Is Tony Blair fit to be President, European Council?
by Peter Eyre on 18 Nov 2009 2 Comments

Is it possible that he should be tried for War Crimes? We have seen Prime Minister Gordon Brown and most members of his party promote Tony Blair as the first President of the European Council. Dare other members of the British Government put their names forward to support such a person who may in the near future be called to give account of his reasons for going to war? Dare they be associated with a person who could well be soon listed as a war criminal? If one asked the British public, the answer would be “No way.”


Anyone who has followed the recent Kuala Lumpur Conference to Criminalise War will learn that Tony Blair is not a very well respected man in Malaysia. At the opening ceremony, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, ex Prime Minister of Malaysia, drew reference to both George W Bush and Tony Blair as being guilty of war crimes.


This conference is now becoming an annual affair in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has turned out to be a very popular international conference and exhibition covering the ‘Expose War Crimes - Criminalise War: Failure of International Law.’ The conference and exhibition was organised by the Perdana Global Peace Organisation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War. The keynote speech featured Malaysia elder statesman and former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (84 years) who had transformed his country with his 20/20 Vision. The conference included addresses and testimony by lawyers, peace activist and victims of war.


Since its inception it has constituted the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) & the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT). Victims of war have progressively come forward and made their way to Kuala Lumpur to tell their stories of atrocities to the KLWCT who deliberate on the evidence provided. This platform has now attracted some very powerful and respected speakers.


Dr. Mahathir was Asia's longest serving leader and has been active in demanding that waging war be an international crime. Currently killing up to one hundred people results usually in severe punishment, but killing hundreds, thousands or even millions of people is awarded by medals and promotions. As we have recently observed, the Nobel Peace Prize is handed out to sometime without qualification (Obama) or to dignitaries with blood on their hands.


In recent times, the United States and Britain have engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise of fighting terrorism, whilst deliberately misinforming their populations about threats and with ulterior motives that include the control of oil and water supplies, peace activist say.


After many years of research I have found the greed for oil, gas and other natural resource are the centre point of all conflicts. We saw this in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and in Gaza. What is blatantly obvious is that the US is not only abusing its position in the United Nations but also its own domestic law:


This issue was raised in Kuala Lumpur with reference to Article 24 of the UN Charter which is incorporated into the law of the United States: War cannot be used for settling disputes. War is illegal according to this UN Charter and must therefore be illegal under US Law. 

Article 24 reads as follows:

1] In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.


2] In discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. The specific powers granted to the Security Council for the discharges of these duties are laid down in Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and XII.


3] The Security Council shall submit annual and, when necessary, special reports to the General Assembly for its consideration.


Dr Mahathir commented on Bush and Blair in his opening speech as follows:

It is in pursuance of this that we must set up a permanent tribunal recognised by the victims of aggression and right-minded people and empowered by them to hear the charges levelled at the warmongers, the leaders and Governments of aggressor nations, to determine their innocence or guilt and to prescribe punishment. Thus the tribunal must be made up of respected international jurists who would have no personal or national interest in the matters referred to them, whose judgement must be based on evidence and not sentiment. We cannot accept that the victors have a right to judge the crimes of the vanquished. That would be a travesty of justice.


We appreciate that the Tribunal we set up will have no power of enforcing its punishment. The people tried may be too powerful. But we should not be daunted by this. We should find ways and forms of punishments that are within our capacity until such time when the International Community respects and upholds the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.


We are seeing today examples of the form of punishment that can be meted out. Bush and Blair are now totally reviled and condemned by the world and by their own people. To a certain extent they have been tried and sentenced by their own people and media. It was a trial in absentia. The Tribunal that we set up can conduct a proper trial even if the accused are not present. A respectable and totally impartial Tribunal applying recognised laws will surely find its findings respected by the world just as the world respects the Nobel Laureates for example.


As to the punishment, these people if found guilty should be labelled “War Criminal” by everyone. Today we see countries enacting laws to punish crimes or wrong-doings perpetrated in other countries, enacting extra-territorial laws. We may not be able to get Governments of countries to enact laws to label the War Criminals. But the NGO’s, the sympathetic media can append the label “War Criminal” whenever their names are mentioned.


People and the NGO’s for peace should make these War Criminals feel unwelcome wherever they go. They should be literally hounded. They should have full frontal and profile pictures put up everywhere as war criminals. And historians should always refer to them as War Criminals in history books.


All leaders, especially leaders of powerful nations hope to be remembered, to go down in history as great men, to be identified with great deeds. War criminals tried and found guilty by the Tribunal should be remembered for the crimes against humanity, for the people they kill, the destruction they wrought. They should be labelled as such and mentioned in history books as war criminals, always and forever.


They should be accorded the names they deserve for the evil deeds they had committed. Prime Minister Blair regretted the hanging of Saddam Hussein but at the same time, reminded people not to forget that Saddam was the Butcher of Baghdad. What is Blair if not the Co-Murderer of 500,000 Iraqi children and the liar who told the British that Saddam had WMD which could be launched against Britain within 45 minutes.


History should remember Blair and Bush as the Killer of Children or as the Lying Prime Minister and President. What Blair and Bush had done is worse than what Saddam had done. We should not hang Blair if the Tribunal finds him guilty but he should always carry the label War Criminal, Killer of Children, Liar.


As we can clearly see the former British Prime Minister certainly has a case to answer and it will be interesting to follow the KLWCT for its final verdict.


Currently Gaza and the Palestinian struggle are fully supported by the organisation and the future should reveal more gruesome findings as well as finding those guilty of such crimes.


I would like to briefly discuss the British Governments involvement in the Gaza (Palestinian) conflict. Whilst still the Prime Minister, Tony Blair along with Gordon Brown both agreed that the blockade of Palestine should be lifted. They also agreed that the vast offshore gas reserves should be commissioned and the proceeds would enhance economic recovery for the people of Gaza and Palestine. However, Hamas came to power in Gaza and suddenly the whole ball game changed. Both men obviously wanted the Gaza Gas project to go ahead as their own “British Gas” had the only licence to explore and develop the field.


After Hamas came to power Israel became extremely concerned that any revenue from these natural resources could end up in their hands. This became a major issue during discussions with British Gas (BG) as well as the unit price. Towards the end of 2007 things became almost unworkable and BG pulled out and in early 2008 closed down its Israeli office.


BG decided to look elsewhere for a new market. An approach was made with the Egyptians to take the natural gas to Egypt, convert it into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for onward export to either EU or USA. The contract was agreed upon and it looked all set to go ahead until good old Blair appeared on the scene as UK’s Ambassador for the Middle East. He visited Israel and urged the government there to reconsider the position and once again open talks with BG.


The Israeli Government then called BG to come to Israel for urgent talks. At this stage Israel was already on a war footing with Gaza with the intention of removing Hamas and claiming access to the gas reserves. Blair persuaded BG to cancel plans with the Egyptians and kickstart talks with Israel. It became obvious to Israel that they would now have to delay the strike on Gaza as doing so may cause talks to fail. As we now know talks did fail and Israel re-scheduled its attack on Gaza on 27 December 2008.


What is ironic here is that this man, who has a potential tag of being a war criminal, was and is still representing the United Kingdom in the Middle East, the very area he caused so much harm. Now we have Gordon Brown and other members of Parliament promoting him for the prestigious position of President of the European Council. If we are unlucky enough to see this happen it would have to be a gross embarrassment to the British. There is always the possibility that he may join the ranks of Obama by being nominated the Nobel Peace Prize.


Do the deaths of millions of Iraqi’s and Afghans qualify anyone to be nominated? Was Dr Mahathir right in his assumption? And let’s not forget where Gordon Brown was during the conflict - standing cowardly shoulder to shoulder with Olmert who himself is a criminal. What is Gordon Brown’s stance on the Afghanistan War and is he guilty of any misdemeanour or any member of his government. Let the Malaysian’s decide their fate also.


Peter Eyre, a former British Naval officer, worked at NATO headquarters, and spent a lot of time in the Middle East and South East Asia as a petroleum consultant; he lives in the UK and writes regularly for the Palestine Telegraph

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