Friday, January 21, 2011

The Chicken Hawk Chronicles


Chicken Hawk Tony Blair is testifying before the Iraq Inquiry. A friend, an actress in London, noted he was a Chicken Hawk and I immediately apologized because I'd never thought of that. Certainly in the US, we were all aware that George W. Bush did not serve, nor did Dick Cheney, go down the list. These men prepared to send young men and women to their deaths never served in the US military. My friend was pointing out that Blair had ample time to put in some service if he'd wanted to and that watching his pompous face this morning just reminded her all the more of how self-righteous was and how eager to exercise destruction and war when it wouldn't be him on the ground.

Ruth Barnett and Mark Stone (Sky News) note that Chickenhawk Tony is accused of sneaking into the Inquiry this morning to avoid the protest outside and they have video of protesters offering their take on Blair including this one, "Historians will judge him as a War Criminal as somebody who has lied to the public who has now -- He has -- Who tried to redefine the word lie: 'When is a lie not a lie?' And also I think history will judge him very, very harshly -- very harshly." And below the video, you can see Sky News' live blogging of Tony's testimony -- and Gregg Mitchell, that's what live blogging is.

Peter Walker (Guardian) reports on those protesting

While many were clearly veteran activists – the Socialist Workers party had a notable presence – the crowd was mixed. Jackie, from Essex, had stopped by to wave a "Bliar" placard for 20 minutes before heading to her job at a City law firm.
"I'm not ashamed of it but I don't make a point of publicising it," she said. "I don't think there is much hope anything will come of this. It's all starting to look very much like an establishment cover-up."
More hopeful was the veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent, who said he believed Chilcot's blocked attempts to release the former prime minister's correspondence with President George Bush, plus doubts about Blair's testimony raised by the former attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, indicated the establishment was starting to turn on Bair.
He said: "I'm not so interested in seeing him in court. I think Blair now knows that the infamy will follow him around forever. I think he's starting to realise that the end is not coming – that lovely smile is not going to see him through this time,
"It's something of a Shakespearean tragedy. He came into power with such possibilities to transform the country. All those things he could have done and he squandered billions of pounds and thousands of lives to be a sort of second lieutenant to Bush"

There are 13-year-olds who were only 5 when the illegal war started. It's been so long ago. So, just to recap, in 2002, the public beating of the war drums began as the US government -- headed by Bully Boy George W. Bush -- and the UK government -- headed by Tony Blair -- prepared to plunge the world into a never-ending, illegal war of choice and to do so via lies of WMD. In England, Tony Blair also claimed that England could be hit in 45 minutes by WMDs from Iraq. That was a lie. It was known to be a lie by his country's intelligence agencies, they had informed him that was incorrect. Largely forgotten now, but, as the Times of London would later expose, before finally starting the illegal war in March of 2003, the US and UK governments attempted to spark the war via their fly overs with the hopes that a plane would be shot down. So never wrongly assume that either leader gave a damn about the lives of anyone serving. Even before the illegal war started, they were more than happy to reduce those enlisted to nothing but cannon fodder.

Blair was of the Labour Party and he was replaced with Gordon Brown who led the Labour Party into destruction with his neoliberal policies. Which is why a Conservative is now prime minister, David Cameron. Brown so disgraced the country -- and refused to step down when polling nearly a year before the election demonstrated he was dragging down the party (Barack might want to study up on that) -- that Labour did not win the elections and the Liberal Democrats sides with the Conservative Party in forming a coalition government.

James White (Daily Mail) and Kitty Donaldson (Bloomberg News) report that Blair denies giving Bush "a blank cheque" and apparently hopes his reputation as a World Class Liar will somehow back his statments up. He, however, continues to refuse to release his correspondence with Bush. Rosa Prince (Telegraph of London) reports:

In written evidence submitted ahead of his second appearance before the inquiry, the former prime minister was asked about secret messages he sent to Mr Bush in the build-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It emerged this week that the head of the civil service, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell, refused requests for extracts from the notes to be released after consulting with the ex-premier.

Andrew Sparrow (Guardian) -- who live blogged so much of last year's public hearings by the Iraq Inquiry -- is live blogging Blair's ongoing testimony.

Last night on BBC's Question Time (link has text and video), George Galloway and Alastair Campbell exchanged words -- Campbell was and remains a Blair lackey who, in 2010, really established his credentials as a known liar. Galloway informed him that he looks "forward to the day when Mr. Blair is not in front of establishment stooges but is in The Hague facing war crime charges at the international court." And if Campbell didn't grasp that he (Campbell) was also a War Criminal, Galloway made that clear declaring, "And by the way, Alastair Campbell has the same blood on his hands and ought to be in the dock with him."

On The Diane Rehm Show today (begins airing at 10:00 am EST on most NPR stations and streaming online), her guests for the first hour (domestic news) are Major Garrett (National Journal), Lisa Lerer (Bloomberg News) and Jerry Seib (Wall St. Journal) and, for the second hour (international), Abderrahim Foukara (Al Jazeera), Elise Labott (CNN) and Moises Naim (El Pais).

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