The Daily Mail’s serialisation of the biography of Tony Blair by one of the most capable and acclaimed investigative reporters in the world, Tom Bower, is a revelation of a sort of political Hammer House of Horrors.
In its editorial introducing the serialisation the newspaper called Blair ‘A most amoral PM’ – and much of what Bower reports irrefutably stands up that evaluation.
Tomorrow’s edition of the paper, 29th February 2016, carries information which could not be more shocking.
It leaves all of us with the burden of guilt for our furious and bitter blaming of entirely the wrong source of the serially fatal failures adequately to equip the troops Blair sent to Iraq in 2003 on an entirely false premise.
We will all remember the men sent to Iraq without desert camouflage – and left highly visible in their usual green and brown camouflage kit
Then many, if not most, were left without any body armour and serviceable desert boots – and either managed to buy this kit themselves to protect their own lives or had no choice but to take their chances unprotected and ill equipped.
With the procurement capability at the Ministry of Defence [MoD] something of a standing- and very expensive – joke [or worse], we all of us blamed them for criminal incompetence in this woeful resourcing of men sent to fight such a war.
In Bower’s book, it emerges that, for bis own political ends as part in his widespread deception of his Cabinet, Parliament and the British people as to his true intent, Tony Blair insisted that the MoD’s logistics planners were kept out of the loop on the nature of the planned war – and when they were told something, it was only that any action would involve ground troops at no more than a ‘small scale’ effort – less than a brigade.
So, as General Sir Michael Jackson has said: ‘… the MoD had based its procurement on equipping no more than a few thousand soldiers to operate in the desert. This is not something that you can change overnight: you can’t produce 30,000 sets of desert combat kit in a few weeks’.
Blair’s actions literally and directly cost British lives.
Will Sir John Chilcott’s inquiry – still unpublished, although it was established in 2009 – cover this issue?
Blair is not below contempt but is a fully appropriate subject for it – as are those who conspired with him in this truly dreadful venture for which the world pays today in the motivation and nature of the terrifying contemporary terrorism to which it gave birth.
Blair’s commitment of British lives to President George W Bush’s, Donald Rumsfeld’s and Halliburton’s war directly enabled the fortune he went on to make as soon as he left office.
A naive America has been content to pay to listen to him. American banks pay him fools’ gold to join their boards. President Bush gave him the rare Congressional Medal – which eventually had to be presented in private because Blair had by then become toxic, known for what he was.
Beyond that, who knows what else President George W Bush and his parallel ‘family’, the House of Saud, did for Blair in the way of expressing their deep gratitude.