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News > Analysis

5 Facts About the War Criminal Tony Blair

  • Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair (C) visits British troops in Basra, southern Iraq.

    Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair (C) visits British troops in Basra, southern Iraq. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 July 2016

In light of the Chilcot report released Wednesday, teleSUR recalls the warmongering record of the former British Prime Minister 

1. How do I feel about having invaded Iraq? Let's do it again, and maybe Iran too

Responding to a UN panel investigating the war in Iraq in 2011, Tony Blair shamelessly replied by recommending to go even further and invade Iran. “Iran is a looming and coming challenge,” said the former prime minister, describing the “negative, destabilizing influence of Iran everywhere,” for being “supportive of terrorist groups.”

Ahead of Chilcot, Remembering the Price of Blair's 2003 Iraq War

“The West has to stop this posture of apology that we are causing what Iran, or these extremists are doing,” he added.

In May, he repeated that although he “underestimated” the situation in Iraq, the true “lesson” was that the British military should engage even further in another ground war in Iraq.

"We are not being honest with our public if we are saying it is possible to defeat these people without making the commitment to defeat them and to do what it takes to defeat them," Blair said at an event sponsored by Prospect magazine in Westminster.

2. A record of war and wanting more

The scandalous invasion of Iraq overshadowed Blair's leading role in other wars: in Afghanistan, in Kosovo and in Sierra Leon.

Not toppling Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, is the only regret voiced by the former prime minister in his 2010 memoirs. Military intervention in rogue regimes are "more necessary than ever,” he affirmed then.

3. Appointed as Middle East Peace Envoy and forced to resign for doing a bad job

Despite this impressive record as a warmonger, and his simplistic narrative about the Middle East, Blair was appointed the Middle East peace envoy for the U.S., Russia, European Union and United Nations. Eight years and millions of dollars later, he was forced to resign, allegedly under pressure from Washington and the E.U., who were growing frustrated about his poor results.

Blair failed to bring Israel and Palestine back to the negotiating table in 2013, as Palestinian leaders criticized him for supporting Israel interests at the expense of their own.

4. Blair's romance with Bush and Israel

His close links with Israel and his political romance with ex-U.S. President George W. Bush were no secret. As an MP and later as prime minister, Blair was very close to a pro-Israel lobby group, the Labour Friends of Israel. In his speech to the LFI Annual Reception in Sept. 2006, Blair said: “I have never actually found it hard to be friend of Israel, I am proud to be a friend of Israel.”

This bias was later demonstrated in the 2006 Lebanon War, when he refused to call for an immediate ceasefire and waited for a U.N. resolution, following Israel and the Bush administration's lead.

5. No one gained anything from Blair's military interventions... but Blair?

While Blair repeatedly affirmed that he supported military interventions out of “moral concerns,” many anti-war organizations highlighted the financial gains he personally achieved as a result, especially as a consultant when he left Downing Street.

According to Stop the War Coalition, Blair has amassed a fortune worth tens of millions of pounds, with funders including the governments of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. He also earns a US$50,000 monthly salary from an oil company owned by the Saudi royal family and has collaborated with U.S. investment bank JP Morgan and Swiss insurer Zurich International.

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