economy, is that in concentrating on our own challenges, we lose the appetite to help others. What we may call the global social contract – a sense of responsibility on the part of the better off to help the worst off – comes under strain. For my 10 years as UK Prime Minister, this social contract was growing. But that was in different economic times. Now the pre-occupation is bound to be internal. So a debate about how we re-shape and re-invigorate this global social contract now – and the role of philanthropy in doing so – is timely. This is absolutely the right moment for government to do all it can to promote philanthropy; and certainly nothing to harm it.

The laziest sentiment in politics – by which I mean not politics in its partisan sense but the broader polity of society – is cynicism. The party political debate may, at times, give us much to be cynical about, though it is an essential part of vibrant democracy. But in larger terms, the history of the past half century should give us cause for celebration as well as concern. Many more people live in freedom, many fewer live in poverty.

Change for the better does happen. Progress is alive. Change happens through committed people. It happens best when motivated by a desire to improve the lives of others; when that desire is accompanied by a strategy for change not just a vision of it; when it is creative; and when it challenges rather than accommodates the status quo.

Change can happen through committed people in Government and some change can only happen through Government. When I think, in my own 10 years in office, of reforms in health, education, law and order; advances in civil rights; peace in Northern Ireland – these changes required the power of Government.

However, 10 years taught me something else; the limitations of Government. This is where desire and strategy get blocked by the politics of vested interests; by bureaucracy; by the innate tendency to inertia of a system designed to manage the world not change it.

Government in this guise, loves process. It rewards caution. It disdains risk and distrusts creativity. It thinks in a linear way and challenges that don’t fit neat Government definitions or which stretch across boundaries, disappear into the machinery never to re-emerge and certainly not as solutions.

When acute crisis threatens, Government can act with speed. But otherwise it ponders endlessly and then proceeds at a glacial pace.

It is into this space – not as a substitute but as a complement to conventional Government and politics – that the philanthropic sector has marched. Today its contribution is vast. In the USA it dwarfs, say, Government spending on overseas aid. It is why imaginative leaders like Raj Shah, new head of USAID, want to work with it not apart from it.

It is why when I left office, shorn of power, I decided to exercise influence instead, by joining it.

As well as my responsibility as Quartet Representative for the MEPP, centred in Jerusalem, I created three new philanthropic organisations. I have a Sports Foundation in the North East of England which encourages grass roots sport and reflects my belief that sport is an essential not optional element of modern education. The two global Foundations are the Africa Governance Initiative; and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Both reflect lessons I learned in Government but in respect of which I found traditional ways of Government inadequate. Both relate directly to the new social contract that is the theme of this year’s Forum. Both have taught me a lot about global philanthropy and its opportunities.

The Africa Governance Initiative is based on this idea: that the problems of Africa cannot be solved by aid alone. The fundamental challenge today is not simply external flows of money; but internal systems of Governance. What’s more, this is not just about honesty in Government, vital thought that is, it is also about efficacy. The biggest challenge for many Governments – by the way, elsewhere as well as in Africa – is getting things done; delivery; deciding priorities, creating mechanisms for achieving them and tracking the performance until the objective is actually achieved. This is true even for sophisticated systems of Government like our own. It is true in abundance for those of emerging countries. I see too often leaders take power. They have the will and vision. They may be completely honest and abhor corruption. But once in power, they find the levers of effective implementation are missing; they get overwhelmed by the pressures of the job, events for which they are unprepared; and a bureaucracy that can often be a major part of the problem not the solution. They usually have a stack of well-written reports from international institutions telling them what they should do; but no-one helping them with how they do it. And it is the ‘how’ not the ‘what’ that is the issue.

So my Africa Governance Initiative –now in 6 African nations – puts teams of people; all of whom have hands-on experience of ‘doing it’, whether in Government of the private sector; into the country to work alongside the country’s leaders to build the necessary capacity and transfer skills: to decide priorities; develop plans of action; build the infrastructure of implementation; and track performance. The results in areas as diverse as healthcare, encouragement of private sector investment and even in seemingly small but in truth crucial areas like the organisation of the President’s time and private office, are transformative.

But the concept at the heart of it, is very different from the traditional donor-recipient relationship of Government aid. It is live-in technical help, not fly-in fly out consultancy. It helps deliver the country’s priorities not ours. It includes, through my interaction with the leaders, the politics as well as the technical theory. It works to bring in quality private sector investment, not regard it as an enemy. If focuses as much on the rule of law as on small scale community projects. Above all, it is based on partnership not dependence. In this sense, it absolutely fits the notion of a new social contract. It implies a maturing of the relationship between wealthy and emerging nations; and the role of philanthropy and the private sector in helping those nations to help themselves. So the value lies not just in the work AGI does, but in the approach it symbolises.

Likewise with my Faith Foundation. Again this idea was formed during my time in Government. Even before 9/11 and certainly since then, I could see that the use of hard power and even the use of traditional systems of soft power were inadequate to deal with a strain of fundamentalist ideology that was religious in nature. I started to understand that however much we flinched from acknowledging it, the extremism was not based simply on a set of political aims; it was based on a profound distortion of Faith. I began to analyse conflict in the world and found the majority had a religious or cultural element. I became convinced that we could not confront the extremism unless we were prepared to engage with religion as religion, not as a derivative of politics.

I could also see that driven by the unstoppable force of globalisation – in person through migration, online through the internet – it is in the nature of today’s world that people of different cultures and faiths will mix together, live together and work together as never before. Therefore understanding the faith of the other, learning about it and learning to live with it in peace becomes a central objective of a policy to secure peace. In this way, a new part of a new social contract, is respect for difference, for diversity, for the minority’s rights as well as the majority’s power.

In the years since 9/11 and again following the Arab Revolutions around the Middle East and North Africa, my conviction as to the importance of this has grown. What’s more, though those peddling a poisonous and exclusivist view of religion, which sees those who have a different faith as the enemy, are immensely well organised and funded, with a multiplicity of websites dedicated to their cause; by contrast virtually nothing organised or funded comes the other way. So a wholly malign view of the West is often fostered in Muslim nations; and in the West there is widespread misunderstanding of what Islam really stands for. This is not confined to Muslim/Christian relations; there are strains of extremism also in Christianity itself, in Judaism, Hinduism and even Buddhism. The intolerance to minorities also encompasses persecution of Bahais and sects within a Faith i.e. intra-religious as well as inter-religious extremism.

So the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has designed programmes of education and action, now in 20 different countries, all with the aim of fostering knowledge, understanding and therefore respect between those of different faiths. We know we cannot by ourselves change the balance of argument and debate; but we believe we can show that through inter-faith collaboration, we can encourage the acceptance of “the other” and that this should become part of mainstream Government and international policy, every bit as important as conventional soft power diplomacy. So in both cases, I have entered a new sector for me – philanthropy – to try to point the way on issues which I dealt with deeply in Government but in respect of which I always felt traditional Government fell short.

It has been my luck to have entered this field at a time when it is more exciting and dynamic than ever. The work being done by those represented here today is extraordinary and inspiring in its breadth, reach and impact. My reflections on the sector having now experience of it both as a partner to me in Government and now as a player in the sector itself, are these:

First, the best philanthropy is not just about giving money but giving leadership. The best philanthropists bring the gifts that made them successful – the drive, the determination, the refusal to accept something can’t be done if it needs to be – into their philanthropy. It is creative not passive; it seeks to disrupt not follow conventional thinking. It steps into areas Government is too fearful or too risk adverse[sic] to go. It uses technology and its power to change the world in innovative ways. It is visionary, seeing the connections, the trends, the patterns that others don’t.

It is change-making, no matter at which level –community, nation or globe – it is operating.

In this way, it can also help Government institutions, again global or national, to change. Here is where partnership between public and private and philanthropic sectors is today of the essence. The real challenge for Government especially following the financial crisis of the past 3 or 4 years is to change itself. Government has to become more strategic, more about empowering than controlling. In this endeavour, creative partnership with those in the business or philanthropic sector can be a huge part of that reform. This can happen within countries; but also globally for example through the World Bank or UN. The ability to leverage Government or IFI power through working with the philanthropic sector is enormous and only just being fully comprehended.

Philanthropic foundations could also do more to work with each other – one reason why this Forum is so important. There are synergies, shared experiences, and contributions that can happen if we talk to each other as friends not rivals. One small example: in Sierra Leone, AGI and TBFF now co-operate in delivering the Government’s anti-malaria programme through using the unparalleled reach of the faith infrastructure – churches and mosques – to disseminate important public health messages about malaria prevention.

My conclusion is about the new social contract itself. There is a political debate about globalisation – good or bad? In my view, this is an entirely pointless discussion. Globalisation is a fact and it is propelled forward by people through technology and travel. The real debate is therefore how do we make globalisation work and for the many not the few? The answer lies, in part, in understanding that the key dividing line in politics today is less traditional ideas of left vs right, than the struggle between the open-minded and the closed, between those who see in globalisation an opportunity to open up the world so that it is not riven with conflicts of race, nation and faith; and those who find such an open world too frightening and close down in the face of it. Central to this goal is the fight against poverty and injustice, whether social, economic, or political. The open-mind seeks to imbue globalisation with common bonds and a shared sense of justice. The closed-mind seeks to retreat behind the walls of identity of race, nation and faith.

At the core of this new social contract is the open-mind: optimistic, not cynical; celebrating difference not scared of it; and believing that to be committed to the service of others, is a life purpose worth striving for. It is what you represent here: and I am honoured to be part of it, a refugee from conventional politics, who has found a new lease of life in philanthropy!

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In case you are of the opinion that Tony Blair’s speech on philanthropy was timed by design to chime into the current debate in Britain on charity taxing,  it wasn’t.

Davos, 2009 on – guess what – philanthropy.

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Bountiful Lord Nazir Ahmed suspended by Labour party for offering 10m $/£ bounty on Bush, Blair, Obama

April 16, 2012

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16th April 2012

UPDATE 20th April – MEMRI has plenty of links showing what Ahmed said and who reported it. I suppose much of it was, er … lost in translation of this…  er… Pakistan-born “Lord” while in, er… Pakistan.

Lord Ahmed: “If the Labour Party want to suspend me I will deal with the Labour Party. They will have to give me some evidence.”

The “bounty” threats, spoken allegedly by Lord Nazir Ahmed, came in two online reports.

Episode 1 In his first mouthing-off, on Tuesday 10th April, it was reported that Ahmed would sell his house and beg in the streets to raise a US$10M bounty on George Bush (and Tony Blair.)

Somehow this evaded the attention of the Bush- &  Blair-hating press. At a seminar at the Punjab University he was reported as saying,  “I announce 10 million dollars reward against Mr George W Bush.” He also said, reportedly, then too that he would collect the money whether he had to beg in the streets  – but “Bush and Tony Blair should be charged with war crimes.”

(Source -http://pu.edu.pk/home/section/seminars/1445)

Episode 2, Upping the Anti,  Herald Tribune – ‘Sterling’ (GBP£10M) bounty offered for Obama, Bush

Ahmed’s second entry into public ranting on this issue, which seems to have culminated in his “suspension”, was reported by the Herald Tribune on Saturday 14th April. Here he mentions Obama as well as Bush. So perhaps someone in Obama’s administration took exception to this.

In both reports, unless BOTH misreported him, he called for a “bounty”

Now I’m not sure what YOU think when someone used the word “bounty”. Personally I imagine a wild west type poster with “dead or alive” in bold lettering.

Ahmed now claims to be shocked and horrified at these claims. I bet he is!

THE “10,000/10,000,000″ INCITER

Ahmed seems to be obsessed by the number “10”. Can’t imagine why.

I noted how he managed to get an earlier threat removed from online publications. It was the threat to mobilise 10,000 Muslims on Parliament if Geert Wilders dared to turn up there to speak to other peers as arranged. I am therefore surprised that his original “bounty” story is still up there for all to see: ‘Lord Nazir announces $10m bounty for Bush, Blair‘ Excerpt:

Lord Nazir Ahmad said he is ready to give $10m as bounty for war criminals, Bush and Blair.

While addressing a seminar on World Panorama and Our Responsibilities at University of the Punjab, he said that courts have accepted innocence of Hafiz Saeed but ex-US president Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair committed tremendously dangerous crimes in the in the name of war on terror; so special award should be announced for them.

He said that the US may hit Iran in order to have victory in general polls.

He said that if the US can have a dialogue with Taliban, government should also commence phase of dialogue with angry Balochs and Pakhtun warlords.Reply With Quote

Allowing for a misleading headline, and putting aside the notion that Ahmed supports a suspected terrorist and would be happy to work with Pakistan’s warlords, the call for a bounty on George Bush and at the very least by implication on Tony Blair can be seen here.

TWEETING GALORE

I picked this up last Tuesday, 10th April, at about 9:30pm, and tweeted on it repeatedly. There were a few Labour party members and supporters RTing but not, frankly, as many as there should have been.

I took the precaution to save his reported comments at the site as originally shown; just in case this evidence does a disappearing trick, as before. (A few of my tweets with dates, from 10th April, appear below).

AGENDAS AND (EDITED?) TAPES

I now understand via a tweet by Patrick Wintour that “Channel 4 has a tape of Ahmed speech – vows to raise cash to bring Bush and Blair to “justice” at ICC, but no mention of Obama or bounty.”

Channel4 is in the same Blair-baiting boat as the BBC. On Radio4’s News at 6 this evening they mentioned the suspension, finishing lightly with “Lord Ahmed expects the suspension to be lifted shortly”.

As if.

He should be stripped of the Labour whip AND his peerage. If he doesn’t know what to do with his old peerage papers he could always send them back to whence they came: Tony Blair.

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Lord Nazir Ahmed has pledged a 10 million bounty on Bush and Blair?!

There is an interesting comment & smiley at the top of this post: Default USD 10m Bounty on Bush!

For arrest and conviction of course

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-102361-Nazir-puts-$10m-bounty-on-Bush

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Earlier posts at this site on Lord Ahmed

TWEETS, starting on 10th April:

Pakistani-born British politician Lord Nazir Ahmed announces 10 million bounty on George W Bush, Tony Blair. Idiot.

Blair Supporter

If true, this is criminal. Home Secretary – ARREST Lord Nazir Ahmed. #incitement to kill <$10m bounty on GW Bush & Tony Blair>

 Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter  So this is Tony Blair’s thanks for making Nazir Ahmed a peer. A bounty for $10M. FGS. DOCTOR!!!

I would have had Lord Ahmed locked up for this in 2009 – http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/lord-ahmed-threatens-to-mobilise-10000-so-wilders-visit-off/ – Who the hell does he think he is? Good Lord!

Thanks, JR. Just found that. Though I do NOT normally judge people B4 real proof it’s time to let people know abt Ignoble Lord. @JohnRentoul

9:42 PM – 10 Apr 12
 Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter Lord Nazir Ahmed is an interesting “lordship”. He threatened jihad on the House of Lords if their lordships allowed Geert Wilders to visit.
9:38 PM – 10 Apr 12 via web

I had one or two telling me that I would be accused of racism or was stopping Ahmed’s “free speech”. (Sigh) Like -

Kameel Premhid ‏ you’re missing the nuance of what I’m saying. People will deride you for making what could be perceived as a racist attack

6:31 AM – 11 Apr 12

I didn’t miss that point, Kameel. I discount it as the usual & to be expected LIES that it is. ANTIS’ flawed “perception” @kameelpremhid

11:25 AM – 11 Apr 12 via web
And this interchange with James Dobson -
James Dobson James Dobson ‏ You DO suppress. You’re so fearful of extremist views you think they should be illegal. Don’t hide your own views.
2:35 AM – 11 Apr 12
Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter Btw, James, #extremist views, when they are used to #incite online & offline, ARE illegal. Do learn a little about the law.

2:42 AM – 11 Apr 12 via web

   James Dobson James Dobson You DO suppress. You’re so fearful of extremist views you think they should be illegal. Don’t hide your own views.
Blair Supporter Blair Supporter Btw, I have never been accused of hiding my own views ;0) Some say they wish I would. I won’t. Ever. #Iknowmyenemy
2:40 AM – 11 Apr 12 via web
11 Apr James Dobson James Dobson You DO suppress. You’re so fearful of extremist views you think they should be illegal. Don’t hide your own views.
Blair Supporter Blair Supporter If you’ve no concerns over extremists’ views u are naive, ignorant or very young. EVERY day people die at extremists’ hands.
2:39 AM – 11 Apr 12
James Dobson James Dobson You DO suppress. You’re so fearful of extremist views you think they should be illegal. Don’t hide your own views.
2:35 AM – 11 Apr 12
Blair Supporter Blair Supporter I DON’T suppress. I AIR their views frequently. Little liberrtarians want to execute Tony Blair. I want to charge INCITERS.
Blair Supporter Blair SupporterAnd yet he and his type of fundamentalists call for “respect” from rest of us. Why? A convicted criminal who threatens us? 
2:34 AM – 11 Apr 12   Blair Supporter Blair Supporter It matters HUGELY. He does not respect the parliamentary system or the PM that gave him a voice. He’s a scumbag. Imho.
11 Apr James Dobson James Dobson ‏ Suppressing freedom of speech is no way to achieve freedom. It’s sad that you’re so fearful of extremist views.
Blair Supporter Blair Supporter So AGAIN I say I do NOT suppress. I air the truth. He is calling for a “bounty” & is ignored as though that doesn’t matter.
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“Tony Blair is an Angel”. Not MY words. Those of a member of UKIP.

February 15, 2012

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Or –

15th February 2012

You meet some interesting people on Twitter. But I have to say that Les Critique @Ministryofspiel surprised even me.  At his new blog he writes in unblushing praise on a man I occasionally refer to, somewhat blushingly, as “my hero”.  As I told someone not that long ago – I’ve never really had one of those before. Well, more or less.

If I were to say that Tony Blair is an angel I’d have to prepare myself for the ‘you  sycophant/religious nutter‘ comments.  So, well done UKIP/Tory supporter Les Critique.  And thank you for permitting the cross-post here:

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Posted by ministryofspiel on February 15, 2012
They both deserve a medal and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ok I’m waiting for the rotten tomatoes to come out, death threats and lord knows what else!! and maybe I have contradicted myself and my beliefs, but I am a man who can admire someone from any political side, (but Tony really wasnt that far away from my side!!) I would call myself a “Blue Blairite” Yes I hate Labour vehemently and all Socialist, Left wing movements but Tony Blair was different.

Tony Blair is a remarkable man and incredible humanitarian man of peace, for I believe he and George W Bush saved the world.

I find it remarkable how a man can transform a party of horrific incompetence, a party in the pockets of the unions, singlehandedly (with a little help from his spinning friends!!)  transform a party, rotten to the core with communist dinosaurs and corrupt with blood money from the wicked wicked Trade Unions, a party with a vision to destroy life for those over a particular salary bracket! He made Labour electable and this man, with his vigour, energy, passion and drive did it and overturned a stale government of almost 20 years with a resounding majority. That is no mean feat, that is Tony Blair!!

Tony Blair is a Europhile, allowed the opening of the floodgates to mass immigrants, Brown ripped them off the hinges!! His ministers, ruined the Education system introducing a crippling top up fee system which would deprive many talented pupils a place in University, His government created a welfare system that made it pay to scrounge and do nothing with ones life, he (admittedly he did not want to do this) ended the English tradition and much loved Fox Hunting. He did a lot of terrible things for the country and giving Gordon Brown the reigns was the nail in the coffin for Britain, who in 3 years of leadership, destroyed the country and eclipsed the failings of 10 years of Blair. Gordon Brown was the death knell for Britain.

But where his government failed the UK, his character, his grit, compassion and determination may have saved the world.

Countless Prime Ministers tried and failed miserably to end the barbaric crusade of the evil Irish Republican Army, governments failing, cease fires ending, yet this man brokered a peace pact, The Good Friday Agreement, which virtually put out the flame of evil from the Republicans. Northern Ireland is now a safer place, the UK is a safer place, The IRA, would laugh with pleasure and consider it a feat as their bombs murdered children. Tony Blair was the one who said “no more” and he did something about it, which many had tried and failed.

In 1999 whilst the sick and evil Slobodan Milosevic’s army was destroying Yugoslavia, committing mass atrocities of rape, murdering men, women and innocent children, especially boys, the world stood by and watched. Whilst hearing the screams of terror, the machine guns firing and the smell of fire, blood and death in the air, The Yugoslavians must have been, whilst in the grip of incredible fear, praying for someone to come, praying to be rescued, praying for an Angel. God obviously heard. Tony Blair led a NATO coalition and freed the yugoslav people from unspeakable horror. Tony Blairs actions as in Northern Ireland liberated the country and gave the people the peace they thoroughly deserved. Whilst the victims will never recover from the trauma Milosevic put them through, Im sure they will always remember the lights in the sky, the huge “wings” from above coming to set them free. Thanks to Tony Blair.

911 changed the world, when the evil Osama Bin Laden orchestrated the greatest islamic terror atrocity the world has ever seen, he knew he had the world in his hands and to play with  as his toy and do with what he saw fit. He loved it. But of course Left Wing conspiracy theorists could not accept that a vile terror organisation was responsible, “its the Jews, its the Freemasons, Bush did it for oil, Its an Insurance job”!!! NO it was a crazed, evil islamic extremist who knew exactly what he was doing. When the “messiah” carried out the horrific attacks, he knew well that he was leading his people into war, luring the west into his trap! and that he did so!!

911 must have been an incredibly expensive operation and in my “Right wing” conspiracy theory, I would happily wager a fish supper and can, that Saddam Hussein had invested heavily in this wicked plot!!

In a way Bin Laden & Al Quaeda carried out a modern day Gun Powder plot and it wouldn’t shock me that in years to come, the Left Wing thugs of the world will wear Osama masks in the name of “Protest”.

So we have a nut job in Bin Laden who only had to say “hello” to get his flock gathered, a flock all over a very big planet, a flock so twisted and evil with a frightening gift of intimidation and manipulation recruiting people of all creeds and religion to join the evil cause. A man with funding who could do untold damage to the world.

Saddam Hussein, just as evil and twisted, did he have WMD’s? did he not? Well he either didnt or he did? I certainly believe he did!! So Mr Blix found Jack shit!! well hello!!! Nukes can be shifted!! duuuuhhhh!!!

So the world had 2 crazed extremist tyrants on the loose, one being shielded by the Afghans and their Extremist Taliban regime!!

The world needed protecting and there were only two people courageous enough to step up to the plate and effectively save the world!!, The Great George W Bush and our very own saviour, our “Angel” Tony Blair.

So Lets give the Left their way, its 911 again and we do nothing!!! We cry, we have tributes, we condemn Osama but we don’t go into Afghanistan!! We just let it be! The same for Saddam, he pricks the world around, threatening to nuke us, but hey sod him!!!

The atrocities of 911 would only have been the scratching of the surface had action not been taken and a message to the extremists sent that we will not tolerate terrorists and the world will not be held to ransom.

Yes lives have been lost tragically, but lets look at Iraq and the fanatics there how they treated the hostages they took, “beheadings, executions” these are the people that we have to deal with day in day out controlled by the mad men, Saddam & Osama!!!

The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan may have been long and bloody, put the end result will be a planet, a world saved from obliteration by fanatics.

The wars have been costly, in both lives and money but at what price our children’s children and so on.

The eyes of the world have been opened to the dangers of radical Islam and its teachings of hatred, violence and death. These people give the good people of Islam, which is a good religion based on peace, caring, love and loyalty a horrible name and sadly ropes them in to a war that they play no part in.

Tony Blair is a humanitarian as is George W Bush, both have terrible flaws domestically but my lord above they put their protective  arms around the world and and took the bullets of fanatics, the insults and hatred of the Left but in years and years to come, even maybe when they have both sadly passed, one day the world will read and watch and realise what great saviours they were and one day give these incredible men a huge;

THANK YOU.

I certainly do, every day.

Tony Blair is an Angel and a saviour, and in my opinion, one day he should be made a saint. But in my eyes and probably the people of Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan we are all unanimous, he should probably get the Nobel Peace prize.

Biblical History shows Lucifer to be an Angel also, he just got himself a bad name but look deeper and through the things written.

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My thoughts: I haven’t yet looked at the ‘Lucifer’ reference! But I will. Probably. I just want to say thank you to Les Critique.

This gives strength to my long-held contention that not only right-wing Labour members appreciate Mr Blair and his record. It also proves, as I have said before, that Tony Blair was (probably still is given half a chance) THE Prime Minister this country should admire and be most proud of.  After all, which other British leader can you recall who laid his/her neck on the line for so many controversial causes – mainly humanitarian?

If there is a God let’s hope that both Messrs Blair & Bush see the day when the world recognises them for what they are; heroes.

Heroes first, then Angels.

IN CASE YOU WONDERED, I CHECKED WITH LES CRITIQUE BEFORE I USED THIS POST

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Blair Supporter
blairsupporterBlair Supporter

@Ministryofspiel – Just wondered, before I cross-post you, do your UKIP colleagues know what you think of the “Angel” – Tony Blair ?
in reply to ↑
Les Critique

@Ministryofspiel Les Critique
@blairsupporter I’ve never hid my admiration of Blair, I love Tony but hate the rest.
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Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition

1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!

2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.

3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.

4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!

See full signature list


Matthew Parris – “I do love Blair’s Britain”

December 29, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

29th December 2011

Matthew Parris: “This is now Blair’s Britain: a trite phrase, I know, but the world did change. […) This Mr Blair has done with a deftness, with a sensitivity to national mood that has been unequalled by any British politician I can remember. And the result has been good.”

Before you dwell deeper on the joys of Blair’s Britain through the 2006 eyes of Matthew Parris – the erstwhile (self-confessed) “failed” Tory MP but nonetheless talented writer – let me give you this by way of background and introduction.

For some time I had searched fruitlessly online for the article below by Mr Parris. It had stuck in my mind as I had recently become a Blairite when it was published, and I recalled it had been a good read.  Or rather I had at that time recently realised that I had been a Blairite for some time.  Yet all that I was currently reading from Matthew Parris indicated that he would never, could never have written such a thing. Or such a LOT of GOOD things about Blair and “Blair’s Britain”.

I tweeted on my search for it, and a kind friend came up with it for me:  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article1737544.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

You may be taken to the £ page rather than directly to the article.  But, never to be beaten by mere formalities, it has been copied and pasted below, in all its glory.

Don’t thank me, Mr Parris – thank YOU.

__________

From The Times
December 23, 2006

I’m no fan of the man, but I do love Blair’s Britain

Matthew Parris

Page 1

A year ago a friend laid down a challenge. “Why don’t you try something new?

“Lie down in a darkened room, and try to think positively about the Prime Minister. Take a fair-minded look at what his near-decade in Downing Street has done for Britain that is right and good. Write a column which sets this out without sarcasm or facetiousness, and does not damn with faint praise. Before the year is out, see if you can.”

I’ve thought hard about that challenge. The truth is that there is just one good thing I can say about this Prime Minister, but that it is a very big thing indeed.

Britain is a nicer place than when he entered Downing Street nearly ten years ago.

His premiership has helped to make it so. Tony Blair has placed his personal stamp on a genuinely new era for Britain -an altered culture, a permanent change in our national mood.

Without any shadow of doubt, Mr Blair will leave a happier country than he found.

Something tolerant, something amiable, something humorous, some lightness of spirit in his own nature, has marked his premiership and left its mark on British life.

Around the turn of the century the buzz-phrase “cool Britannia” was much mocked, and Downing Street probably deserved the mockery; but there was truth in the phrase, there was a real idea there, and the man himself embodied it. This Prime Minister was cool in a way that no predecessor in that office ever had been.

Though evanescent, the quality was not without meaning or impact.

And it was him, him personally. Not Gordon Brown -leaden, sullen, brooding. Not Peter Mandelson -tense, brittle, troubled and strangely trapped by the 20th century. Certainly not John Prescott. “New” Labour may have had some fitful association with central policy changes, but timidity has characterised the flagship policies. The association of new Labour, however, with what we might call the spirit of the age has been very strong. Head and shoulders above the rest of his administration, Tony Blair, the man himself, in himself, has embodied the modernity.

Concrete examples -the way this has been translated in politics -are as slight and individually as seemingly trivial as they are legion. You would expect me to mention civil partnerships, the scrapping of the “section 28″ prohibition on the promotion of homosexuality in schools, the equalising of the age of consent, and the ending of the ban on gays in the Armed Forces; but this programme of repeals, though bringing big changes for the minority of which I am part, is more significant for the small changes it has reinforced in the attitudes of the majority.

The minimum wage (towards which I was at first sceptical) is another big change for a minority that signals a small civilising of majority attitudes. Many of us now feel quietly pleased to live in a country that cares -and takes legislative measures to show it -about the poorest paid. Childcare provision, the “social inclusion agenda”, relaxations on licensing hours, the reclassification of cannabis, a relentless campaign of oratory and example on religious tolerance, and a brave opening of the doors to Eastern European labour from the new EU members, are all further examples of a phenomenon for which the term “raft” of measures has become a dreadful cliche, but which has meaning here. I like this raft. I like its drift. I like its rainbow flag.

Page 2 -

And there has been, as gradual as it is signal and (I hope) permanent, a steady reduction in the level of general censoriousness in public life. In its way this is every bit as health-giving as a reduction in the volume of noxious gases in the atmosphere, and it is clear to me that Mr Blair himself has helped to lead it.

Whether or not he “does” God (as Alastair Campbell put it), this Prime Minister does not do preaching, moralising or finger-wagging. The news media, even the red-top tabloids, have followed suit. Look at the sympathetic way the victims of the Suffolk murders have been treated by the press and broadcasters in recent weeks.

Those who know John Major know very well that the “nation at ease with itself” of which the former Prime Minister often spoke was a truer expression of what Mr Major hoped to achieve than the “Back to Basics” campaign that became his label.

In ways that have been little noticed, Majorism -the Citizen’s Charter, the National Lottery and its good causes, the emphasis on the public as customers rather than lucky beneficiaries of public services -can be seen a Tory attempt to reaccommodate itself to a changed, kinder, gentler Britain, as well as a reflection of John Major’s own nature. But he never quite found his voice, his parliamentary majority, or his stride. You could even say that Majorism was proto-Blairism, which went off half-cock. Mr Blair followed, and got it right.

A defining moment for me was the union of Elton John and David Furnish. A Blair Government had both anticipated and helped to reinforce the astonishing public sympathy for the ceremony. Again, Mr Blair got that right.

The next prime minister -discounting, as perhaps we may, an imminent unhappy interlude with Mr Brown -will be David Cameron. Mr Cameron’s bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party a year ago came close to skidding off the road before it started. The reason for that near-disaster was a story about drugs and youthful indiscretion. Had Mr Cameron taken drugs as a younger man, or had he not?

Mr Cameron’s response was neither yea nor nay, but that it didn’t really matter and it was none of our business. Fleet Street was on a knife edge, undecided which way to tip.

Mr Cameron stuck to his guns. Our news media sniffed the wind, assessed the public mood, and tipped Mr Cameron’s way. The story died. When Sunday newspapers published photographs of George Osborne, the Tory Shadow Chancellor, flanked in late-night circumstances by a black lady, and on the table a trace of what we must suppose to have been salt, the story never really got going.

Why? You remember it too. Why do you think? I cannot quite put my finger on it but recall, borne on the early 21st-century wind, a weary sense of “Oh do let’s grow up. This is all so 20th-century. Can’t we just move on?” We did. In Thatcher’s Britain, Mr Cameron would have crashed; in Blair’s Britain he stayed on the road.

As Blairism owes its economic life in part to Thatcherism, Cameronism will owe its cultural validity -and Mr Cameron his job -in part to Mr Blair.

This is now Blair’s Britain: a trite phrase, I know, but the world did change. Mr Blair is associated with that change, but more than associated with it: as our Prime Minister he has been a presiding mind, a presiding imagination. By no means has he created the new mood but he has caught the mood and run with it, and in running with it, validated it.

Call it weakness or call it a strength, but people without any dominating idea of their own but with the emotional intelligence to sense the spirit of the age and let it inhabit them like a ghost, to interpret it, to give it words and gestures, even to clothe it with theory and statute -these people are changemakers every bit as revolutionary as a Thatcher, but in a different way. You can grab an era by the lapels, as she did, or you can let an era grab you by the lapels and guide it, as he has; both are creative forces in politics.

In democratic politics it is no small thing to catch a changed wind early, to let it fill your sails, and to help steer the spirit of a nation into different waters. This Mr Blair has done with a deftness, with a sensitivity to national mood that has been unequalled by any British politician I can remember. And the result has been good. That at least is a legacy of which he should be proud.

__________

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Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Full Netanyahu Speech at UN

September 25, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

25th September 2011

In case you can’t find it in the British mainstream press -

Full Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu UN address to General Assembly Sept 23 2011

It’s hard to know where to start with Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the UN.  His theater of the absurd jibe at the UN itself? His hand of peace. Here are a few excerpts:

But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.

[Israel is] singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.

[UN]- It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament.

Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country. So as Israel’s prime minister, I didn’t come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. (Cheers, applause.) The truth is — the truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen.

After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather — shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.

Yet a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy. That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality.

You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the UN Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

You couldn’t make this thing up.

So here in the UN, automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.

And yet even here in the General Assembly, the truth can sometimes break through. In 1984 when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me — and ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want any of you to be offended because from personal experience of serving here, I know there are many honorable men and women, many capable and decent people serving their nations here. But here’s what the rebbe said to me. He said to me, you’ll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.

Full transcript of Netanyahu’s speech

__________

Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN [part 1/3] (rest at YouTube)

9:31

Full transcript of Abbas’s speech

The sharp of understanding among you may have noticed that Abbas deems himself to be speaking on behalf of ALL the Palestinians in the region – presumably in Gaza too. Yet Hamas, which is another political party ruling over part of the future state of Palestine,  is not even considered in his speech.  It is the Ghost at the party. Neither is its existence,  its refusal to EVER recognise Israel, or its Charter’s intent to destroy Israel even alluded to by those applauding loudly Abbas’s proposal.  Gaza, however, is mentioned by Abbas three times.  An interesting inclusion/omission.

Lest we forget -

Hamas Principles

The principles of the Hamas are stated in their Covenant or Charter, given in full below. Following are highlights.

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

__________

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Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Tony Blair video interview on 9/11. See why he is still the Best on fighting terror

September 16, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

16th September 2011

Last weekend Tony Blair gave television, radio and newspaper interviews on 9/11.

Thought you might like to see the Jon Sopel interview (in two parts)

9/11 The Tony Blair interview – part 1

9/11 The Tony Blair interview – part 2

Linked too at Tony Blair’s website

Also see report from Quartet on the Palestinian situation on the ground.  Still of relevance even if some think this has been  overtaken by events – announcement by Abbas of Palestinian unilateral proposal at UN.

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Russia moved Saddam’s WMD

September 12, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

12th September 2011

“… two Russian ships set sail from the (Iraqi) port of Umm Qasr headed for the Indian Ocean,” where Shaw believes they “deep-sixed” additional stockpiles of Iraqi WMD from flooded bunkers in southern Iraq that were later discovered by U.S. military intelligence personnel.

I’m becoming somewhat peeved by the semi-ignorant we-all-knowers and their offspring the we-all-NOW-knowers who see themselves as the epitome of truth on… well, more or less everything. But particularly on Tony Blair, WMD, Saddam Hussein and the Iraq war.

The more one researches the more one finds. But the we-all-NOW-knowers have reached that perfect position of certainty and clarity whereby they need no more information. Perhaps TMI overload is the reason they cannot cope with knowing a little more. Perhaps. On the other hand their various agendas get in the way.

Below is an article at Newsmax published on February 19th 2006 which requires journalistic investigation. In later posts, given time, I may well do so –  since none of our anti-Blair / anti-Bush / anti-Iraq war “professional” journalists seem willing to expend the effort.

If you are tempted to say – “Oh, that! That was even dismissed by Bush’s administration”  – do read on, oh great denying “truth-finder”.  In a later post I hope to try and cast some more light on the issues, political agendas, individuals and organisations within the article.

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Ex-Official: Russia Moved Saddam’s WMD

Kenneth R. Timmerman
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006

A top Pentagon official who was responsible for tracking Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs before and after the 2003 liberation of Iraq, has provided the first-ever account of how Saddam Hussein “cleaned up” his weapons of mass destruction stockpiles to prevent the United States from discovering them.

“The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon,” former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw told an audience Saturday at a privately sponsored “Intelligence Summit” in Alexandria, Va. (www.intelligencesummit.org). [link added]

“They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units out of uniform, that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence,” he said.

Shaw has dealt with weapons-related issues and export controls as a U.S. government official for 30 years, and was serving as deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security when the events he described today occurred.

He called the evacuation of Saddam’s WMD stockpiles “a well-orchestrated campaign using two neighboring client states with which the Russian leadership had a long time security relationship.”

Shaw was initially tapped to make an inventory of Saddam’s conventional weapons stockpiles, based on intelligence estimates of arms deals he had concluded with the former Soviet Union, China and France.

He estimated that Saddam had amassed 100 million tons of munitions – roughly 60 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. “The origins of these weapons were Russian, Chinese and French in declining order of magnitude, with the Russians holding the lion’s share and the Chinese just edging out the French for second place.”

But as Shaw’s office increasingly got involved in ongoing intelligence to identify Iraqi weapons programs before the war, he also got “a flow of information from British contacts on the ground at the Syrian border and from London” via non-U.S. government contacts.

“The intelligence included multiple sightings of truck convoys, convoys going north to the Syrian border and returning empty,” he said.

Shaw worked closely with Julian Walker, a former British ambassador who had decades of experience in Iraq, and an unnamed Ukranian-American who was directly plugged in to the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service.

The Ukrainians were eager to provide the United States with documents from their own archives on Soviet arms transfers to Iraq and on ongoing Russian assistance to Saddam, to thank America for its help in securing Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union, Shaw said.

In addition to the convoys heading to Syria, Shaw said his contacts “provided information about steel drums with painted warnings that had been moved to a cellar of a hospital in Beirut.”

But when Shaw passed on his information to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and others within the U.S. intelligence community, he was stunned by their response.

“My report on the convoys was brushed off as ‘Israeli disinformation,'” he said.

One month later, Shaw learned that the DIA general counsel complained to his own superiors that Shaw had eaten from the DIA “rice bowl.” It was a Washington euphemism that meant he had commited the unpardonable sin of violating another agency’s turf.

The CIA responded in even more diabolical fashion. “They trashed one of my Brits and tried to declare him persona non grata to the intelligence community,” Shaw said. “We got constant indicators that Langley was aggressively trying to discredit both my Ukranian-American and me in Kiev,” in addition to his other sources.

But Shaw’s information had not originated from a casual contact. His Ukranian-American aid was a personal friend of David Nicholas, a Western ambassador in Kiev, and of Igor Smesko, head of Ukrainian intelligence.

Smesko had been a military attaché in Washington in the early 1990s when Ukraine first became independent and Dick Cheney was secretary of defense. “Smesko had told Cheney that when Ukraine became free of Russia he wanted to show his friendship for the United States.”

Helping out on Iraq provided him with that occasion.

“Smesko had gotten to know Gen. James Clapper, now director of the Geospacial Intelligence Agency, but then head of DIA,” Shaw said.

But it was Shaw’s own friendship to the head of Britain’s MI6 that brought it all together during a two-day meeting in London that included Smeshko’s people, the MI6 contingent, and Clapper, who had been deputized by George Tenet to help work the issue of what happened to Iraq’s WMD stockpiles.

In the end, here is what Shaw learned:

  • In December 2002, former Russian intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov, a KGB general with long-standing ties to Saddam, came to Iraq and stayed until just before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
  • Primakov supervised the execution of long-standing secret agreements, signed between Iraqi intelligence and the Russian GRU (military intelligence), that provided for clean-up operations to be conducted by Russian and Iraqi military personnel to remove WMDs, production materials and technical documentation from Iraq, so the regime could announce that Iraq was “WMD free.”
  • Shaw said that this type GRU operation, known as “Sarandar,” or “emergency exit,” has long been familiar to U.S. intelligence officials from Soviet-bloc defectors as standard GRU practice.
  • In addition to the truck convoys, which carried Iraqi WMD to Syria and Lebanon in February and March 2003 “two Russian ships set sail from the (Iraqi) port of Umm Qasr headed for the Indian Ocean,” where Shaw believes they “deep-sixed” additional stockpiles of Iraqi WMD from flooded bunkers in southern Iraq that were later discovered by U.S. military intelligence personnel.
  • The Russian “clean-up” operation was entrusted to a combination of GRU and Spetsnaz troops and Russian military and civilian personnel in Iraq “under the command of two experienced ex-Soviet generals, Colonel-General Vladislav Achatov and Colonel-General Igor Maltsev, both retired and posing as civilian commercial consultants.”
  • Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz reported on Oct. 30, 2004, that Achatov and Maltsev had been photographed receiving medals from Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed in a Baghdad building bombed by U.S. cruise missiles during the first U.S. air raids in early March 2003.
  • Shaw says he leaked the information about the two Russian generals and the clean-up operation to Gertz in October 2004 in an effort to “push back” against claims by Democrats that were orchestrated with CBS News to embarrass President Bush just one week before the November 2004 presidential election. The press sprang bogus claims that 377 tons of high explosives of use to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program had “gone missing” after the U.S.-led liberation of Iraq, while ignoring intelligence of the Russian-orchestrated evacuation of Iraqi WMDs.
  • The two Russian generals “had visited Baghdad no fewer than 20 times in the preceding five to six years,” Shaw revealed. U.S. intelligence knew “the identity and strength of the various Spetsnaz units, their dates of entry and exit in Iraq, and the fact that the effort (to clean up Iraq’s WMD stockpiles) with a planning conference in Baku from which they flew to Baghdad.”
  • The Baku conference, chaired by Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu, “laid out the plans for the Sarandar clean-up effort so that Shoigu could leave after the keynote speech for Baghdad to orchestrate the planning for the disposal of the WMD.”
  • Subsequent intelligence reports showed that Russian Spetsnaz operatives “were now changing to civilian clothes from military/GRU garb,” Shaw said. “The Russian denial of my revelations in late October 2004 included the statement that “only Russian civilians remained in Baghdad.” That was the “only true statement” the Russians made, Shaw ironized.The evacuation of Saddam’s WMD to Syria and Lebanon “was an entirely controlled Russian GRU operation,” Shaw said. “It was the brainchild of General Yevgenuy Primakov.”The goal of the clean-up was “to erase all trace of Russian involvement” in Saddam’s WMD programs, and “was a masterpiece of military camouflage and deception.”Just as astonishing as the Russian clean-up operation were efforts by Bush administration appointees, including Defense Department spokesman Laurence DiRita, to smear Shaw and to cover up the intelligence information he brought to light.”Larry DiRita made sure that this story would never grow legs,” Shaw said. “He whispered sotto voce [quietly] to journalists that there was no substance to my information and that it was the product of an unbalanced mind.”Shaw suggested that the answer of why the Bush administration had systematically “ignored Russia’s involvement” in evacuating Saddam’s WMD stockpiles “could be much bigger than anyone has thought,” but declined to speculate what exactly was involved.Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney was less reticent. He thought the reason was Iran.”With Iran moving faster than anyone thought in its nuclear programs,” he told NewsMax, “the administration needed the Russians, the Chinese and the French, and was not interested in information that would make them look bad.”McInerney agreed that there was “clear evidence” that Saddam had WMD. “Jack Shaw showed when it left Iraq, and how.”Former Undersecretary of Defense Richard Perle, a strong supporter of the war against Saddam, blasted the CIA for orchestrating a smear campaign against the Bush White House and the war in Iraq.”The CIA has been at war with the Bush administration almost from the beginning,” he said in a keynote speech at the Intelligence Summit on Saturday.He singled out recent comments by Paul Pillar, a former top CIA Middle East analyst, alleging that the Bush White House “cherry-picked” intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.”Mr. Pillar was in a very senior position and was able to make his views known, if that is indeed what he believed,” Perle said.”He (Pillar) briefed senior policy officials before the start of the Iraq war in 2003. If he had had reservations about the war, he could have voiced them at that time.” But according to officials briefed by Pillar, Perle said, he never did.Even more inexplicable, Perle said, were the millions of documents “that remain untranslated” among those seized from Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services.”I think the intelligence community does not want them to be exploited,” he said.Among those documents, presented Saturday at the conference by former FBI translator Bill Tierney, were transcripts of Saddam’s palace conversations with top aides in which he discussed ongoing nuclear weapons plans in 2000, well after the U.N. arms inspectors believed he had ceased all nuclear weapons work.”What was most disturbing in those tapes,” Tierney said, “was the fact that the individuals briefing Saddam were totally unknown to the U.N. Special Commission.”In addition, Tierney said, the plasma uranium programs Saddam discussed with his aids as ongoing operations in 2000 had been dismissed as “old programs” disbanded years earlier, according to the final CIA report on Iraq’s weapons programs, presented in 2004 by the Iraq Survey Group.”When I first heard those tapes” about the uranium plasma program, “it completely floored me,” Tierney said.

__________

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.