The Young War Criminal Speaks
Whatever else you may say about the âyoung war criminalâ (as British journalist Alan Watkins used to call former prime minister Tony Blair), he certainly fights his corner with great determination. He is condemned to spend his life defending his part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and last weekend he was at it again.
In a 3,000-word essay on his website, Tony Blair wrote about last weekâs conquest of almost half Iraqâs territory by the fanatical fighters of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria): âWe have to liberate ourselves from the notion that âweâ have caused this. We havenât.â What he really meant by âweâ, of course, was âIâ. And he would say that, wouldnât he?
But at least give Blair credit for producing an interesting argument. âAs for how these (recent) events reflect on the original decision to remove Saddam,â he wrote, â...(the argument) is that but for the invasion of 2003, Iraq would be a stable country today....â
âConsider the post 2011 Arab uprisings. Put into the equation the counterfactual â that Saddam and his two sons would be running Iraq in 2011 when the uprisings began. Is it seriously being said that the revolution sweeping the Arab world would have hit Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria...but miraculously Iraq, under the most brutal and tyrannical of all the regimes, would have been an oasis of calm?â
âSo it is a bizarre reading of the cauldron that is the Middle East today, to claim that but for the removal of Saddam, we would not have a crisis.â
Blair is employing one of his favourite techniques: winning an argument with a straw man. Nobody is actually saying that if the...