SCOTLAND: This woman hopes the Chilcot Report reveals the truth as Rose Gentle’s son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Basra in June 2004 – @AceNewsServices

So do we all and Tony Blair gets his just deserts.

I do hope that this report does bring some comfort and closure to the families have gone through intolerable suffering because their loved ones were unlawfully sent to war.

The Break-Up of American Zionism and the Anti-Semitism Allegations

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I’m aware that I’m in serious risk of doing this subject to death, but this needs to be said. I’ve put up several blogs featuring the videos of talks and interviews given by Israeli and American Jewish activists and historians – Ilan Pappe, Elizabeth Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein, laying bare the terrible history of Israel’s persecution and systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is because of the smears against leading figures in the Labour party that they are anti-Semites, when they are nothing of the sort, and demonstrably nothing of the sort. Ken Leninspart, when he was leader of the GLC, was notorious and reviled for his anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia stance. And if you want to read what he has to say about anti-Semitism, it’s written down in his book, Livingstone’s Labour. He decries it as one of the worst forms of…

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Blair Still Offers No Apology For Iraq Debacle

Before that he need to be tried and convicted for War Crimes.


tony blair the big W
“With the long-awaited Chilcot Inquiry report into the war due to be published within weeks, Mr Blair said that the West had not foreseen the “forces of destabilisation” that fill the vacuum left by the dictator’s fall.”

WWW  It’s written on your face Mr Bliar.  It’s etched in your forehead. 666 Buddy. That’s where you are headed when you leave this mortal realm despite your false religion and all that crap!

The Hebrew equivalent of our “w” is the letter “vav” or “waw”. The numerical value of vav is 6. So the English “www” transliterated into Hebrew is “vav vav vav”, which numerically is 666.

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Leaked Memo Reveals Blair’s ‘Deal In Blood’ With Bush Over Iraq War

Original post from Information Clearing House


Leaked White House memo shows former Prime Minister’s support for war at summit with U.S. President in 2002
Bombshell document shows Blair preparing to act as spin doctor for Bush, who was told ‘the UK will follow our lead’
Publicly, Blair still claimed to be looking for diplomatic solution – in direct contrast to email revelations
New light was shed on Bush-Blair relations by material disclosed by Hillary Clinton at the order of the U.S. courts

By William Lowther In Washington and Glen Owen for The Mail on Sunday

October 17, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – “Daily Mail” – A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.

The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.

It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.

Scroll down to read the documents in full

The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting ‘public affairs lines’ to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction – when none existed.

In return, the President would flatter Blair’s ego and give the impression that Britain was not America’s poodle but an equal partner in the ‘special relationship’.

The damning memo, from Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George Bush, was written on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s famous summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas.

In it, Powell tells Bush that Blair ‘will be with us’ on military action. Powell assures the President: ‘The UK will follow our lead’.

The disclosure is certain to lead for calls for Sir John Chilcot to reopen his inquiry into the Iraq War if, as is believed, he has not seen the Powell memo.

A second explosive memo from the same cache also reveals how Bush used ‘spies’ in the Labour Party to help him to manipulate British public opinion in favour of the war.

The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U,S. courts have forced her to reveal.

Former Tory Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: ‘The memos prove in explicit terms what many of us have believed all along: Tony Blair effectively agreed to act as a frontman for American foreign policy in advance of any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.

‘He was happy to launder George Bush’s policy on Iraq and sub-contract British foreign policy to another country without having the remotest ability to have any real influence over it. And in return for what?

‘For George Bush pretending Blair was a player on the world stage to impress voters in the UK when the Americans didn’t even believe it themselves’.

Davis was backed by a senior diplomat with close knowledge of Blair-Bush relations who said: ‘This memo shows beyond doubt for the first time Blair was committed to the Iraq War before he even set foot in Crawford.

‘And it shows how the Americans planned to make Blair look an equal partner in the special relationship to bolster his position in the UK.’

Blair’s spokesman insisted last night that Powell’s memo was ‘consistent with what he was saying publicly at the time’.

The former Prime Minister has always hotly denied the claim that the two men signed a deal ‘in blood’ at Crawford to embark on the war, which started on March 20, 2003.

The Powell document, headed ‘Secret… Memorandum for the President’, lifts the lid on how Blair and Bush secretly plotted the war behind closed doors at Crawford.

Powell says to Bush: ‘He will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause,’ adding that Blair has the presentational skills to ‘make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace’.

Five months after the summit, Downing Street produced the notorious ‘45 minutes from doom’ dossier on Saddam Hussein’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction. After Saddam was toppled, the dossier’s claims were exposed as bogus.

Nowhere in the memo is a diplomatic route suggested as the preferred option.

Instead, Powell says that Blair will also advise on how to ‘handle calls’ for the ‘blessing’ of the United Nations Security Council, and to ‘demonstrate that we have thought through “the day after” ’ – in other words, made adequate provision for a post-Saddam Iraq.

Critics of the war say that the lack of post-conflict planning has contributed to the loss of more than 100,000 lives since the invasion – and a power vacuum which has contributed to the rise of Islamic State terrorism.

Significantly, Powell warns Bush that Blair has hit ‘domestic turbulence’ for being ‘too pro-U.S. in foreign and security policy, too arrogant and “presidential” ’, which Powell points out is ‘not a compliment in the British context’.

Powell also reveals that the splits in Blair’s Cabinet were deeper than was realised: he says that apart from Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, ‘Blair’s Cabinet shows signs of division, and the British public are unconvinced that military action is warranted now’.

Powell says that although Blair will ‘stick with us on the big issues’, he wants to minimise the ‘political price’ he would have to pay: ‘His voters will look for signs that Britain and America are truly equity partners in the special relationship.’

The President certainly did his best to flatter Blair’s ego during the Crawford summit, where he was the first world leader to be invited into Bush’s sanctuary for two nights.

Tony and Cherie Blair stayed in the guesthouse close to the main residence with their daughter Kathryn and Cherie’s mother, Gale Booth. Bush took the highly unusual step of inviting Blair to sit in on his daily CIA briefing, and drove the Prime Minister around in a pick-up truck.

Mystery has long surrounded what was discussed at Crawford as advisers were kept out of a key meeting between the two men.

Sir Christopher Meyer, who was present in Crawford as Britain’s Ambassador to the U.S., told Chilcot that his exclusion meant he was ‘not entirely clear to this day… what degree of convergence was, if you like, signed in blood at the Crawford ranch’.

But in public comments during his time at Crawford, Blair denied that Britain was on an unstoppable path to war.

‘This is a matter for considering all the options’, he said. ‘We’re not proposing military action at this point in time’.

During his appearance before the Chilcot inquiry in January 2010, Blair denied that he had struck a secret deal with Bush at Crawford to overthrow Saddam. Blair said the two men had agreed on the need to confront the Iraqi dictator, but insisted they did not get into ‘specifics’.

‘The one thing I was not doing was dissembling in that position,’ he told Chilcot.

‘The position was not a covert position, it was an open position. This isn’t about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It’s a decision. What I was saying… was “We are going to be with you in confronting and dealing with this threat.” ’

Pressed on what he thought Mr Bush took from their meeting, he said the President had realised Britain would support military action if the diplomatic route had been exhausted.

In his memoirs, Blair again said it was ‘a myth’ he had signed a promise ‘in blood’ to go to war, insisting: ‘I made no such commitment’.

Critics who claimed that Mr Blair acted as the ‘poodle’ of the US will point to a reference in Mr Powell’s memo to the fact Mr Blair ‘readily committed to deploy 1,700 commandos’ to Afghanistan ‘even though his experts warn that British forces are overstretched’.

The decision made the previous October in the wake of the September 11 attacks led to widespread concern that the UK was entering an open-ended commitment to a bloody conflict in Afghanistan – a concern many critics now say was well-founded.

Mr Powell’s memo goes on to say that a recent move by the U.S. to protect its steel industry with tariffs, which had damaged UK exports, was a ‘bitter blow’ for Blair, but he was prepared to ‘insulate our broader relationship from this and other trade disputes’.

The memo was included in a batch of 30,000 emails which were received by Mrs Clinton on her private server when she was US Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013.

Another document included in the email batch is a confidential briefing for Powell prepared by the U.S. Embassy in London, shortly before the Crawford summit.

The memo, dated ‘April 02’, includes a detailed assessment of the effect on Blair’s domestic position if he backs US military action.

The document says: ‘A sizeable number of his [Blair’s] MPs remain at present opposed to military action against Iraq… some would favor shifting from a policy of containment of Iraq if they had recent (and publicly usable) proof that Iraq is developing WMD/missiles… most seem to want some sort of UN endorsement for military action.

‘Blair’s challenge now is to judge the timing and evolution of America’s Iraq policy and to bring his party and the British people on board.

‘There have been a few speculative pieces in the more feverish press about Labor [sic] unease re Iraq policy… which have gone on to identify the beginnings of a challenge to Blair’s leadership of the party.

‘Former Cabinet member Peter Mandelson, still an insider, called it all “froth”. Nonetheless, this is the first time since the 1997 election that such a story is even being printed’.

The paper draws on information given to it by Labour ‘spies’, whose identities have been hidden.

It states: ‘[name redacted] told us the intention of those feeding the story is not to bring down Blair but to influence him on the Iraq issue’.

‘Some MPs would endorse action if they had proof that Iraq has continued to develop WMD since UN inspectors left.

‘More would follow if convinced that Iraq has succeeded in developing significant WMD capability and the missiles to deliver it.

‘Many more would follow if they see compelling evidence that Iraq intends and plans to use such weapons. A clear majority would support military action if Saddam is implicated in the 9/11 attacks or other egregious acts of terrorism’.

‘Blair has proved an excellent judge of political timing, and he will need to be especially careful about when to launch a ramped-up campaign to build support for action against Iraq.

‘He will want neither to be too far in front or behind US policy… if he waits too long, then the keystone of any coalition we wish to build may not be firmly in place. No doubt these are the calculations that Blair hopes to firm up when he meets the President’.

A spokesperson for Tony Blair said: ‘This is consistent with what Blair was saying publicly at the time and with Blair’s evidence given to the Chilcot Inquiry’.

Neither Mrs Clinton nor Mr Powell replied to requests for comment.


Why have these memos come out now?

The U.S. courts have ruled that 30,000 emails received by Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 should be released.

She may have asked for these documents to grasp the background to the Iraq War.

What was the Crawford summit?

The meeting between Blair and Bush at the President’s Texan ranch in April 2002, 11 months before the outbreak of war. The pair spent long periods discussing Iraq without their advisers, leading to suspicion that they privately cut a deal for the conflict.

UK Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer said it was impossible to know whether a deal was ‘signed in blood’.

What did Blair say at Crawford?

At the start of the summit, Mr Blair said: ‘We’re not proposing military action at this point in time.’ 

For the whole of 2002, Blair claimed no decision had been taken and in the run-up to war. He said that Saddam Hussein could avoid conflict by co-operating with UN weapons inspectors.

What happened after Crawford?

In September 2002, in an attempt to prove Saddam was a threat, No 10 falsely claimed Saddam could deploy biological weapons ‘within 45 minutes’, and Mr Blair went around the world trying to drum up UN backing for action against Iraq.

Despite mass anti-war protests, Britain and America invaded Iraq in March 2003 without the backing of the UN.

Had the allies prepared for ‘the day after’?

The invasion was declared complete on April 15, 2003. But the reason for war proved spurious, and Saddam’s removal left a power vacuum filled by warring factions which some say helped Islamic State rise.

Have the memos been seen by the Chilcot Inquiry?

It is not thought the £10million, six-year inquiry has asked to see American Government material.

MoS2 Template Master

Stunning memo proves Blair signed up for Iraq even before Americans – comment by former shadow home secretary David Davis

This is one of the most astonishing documents I have ever read.

It proves in explicit terms what many of us have believed all along: Tony Blair effectively agreed to act as a front man for American foreign policy in advance of any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.

He was happy to launder George Bush’s policy on Iraq and sub-contract British foreign policy to another country without having the remotest ability to have any real influence over it.

And in return for what? For George Bush pretending Blair was a player on the world stage to impress voters in the UK when the Americans didn’t even believe it themselves.

Blair was content to cynically use Britain’s international reputation for honest dealing in diplomacy, built up over many years, as a shield against worldwide opprobrium for Bush’s ill-considered policy.

Judging from this memorandum, Blair signed up for the Iraq War even before the Americans themselves did. It beggars belief.

Blair was telling MPs and voters back home that he was still pursuing a diplomatic solution while Colin Powell was telling President Bush: ‘Don’t worry, George, Tony is signed up for the war come what may – he’ll handle the PR for you, just make him look big in return.’

It should never be forgotten that a minimum of 120,000 people died as a direct result of the Iraq War.

What is truly shocking is the casualness of it all, such as the reference in the memo to ‘the day after’ – meaning the day after Saddam would be toppled.

The offhand tone gives the game away: it is patently obvious nobody thought about ‘the day after’ when Bush and Blair met in Crawford.

And they gave it no more thought right through to the moment ‘the day after’ came about a year later when Saddam’s statue fell to the ground.

We saw the catastrophic so-called ‘de-Baathification’ of Iraq, with the country’s entire civil and military structure dismantled, leading to years of bloodshed and chaos. It has infected surrounding countries to this day and created the vacuum into which Islamic State has stepped.

This may well be the Iraq ‘smoking gun’ we have all been looking for.

In full: The Blair/Bush White House documents

  • Pictured below is the memo from Secretary of State Colin Powell to George W Bush




  • Part two: This second, explosive memo, drafted by the U.S. Embassy in London, reveals how Bush used Labour ‘spies’ to manipulate British public opinion







Basis for Iraq war was wrong, admits Blair ally Lord Falconer

Original post from Herald Scotland

‘…………By Magnus Gardham Political Editor

BRITAIN was wrong to join the Iraq war, one of Tony Blair’s closest allies in the build-up to the 2003 invasion has admitted.

Tony Blair

Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, said the conflict was perceived as a mistake and had damaged Labour.

Interviewed for a BBC Scotland documentary on his party’s plight, he said the basis of Britain’s intervention was mistaken.

He told the programme, to be broadcast tonight (Mon), “We didn’t find weapons of mass destruction there and that was the basis by which we went in.

“So on that basis, we weren’t right to go in.”

The failure of coalition forces to find weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s arsenal, the heavy loss of life and continued instability in the country caused growing anger over Britain’s role in the war.

It continues to dog Labour eight years after Mr Blair left office.

Lord Faulkner denied it had damaged Labour more in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK despite the SNP, which opposed the conflict, using it repeatedly as an issue to attack their main opponents.

In a sign of the party’s difficulties, Scottish Labour leadership frontrunner Kezia Dugdale yesterday warned the party faced another “storm” in next year’s Holyrood election, after losing 40 MPs last month.

She told Sky News’s Murnaghan programme she was asking for party supporters to back her “for the short, the medium and the long term” in the leadership election due to be decided in August.

Lord Falconer, a close confidant of Mr Blair, told the BBC: “I think the Iraq war damaged Labour everywhere, and I think that the Iraq war is perceived to be a mistake.

“By Labour, by Tony Blair.

“That damaged Labour right throughout Scotland and England, but I’m not sure that it necessarily damaged Labour more in Scotland than it did in England.”

A so-called “dodgy dossier” produced before the invasion claimed it was “beyond doubt” that dictator Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons and was making efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

It also claimed Iraq could deploy biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so.

No weapons of mass destruction were discovered.

Speaking on Sky News, Ms Dugdale said Labour’s decision to campaign alongside the Conservatives during the independence referendum had also damaged the party, though she believed it was “the right thing to do for Scotland” to secure a No vote.

Accepting Scottish Labour faces another tough election next May, she said: “Well our problems didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be fixed overnight either so when I put my name forward for the leadership of my party I asked my colleagues to back me for the short, the medium and the long term.”

She said fellow parliamentarians supporting her bid for the leadership

“understand that this is a long term problem and that we need to fix it in a whole manner of ways”.

She added: “There is a huge amount of change that we need to do within the Scottish Labour party and in terms of speaking to the country ahead so I said yesterday in my campaign launch that it is possible that there is another storm coming for the Scottish Labour party.

“We need to understand the force of that but that doesn’t mean in any way that I have given up on next year’s election.”

Ms Dugdale and her opponent, Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh, will face each other in the first of four election hustings tonight.

Mr Macintosh will use the Edinburgh event to call for councils to be handed back control over local taxes.

The council tax freeze imposed by the SNP in 2007 has made it all but impossible for local authorities to increase bills.

Speaking ahead of the gathering he said: “John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon claim the council tax freeze is popular among voters and they may be right, but bribing people to make them like you is not a responsible way to run a government.” ………………’

America’s frightening Bush amnesia: Why our great national forgetting is so pernicious

Original post from Salon


George W. Bush (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh)
George W. Bush (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh)

Bemoaning the political climate that enabled George W. Bush’s flagrant constitutional abuses and foreign quagmires, Gore Vidal famously dubbed the country of which he fancied himself the official biographer “the United States of Amnesia.”

 “We learn nothing,” Vidal wrote, “because we remember nothing.”

A dozen years later, it would hardly seem that Americans have simply forgotten the foreign policy and and economic calamities that defined the Bush era: Voters spurned Mitt Romney in 2012, largely because President Obama argued that however slow and halting the recovery had proven, a Romney presidency would represent a return to the disastrous economic policies of the Bush years. And in a profoundly karmic twist of fate, Bush’s younger brother risks failure in his own White House quest, in part because Dubya’s presidency has become an albatross. Indeed, if Jeb Bush comes up short in his 2016 campaign, we may date his bid’s decline to his erratic attempts to answer whether, in retrospect, he’d have invaded Iraq — a war adecisive majority of Americans see as a grievous error.

But even if Americans don’t look back fondly on the eight years that witnessed a $2 trillion war, claiming nearly 4,500 American and an estimated half-million Iraqi lives; the deepest economic slump since the Great Depression; and the worst-ever jobs record, they’re increasingly inclined to cut the man who delivered that list of horrors some slack. For the first time in a decade, a new CNN-Opinion Research Corporationpoll finds, more Americans take a favorable view of the 43rd president than look on him unfavorably. Fifty two percent of respondents told CNN they viewed Bush favorably, against 43 percent who did not; when Bush left office in January 2009, those numbers were 35 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Much of the political press corps pounced on the finding that Bush’s favorable ratings are now better than those of Obama, who was propelled to the presidency by a growing anti-Bush backlash. While Americans now view Bush favorably by a nine-point margin, they split on his successor, 49 percent to 49 percent. Of course, it’s not surprising that the public is a bit tougher in its estimation of a sitting president, mired as he is in the day-to-day squabbles of American politics. Bush, by contrast, has been out of office for 6.5 years — and while he hasn’t quite grown his hair out and become a hermit, the Lyndon Johnson tradition — he’s assiduously avoided  delving into hot-button political debates. Unlike his trigger-happy vice president — whom we always considered the real brains of the Bush-Cheney politico-policy operation — Bush seems to understand that the best way to rehabilitate his public image is to lay low.

So Bush’s improving numbers aren’t some inscrutable mystery. Nevertheless, the findings say as much about us as they do about the former president. We’ve been reminded, yet again, that our national attention span can be shamefully short. At this juncture, Americans still voice opposition to Bush’s foreign and economic policies, but we’re maddeningly unable — or unwilling — to draw connections between Bush’s incompetence and the questions that confront us now. Consider a March Quinnipiac University poll, which found that 62 percent of registered voters supported sending ground troops to Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic State, which itself was an outgrowth of the sectarianism the Iraq war brought to a boiling point. Yes — less than five years after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Americans appear little fazed by the experience, and are willing to back another land war in the Middle East. Call it what you will — the consequence of a state of affairs in which few Americans are directly invested in questions of war and peace; the triumph of the politics of fear; or the return of the Something Must Be Done syndrome that convinced many liberals that the Iraq war was a worthy cause — but what’s abundantly clear is that that we’re engaged in a great national forgetting, willful or otherwise. Is it any wonder that hawkish GOP presidential candidates feel comfortable publicly advocating American boots on the ground?

Therein lies the real perniciousness of Bush’s (modest) rehabilitation. It’s symptomatic of our aversion to wrestling with the lessons of even the most recent American history. Once Iraq proved as catastrophic as the Cassandras had warned, Americans decided they didn’t much like Bush’s war. But as his misdeeds fade from the public memory, we risk proving the veracity of Vidal’s lament — again.

Luke Brinker is Salon’s politics editor. Follow him on Twitter at @LukeBrinker.   …….’