Monday, 6 June 2016

A letter to Tony Blair from Military Families Against the War

    


blair bush handshake

Photo: Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands after their press conference in the East Room of the White House on 12 November 2004. Public Domain.

Dear Mr Blair,
We present ourselves here today to pay our respects and remember the courageous soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country in Iraq. Also to voice our support to the brave personnel currently involved in operations in Iraq who are dedicated to doing their duty. We feel that the most effective way of showing our support is to influence a prompt, safe return with the dignity and respect they so rightly deserve.
When enlisting, service men and women sign an “Oath of Allegiance” to Her Majesty’s Government. All these people ask in return is that their government act in an honourable, truthful and responsible manner and only deploy troops into the theatre of war to risk their lives when absolutely necessary when all avenues of diplomacy have been exhausted. To deploy these troops based on deceit of WMD is totally morally unacceptable. The blame lies firmly at your doorstep. This was a contrived war, a war of option not necessity.
Where is the accountability, Mr Blair, for the 74 British servicemen killed, several injured and over 100,000 innocent Iraq victims, men, women and children dead? Where is the apology you said you can give? You have not said sorry to one single family.
How, Mr Blair, can you walk through all this human carnage with impunity? We now form part of a campaign with the support of many MPs dedicated to bringing you to account. We will not go away! The possibilities and feasibility of “impeachment” are currently being explored.


The document “A Case to Answer” has been presented to you with 28 specific questions, and in your arrogance you have not afforded the common courtesy of a response or acknowledgement.
As Iraq contains the second largest oil reserves in the world and could not fulfil its oil production potential due to crippling sanctions it was viewed as an easy target for Western interests to plunder its mineral wealth. It would appear multi-million dollar contracts were already being negotiated before the war to extract oil and rebuild infrastructure.
Please remember, Mr Blair: no capability of a 45-minute deployment of WMD, no stockpiles of WMD, no WMB programmes, no links with Al Qaida and no links with 9/11. Without the above how could Iraq form part of the so-called “axis of evil”? What therefore was Iraq’s crime to warrant an illegal invasion without United Nations support? If you are so keen on enforcing democracy, Mr Blair, why do you not enforce it on strong countries capable of “biting back”, not one that has been weakened by years of sanctions?
You have no changed the rhetoric for your remit for war from WMD to regime change. Kofi Annan, UN secretary general, states that this is illegal. Thus you are forcing our troops to engage in an illegal conflict against Iraq that you and Mr Bush presumed to be a soft target. The resulting chaos and atrocities are now played out for all to see daily on our television screens. The world is now undeniably a more dangerous place.
Stop the war, bring the troops home and hand responsibility over to the United Nations. At least Kofi Annan still retains some integrity and has a proven unbiased diplomatic record.
Why, Mr Blair, as the deceased are being repatriated do you find it necessary to continue this unhealthy liaison with Mr Bush? Is it to receive a pat on the back for moving the Black Watch into the Triangle of Death so as to be seen to have supported Mr Bush’s re-election campaign?
On a closing note, Geoff Hoon addressed the House and stated the risks moving the Black Watch were acceptable. Yet within days we have five killed and several seriously injured. How is this justifiable?
Well, Mr Blair, you have been true to your word on one point. You are getting some of the Black Watch home for Christmas – tragically injured, maimed and others in body bags.
Morally unacceptable conduct of a British prime minister in the 21st century!
From Military Families Against the War
Rose Gentle
Reg Keys
Caroline Harrison
Selma Zappala
Dante Zappala
Christine Robinson
Leslie Robinson
Theresa Evans
Robbie Buckland
James Buchanan
20/11/2004
Source: Stopwar coalition

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