Iraq Inquiry catch-up service: the wringing of Blair and the mangling of “THE TRUTH”

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    10th February 2011

    1.Iraq Inquiry catch-up service: the wringing of Blair & the mangling of “THE TRUTH”



    When I wrote a page or five (listed below) about my attendance at the inquisition, trial, witness session of our former Prime Minister on January 21st, I said I’d be back with more to say. Apologies it’s taken so long; real life gets in the way at times, when I let it. So I thought I’d better get on with it, for those still vaguely interested.



    This post is the first of a new batch on Tony Blair’s second coming, as it were, to the Iraq Inquiry.

    I want to make a few points, most of which have been made several times before, here and elsewhere, but they’re  worth repeating. On these points I expect to base the next few posts on the issues around Tony Blair’s second appearance at the Iraq Inquiry.



    • The Iraq Inquiry, aka The Chilcot Inquiry is NOT the trial of Tony Blair, much as some would like you to believe it is. I mean to write on what I thought of Mr Blair’s evidence and the lines of enquiry the panel took.
    • Above all else this inquiry does NOT have as any of its remit to establish the “legality” or otherwise of the political decisions made by Tony Blair, his cabinet and ultimately parliament.
    • The truth about Blair’s expressions of regret. Why I say I was right last January and John Rentoul was wrong. It happens, once in a while.
    • There are some who, regardless of the Inquiry’s conclusions, will NEVER accept those conclusions, unless…. UNLESS they provide grounds for a REAL trial of our former prime minister. That is something he will have to live with, as he presently does. But it is a self-absorbing obsession by some and an attitude of mind that we should challenge and confront.  If only for their own sakes.
    • Such determined, minds-made-up “truth-seekers” must not be permitted to campaign endlessly, “till the day Blair dies” (I was told by someone attending the Iraq Inquiry), on the basis that they want the truth. But ONLY if it is the truth as they believe it to be.



    • It was a political decision. The decision to stand with the USA in what would swell to a 40-country front against Saddam’s regime a month or so later (once the initial invasion had been completed by four countries – USA, UK, Australia & Poland) was not for nothing. Nor was it “wrong”, “fallaciously forced upon us” or based on “lies”. Nor was it a “disaster”, a term lightly thrown about by some, especially some who profess to be in support of liberalism and democracy. That facile and emotive transference of meaning of the number of deaths, whilst ignoring the REAL killers is testament to their lack of comprehension of the basic tenets of any conflict situation. Or worse, it is evidence of their use of such a tendency in others, especially those already susceptible to that argument, by instinct or from a principled position.
    • It was not God-directed or religion-inspired.
    • Nor was it motivated by Blair’s wish to “suck up” to an American right-wing president, thus showing his “true colours” (as continues that naysaying self-serving argument.)
    • Neither was such a momentous decision for the country and the world about Blair’s personal financial gain, future pulling-power, or anything else disreputable.  People who suggests such, in fact insist such are particularly disreputable in my humble opinion. They should avoid transferring their own motivational values to others.
    • So why is much of the above now accepted as “the truth”? Don’t ask me! Ask the press.



    • I know this may sound unsympathetic or even disrespectful. I don’t mean it to be either. But I think it is an important point that needs to be made.  Especially since it has not been made elsewhere, as far as I recall. I am personally sick of the hijacking by a minority of the issues surrounding the Iraq decision. No matter how some have been personally affected, they are using and abusing a natural sympathy for those who have lost family members at war in order to make their own points against Blair and the Iraq invasion, and in some cases on war in general. This hijacking of opinion as “the revealed truth” is solely the press’s doing. The media is the conduit of our information, for better or worse. People who have the ear of the press are almost invariably antis, mainly the families of deceased soldiers and those who are against war in principle and presumably would rather lie down and die than fight to protect their families and our country if attacked.  To put it starkly, I believe this is an unbalanced approach by the press, but it is the free press’s chosen approach as I mentioned here at my new blog “The Feral Press”.
    • For some in the press, this seeking out of such “truth-seekers” is not principled. It’s personal. Or it has become so. The press, and particularly some sections, have made it their life’s work to undo Tony Blair. Some of our newspapers have made a stance against the Iraq war into a measure of their moral rectitude, incapable of being questioned, unless one wishes to be labelled “immoral”. I find this positioning, frankly, immoral. And I think that such self-righteous individuals, press outlets and groups should be held to account for muck-spreading, bias and the dissemination of lies. The Daily Mail and the Independent are but two of those engaging in this insulting, demeaning behaviour. Theirs is not ‘investigative journalism’ but an attempt to link all that can be linked (all of which they suggest reflects badly on Mr Blair) as being part of the reasons he was wrong and they were right.  The press are elected by NO-ONE.  Tony Blair on the other hand was elected for the third time two years after the Iraq invasion and when the ‘anti’ press were well into the trashing of his motives, suggestions of conspiracy participation, traducing his character even questioning his sanity.
    • The invasion of Iraq was not about Blair “killing our soldiers”; the soldiers in our volunteer army.  It was about maintaining freedom for ALL of us, not just a few, no matter how brave.


    • I am sure that the members of the Inquiry panel ARE well aware of the pressures on them to “come up with the goods”, as it were.  (I will flesh these thoughts out when I come to write on them at a later post.)


    There may be more that will come to me before I complete these posts. There usually is. If so, I’ll probably have to bore you a touch more.  My time spent watching Tony Blair since 2006 has made me conclude that if I don’t write about such matters in his support, no-one does, with very few honourable exceptions. For instance, the incomparable John Rentoul who often takes great satisfaction from riling his Independent ‘anti’ commenters by describing Tony Blair as “our finest ever peace-time prime minister.”

    Which reminds me – what is our very own “war criminal” up to these days?

    Oh, nothing much –

    International Mideast envoy Tony Blair looks on during an interview with The Associated Press in Jerusalem, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. Blair said Monday that a change in Egypt's leadership is inevitable after the week of anti-government protests that have gripped the country. (AP Photos/Bernat Armangue)

    And it’s always possible that he’s still helping and influencing people, and still finds himself highly regarded by others in the international community, despite, perhaps in some cases because of Iraq.

    From (L-R) Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad and Gamal Mubarak, son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, stand on the podium during a plenary session on the second day of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh on May 19, 2008. [Pictures above from Day Life.]

    Gamal Mubarak?

    Oooooh! I smell a rat! A conspiracy rat! Don’t you, conspiracy searchers? If not, why not?

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    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’.


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