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...many years have we heard on an almost daily basis that the centre of terrorism is Iraq?

Not Iraq? Blair Denies British Involvement Caused Attacks

It’s quite amazing how people can get up in public and say certain things with a straight face. Don’t they have people who tell them how ridiculous they sound? At the very least you’d think they would try not to make contradictory statements within a couple of years of each other. Are they so cynical they believe that no one will remember what they said and compare it to what they are saying now?

Statement number 1. Iraq and Saddam Hussein are a viper’s nest of terrorism. He gives aid and comfort to the people who bomb our cities and kill our people.

Statement number 2. The Spanish are cowards because they let a bunch of terrorists scare them out of Iraq.

Statement number 3. The bombings of London have nothing to do with the British presence in Iraq.

What was that old Sesame Street game? One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn’t belong? Something like that anyway. Which one of the above statements doesn’t add up? You say number three? We’ve got a winner.

For how many years have we heard on an almost daily basis that the centre of terrorism is Iraq? That became, when all other excuses ran dry, the one reason to justify the invasion that’s been held on to tenaciously. To this day it continues to be the mantra for the continued occupation.

Until the region is pacified and all terrorist threats are eliminated, the coalition forces will remain in place. That’s the most specific answer you’re liable to get from anyone official when asked for a potential withdrawal date. Maybe we need to consider Tony Blair’s statement that the London attacks had nothing to do with British presence in Iraq within that context.

When terrorists attacked a night club in Indonesia packed with Australians, it was called retaliation for Australia’s support of George Bush’s stand on Iraq. When Madrid was bombed and a newly elected Spanish government went along with the will of the people and withdrew from the coalition, they were accused of caving in to terrorists – implying that the attacks were motivated by Spain’s presence in Iraq.

But now, suddenly, when George’s biggest ally is hit by terror attacks two weeks running it has nothing to do with Iraq. “They would have happened anyway” is what we are being told. Oh yes, and why’s that, Tony Blair? How is it that all of sudden attacks on coalition members have nothing to do with the occupation?

Look back at the answer given when the Bush administration is asked when American troops will start coming home: “When the region is pacified and terrorist threats are eliminated.” Well how about if the terrorist attacks have nothing to do with whether or not we’re over there in the first place?

Could Tony’s statements be in accordance with a strategy designed to make it appear that pacification is nearing completion? That the withdrawal of troops will be able to begin because terrorist activities related to Iraq have been curtailed?

It doesn’t sound very likely, I admit, but remember George may not be up for re- election but a lot of his supporters in the House and the Senate will be in just over a year. The war is getting less and less popular at home and more and more people are anxious to see it draw to a close, or at least bring the troops home in one piece.

There’s a couple of other possibilities for those statements. Tony Blair has long ago gone on record as saying the war was going to cut back on terrorist activities. By refusing to admit that they have anything to do with Iraq and would have happened anyway, he’s able to refute comments that have said that the war would increase terrorism activity.

Although he has yet to offer any reasons other than the war for acts of terror in London by Muslim fundamentalists, he can say this without being called a bold-faced liar, because there is no absolute proof contradicting him. Just logic, common sense, and history.

There is a third and more disturbing reason for the claim of it not being related to Iraq. George Bush and his administration have made no secret of their interest in expanding their field of operations in the Middle East. They have made various noises at times over the past year about both Syria and Iran.

They have implied linkage between both countries and terrorists on a number of occasions. Could denying Iraqi connections to the bombing be the signal that there will be a build up in the implication of one or other of Iran and Syria? Are they getting ready to “pacify” the whole region? I mean, if the occupation of Iraq has nothing to do with terrorist activities, they’re going to have to supply a reason sooner or later.

I’m sure we will know soon enough. But it will have to be soon. George is in his last term, so if he wants to accomplish this he’ll have to get started soon. I don’t think they planned on being bogged down in Iraq for so long, and that’s put a crimp in their plans. If it is going to happen, look for the rhetoric about one of them to start heating up in the very near future.

I can’t pretend to understand how the minds of politicians work, why they say what they say even when it appears to fly in the face of logic. But what I do know is that they never say anything without a purpose. One statement is preparation for another. Where the difficulty lies is in trying to figure out what they are going to say and do next.
Ed:NB

About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.

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