Socialist Worker

Tony Blair – bloody liar

Stop the War convenor Lindsey German on the crimes of the Iraq occupation

Issue No. 2039

Anti-war activists protested against Tony Blair when he visited Glasgow last week (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Anti-war activists protested against Tony Blair when he visited Glasgow last week (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Tony Blair has washed his hands of the disaster which is Iraq. Speaking last Sunday, Blair refused to apologise for the war, announcing instead, “Of course I am devastated by the numbers of people who have died in Iraq, but it’s not British and American troops that are killing them”.

Only someone as deluded as Blair could make that statement.

According to the Lancet report published last year, the occupation has led to the deaths of an estimated 655,000 Iraqis.

The report attributes 31 percent of deaths, around 200,000 people, to US-led forces – the same percentage as deaths from car bombs. Many other deaths are due to disease, chaos and other consequences of the occupation.

Meanwhile the US has plans ready for air strikes on Iran.

Blair is trying to claim that the occupying forces are simply neutral bystanders, helping innocent Iraqis and trying to prevent a civil war. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The war and occupation are illegal and unnecessary. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

The invasion and occupation created an Iraqi resistance to fight the occupying troops which would not have existed if the occupation had not happened.

It was the US, backed by Britain, which launched attacks on towns and cities like Fallujah, resulting in thousands of deaths and fuelling the resistance.

There is talk of terrorism and an Al Qaida threat in Iraq. Certainly Al Qaida exists there. But it didn’t before the war.

The constitution and electoral system drawn up for Iraq by the US and Britain was based on ethnic division and the principle of divide and rule.

Empire

This is nothing new. The British Empire left a legacy of partition across the globe, using ethnic divisions to maintain its rule.

The government would like everyone to move on from Iraq, to blame all the problems there on the Iraqis themselves.

The troops have to pull out now. They are not neutral. They have presided over a disaster. A disaster it will remain until they go and until the Iraqis are left to solve the country’s problems.

That’s why we’re on the streets again this Saturday.

We’re marching to pull the troops out of Iraq, to oppose the new Trident nuclear submarine system costing £25 billion for starters, and to send a message to George Bush and Blair not to even think about attacking Iran.

It will also send the message that Tony Blair may not think he has to apologise for Iraq, but pretty much every one else thinks he should.

The sincerest form that apology could take would be for him to leave Downing Street now – and for British troops to pull out as well.

On Tuesday 20 March Stop the War is hosting a People’s Assembly in central London which will be the debate parliament wouldn’t have.

Send delegates from your trade union, political party, mosque, church, community group, school, or any other representative body.

The assembly will be held at Central Hall Westminster, 2-8pm on Tuesday 20 March. For details go to www.stopwar.org.uk


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