Thursday 5 November 2009

Icon #32 Tony Blair

As Jen's final topic for the Icon post she chose 'Iconic political failures'. The next four weeks topics are being chosen by @WH1SKS (Rich) and you can see what the topic for next week is by simply glancing to your right. Get your thinking caps on, I can see that one causing some real debate.

Tony Blair led us into a war we should never have been involved with. In fact he led us into two wars. One in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and it was about these failure that I was asked to write.

I think that what grates so much for me personally were the lies. No weapons of mass destruction Mr Blair? But you said there were. You said we were in danger. That Iraq posed a genuine threat to us at a military level. It was bollocks wasn't it? You were in the pocket of a bonkers US President trying to finish off the job his father failed to complete in the early 1990's and you put us all in that pocket with you.

The events of September 11th 2001 will live with me for the rest of my life. The images from that day are still unbearable and unbelievable. However the response from America and the way that the UK joined in with that response still beggars belief. How many buildings were destroyed in our names by the 'Shock and Awe' bombing of Baghdad that preceded our invasion? How many Iraqi civilians died during and since the invasion? Latest estimates put it at around 100,000 people.

How appalling is that?

Actually, how sickening is that?

Blair should have stood firm and not led this Country into a senseless revenge attack on a country that had not, in all likely hood, had any direct influence on the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington. I'm not suggesting for a second that Saddam Hussein was whiter than white. Far from it, he was an evil twisted man who saw his own people as pawns to further his own lifestyle and lust for power. But that doesn't justify what we did and continue to do to a country that really didn't pose any threat to our safety at all.

Arguably we have became more of a target for the extremists that perpetrated those attacks because we are seen as such a great ally to the US. But we aren't really an ally, we're just a sheep that followed the Shepard to war. Afghanistan is a more complex issue but I don't believe we are achieving anything there either. Only yesterday five British service men died at the hands of an Afghan policeman. Why? Why do men who's country we are trying to free from tyranny and oppression do something like that? Yes, sometimes this is about extremist views but you can't help but wonder how you would feel if another country invaded the UK and tried to force us to submit to its world view. Pretty angry would be my guess.

We simply should not have got involved Mr Blair. You lied to us, and families and friends of literally hundreds of thousands people, from all over the planet who have lost loved ones, partly because of your decisions, hate you for that.

A political disaster? Maybe that doesn't really do justice to what Blair did. There are other things that his Government have led us to, not least the current state of our economy, but when I think of him I think of his legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'The threat from Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction - chemical, biological, potentially nuclear weapons capability - that threat is real.' - Tony Blair.

Tonight's post is dedicated to @WH1SKS.

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