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Tony Blair said yesterday that British military intervention should be considered in the fight against Islamic State (Isis), as peace activists advised the former PM to shut up.
In an essay penned for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website, Mr Blair argues for sending in ground troops to fight the militants because arming local fighters and launching air strikes in regions controlled by the Isis would not be enough.
Mr Blair, whose government became known for warmongering in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote: “There can be an abundance of diplomacy, all necessary relief of humanitarian suffering, every conceivable statement of condemnation which we can muster, but unless they’re accompanied by physical combat, we will mitigate the problem but not overcome it.
“You cannot uproot this extremism unless you go to where it originates from and fight it.”
This is the second time Mr Blair has called for armed troops to go into Iraq, after suggesting in June that the region would be politically worse off had it not been for the Iraq War.
In the new article the Labour politician insisted that “our capacity and capability to wage the battle effectively are second to none in part because of our experience [in Afghanistan and Iraq].”
The over 6,500-word long piece goes on to say that “the problem is not that we’re facing a fringe of crazy people — if it was, we could probably root it out, kill or imprison its leaders, deter its followers and close the doors to new recruits.”
Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German came out furiously against the essay saying: “Surely Tony Blair is the last person anyone should consult about the success or failure of bombing Iraq.”
Ms German maintained that “his last effort was based on a lie and the policies he supported helped fracture the country.”
And she contradicted the former PM’s belief that the Iraq war helped, stressing his policies in the region were “partly responsible for the creation of Isis” as they “destroyed the infrastructure, fragmented the country and increased sectarianism.”
According to Ms German, Mr Blair’s former political allies in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have been arming and financially supporting the extremist organisation, giving the politician no leg to stand on.
“A period of silence and reflection is the very least we deserve from him,” she concluded.
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