Daily Banter Special Comment
By Ben Cohen
After having an argument with a close family member about Tony Blair's complicity in the terrorist attacks on London in 2005, it occurred to me how the architects and supporters of the Iraq war have cleverly manipulated events to evade taking serious responsibility. And they have relied on the support of the chattering classes to do so.
The central argument with my family member was that Tony Blair's alliance with George Bush took Britain into two illegal wars, and was a major cause of the terrorist attacks on London. The family member seemed to think that it would have happened anyway, and Blair should not be held accountable. This family member is a well educated, well read and highly intelligent person, but seemed unable (in my opinion) to connect the dots.
In an opinion piece for the Times, Tony Blair wrote the following in response to such criticisms:
I was stopped by someone the other week who said it was not surprising there
was so much terrorism in the world when we invaded their countries (meaning
Afghanistan and Iraq). No wonder Muslims felt angry.
When he had finished, I said to him: tell me exactly what they feel angry
about. We remove two utterly brutal and dictatorial regimes; we replace them
with a United Nations-supervised democratic process and the Muslims in both
countries get the chance to vote, which incidentally they take in very large
Convinced, as ever, of his own moral clarity, Blair offered the following self righteous logic:
This extremism can be defeated. But it will be defeated only by recognising
that we have not created it; it cannot be negotiated with; pandering to its
sense of grievance will only encourage it; and only by confronting it, the
methods and the ideas, will we win.
The idea that Britain invaded Afghanistan and Iraq for noble
purposes is so ridiculous, it is barely worth talking about. Firstly,
liberating the oppressed people of Afghanistan and Iraq was not
mentioned as a reason for attacking them and secondly, had the major
export of Afghanistan and Iraq been tomatoes, it is highly unlikely
billions of pounds would have been poured into invading them.
In regards to the absurd notion that the invasion of Afghanistan and
Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on London, let us put
the logic in reverse. Imagine an Afghani or Iraqi
saying "I don't think there is any evidence that the U.S and U.K
attacked us because of 9/11". Given Bush and Blair explicitly stated that Saddam
and the Taleban had links to Al Qaeda, and that fighting them abroad
would stop them "attacking at home", the argument would not be taken too seriously.
Most importantly, we have direct evidence that the attacks on 7/7 were
a result of British aggression in the Middle East. Here is a
quote from Shehzad Tanweer, one of the bombers:
"For the non-Muslims in Britain, you may wonder what you have
done to deserve this. You are those who have voted in your government
who in turn have and still continue to this day continue to oppress our
mothers and children, brothers and sisters from the east to the west in
Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya. Your government has openly
supported the genocide of more than 150,000 innocent Muslims in
To read more from the bombers, click here.
The history of U.S and U.K atrocities in Muslim lands is
extensive and far reaching. Having supported Saddam throughout the 80s
and installed the brutal Shah in Iran, to deny culpability for
historical crimes is dishonest and completely outrageous. To not take
responsibility for ones actions is deeply unchristian, something the
evangelical Blair has seemingly reconciled with himself.
Blair's moral posturing is an attempt to divert attention from the
crimes he and his companions are responsible for. It speaks volumes to
the effect of media manipulation and the art of
sophistry that politicians like Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, Gordon
Brown and Jack Straw have remained power players in the political world, and not been held to account.
If intelligent, otherwise liberal people like my aforementioned family
member do not understand why Blair and his bed fellows are complicit in
the attacks on London, there is not much hope they will ever be held
accountable. You do not need a degree to work out that violence begets
violence, yet it is the people that do that seem incapable of