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Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like his mentor Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes.


In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger writes about the “paramount war crime” defined by the Nuremberg judges in 1946 and its relevance to the case of Tony Blair, whose shared responsibility for the Iraq invasion resulted in the deaths of more than a million people. New developments in international and domestic political attitudes towards war crimes mean that Blair is now ‘Britain’s Kissinger’.


Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like his mentor Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes. Blair’s will appear next month and earn him £4.6 million. Now consider Britain’s Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenseless country, which the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the “paramount war crime”. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide.


In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma. Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter “liberated” by the British) are now revealed as higher than those at Hiroshima. “UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” the Defence Secretary Liam Fox told parliament on 22 July. A range of toxic “anti-personnel” weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and American forces.


Such carnage was justified with lies that have been repeatedly exposed. On 29 January 2003, Blair told parliament, “We do know of links between al-Qaida and Iraq …”. Last month, the former head of the intelligence service, MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, told the Chilcot inquiry, “There is no credible intelligence to suggest that connection  … [it was the invasion] that gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad”. Asked to what extent the invasion exacerbated the threat to Britain from terrorism, she replied, “Substantially”. The bombings in London on 7 July 2005 were a direct consequence of Blair’s actions.

Documents released by the High Court show that Blair allowed British citizens to be abducted and tortured. The then foreign secretary, Jack Straw,  decided in January 2002 that Guantanamo was the “best way” to ensure UK nationals were “securely held”.

Instead of remorse, Blair has demonstrated a voracious and secretive greed. Since stepping down as prime minister in 2007, he has accumulated an estimated £20 million, much of it as a result of his ties with the Bush administration. The House f Commons Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which vets jobs taken by former ministers, was pressured not to make public Blair’s “consultancy” deals with the Kuwaiti royal family and the South Korean oil giant UI Energy Corporation. He gets £2 million a year “advising” the American investment bank J P Morgan and undisclosed sums from financial services companies. He makes millions from speeches, including reportedly £200,000 for one speech in China.

In his unpaid but expenses-rich role as the West’s “peace envoy” in the Middle East, Blair is, in effect, a voice of Israel, which awarded him a $1 million “peace prize”. In other words, his wealth has grown rapidly since he launched, with George W. Bush, the bloodbath in Iraq.

His collaborators are numerous. The Cabinet in March 2003 knew a great deal about the conspiracy to attack Iraq. Jack Straw, later appointed “justice secretary”, suppressed the relevant Cabinet minutes in defiance of an order by the Information Commissioner to release them. Most of those now  running for the Labour Party leadership supported Blair’s epic crime, rising as one to salute his final appearance in the Commons. As foreign secretary, David Miliband, sought to cover Britain’s complicity in torture, and promoted Iran as the next “threat”.

Journalists who once fawned on Blair as “mystical” and amplified his vainglorious bids now pretend they were his critics all along. As for the media’s gulling of the public, only the Observer’s David Rose, to his great credit, has apologized. The Wikileaks’ exposes, released with a moral objective of truth with justice, have been bracing for a public force-fed on complicit, lobby journalism. Verbose celebrity historians like Niall Ferguson, who rejoiced in Blair’s rejuvenation of “enlightened” imperialism, remain silent on the “moral truancy”, as Pankaj Mishra wrote, “of [those] paid to intelligently interpret the contemporary world”.

Is it wishful thinking that Blair will be collared? Just as the Cameron government understands the “threat” of a law that makes Britain a risky stopover for Israeli war criminals, a similar risk awaits Blair in a number of countries and jurisdictions, at least of being apprehended and questioned. He is now Britain’s Kissinger, who has long planned his travel outside the United States with the care of a fugitive.

Two recent events add weight to this. On 15 June, the International Criminal Court made the landmark decision of adding aggression to its list of war crimes to be prosecuted. This is defined as a “crime committed by a political or military leader which by its character, gravity and scale constituted a manifest violation of the [United Nations] Charter”. International lawyers described this as a “giant leap”. Britain is a signatory to the Rome statute that created the court and is bound by its decisions.

On 21 July, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, standing at the Commons dispatch box, declared the invasion of Iraq illegal. For all the later “clarification” that he was speaking personally, he had made “a statement that the international court would be interested in”, said Philippe Sands, professor of international law at University College London.

Tony Blair came from Britain’s upper middle classes who, having rejoiced in his unctuous ascendancy, might now reflect on the principles of right and wrong they require of their own children. The suffering of the children of Iraq will remain a spectre haunting Britain while Blair remains free to profit.

John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s.  He regards eye-witness as the essence of good journalism. He has been a foreign correspondent and a front-line war reporter, beginning with the Vietnam war in 1967. He is an impassioned critic of foreign military and economic adventures by Western governments. “It is too easy,” he says, “for Western journalists to see humanity in terms of its usefulness to ‘our’ interests and to follow government agendas that ordain good and bad tyrants, worthy and unworthy victims and present ‘our’ policies as always benign when the opposite is usually true. It’s the journalist’s job, first of all, to look in the mirror of his own society.” He believes a journalist also ought to be a guardian of the public memory and often quotes Milan Kundera: “The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

13 Comments

  1. rexw on the 07. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    It is always difficult to question the logic of writings by John Pilger.

    However, the possibility of seeing Blair charged is highly unlikely as with the power he had went the connections that enable him and people like to him to avoid the responsibility of facing any form of retribution which he and his partner in crime, Bush, really deserve.

    In a better world where justice had some value, they, as with the Serbian leaders being pursued by all and sundry and whose crimes pale when compared to Bush and Blair, would be tried for their lies, misrepresentations and deceit, all in the name of power and subservience to their masters, Israel, once again hiding in the shadows. The dirty hand of that dirty state is there in all the Machiavellian activities being played out across the globe.

    What the world needs to see is a public reckoning which will show to the people that just as they in their own little worlds cannot lie, cheat, cause death and destruction without punishment, so the leaders of the world cannot do the same things on a grander scale. How do they reconcile the deaths of over a million and a half Iraqis, based on the lies of people who lost no one in the same war, promoted another current deadly game in Afghanistan and who are gearing up for putting the maximum pressure on the weak US to attack Iran.

    What do we learn, ever?

    Prosecuting Bush and Blair would be the fillip needed to turn the accepted twisted thinking around and control the evil machinations of Israel and its puppet, Obama’s America.

  2. Rehmat on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Tony Blair, like Henry Kissinger, is favorite of the Jewish Lobby (Friend of Israel). Both gave priority to the interests of a foreign country than the country they lead. Since David Cameron represents the Jewish lobbying groups and has already cleared the Israeli leaders wanted in Britain for the war crimes – who is going to put Tony Blair on trial, when ICC refuse to prosecute the Israeli leaders.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/international-war-crimes-probe-against-israel/

  3. Richard Falk on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Excellent commentary on Blair’s criminality, and we become accomplices to the extent we remain silent. With such knowledge there is no forgiveness!

  4. IH8AllZionists on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Prosecute is the wrong word, try Execute. He must be hanged and then dismembered.

  5. Aki on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I can only respect John Pilger for his brave defense of humanity from all creeds and walks of life as well as his tireless crusade against tyrannical forces (Most notably; Israeli, U.S & U.K Governments) who place power and money above human ideals, in fact above everything.

    I take my hat of to you sir, well done & keep up the good work!

    Respect from, Somaliland

  6. John PIlger is always, always RIGHT! on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Never read a John Pilger piece of work I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with 250 percent!

    Unfortunately for humanity, and animals alike, we have a caste of people further up the food-chain in the stratosphere of political life that control the Tony Blair’s and the George Bush’s, and the other slime that infest the planet and masquerade as humans when they are, in fact, ‘skinks’ and ‘salamanders’ (no offense to real reptillian life, by the way!).

    Not gonna be prosecutions, when the British Crown and their main benefactor, who controls all of the world’s financial everything, based in London, has all of the power and control and the clout of the British crown.

    all of us proles can forget about any war crimes prosecutions. will never, ever, ever happen. oh, now and then they’ll grab a Milosevic or some other low hanging fruit, but they’ll leave the Bush’s, the Blair’s, the Clinton’s, and the other blood drinking, fetus munching, baby chewing scum alone.

    after all, it’s the will of the Rothschilds and Israel, and you don’t want to interfere with their sovereign right to do anything they so choose, inclusive of genocide and mass murder for sport. They even got a U.S. President to do it with nuclear weapons for them more than 60 years ago, and that, of all war crimes, will never ever be punished, ever..

  7. Debbie on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Well, this is another “ought-ta be” which will never see the light of day…. primarily because Justice is blind!

    Can you imagine how many precedents it would set if one Head of State were actually convicted for murder because he “simply” lied about something which took his country to war and killed a lot of innocent people?

    Most of the living former heads of states would all wind up in jail.

  8. Cass Dumstein on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    I like Pilger, but he does not pass the ’9/11 credibility test’, seems that he will not even think of raising the scientific evidence proving that the twin towers and building No 7 were ‘blown up’.
    See: the architects and engineers site at; ae911truth.org and also; patriotsquestion9/11.com.

    The real culprits of 9/11 need to be exposed and prosectuted, they enabled Blair, Bush, Howard and co’ to go invade and kill inhabitants.

    Not exposing the 9/11 mass murderers is the equivalent of giving aid and comfort to those mass murderers.

    The ‘Wikileak’, Assange is in the same category. He was ‘annoyed’ with 9/11; see 911blogger.com

  9. UH OH, PILGER IS A 9/11 NAYSAYER??? on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    if John Pilger is a 9/11 truth denier, then I take back what I said about him being ‘right’ in the above statement. The 9/11 truth is a ‘litmus test’ that immediately tells you who is a SHILL and who is NOT a SHILL. if they denigrate the hard work of many of us who have done years of research and KNOW THE MOSSAD AND U.S. GOVT. DID IT, then I’m sorry, I can’t support their position on anything anymore.

    So, Thank you for pointing that out, but I want to warn you that 911blogger is a SHILL SITE and though they post information, they will take away your argument against their stuff if you disagree, and I have asked them politely to let me post but they will not. So, they too are SHILLS and GATEKEEPERS in their own right, regarding 9/11 truth, which is the QUINTESSENTIAL CRUX of TRUTH now, and indeed a no two friggin ways around it LITMUS TEST FOR COINTELPRO EXPOSURE.

    when you see guys like Pilger or anyone else like WikiWEEKS fake prophet, Jullian AssHang, you know you’re dealing with a SHILL/COINTELPRO/MOSSAD operation for DISINFORMATION!!

  10. Earlaiman on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Constantly raising the “9-11″ issue as Dumstein does here superficially appears to be diverting and distracting from the topic at hand, which in this case is “persecution or not of the ‘War-Criminals’” behind the ongoing wars we are currently confronting, and the ones in the offing which we can clearly see approaching.

    But, let us not be distracted or deceived by these “apparent” diversions and distractions… for the Truth of just who did what to whom on September the eleventh, 2001 has yet to be known, revealed, recognized and acknowledged either by “official” elements, the so-called “Mainstream Infotainment Media.” or the massive, unwashed, uneducated, uninformed, easily led and ignorant American Public despite all of the irrefutable scientific analyses and eye witness testimony and facts of record which are abailable, as well as the obvious fairy tallke published and subsequently admitted to be a falshood and a cover-up by its creators, the “Official” 9-11 Inqiery Findings.

    Once the fundamental Truth of whathappenedon that day, who did what to whom, is uncovered and put into play,all the rest of thepiecesof disorder in the world, the Middle East, Palestine, Israel, all fall into place.

    So… I say, good on ya, Cass Dumstein, keep kicking at the pricks and lets us get the fundamentals sorted out, then we can get some of the right asses kicked for the rest of the show which is even more appalling than what happened on that tragic day which has been exploited to support all the rest of this stuff.

    Earlaiman

    .

  11. KingofthePaupers on the 09. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Jct: Sure Bush and Blair killed millions dispossessed millions but millions are tough for people to get their heads around. I want to see George W. Bush tried for the murder of Saddam Hussein, the monster dictator of Iraq who had abolished the death penalty! How did George manage to whack his former partner in the 1980s attacks on Iran without a death penalty? Did Amerika bring the death penalty to Iraq with them? Anyway, George and Tony killed Saddam Hussein in a country with no death penalty. That’s murder. For which both are now being publicly rewarded!

  12. Kieron O'Neill on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    The unfotunate truth that we live with in this world of ours is the distint lack of honest communication. Lazy Journalists, so quick to take any old rubbish they are fed, and a public so quick to do the same. John Pilger writes as a witness and for witnesses. It’s called reporting honestly what disgraceful murder and manipulation is undertaken,often in our names.I believe he asks for readers to share, make comment and question the reason for this. We don’t only need honest journalists, we also need honest readers prepared encourage there friend, relatives and children to start understand what John Pilger and people like him are saying!

  13. sylvia on the 08. Oct, 2010 remarked #

    Some of you may not know that
    here in UK we have a

    “www.arrestblair.org”

    website. Already 3 people have
    made serious attempts to effect
    a citizen’s arrest.
    That is most probable the reason he cancelled the proposed book-signing at
    Waterstones in London, also his
    attendance at a party at Tate
    Modern.
    We shall keep trying!

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