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Monday 6 September 2021

Tony Blair’s New WMD Delusion

Old soldiers, so the adage goes, never die - they just fade away. Old Prime Ministers, on the other hand, may die, but not after they have declined to fade away as they rage ad infinitum, and on occasion ad nauseam, against the dying of the light. Some, like John Major, exercise restraint - not easy for a Tory right now - while others refuse to consider that their interventions might be less than totally welcome.

Which brings us to Tony Blair. All that goodwill that hastened his rise to power, and an emphatic re-election four years later, sprayed up the wall on the false prospectus that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Yes, he was returned to Downing Street a third time, but mainly through continued mistrust of the Tories - who also backed the Iraq campaign - and a split vote as the Lib Dems ate into the Tory vote and kept The Blue Team out.

The result is that when Blair talks sense, as he has done more often than not - credit where credit’s due - on domestic, European and world affairs, he is disregarded by many on the left, while not gaining any ground with the right (falling out with Rupe, eh Tone? Bad move). And when, to use the South African vernacular, he ceases to talk turkey, but talks crap instead, the only way he gains attention is through a chorus of condemnation.

Which brings us to Tone’s talk to the Royal United Services Institute this morning, also attended by Paul Waugh of the HuffPo, who has told “Tony Blair has warned that the West should prepare for a new bioweapons threat posed by Islamist terrorists in the wake of the Covid pandemic …the former prime minister said that the idea of deadly pathogens being deployed by extremists is no longer ‘science fiction’”. WMD, anyone? But do go on.

And in a riposte to US president Joe Biden’s chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan, Blair warned that at some point Western ‘boots on the ground’ may again be needed to help countries overseas tackle terrorists on their soil”. Biden’s predecessor decided to get out of Afghanistan. Biden was always against continuing that campaign. And the US people aren’t interested. Without the USA, that is a non-starter, and Blair knows it.

But back to the new WMDs. “Covid 19 has taught us about deadly pathogens. Bio-terror possibilities may seem like the realm of science fiction. But we would be wise now to prepare for their potential use by non State actors … Islamism, both the ideology and the violence, is a first order security threat; and, unchecked, it will come to us, even if centred far from us, as 9/11 demonstrated”. Oh yeah? And where might that originate, then?

This ideology - whether Shia, promulgated by the Islamic Republic of Iran or Sunni promoted by groups on a spectrum from the Muslim Brotherhood through to AQ, ISIS Boko Haram and many others - has been the principal cause of de-stabilisation across the Middle East, and beyond and today in Africa”. Hasn’t he missed someone here?

The majority of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, and if you were to select one country that practises strict, even militant, Islam, that would be it. But Saudi Arabia buys weapons from us. It’s got a lot of oil. So, despite its export of terrorism, brutalisation of its own people, and subjugation of women, we are invited to Look Over There.

This will not do. Tony Blair could have set out some kind of vision; instead, he showed that he hasn’t moved on from 2003. He brings us no credible solutions. No change there, then.

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J said...

He needs the wars, so he can play peace envoy and enrich himself even further by playing both sides. He's more tory than Thatcher ffs.

I miss the days when ex-PM's fcuked off and were never heard from again; preferring to work quietly, and obscurely, in industry for stupid money. Not sticking their nose in to public business while screaming "look at me, I used to be somebody" all the fecking time.

Anonymous said...

If ever a bloke needed to fuck off - and stay fucked off, along with his mate Campbell - here he is.

Jonathan said...

Why doesn't our free & fearless nobody ask Blair, Campbell & Mandelson why their names appear in the Epstein/Maxwell's 1st black book?

If it was Corbyn's name in that little black book, you can better your last penny, Laura Kuenssberg would be on about all day for months...

They should be providing the FBI/Met Police with any information about Epstein & Maxwell. But just like Joe Exotic of the Windsor family they aren't talking.

Arnold said...

the former prime minister said that the idea of deadly pathogens being deployed by extremists is no longer ‘science fiction’”
Covid doesn't mean that. It either crossed the species barrier, or was created in a Chinese lab.

Anonymous said...

This is where Bliar's evil inhumanity led: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Alan_Kurdi#/media/File%3AAlan_Kurdi_lifeless_body.jpg

Multiply by a million for the full misery.

Then remember there were no WMD.

Then never ever let the self pitying scumbag and his apologists forget what they did.

Anonymous said...

Political equivalent of Tim Witherspoon this one

Rosie said...

I was pretty sure that the destabilisation argument was that the Iraq war would cause destabilisation in the Middle East. It did do that in an admittedly already volatile region. So when you say 'something is missing' in Blair's talk, I thought you were going to say he missed his own culpability for a War that destabilised the Middle East, thus costing the West even more £trillions and lost lives of Civilians in that vile euphemistic term 'collateral damage', as well as the lives of many military. I do think that fundamentalist terrorism has increased due to that War and due to our ignorance about Afghanistan, and our professed determination to remake that State, which proved impossible. The USA itself has become destabilised post the Crash of 2007/8, in large part to its centrist complacent and self serving centrism in awe and ignorance of the corrupt financial system. Blair is no reliable judge of anything. He became a Middle East envoy on the coat tails of all the schmoozing he did, firstly with Michael Levy in the 1990 and then later with Levy's contacts, and of course, with the blessing of the USA and its Republican Party. An awful man who never makes a comment but for personal gain, and whose sole legacy has been the Good Friday Agreement. However, that was also down to the late Mo Mowlam, a fact for which credit has rarely been given by him.

Anonymous said...

To 16:04.

Could you kindly list "centrist" US government policies?

Thanks in advance.

Jonathan said...

Maybe Tiny can explain why the UK/US funds Pakistan, whose government supports the Taliban and whose Intelligence agency the ISI has been arming and training the Taliban?
Oh probably because Pakistan is a nuclear state!