By Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, May 20, 2007
As Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Baghdad on Saturday, for an ‘unexpected’ visit, to bid the Iraqi people he has helped decimate, farewell, he was welcomed by mortar rounds which fell in the ‘International Zone’, the illegally squatted palace of former President Saddam Hussein. Just: ‘usual business..’ said his spokesman airily. Hope Blair and his entourage brought a spare pair of trousers, Whitehall’s mandarins are not known for towering courage in the face of adversity, more for fiction writing, aka ‘dodgy dossiers’. A bad tempered Blair, delusional as ever, talked of ‘signs of progress on security.’
‘ I have no regrets about removing Saddam …’, said the man, the corpse of whose premiership will for ever lie in Mesopotamia’s sands, with the possible million souls he and his Washington masters have sent – and continue to send – to their graves – and that is only since March 2003. No mention of the weapons of mass destruction he assured the world, threatened the very existence of the West and could be launched ‘in forty five minutes.’
‘Removing Saddam’, whose leadership and government’s sovereignty was guaranteed by the UN? No shame for sharing responsibility for the lynching of Iraq’s President and colleagues, whose remaining legitimate government have been held, for over four years? No regrets about committing Nuremberg’s ‘supreme crime’, a war of aggression? Turning the country into a radioactive wasteland from use of uranium weapons? Denying water, electricity, medicines and medical equipment (in contravention of the Geneva Convention) schooling, even gasoline in this possibly largest oil producer on earth? ‘No regrets’ at the ongoing deaths of at least one hundred people a day, the destruction of an entire civil society, sado masochistic and other war crimes committed by his troops in the south; their uncounted Pinochet style disappeared? Nearly one sixth of the country internally and externally displaced, most, like the Palestinians, without valid passports, credentials (all changed after the invasion, most Iraqis too frightened to approach the relevant Ministries imposed by the US and UK.) ‘No regrets’? And in front of the world’s media. If the lawyers at the International Criminal Court in the Hague have not got all they need now, they should consider a career move.
‘The future of Iraq should be determined by Iraqis …’ said Blair, standing next to honoury Iranian ‘Prime Minister’ Nuri al Maliki and Iraq’s non Arab, Kurdish ‘President’, Jalal Talabani, who wants the best of all worlds, independence for Kurdistan and the retention of his rule there and the top job in Iraq. Iraqis complain that in all the Ministries now – if they dare approach them (and indeed in Embassies abroad) they need to field a bank of Farsi (Persian) speakers and those who only speak Kurdish, before finding someone who speaks Arabic. ‘We need to take advantage of the possible momentum in Iraqi politics …’ said another Blair spokesman. ‘Momentum’? What stratosphere is planet Whitehall on?
‘He builds palaces while his people starve’, was the Blair-Bush mantra during the embargo years. Now the British and Americans are the illicit residents of Iraq’s palaces, remaining state buildings, bases (another war crime) as the people for whom, they, as the occupying force, are responsible, starve, flee and die in hospitals decimated by liberation, whose facilities are non existent and over half of whose doctors have been killed or fled for their lives, under what some careful analysts call ‘black ops’ operations to set Iraqi against Iraqi by the US and UK. Iraqis did not fight each other before the invasion, so what changed? Divide and rule?
Blair (more trousers?) was welcomed by further ordnance as he stood in a base where the British troops, seemingly, cower, in Basra -‘ the war is lost and the troops in retreat’, a correspondent commented of the British last week – an area now ruled too dangerous for Britain’s Prince Harry to deploy with his troops. In Basra, Blair seemed especially dismissive of Iraqis. When an Iraqi journalist asked him about Iraq’s future he replied tetchily that the ‘authoritative voice’ of Iraq was ‘President’ Talabani and the question should be addressed to him as ‘ the authentic voice of Iraq’ . He clearly had not read the day’s Guardian either, where in extensive coverage of the south in general and Basra in particular, their correspondent was greeted by an Iraqi General with a handshake and : ‘ Welcome to Tehran’, referring to the near total Iranian influence in everything under British watch and largely facilitated by their errors. The troops themselves watched Blair with stony faces. ‘It is important that neighboring countries understand and respect’ (Iraq’s sovereignty) said Blair, the man from far away who slavishly followed his Master’s Washington follies.
As Blair arrived to the Baghdad bang, the airways were awash with former President Carter’s scathing assessment of the Blair years. His : ‘Support for Bush had been a major tragedy for the world’, he had been ‘loyal, blind and subservient.’ Iraq’s invasion had been ‘unjustified, unnecessary … a tragedy for the Iraqi, American and British people.’
That tragedy, the depth of which Blair could never comprehend, is encapsulated by Layla Anwar, an Iraqi blogger, who wrote of a friend who said this week: ‘I wake up in the morning and death sits next to me. I have my tea and she has one too. I walk and she accompanies me. I go to sleep at night and she is in my bed. I see death, I hear death, I smell death … she is everywhere. When she will pick me up, is only a question of time.’
Blair will return to the UK to some pretty scathing press, from the comment left by a reader on the Sunday Herald : ‘ Blair, just go will you, you murdering, lying filth’, to former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, who told BBC Radio 4, the same day : ‘Nothing can be done about Iraq except to put a sack over his head.’
The Messianic Blair, who joined George Bush’s ‘crusade’, trespassed in Iraq’s palaces, is involved in a global goodbye tour which will last forty days, the time, for believers, Christ wandered alone in the wilderness. Speculations as to his future are myriad. However, in the recent Channel 4, soaringly spirit lifting docudrama ‘ The Trial of Tony Blair ‘, his tenure in Downing Street ended with him heading in an armored police van for Heathrow Airport and for trial the Hague. Now he has admitted his guilt to the world, fittingly in Baghdad, here’s hoping.
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