Preparing us in advance and perhaps in the hope of softening the impact, newspaper are reporting Tony Blair is heading for heavy criticism by the official inquiry into the Iraq War
Tony Blair's undertook a religious conversion and decided to become a Roman Catholic. Imagine being a fly on the wall at his first confession when he was asked about his role in the Iraq war. How many Hail Marys would the Pope have demanded for his penance. If Blair is to be a proper Catholic he will have to get down on his knees behind the curtain in one of those small boxes in a church while some robed hypocrite sits on the other side of the grille listening to him unburdening his mind before telling him how he can make himself feel a bit less guilty, perhaps by reciting those meaningless incantations. The question is, can Blair be trusted to come clean about his sins? After all what he has to confess will be the most serious for a Catholic – the mortal sins which have speckled his time in politics. On a chat show in 2006 Blair explained that he had prayed while deciding whether to order British troops into Iraq “I think if you have faith about these things, you realise the judgement is made by other people…and if you believe in God, it’s made by God as well”. How convenient to pass off the blame for the slaughter onto someone who could not be called as a witness by Chilcot and have his almighty say in the matter !
With staggering, if predictable, audacity and lack of remorse Blair then accepted the job of a Middle East Peace Envoy charged with repairing some of the damage wreaked on that unhappy place by military decisions in which his government was heavily implicated.
You will have been revolted by the incessant lies of Blair as SOYMB has been as he tried to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Week in, week out, he has distorted the truth and sunk to all manner of low tactics to justify his decisions. Despite that two million marched all over Britain in opposition to the war and that over one hundred Labour MPs voted against Blair's war, but still the troops were sent. Does it matter whether Blair's Iraq War was legal or illegal? The whole business of finding a legal basis was a charade. The UN Charter is just a scrap of paper which has never stopped, and never will stop, any war. All it has done is forced governments to be even more dishonest about the reasons they go to war. Its only effect has been to make governments that want to go to war find some loophole somewhere to wage a war they had decided on anyway - simply look at the current Libyan war began with the imposition of a "No-Fly Zone" yet have conducted daily air-raids on Ghadaffi held cities and towns and supplied rebel forces with weapons and training.
The Iraq war was not fought simply to overthrow a brutal dictator—though this surely happen — nor even to stop the spread of chemical and biological weapons - those didn't exist. It was fought over a key energy source - oil. The chief aim was to secure future supplies of such energy resources. In other words, the Iraq war was no different from any of the wars that have taken place in modern times. It was a business war. What followed, the chaos and massacres throughout the region, Blair well knew, but dismissed as "a price worth paying" to secure control of oil supplies. Blair’s only miscalculation was to lead Britain into a war that had very little popular support and perhaps not reaching the realisation that capitalism cannot succeed in bringing about all the results that the capitalists want - even the strongest capitalist state in the world cannot achieve all its aims all of the time.
In the months leading up to the US-led invasion of Iraq Blair produced reams of documents to "prove" Iraq was stockpiling Weapons of Mass Destruction and how Saddam could realistically fire them within 45 minutes. As they geared up for war they reiterated time and again that their intention was solely to rid Iraq of its WMD and make the world a more stable place for decent and god-fearing people to live in. He campaigned long and hard for his war – for the support of his peers in governments and for the backing of the British electorate. When Blair decided that the vital interests of the capitalist class required the overthrow of the Saddam regime in Iraq, he had to come up with a more internationally acceptable reason than the real one of wanting to control an alternative source of oil should the Saudi princes be toppled and to control territory where they could install bases near to both the Middle East and the Caspian oilfields. Other UN members, some of whom had their own imperialist reasons would not have agreed. So the would-be aggressor states decided to play the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” card.
For months we had Blair ramming the WMD issue down our throats, pleading for our support for his war with Saddam, who threatened the civilisation we cherished. Rather than running for cover he began blurting more lies.The allegation of Blair that he was driving Islamic fundamentalism out of Iraq is now shown to be exactly mistaken; they have succeeded only in bringing it into Iraq. It was apparent that truth would again be the first casualty of war. Surely politicians should not be allowed to lie like this! But hold on - Lying is the trade of politicians under capitalism. Blair took Britain into war on the basis of false or falsified information. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “This broad mass of a nation...will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one.” Blair was fully aware of the power of the big lie, so it is little wonder he thought he could get away with it.The entire capitalist edifice depends for its continued survival on the promotion of lies, half truths and the distortion of facts. So powerful is the capitalist distortion machine that it takes all our powers of concentration, memory recall and skills of research just to separate the simplest of lies from fantasy. This constant digest of misinformation perhaps explains the amnesia the majority of workers appear to suffer from. What is exasperating is that in spite of all the evidence revealing the architects of war to be the conniving and scheming rascals we know them to be, it was a fair bet that many workers would again be ready to believe their lies for the military bombing of Libya. Or accept the propaganda of a "liberated" Afghanistan that since the ousting of the Taliban has left unaccountable warlords free to rape and murder at will. Of course, when you don’t tell the truth there’s always a strong risk that you’ll be found out. Blair has been.
Capitalism breeds war, though most people would prefer to live in peace. Many people's gut reaction is simply that war is crazy. Consequently massive propaganda exercises are employed by the state to stoke their fears and anxieties. They endeavour to present it as being in some way humanitarian.This is because people have a healthy horror of war. That voices are raised against the war, millions of voices, showed that there was hope. People were right to oppose the war, but the sound basis on which to oppose it is that it was a capitalist war rather than that it was an ‘illegal’ war. Placards and banners carried myriad messages, some demanding "Bring the Troops Home", with others saying "No War for Oil" and "End the Occupation." Few, if any, addressed the root of the problem—the capitalist system itself and its inherent and vicious competition for profits—and how the problems of capitalism can only be solved when we abolish the system itself. Even if the UN had provided a legal cover for it, it would still have been a capitalist war and should still have been opposed. No war for capitalist ends can justify the shedding of a single drop of working class blood. The World Socialist Movement has concluded that capitalism means war and that therefore to get rid of wars and the threat of wars you have got to get rid of capitalism. For almost a century we have warned of the dangers of political apathy, of trusting in leaders, of accepting all that governments say without question. Our silence, more than anything, is what Blair depend on, that same silence the master class toasts each day. Our inaction is an important element in our continuing exploitation, for the master class see in it our consent for their excesses. Capitalism may well breed war, but our apathy is very much a part of the process. Forgive us, but which part of "to end war we must end capitalism" do people not understand?
Iraq deserves to be the event by which Tony Blair is best remembered – the war which he secretly agreed with Bush to support, which he attempted to justify with lies about the existence of powerful weapons and which plunged that hapless country into a chaos of murder and destruction. It has took some years to expose him as a typically ruthless and manipulative, if highly skilled, practitioner of the cynical art of capitalism’s politics. The Catholic church may forgive Blair but SOYMB certainly will not. Nor shall we absolve capitalism of its blood-soaked crimes.