Notes From the Margins…

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Tony Blair

  • June 28, 2012
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Our peace envoy in the Middle East has just told his starry-eyed acolyte Patrick Wintour in the Guardian that he wouldn’t mind being PM again. I thought I’d link to a longish piece I wrote back in 2009 for Dissident Voice as a reminder of why that would not be a good idea:

At some point in the New Year Tony Blair will appear before the Chilcot Inquiry established by the British government to assess the historical “lessons” of the Iraq war. Few individuals bear more responsibility for the invasion and its calamitous aftermath than Blair. Not only was his single-minded determination crucial in bringing his own country into the war, but his close political relationship with the Bush administration, also helped US hawks present the case for war to a sceptical American public.

The consequences of this intervention are well-known; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and four million refugees and internally displaced persons; thousands of British and American soldiers killed or wounded; an Iraqi society devastated by war and counterinsurgency, by criminal and terrorist violence, ethnic cleansing and death squads; a neo-colonial occupation marked by torture and brutality and barely-credible levels of financial corruption and incompetence.

All these consequences constitute one of the most extraordinary disasters and one of the greatest crimes in British political history. Yet the man who did so much to make this disaster possible has yet to be made accountable…

You can read the whole piece here.



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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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