Friday, 21 January 2011

Butcher Blair - Keep His Bloody Hands off Iran

Facing his questioners at the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq invasion earlier today, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair deftly deflected the line of investigation from his support for President Bush' bloody and illegal attack to make a call for the West to take on Iran in a new military adventure (click here for video in immediately previous post).

Ignoring the fact that, even as he spoke, Iran was opening discussions in Istanbul with a range of countries to seek a resolution of the nuclear issue, Blair said the time had now come to "get our heads out of the sand" and take action against Iran.

"I say this with all the passion I possibly can," insisted former "straight kind of guy" and now multi-millionaire Blair, bizarrely now a Peace Envoy for the Middle East, as he went on to claim that Iran's malign influence is everywhere. This from the man who used to claim that Saddam was supposedly capable of striking almost anywhere with his non-existant weapons of mass destruction. He opined yesterday, "The fact is they (Iran) are doing it because they disagree fundamentally with our way of life and they'll carry on doing it unless they are met by the requisite determination and, if necessary, force."

His lies are breathtaking. Totally discredited over his misleading of the British Parliament over weapons of mass destruction, here he now is smugly proclaiming a new crusade before sanctimoniously expressing his dry-eyed regret for the deaths caused by his last war.

Iran's current Government has a troubled record - but mostly within its own borders. To portray it as some sort of international pariah is to mistake or misrepresent the rhetoric of some of its political leaders for actual acts. Iran has no links to al-Qaeda - quite the contrary: its last President rounded up hundreds of al-Qaeda suspects after 9/11; Iran was instrumental in persuading the Northern Alliance to ally with the USA in its invasion of Afghanistan; Iran tracked down and arrested Bin Laden's son and offered him up to the Americans in 2002 - only to be rebuffed by George Bush and then denounced as part of the utterly fictitious "Axis of Evil". Even just three weeks ago, Iranian authorities arrested seven of Bin Laden's associates - a fact largely unreported in the West.

Blair is a man ignorant of the past and Britain and Iran's historical relationship - intertwined in many ways, with much in common, but also much confused and damaged by British economic imperialism and military interference, including the subversion of the Iranian democracy of 1953. He remains as ignorant of the present, callously using the prejudices of the rightwing media to try to deflect criticism of his blood-soaked intervention in the Fertile Crescent in 2003.

Iran is surrounded by nuclear weapon states - Pakistan, India, Russia, Israel (which, as revealed by the badly persecuted Vanunu Mordechai, has long had an nuclear arsenal of as many as 200 warheads) and the American forces in the Gulf and Mediterranean. By the warped logic of nuclear deterrence theory, the Tehran Government would be crazy not to seek a nuclear arsenal of its own to deter these states, none of which have shown any particular benevolence previously. If the world wants real reassurance that Iran will not develop these awful weapons, it would do well to seek international disarmament, rather than somehow expect it to remain non-nuclear and trust in its neighbours' previously unproven goodwill.

The outcome of the Chilcott Inquiry will be a report on "the lessons to be learned" from the Iraq war and the actions of Blair and his cohorts. It is frankly rather unlikely to have him arrested and carted off to The Hague to face arraignment as a war criminal for his past acts of aggression. But it could at least make clear that, as he pleads some special insight in spite of his ill-informed, prejudiced take on the world, no one shares his analysis, no one cares or believes what he thinks and, perhaps what would hopefully sting this would-be latter-day Caesar the most, no one is listening any more.

Iran's nuclear noose - its' neighbours India, Pakistan, Russia and Israel are armed with nuclear weapons, while US & UK forces based nearby in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Cyprus have ready access to atomic arsenals.

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