Aletho News


Blair knew Iraq bombing was illegal but ordered it anyway – media

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 13, 2010 © AP / Matt Rourke
RT | April 17, 2023

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered the 1998 bombing of Iraq despite repeated warnings that such a move was unlawful, according to documents published by Declassified UK on Monday. Blair would follow the same template – insisting that illegal military action was legal – when the UK invaded Iraq in 2003.

The US and UK launched a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq in December 1998, after then-US President Bill Clinton accused Saddam Hussein of breaching commitments to the UN and developing weapons of mass destruction. As many as 1,400 Iraqi soldiers were killed in strikes on around 100 military facilities.

In the runup to the bombings, Blair was repeatedly told by his advisers that using force against Iraq would be illegal without a resolution from the UN Security Council, according to documents from the National Archives cited by Declassified UK, an investigative outlet that focuses on Britain’s military and intelligence agencies.

Attorney General John Morris reportedly told Blair in November 1997 that obtaining a statement from the Security Council would be “an essential precondition” to military action, while Blair’s private secretary, John Holmes, told the prime minister that British law officers and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook had a “serious problem about using force unless the Security Council declares that Iraq is in ‘material breach’ of previous resolutions.”

When the law officers refused to authorize the military to draw up targeting plans, Blair reportedly wrote to Holmes, stating that he found their argument “unconvincing.”

Blair continuously received warnings throughout 1998, the report alleged, with Cook’s private secretary writing to Holmes that February to warn that “the negative implications for international support if we resort to military action without a new resolution would be serious.”

When Blair announced military action to Parliament in November, he declared: “I have no doubt that we have the proper legal authority, as it is contained in successive Security Council resolution documents.” British officials claimed that a 1990 resolution authorizing UN members to force Hussein’s army out of Kuwait gave them permission to intervene again in Iraq, an argument that only the US, Japan, and Portugal supported.

According to the documents, Blair saw bombing Iraq as essential to maintaining his close relationship with Clinton. In a meeting with advisers in November, he supposedly said that failing to intervene would cause “extreme damage” to US-UK relations. That same day, even as his own aides maintained that intervention was illegal, Blair told Clinton that the US “could count on our support.”

Five years later, Blair would find himself in the same situation, when he falsely claimed that Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction and invoked earlier Security Council resolutions to justify invading Iraq. Again, Blair was warned by his attorney general that military action would defy international law, and again he pressed ahead regardless.

More than a decade later, a public inquiry found that the legal case for the invasion was “far from satisfactory,” while then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan maintained from the outset that the war was “illegal.”

April 17, 2023 - Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Kofi Anon knew the Iraqi invasion was illegal but said or did little to stop it. Bush and Cheney knew WMD did not exist in Iraq. Bush and Cheney also knew Iraq had nothing to do with ISIS and the Jihad movement to create a Caliphate. Which by the way was sponsored by British and US intelligence agencies. Who can forget the photo of Zbigniew Brzenski standing on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan holding a rifle, showing off his support of his Arc of Crisis agenda? The Mujahadeen that drove Russia out of Afghanistan became the Frankenstein monster al Qaeda that morphed into ISIS, whose fighters were recruited in London Mosque, and armed with weapons furnished by British BAE and CIA.

    We’ve watched over the past three decades or more as one perpetual war after another was started by the US/UK axis of war. What good has come from those wars? Libya is a broken state of tribal warfare. Syria is still occupied by US forces after more than 10 years of fighting ISIS and CIA-sponsored Jihadis. It is reported that 90% of Syrians are living below the poverty line while the country is being choked to death by sanctions and US occupation of Syria’s oil and food-producing regions. Afghanistan was invaded three times since 1920. First by the British, then the Russians, and then NATO. Iraq is still occupied in some areas by ISIS and PKK fighters.
    The people of Iraq are still without the level of infrastructure necessary to recover, which was destroyed during the US “shock and awe” invasion.

    As for the UN, it operates today as a rubber stamp of the US. British mouthpiece Tony Blair deserves to be imprisoned in an adjoining cell next to the Clintons. Geopolitical operatives Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Susan Rice, Richard Perle, and John Brennen all belong behind bars for the murderous campaigns they sponsored. And what about the current crop of hegemon seekers in the Biden administration? All of them should be locked up in a padded room before they get us all killed in thermonuclear WW3!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | April 17, 2023 | Reply

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