‘International justice is farce if Blair doesn’t go on trial over Iraq war’
The former British Prime Minister admitted in an interview with CNN that there are “elements of truth” to the supposition that the US-led Iraq invasion led to the rise of Islamic State.
“I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he’s not there than that he is there,” Blair told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
RT: Could you shed some light as to why this is happening now? Is there something in the timing that has prompted Tony Blair to admit the failures of the 2003 campaign?
Neil Clark: I woke up this morning to the rather dramatic headline that Tony Blair had “apologized for the Iraq war.” I thought: what’s happening here? Of course, when I actually looked at the story more closely, he hasn’t done anything of the sort, he hasn’t apologized at all…He said “there were elements of truth” in the idea that the Iraqi invasion may have led to the rise of ISIS…In fact, without the Iraq war, we wouldn’t have the Islamic State today, would we? I think this is really more spin from this warmonger, it’s an attempt to justify the Iraq war rather than being an apology…He said that he finds it very hard to apologize for removing Saddam Hussein from power. Of course, a regime change is illegal under international law.
I think the reason he is coming out with this now is the Chilcot report, which we are still waiting for... We had revelations last week, Colin Powell’s memo, which showed that Tony Blair committed Britain to support the Iraq war back in about 2002. And despite what had been said in public, that Saddam Hussein could have avoided war by renouncing his weapons of mass destruction, we knew that Blair had already committed Britain to that war. So, he has been caught lying and I think he is doing this now to try and spin his way out of it. Comments that he made in that interview, that Iraq could have been another Syria…That’s absolutely ludicrous because part of the reason why Syria is in such a state is because of radical Islamic terrorist groups like the Islamic State, which have been caused by the Iraq war.
RT: Blair also said that intelligence data on Saddam’s chemical program had proved wrong. How could they start an intervention based on unconfirmed data?
NC: The reason why they invaded Iraq was because Iraq didn’t have WMDs. If Blair and Bush genuinely thought Iraq had WMDs, they would not be invading it, they would be deterred. Don’t forget that people like Blair are telling us now that Britain must maintain Trident, we have to have weapons of mass destruction to deter an attack. And the very same people are telling us, want us to believe, that we invaded Iraq because Iraq had WMDs. We know quite clearly that Tony Blair and the warmongers lied to us about Iraq having WMDs, and now they are trying to blame the intelligence services. Intelligence services were under pressure to come up with ‘evidence’ that they knew the government wanted. Some of this evidence is absolutely ludicrous – taken from university students’ essays and things like this...
RT: What’s next now for Tony Blair? He has been branded a “war criminal” by some. Will this opinion strengthen now?
NC: Absolutely. The International Criminal Court, the ICC, I think has indicted 36 people so far – all of them are black Africans. They have been accused of being a racist body. Now there’s a chance for them to indict Tony Blair for war crimes. The case is absolutely crystal clear: he led Britain into an illegal war with a sovereign state on deceitful grounds... A million people have died...If Tony Blair isn’t put on trial for war crimes, then who else is going to be put on trial for war crimes? It really makes the whole system of international justice a farce... The ICC is indicting African leaders for crimes that are not on the same scale as Tony Blair’s crime. The Iraq war was the greatest crime of the 21st century.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.