Tony Blair Must be Charged with War Crimes

This post was written by Salman Shaheen on January 29, 2010
Posted Under: Anti-War,Iraq

I will always remember where I was when I heard that Britain and America had invaded Iraq. I was eighteen years old, sitting in the car, on my way to school. And I will always remember how I felt that day. I felt betrayed, disillusioned, disheartened that all the might we had mobilised in the months before on the streets of London and all across the country could come to nothing. Most of all, I felt angry. I heard the results of the latest opinion poll, showing that the majority of the country had, as Blair had cockily predicted, swung behind the war when it started, and I felt angry that that brazen liar would get away with it.

Seven years, no weapons of mass destruction and a devastating war later, and still no one has answered for the fiasco. Today was the moment everyone had been waiting for. Tony Blair, by all accounts visibly shaken, sitting before a panel and answering for the lies he spun which took us into a war that has cost the lives of as many as a million Iraqis. Blair, however, is a master manipulator, a used car salesman trading in platitudes, image and his own place in history. I never expected much from the Chilcot Inquiry, despite a strong public campaign demanding tough questions. I could pick the proceedings apart, but the time for analysing past mistakes is over. I have only one demand.

Tony Blair must be charged as a war criminal.

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Reader Comments

Roly MM

This lady says it all

Rose Gentle
Her son Gordon, 19, was killed in Iraq in June 2004

When I got into the room, I was shaking and my stomach was churning, because I couldn’t say anything to him. I wanted to say: “Tell the truth. Why lie? Why not put your hands up and say you made a mistake?”

The last bit, at the end, was disgusting. Sir John Chilcot asked him if he had any regrets and he said no. There were [bereaved] families in there, but there was not a bit of compassion, not a bit of anything like that. It was very hard to take.

He just sat with his back to us, and refused to meet us afterwards, which is typical of him. I am glad I saw him, but I would have preferred to see his face. He wouldn’t look at us.

I think he got a lot of good questions put to him, but he didn’t really answer any of them. He kept bringing things back to the paper, the dossier and he even tried to put the responsibility for the 45 minute claim on the media.

I don’t think we have learned anything new, and when the inquiry ends there’s not much we can do.

I will never forgive him and I believe he should stand trial. I will be angry with him for the rest of my life.

Written By Roly MM on January 30th, 2010 @ 3:23 am

Not entirely sure that your anger constitutes reasonable grounds for prosecution for war crimes, you really haven’t looked at this in a rational way at all. Also the idea that he is in some way personally responsible for the death of many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is as ridiculous as blaming Gordon Brown entirely for the financial crisis. Incidentally, the majority of the civilian casualties in Iraq, as verified by such groups as the Iraq Body Count, have been caused by other Iraqis or Jihadist groups in the many hundreds of suicide bombs, truck bombs, IED explosions, beheadings, random shootings and beatings that such animals have inflicted on the country.

Written By Raste on January 31st, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

It’s not because I am angry with the situation that I feel he should be tried for war crimes. I would have been angry at the decision even if Iraq had been a legal war and weapons of mass destruction had been found. As it stands, war for the sole purposes of regime change is illegal and I think it would be a very naive person who assumed that Blair was misinformed and had not, in fact, made the decision to go to war long before the excuses were manufactured. I fully accept that the majority of civillian casualties have been caused by terrorism, but it was a situation entirely created by the invasion, occupation and lack of post-war strategy. My anger is incidental to all of this, this was simply a personal reflection on the day’s proceedings and not a detailed attempt to make the case for the prosecution, which I, and many others, have done many times before. I’ve spent the last eight years rationally reflecting on the situation. This was simply a gut reaction and I don’t pretend it to be anything else.

Written By Salman Shaheen on February 1st, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

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