North East Stop The War Coalition Discussion Forum

General Category => News Items => Topic started by: nestopwar on October 15, 2009, 08:30:43 PM

Title: Oceans of water couldn't wash the blood from Blair's hands
Post by: nestopwar on October 15, 2009, 08:30:43 PM
Oceans of water couldn't wash the blood from Blair's hands
Peter Brierley was not the only bereaved parent who confronted Tony Blair last week at a service of commemoration for the 179 British soldiers killed in the Iraq war.

Like the Iraqi shoe thrower who so dramatically expressed how most of the world felt about George Bush and his war crimes, Peter's words to Blair, who tried to shake his hand, have spread across the world:

"Don't you dare. You have my son's blood on your hands."

"That man is a war criminal," said Peter. "The truth is that we went to war on the lies of Blair and his weapons of mass destruction."

Deirdre Gover, whose son Kristian was also killed in Iraq, spoke to Blair at the same service:

"I said to him 'You have created an unjust conflict and killed my son'. And he said 'Oh, let's discuss it' and he asked me if I understood about Saddam Hussein." She walked off in disgust.

Deidre was among over 20 bereaved families who met this week to give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry.

"There was a lot of anger," she said of the meeting. "Anger about money and equipment." And Tony Blair. "I'd like to see him indicted as a war criminal in the international courts," she said.

She was not alone in this view.
As the Guardian reported, "First one then another spoke. It became clear that most, if not all, fingers were pointing to one man - the former prime minister Tony Blair. And the clapping erupted. They had found a common voice - and it was demanding 'accountability'".

"We all agreed," said Deidre. "Blair had to be held responsible for what he's done, to our children, and to our husbands.

This is something the Iraq Inquiry committee does not want to hear, which is why it was hand picked by Gordon Brown specifically not to hold anyone to account for the Iraq disaster, which killed over one million Iraqis and 179 British soldiers.

But family after family raised the same issues with the inquiry committee.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed in Basra, said, "I came to find out why it was necessary to go to war. I still cannot understand any of the so-called reasons why we did. In common with the majority of other families, we hold one man responsible for that. Well, two actually: the former prime minister and President Bush."

"Do we want to have Mr Blair prosecuted for taking us to war? Well. It's a lovely thought. And it would be good if that was to happen. But, given the terms of reference, I don't see how it could," said Mr Bacon.

Colin Mildinhall, whose son Tom was killed in Basra, told the committee Britain had been "lied to" and "badly let down". His concern was legality, and the alleged weapons of mass destruction. "I would like the Iraq inquiry to look at the whole representation of intelligence, how it was used or misused," he said.

For Colin Redpath, father of Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, said, "A lot of people were angry because we were taken into an illegal war. Who knows, someone might be accountable for that".

Not if Sir John Chilcott, chairman of the Iraq inquiry committee, has anything to do with it. While promising the families a "rigorous" inquiry that would not "shy away from criticisms", he stressed that the inquiry was not a court of law and "no one is on trial".

No one who knows the background of the Iraq Inquiry committee members will be holding their breath that anything other than yet another whitewash will come out of this inquiry, like all those before it.

One hope might be that Gordon Brown would learn something from the Iraq catastrophe. Not a hope. Instead we have him adopting the warmongering mantle of Tony Blair in another war which many international lawyers say is, like the Iraq war, illegal and unjustified.

Already the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan far outnumbers those killed in Iraq. And, as with the carnage perpetrated against Iraqis, the consequences for the Afghan people has been the slaughter of tens of thousands in a senseless war.

One day before too long, Brown -- like Blair before him -- will be confronted by bereaved relatives who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan, and he -- again like Blair -- will have so much blood on his hands that oceans of water will not wash them clean.