Socialist Worker

Tony Blair’s ‘journey’ ended in hell for Iraq

Issue No. 2217

War criminal Tony Blair enjoyed a high-level dinner with US president Barack Obama as his memoirs, titled A Journey, were published this week.

The spin goes along the lines of, “The former prime minister will be at the White House in his role as Middle East envoy as he joins the president in trying to break the deadlock in the region.”

The last thing the Middle East needs is more intervention from Blair.

In reality, however, the meeting was mostly a marketing opportunity for Blair to attempt to flog a few more copies of his rather long and self-justifying book.

The meeting took place the day after Obama symbolically announced the end of combat missions in Iraq.

It is fitting that the Iraq war has provided another publicity opportunity for Blair.

The invasion of Iraq started with lies and spin—so it is unsurprising its so-called end should finish the same way.

After seven and a half years of occupation, Blair’s war has only achieved the destruction of a society.

More than a million Iraqis are dead, as are thousands of US, British and other troops.

Four million Iraqis have been driven from their homes—the vast majority too terrified to return.

Basic services are almost non-existent and the majority of the Iraqi population continue to suffer in poverty and fear.

The lie that the US and Britain have made Iraq a better place is on the same scale as the original lie about the country’s weapons of mass destruction.

And the US is not fully withdrawing from Iraq. “Combat troops” are meant to be out, but 50,000 “trainers and advisers” will remain until the end of 2011, and 10,000 even longer.

The blaze of publicity for Blair’s memoirs will see the British press devote acres of space to the revamped rows of the Blairites and Brownites, or even to the Miliband and the Miliband.

It is an indictment of the state of the Labour Party that many in the leadership still cling to Blair’s policies.

This is after their enthusiasm for neoliberalism and war lost them millions of votes and got them kicked out of office.

Of everything he did, Blair is proudest of his wars—but it was the level of opposition to them that finally saw him removed from Downing Street in 2007.

Blair’s legacy is not in his memoirs. It is the graveyards of a devastated country and the ruined lives of millions of people.

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What We Think
Tue 31 Aug 2010, 16:50 BST
Issue No. 2217
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