This is a cross-post by John Sargeant at Homo Economicus
Glenn Greenwald likes to call people tribalists and cheerleaders. He should know, he used to be one in praise of George W Bush. Now, he is a tribalist where everything comes back to the evil of Bush and Blair. I engage with his desire to say that Tony Blair, rather than Saddam Hussein, is the one to blame for innocent people being killed.
Glenn Greenwald chose the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 bombing to write a piece criticizing the terrorism that killed over fifty people and injured over 700 civilians as they commuted on the tube and a bus in London. He also mentioned the brutal terrorist attack in Tunisia days ago where about thirty British tourists were killed by a gunman.
Well, no, he did not once mention any of that. In his piece: TONY BLAIR AND THE SELF-EXALTING MINDSET OF THE WEST: IN TWO PARAGRAPHS his focus was on Tony Blair saying he had chosen to “exploit” the anniversary “by casting blame on “radical Islam” for the world’s violence while exempting himself.”
How is Tony Blair to blame for violence like 7/7?:
[Tony Blair:] “This is a global problem … we’re not going to allow anyone to excuse themselves by saying that the slaughter of totally innocent people is somehow a response to any decision by any government” [original emphasis]
The proposition Blair just decreed invalid — “the slaughter of totally innocent people is somehow a response to any decision by any government” — is exactly the rationale that he himself repeatedly invoked, and to this day still invokes, to justify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, as in this examplefrom December 2009:
Tony Blair has said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public. . . . “If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?” Blair was asked. He replied: “I would still have thought it right to remove him [Saddam Hussein]”. . . . He explained it was “the notion of him as a threat to the region” because Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people.
One may be forgiven for thinking Glenn Greenwald was exploiting the tenth anniversary of 7/7 to have a go at Tony Blair. Glenn goes on:
“Excusing the slaughter of totally innocent people” — whether in Fallujah or Gaza or Yemen — is a staple of Western elite discourse to justify the militarism of the U.S., the U.K. and their most special allies. It only suddenly becomes inexcusable when carried out by Muslims against the West. It is a stunning testament to Western self-delusion that one of the prime architects and salesmen of the most destructive political crime of this generation — the invasion of Iraq — can stand up with a straight face and to applause and declare: “we’re not going to allow anyone to excuse themselves by saying that the slaughter of totally innocent people is somehow a response to any decision by any government.”
The problem we have here is that Saddam “a koran written in his blood” Hussein (worth reading, the article not the bloody calligraphy, for anyone that told you his Baathist party was strictly secular) was more than happy to invade Muslim neighbours, and launch chemical weapons at them. Deliberately targeting civilians. Shall we talk about the up to half a million muslim innocents Saddam killed? It seemed appropriate to mention, so this tweet initiated the following exchange with a link to Greenwald’s above piece..
The problem @ggreenwald is yourself not mentioning the innocents Saddam used WMD on, tortured and killed in regionhttps://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/07/tony-blair-self-exalting-mindset-west-two-paragraphs/ …
@JPSargeant78 He did that while the US and the UK Governments supported and embraced him. Then they pretended to oppose it to attack him.
@ggreenwald are you saying the US and UK governments supported the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds by Saddam?
@JPSargeant78 Sorry to shatter your illusions – hope you have people around who can support you through ithttp://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/ …
Do read the rest of John’s post here