Blair on Iraq, Chilcot, scandal-obsessed & conspiratorial Brits

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    8th February, 2010

    Blair: “There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view, some sort of conspiracy behind it,  some sort of deceit that’s gone on… when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it.”

    2/6/10 Huck interview with Tony Blair part 1

    From the YouTube site:

    “Finally, a liberal politician with half a brain (Tony Blair) and who seems honest and not trying to give people a snow job and who doesn’t come across like a used car salesman or a con artist. It’s only the second instance I’ve seen, the other being Joe Lieberman. If it sounds crass, I’m just trying to catch up with the libs but I’ve got a long way to go. That scene demonizing Blair behind bars using the evil looking doll is a good example. Why is it they scream murder when you do the same thing such as their Tea Party coverage when they were the people with the anti-war riots? I think of them as the hypocrisy party. See what Blair says on Iraq.”

    [Ed: Hypocrisy Party? I think of them like that too. Liberal Democrats, anarchists, anti-war warriors out for a good hanging, old unreconstructed Labourites, hypocritical Daily Mail supporting Conservatives. Strange bedfellows all.]

    Margaret, a regular commenter here has just sent me this transcript of the Huckabee interview with Blair. Thank you, Margaret. (Will tidy it up later):

    Huckabee: I’m Mike Huckabee from Jerusalem. Tonight my exclusive interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He’s been under fire recently especially from the British press over his involvement in the Iraqi War including gruelling, intense questioning at the recent Chilcot Commission. And the British press have been harsh on him calling  him everything from George Bush’s poodle to a liar. There are have been four official inquires the most recent the Chilcot Comission. Six hours of gruelling questions that you have (Blair smiling and nodding in agreement) experienced. You said that you would make the very same decisions that you made before. What gives you the resolve to be able to say that, especially with all the pressure you had?

    Tony Blair: The most difficult thing in politics is, especially when you’ve fought, you’ve won an election and then you’ve come into power especially as I did very much someone who in a sense wanted to please all of the people all of the time and we’d been 18 years in opposition as a political party, this was a huge moment – we were in there and as my time went on as Prime Minister I realised in the end you couldn’t please all the people all of the time, but when it came to the very big decisions you had to do what you thought was right. And I did what I thought was right in respect of Iraq and I, in a sense the strength to carry on drives from that belief.

    Now I’m not, you know, I don’t… I don’t pretend I’ve got a monopoly of wisdom, not at all and that’s why I’ve always said I don’t disrespect people who hold completely the opposite point of view. But that’s what I believe and I did what I believed.

    And I think as we look at it now in this – here we are in this region in the Middle East – I think we are better off and safer as a region in the world without Saddam in power.

    Huckabee: That was one of the questions – are the United States, the UK safer now than we were before we went into Iraq?

    Tony Blair: In my view yes, because you’ve got to ask what would have happened if we’d left Saddam there. The sanctions regime was crumbling, frankly, which was why they were trying to put together a new sanctions regime. We know now from the Iraq Survey group that Saddam retained every intention and also the intellectual know-how to re-start the nuclear and the chemical weapons programme and he would have had several years of very large oil revenues so he would have had the money and he would have had the intent and meanwhile we would have backed off. Now, you can never – you’re always speculating – and hypothesis as to what would have happened, but my view being out here in the region is that the danger would have been that he would have ended up in a sense competing with Iran, both to lead the extreme elements within Islam and also, of course, proliferating nuclear and chemical weapons.

    Huckabee: There have been the critics who said the destruction of his power in Iraq emboldened Iran and made them even more powerful and a greater threat. How do you respond to that criticism, because it’s been out there?

    Tony Blair: Yeah, it has been out there and it’s a very important criticism and important criticism to respond to. As I always say to people when people say – well, look Saddam was the strongman that was the brake on Iran – I say – that was our policy through the 1980’s. We supported Saddam against Iran. What was the result? The result was an Iran/Iraq war in which there were a million casualties, he developed during the course of that and used chemical weapons. He emerged out of that and invaded Kuwait. The answer to Iran is not to get another extremist, arm them and try and get him to be the brake on them. The answer actually is to allow people in Iraq to have the same freedom that we do to elect their government and to have then next door to Iran a majority Shia country that is a country that is democratic. Now, it’s very fragile, it’s very difficult but the interesting thing and this is part of the evidence actually given to this inquiry is that today in Iraq the political parties are going across the sectarian divide and actually the worst thing for the people standing in the election in Iraq is to be seen as too close to Iran. Now I think that is a better way to deal with this than to say (Blair shaking his head) ‘let’s get another dictator and put them up against this dictator’. The very best way of dealing with their extreme ideas is to put before people a better idea. One thing, you know I spend a lot of time out in this region, the biggest myth there is that people in this region for cultural reasons, for reasons of tradition and history and there’s a whole elite in the west who sit here and say this these people don’t want really democracy, they don’t want freedom they don’t quite know what it is and what to do with it you know they’re all incapable of understanding these concepts ... it’s nonsense. You know, you talk to the ordinary Palestinian here, what they want is to be able to elect their government they’re no… believe it or not they’re no different from us.

    Huckabee: I don’t pretend for a moment  o understand American politics very well  (Blair smiling) I certainly don’t understand British politics but why so many of these inquiries? There’s been four and they’ve all been relentless, they  haven’t really mined any new ground.

    Tony Blair: (shaking his head and laughing ) Erm.. I think it’s partly because we have this curious habit, I don’t think this is confined to Britain actually, where people find it hard to come to the point where they say ‘we disagree you’re a reasonable person, I’m a reasonable person but we disagree‘. There’s always  got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view er … there’s got to be some conspiracy behind it.  Some great, you know… deceit that’s gone on, and people just find it hard to understand that it’s possible for people to have different points of view and hold them reasonably for genuine reasons.  And so I think that there’s a continual  desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it. But there it is.

    And here’s part of today’s Times’ coverage –

    Tony Blair has dismissed the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war as part of Britain’s obsession with conspiracy and scandal.

    Speaking for the first time since his controversial appearance as a witness, the former Prime Minister said people should accept that it is possible to have different opinions on the legitimacy of the invasion without any underlying deceit.

    The interview, broadcast last night, came as Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary, prepared to give a second round of evidence before the inquiry this afternoon.

    Mr Blair called for an end to this kind of speculation over ulterior motives during an interview on Fox with Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas who ran against John McCain to be the Republican nominee for President in 2008.

    Mr Huckabee asked: “I don’t pretend for a moment to understand American politics very well and I certainly don’t understand British politics but why so many of these [Iraq] inquiries? There’s been four and they’ve all been relentless – they haven’t really mined any new ground.”

    Mr Blair laughed and smiled. “Erm. . .” he began. “I think it’s partly because we have this curious habit, I don’t think it’s confined to Britain actually, where people find it hard to come to the point where they say we disagree – you’re a reasonable person, I’m a reasonable person but we disagree.

    “There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view. There’s got to be some conspiracy behind it. Some great, you know, deceit that’s gone on, and people just find it hard to understand that it’s possible for people to have different points of view and hold them reasonably for genuine reasons.

    “So I think there’s continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy when actually there’s a decision at the heart of it – but there it is.”

    Mr Blair could be asked to reappear before the panel in the coming months, says The Times.

    Ed: Ah ha!!! He could be asked to reappear???

    No scandal hint, eh? By the conspiratorial press?


    Of course not.


    Watch the Iraq Inquiry here at the official site with ALL evidence videos, not press-selected clips. Including all 6 hours of Blair’s evidence and 249 transcribed pages of those 6 hours, (pdf format). Read and watch it ALL here. Don’t trust the conspiratorial British press’s interpretation. They have their ‘facts’ a*se backwards.

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    5 Responses to “Blair on Iraq, Chilcot, scandal-obsessed & conspiratorial Brits”

    1. Press Watch 1: Guardian Cif-er – “Suicide bomb” Tony Blair « Tony Blair Says:

      […] Tony Blair « Blair on Iraq, Chilcot, scandal-obsessed & conspiratorial Brits […]

    2. Andrew Watt Says:

      You make an interesting assertion about Tony Blair not being a war criminal. I’d love to see you make your case in full detail in the light of Section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.

      Meantime, we can console ourselves with the thought that Tony Blair is demonstrably a terrorist in the meaning of Section 40 of the Terorism Act 2000.

      Maybe it’s a bit like debating about angels on the head of a pin.

      Under Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is potentially liable to life imprisonment.

      Personally, I’d be satisfied if we got to that point.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Mr Watt,

        I’ve had some giggles reading your analysis of the former Attorney General’s analysis of the legality of war. Especially your conclusion that war is not legal EVER, and so it is WROTE by HM Gov.

        Really, it’s clear that YOU should have been doing Goldsmith’s job, so learned are you. Evidently. Part-time of course, while you weren’t doing Blair’s.

        Your “bald assertion” here is priceless!

        A more major mistake, in my view, was made because the same confusion arises in relation to The Terrorism Act 2000.

        I’m going to put forward a bald assertion here.

        The effect of the enactment of the Terrorism Act 2000, rightly interpreted, is that war was for all practical purposes outlawed as from 20th July 2000. War remained possible in principle but for all practical purposes impossible to conduct without committing multiple criminal offences.

        [I’ll do a step by step justification of that assertion in a later post.]

        I’m not going to attempt to justify that here. But I believe that bald assertion is true and that Goldsmith and his team of lawyers just didn’t realise it.

        The evidence suggests that Goldsmith made a monumental mistake here, if I’m right.

        So when Goldsmith claimed that the war would be lawful, my surmise is that he would have been correct but only if he had fully communicated the relevance of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 and, most importantly of all, of the Terrorism Act 2000.

        If he’d appreciated the relevance of the Terrorism Act 2000, Goldsmith would have told the Ministry of Defence that there was no prohibition in principle to the use of armed force but that enactment of the Terrorism Act 2000 meant that law could not practically be carried out by UK armed forces without breaches (probably multiple breaches) of UK national law. And that, for those reasons, the United Kingdom had for all practical purposes abandoned the use of armed of force (in a legal way) on 20th July 2000.

        Of course, once war began it was possible for criminal offences under international law or under national law (or both) to take place.

        Lovely, isn’t it?

        I’ll do my readers the favour of letting them read your exercise in legal niceties in full. They could do with some light reading, I’m sure. It’s here.

        As for consoling ourselves yourself with the thought that “Blair is a terrorist”, ref – Section 40 of the 2000 Terrorism Act here, you really need to stop that “teach yourself Law” course. For those with the fallacious idea that they understand English and International law better than Goldsmith, they should apply for the job at the same place as they have removed Mr Watt’s petition – the Number 10 website. Short shrift won’t come into it.

        As for this nonsense on Blair’s likelihood of ending up jailed for life, Section 56:

        56 Directing terrorist organisation

        (1) A person commits an offence if he directs, at any level, the activities of an organisation which is concerned in the commission of acts of terrorism.

        (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

        Presumably you tie ‘Blair’s offence of terrorism’ (LAUGHABLE, you should understand, just risible) in with your conclusion that war for all practical purposes is illegal?

        As for Blair’s culpability – – Section 51, International Criminal Court Act 2001

        I wonder why no-one saw that as an issue before? Ooohhh! Clearly they need a new Attorney General. Step up to the mark, Mr Watt. Your time is now, or maybe then.

        Please, please … please, and I don’t mean to be rude, but do go off and dance with those pinhead fairies.

        By the way, no-one is ANY kind of criminal until charged, tried and convicted. Innocent until proven guilty. Remember? So cease your idle prattle.


    3. Iraq. It was for the oil, wasn’t it? That’s right. It wasn’t « Tony Blair Says:

      […] A few days ago on US TV Mike Huckabee interviewed Tony Blair, as covered here. […]

    4. Middle East peace? They’re ALL on Blair’s page now, except the British press « Tony Blair Says:

      […] on from the first part of Tony Blair’s interview, here, by Mike Huckabee, below in video and transcript are some of Tony Blair’s further thoughts on the present […]

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