Tuesday 3 June 2003

The Unraveling Of Tony Blair

by John Pilger

In his latest article for the Daily Mirror, John Pilger argues that the "high crime" of the invasion of Iraq that "will not melt away" and says the catalogue of Tony Blair's deceptions are now being revealed by the day, unravelling what was left of his credibility.

Such a high crime does not, and will not, melt away; the facts cannot be changed. Tony Blair took Britain to war against Iraq illegally. He mounted an unprovoked attack on a country that offered no threat, and he helped cause the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The judges at the Nuremberg Tribunal following world war two, who inspired much of international law, called this "the gravest of all war crimes".

Blair had not the shred of a mandate from the British people to do what he did. On the contrary, on the eve of the attack, the majority of Britons clearly demanded he stop. His response was contemptuous of such an epic show of true democracy. He chose to listen only to the unelected leader of a foreign power, and to his court and his obsession.

With his courtiers in and out of the media telling him he was "courageous" and even "moral" when he scored his "historic victory" over a defenceless, stricken and traumatised nation, almost half of them children, his propaganda managers staged a series of unctuous public relations stunts.

The first stunt sought to elicit public sympathy with a story about him telling his children that he had "almost lost his job". The second stunt, which had the same objective, was a story about how his privileged childhood had really been "difficult" and "painful". The third and most outrageous stunt saw him in Basra, in southern Iraq last week, lifting an Iraqi child in his arms, in a school that had been renovated for his visit, in a city where education, like water and other basic services, are still a shambles following the British invasion and occupation.

When I saw this image of Blair holding a child in Basra, I happened to be in a hotel in Kabul in Afghanistan, the scene of an earlier "historic victory" of Bush and Blair in another stricken land. I found myself saying out loud the words, "ultimate obscenity". It was in Basra that I filmed hundreds of children ill and dying because they had been denied cancer treatment equipment and drugs under an embargo enforced with enthusiasm by Tony Blair.

It was the one story Blair's court would almost never tell, because it was true and damning.

Full story...