Blair’s Medal of Dishonour

Via: Morning Star.

Pouring scorn on the warmongering ex-PM’s latest ‘peace’ accolade

We live in strange times. In October 2009, the fledgling President Obama was awarded the Nobel peace prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”

He declared himself “surprised and deeply humbled,” accepting it as “a call to action.”

You might have thought this meant more “diplomacy and co-operation” were the order of the day. Not quite.

Two months later Obama announced that killing more Afghans and throwing millions of dollars into doing it was his first priority.

He didn’t quite put it like that, though. He told an audience at West Point, New York, that the deployment of 30,000 additional troops was vital to “the common security of the world.”

It would “break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity.” Goals would not be set “beyond our responsibility, our means or our interests.”

Six-and-a-half months into 2010, US deaths from improvised explosive devices alone are 188 – already exceeding the 152 for the whole year of 2008, in “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Total deaths for 2009 in Afghanistan were 317. This year they are already 231.

Dismemberments, disfigurements and deaths are seemingly part of Obama’s perceived “interests.” Enduring freedom indeed.

Under this shining example of all the Nobel peace prize now stands for, US drones are killing citizens of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

And now amid this Orwellian world, “Teflon” Tony Blair is set to collect the latest in a glittering array of awards for services to humanity – the 2010 Liberty Medal, awarded by the US Constitution Centre.

His contribution to the betterment of mankind has included joining the United States in the Afghanistan invasion and the silent cull of an average of 6,000 Iraqi children a month between 1997 and 2003 by instructing Britain’s UN officials to veto everything from vaccines to Ventolin, insulin to incubators, paper to pencils, female hygiene appliances to aids for children at the schools for the blind and deaf.

After six years of this decimation under his watch, added to the previous seven under his predecessor John Major, Blair’s officials cooked up a pack of lies. He ignored the advice of attorney general Lord Goldsmith and joined his little friend on Capitol Hill in reducing what remained of the cradle of civilisation to an illegally invaded pile of rubble. Swathes of Iraq’s ancient history and historical records were destroyed, with the lynching, “disappearing” and imprisoning of a legitimate government whose sovereignty was guaranteed by the UN.

Recent estimates are than a further million Iraqis have died since the invasion – almost certainly an underestimate since those in remoter areas are often unrecorded.

Goldsmith, it now transpires, had written in his advice six weeks before the invasion of Iraq: “My opinion is that resolution 1441 does not revive the authorisation to use force in the absence of a further decision by the security council.”

Blair scribbled in the margin: “I just do not understand this.”

Did anyone ask which part of No he could not grasp? Two weeks later the legal opinion was reiterated in a further note.

Blair walked from this carnage to be Middle East peace envoy, telling Parliament on his resignation: “As I learned it is important to be able to bring people together.”

He can undoubtedly do delusion with some of the greats. As William Blum recently pointed out, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, mass murderer and torturer, once said: “I would like to be remembered as a man who served his country.”

Former president of apartheid South Africa PW Botha declared: “I am not going to repent. I am not going to ask for favours. What I did, I did for my country.”

And mass murderer of Cambodia Pol Pot said: “I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country.”

To this list can be added Blair, who defending his role in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, said: “I did what I thought was right for our country.”

Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of the scoundrel.

As Peter Oborne wrote in March: “We now know that the wretched Blair has multiplied his personal fortune many times over by trading off the connections he made while in Downing Street. Shockingly, he fought a long battle to conceal the source of his new-found wealth, and only this month did it finally become public that one of his largest clients was a South Korean oil company, the UI Energy Corporation, with extensive interests in Iraq. He has also made £1 million from advising the Kuwaiti royal family. It can be fairly claimed that Blair has profiteered as a result of the Iraq war in which so many hundreds of thousands of people died. In the league of shame, Tony Blair is arguably the worst of them all.”

And the rewards for being an ally in mass starvation and murder keep rolling in.

The latest is the Liberty Medal, plus $100,000 prize money. This is small change compared to the estimated $20m he’s raked in since leaving office, but every little helps.

The prize, according to the Constitution Centre, “reflects the values of the US constitution – a belief in justice, fairness, self-governance and in resolving issues through deliberation, compromise and respect for diverse viewpoints.”

It is to be presented to him by his close friend and fellow Iraqi children’s tormenter “Bomber” Bill Clinton, who said of Blair: “Tony continues to demonstrate leadership, dedication and creativity in promoting economic opportunity in the Middle East and the resolution of conflicts rooted in religion around the world and is building the capacity of developing nations to govern honestly and effectively.”

And as if that wasn’t sickening enough, National Constitution Centre president and CEO David Eisner said: “Tony Blair has significantly furthered the expansion of freedom, self-governance, equality and peaceful coexistence. This award recognises both his dedication to and his success in building understanding among nations and creating lasting solutions in areas of conflict.”

Blair responded: “It is an honour to receive the Liberty Medal. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values by which this medal is struck. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values which I try to apply to my work.”

Incidentally, six of those who were awarded the Liberty Medal have gone on to receive the Nobel peace prize. It was Tom Lehrer who said: “Satire became redundant the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize.” No longer.

Blair may already share something with Kissinger – apparently he checks with his legal advisers every time he boards a plane in case he is arrested for war crimes on arrival.

And just another reminder, George Orwell’s real name was Eric Arthur Blair.

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