Tony Blair Loved Invading Iraq, Is History's Politest Greatest Monster
What have we here? Oh, just war cheerleader/criminal/former British Prime Minister Tony Blair frantically trying to wipe the Iraqi blood off his mouth and the permanent stain off his soul by penning one bazookabillion words for The Independent about how the 2003 invasion of Iraq WAS TOO a great idea and also too anything bad that happened totally wasn't his fault, thank you very much.
Seriously, when we first heard about this thing on Sunday, we vowed not to read it, because we feared for our laptop's continued existence if we had to read Tony Fucking Blair spending quality time telling himself and the reader that he isn't going to hell, nosiree. Curiosity or masochism or both got the worst of us, however, so we climbed off the nope train and made our way through this self-serving bit of dreck and now we hate ourselves so much.
Before we even get into the substantive reasons why this is a morally reprehensible piece of writing, let's first chat about what an aesthetically terrible piece of writing it is.
Iraq is now in mortal danger. The whole of the Middle East is under threat.
We will have to re-think our strategy towards Syria; support the Iraqi Government in beating back the insurgency; whilst making it clear that Iraq’s politics will have to change for any resolution of the current crisis to be sustained. Then we need a comprehensive plan for the Middle East that correctly learns the lessons of the past decade.
Looks like someone's 10th grade teacher required an essay on Iraq, but didn't actually explain to not-prize student Tony Blair that (1) sentences can be longer than five words; (2) no one, not even British people, ever need use the word "whilst" unironically; (3) asserting that we need a comprehensive plan that is based on past history does not actually qualify as any sort of insight. Jesus. We could ask our sled dog to howl out a better essay than this.
And oh, it does not get better.
As for how these events reflect on the original decision to remove Saddam, if we want to have this debate, we have to do something that is rarely done: put the counterfactual ie suppose in 2003, Saddam had been left running Iraq.
Actually, we do want to have this debate, you fuck. We want to have this debate with every last one of you people that pretended this would be a swift little ass-kicking sort of invasion instead of a deadly quagmire. And oh, Tony Blair, it is your fucking mire of quag, nearly as much as it is Bush and Cheney's. But yes, let's "put the counterfactual" and indulge you by letting you explain how we had to remove Saddam over the imaginary WMD because there probably totally would have been WMD some day, because Syria.
What we now know from Syria is that Assad, without any detection from the West, was manufacturing chemical weapons. We only discovered this when he used them. We also know, from the final weapons inspectors reports, that though it is true that Saddam got rid of the physical weapons, he retained the expertise and capability to manufacture them. Is it likely that, knowing what we now know about Assad, Saddam, who had used chemical weapons against both the Iranians in the 1980s war that resulted in over one million casualties and against his own people, would have refrained from returning to his old ways? Surely it is at least as likely that he would have gone back to them.
We find ourselves in the regrettable position of looking like we are defending Saddam Hussein here, but we cannot actually pretend that Tony Blair's argument makes a goddamn lick of sense. Is it likely that Hussein might have used weapons on his own people because he was a fucking monster? Sure. Should that postulate be in any way linked to the notion that Assad used chemical weapons on Syrians a decade later? Nope, except that it allows Tony Blair to justify Iraq by basically yelling SYRIA OOGA BOOGA at the world.
Oh, also, Arab Spring means that the Iraq war totally isn't Tony Blair's fault.
The reality is that the whole of the Middle East and beyond is going through a huge, agonising and protracted transition. We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven't.
You are correct, you posh asshole, that "we" did not cause this, but we are not you. You actually had a big fucking hand in the whole thing.
Also also also, Tony Blair thinks that extremists in the Middle East need an ass-kicking by tough guys like him, but maybe not with actual troops or anything.
Where the extremists are fighting, they have to be countered hard, with force. This does not mean Western troops as in Iraq. There are masses of responses we can make short of that. But they need to know that wherever they're engaged in terror, we will be hitting them.
So, they should be countered with force, and hit hard, and they should know we will hit them hard, but not with troops. So are we just going to carpet bomb the Middle East, or did Blair have something else in mind?
Oh christ we tried to read the rest of the essay, but it got all Tommy Friedman-esque about how evolution is preferable to revolution and how Tony Blair's education foundation will totally fix everything and then there were a lot of unnecessary commas sprinkled throughout, lending credence to our theory this was actually penned by a 10th-grader, and then we just gave up.