Blair should have focused on ‘legal’ Afghanistan, not Iraq – Alex Salmond (RT EXCLUSIVE)

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair should have “abstained” from invading Iraq by “all means”, focusing instead on “justified and legal” military action in Afghanistan, Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond told RT.

“It was not the twin towers in London that had been attacked and he does not have to engage in the same instability as had beset the American administration,” Salmond said in an interview with RT’s Going Underground praising Chilcot’s “powerful” report. “He just should have been trying to do the opposite.”

Instead, Salmond said, Tony Blair should have supported “international and justified legal action in Afghanistan”.

“He did not have to allow George W. Bush to blunder into Iraq,” Salmond believes, saying that even though much has changed since 9/11, Blair has “no excuse” for dragging the UK into the Iraq war.

In his long-delayed report released Wednesday, Sir John Chilcot examined the first eight years of the Iraq war. The so-called Chilcot inquiry particularly criticized Blair’s government for “inadequate” planning and underestimation of the Iraq invasion’s consequences.

The report found that the UK’s decision to support the Iraq war unjustified particularly because one of the major arguments for it – Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – was “presented with a certainty that was not justified.”

Chilcot also concluded that the military action “was not a last resort” and there had been other peaceful alternatives, which the government put aside.

It has been revealed that months before the US-UK allied invasion, in July 2002, Blair wrote to then-US President George Bush promising him that the UK would be there with him“whatever.”

“When he was writing that memo in secret to George W. Bush, he was telling the Parliament and people that he is trying his best to avoid conflict and that he was going the United Nations route,” Salmond said, stressing that in reality it was a lie.

“This incompatibility between his private thoughts expressed to the American president and his public presentation is at the heart of the deception,” Salmond added. “The very last thing you [should] do is to tell him that you are going to be with him shoulder to shoulder… which is Tony Blair did, of course.”

Speaking in light of the Chilcot inquiry release, Tony Blair has taken “full responsibility, without exception, without excuse” for the Iraq War. Yet, calling his decision one of the “hardest, most momentous, most agonizing” he had to make, he said that he still believes he acted in “good faith”.

“I would take the same decision,” Blair stressed.

Scolding Blair, Salmond said that the former Prime Minister “is just the only person left in the country, who would go and invade Iraq under a false premise.”

Scottish former FM says he was also “very disappointed” with the reaction and positioning of the most labor-leaning members of parliament. “The only honorable thing to do is to say ‘I made a mistake based on what was presented [at that time]’.”

Instead, the majority of them, he says, are “sticking to the line that they really had been ought to get to Saddam Hussein.”

“Actually, that was not the perspective, under which we went to war,” Salmond added.

Watch full interview with Alex Salmond on RT’s Going Underground with Afshin Rattansi on Saturday.

Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

  • Tim Hadfield

    Blair just wanted to crawl up Bush’s arse. Look how rich he is for having been such a murderous little arsehole creeper. Cameron is the same. They should be jailed.

  • ceonwulf

    Salmond must use Opium/Heroin then.

  • hvaiallverden

    This are The f…. to blame for the influx of refugies.
    Why dont this scums hang, the ICC turned out to be an bad joke as predicted, and have no credibility left what so ever, and have becomed an nousance to anything even remotely close to justice and truth.

    WE knew it for deacdes the ICC is an western media/political creation, to make the westerns intresses be their guiding stone.

    bLiar is one creepy f…., even rats have morale, scums like this creature have non.
    Every day this creep walks free is an victory to the scums that made this wars possible, and the consequences we have to day, when societys are crashing, along with the eCONomy.

    peace

  • garwain

    Any bunch of brown people minding their own business on the other side of the planet are legitimate targets for western demented war mongering shits.

  • Yes, of course, although even America’s Afghanistan attack was dubious, the UN having been browbeaten by the American administration after the attack which had horrified so many.

    But Iraq was not merely a mistaken turn. It was quite simply what Israel wanted and it lobbied for it as only Israel can. Everyone from its prime minister to that self-proclaimed man of peace, Elie Wiesel, directly lobbied for an invasion of Iraq. There was a chorus.

    And Bush and his key people were highly attentive to what Israel wanted.

    The invasion was never about WMD or oil, as was often said at the time.

    It was about Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East, which is often given the misnomer, security.

    Blair was a virtual acolyte of Israel and its leaders, so he did not take any pushing. An important strategy of his “New Labour Party” was an approach to the British Jewish community for more support, especially financial, the Conservatives traditionally receiving much of it because governments in Israel are unfriendly to progressive or genuinely liberal governments in the West.

    Supporting the smashing of Iraq was Blair’s beau geste to those of the Jewish community in Britain who are intense supporters of Israel. Britain’s Jewish community is rather smaller than in some countries, as in the US, but it includes some immensely powerful world financial and business figures.

    Well, Blair succeeded in his own terms handsomely, even earning himself a one-million dollar Israel “Peace Prize” for his efforts.

    I doubt he was capable of acting otherwise than he did under the circumstances. He is a man destroyed by his own ambition and complete lack of ethics.

    He now has been left by Chilcot to take virtually all the blame and shame for unjustified mass murder, and he deserves a great deal of it, but Iraq was a dirty deal for mass killing that involved more than Blair or Bush.