Tony Blair had a lot to say at the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq.
But he stayed away from the truth and proffered his stock excuses and dissimulations.
Blair said the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States changed everything because it showed that religious fanatics were determined to inflict mass casualties. It was too dangerous to leave Saddam in power, he said, because Saddam's Iraq – or other rogue states, like North Korea or Iran – could form links to terror groups and attack the West.
Blair conceded there were no known ties between Saddam and the al-Qaida architects of the 9/11 attack, but said he feared such links could have developed if Saddam Hussein remained in power.
Blair also insisted the US-led invasion would have been called off had Saddam changed course and proved to UN inspectors that he had destroyed his arsenal.
One panel member, renowned historian Sir Lawrence Freedman, pointed out that it would have been difficult for Saddam to prove he had dismantled weapons he did not have in the first place.
In the past, Tony has twisted and turned with his grab bag of falsehoods.
He joined Bush in war crimes . . . because Saddam was linked to 9/11. No, that story has been discarded as without substantiation and wrong. The US invaders of Iraq could find no WMDs and so Tony has to admit that he joined the Iraq war with the US because he believed their evidence of connection.
Okay, Tony, so you were a fool. Admit it, and apologize for the mistake.
It would be possible to accord Blair some respect if he conceded that he erred.
Tony, however, never admits a mistake.
So now at the Chilcott Inquiry, Tony is trying to justify going to Iraq yet again by using 9/11, the pretext even he had abandoned. But to strengthen his stew he has added some obscure "calculus of risk."
He does not explain the calculus but he implies that he and Bush and their dupes were so panicky about the calculus that they had to take action.
His excuses are without merit.
There was no justification for invasion.
Not liking a country, not liking its leaders or what they do within their own nations is irrelevant in the calculus of international law.
Sovereign nations do not have to answer to Bush, Blair or any other fanatical idiots.
By the international system of law in which the US and UK supposedly operate, there is no justification for attacking another country except in defense.
US and UK had no justifiable reason for invading Iraq except to depose the leadership and impose a puppet government.
If Blair and Bush held any sense of dignity and respect for themselves and for everyone else in the world, they would come clean and admit that what they did was wrong and they would accept punishment for their actions.
They will not, of course, because being honest is not what war criminals do.
It is no wonder that so many people have no respect for politicians.
The "calculus of risk" sounds more like the title to a James Bond movie than a moral or legal argument to defend the murder of tens of thousands of people and the destruction of one of humanity's oldest cultures.
The true "calculus" involves the prospect of stealing the wealth of other countries.
The UK and US governments committed crimes against humanity, and perjured themselves in defending their actions. The evidence for these crimes is inescapable, and the reasons clear.
First element in the "calculus," of course is the oil and US dollar hegemony that the usurpation of Iraq's oil enables.
If Tony's excuse about rogue states were genuine, then why did the US and UK not attack North Korea? The NK regime has nuclear weapons and the US refuses to sign a peace treaty ending the war that began in 1951.
North Korea, though, does not have oil.
In addition, there is a factor in the "calculus" that the US make billions of $$$ selling weapons around the world, including countries that are "at risk."
Going to war is just a way to support the industry!
It's about billions of $$$!!!
The only "calculus" that changed for Tony Blair on 9/11 was that he figured it would be easier to drive the herd in panic by disseminating lies about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, by pretending that the US regime was not committing crimes against humanity, by covertly arranging that there would profitable loot for the US and UK corporate accomplices, and Tony calculated that the lives of one million innocent Iraqi civilians were worthless.
There is a butcher bill to pay, Tony. Count on it.