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With typical sociopathic panache Tony Blair continues his decade-long defence of the Iraq war with a rebuttal of his culpability in the latest disastrous disintegration of the Middle East.
In psychological terms there’s a term “denial.”
Beaten partners may be in denial, suppressing their guilt and anguish to allow their minds to function in the worst of circumstances. At some point the realisation of the truth will hit, leading to an outpouring of emotion and regret.
But there’s another definition — denying facts that are in plain sight in an insulting attempt to convince others of the justice of one’s actions.
When challenged, the perpetrator’s only defence is that it’s someone else’s fault.
It’s this phenomenon rather than guilt that oozes from every ugly, unrepentant word that the warmonger Blair utters.
So don’t expect regret — ever — from Blair for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq that set in train the events which have led to carnage and instability in the Middle East.
Instead we see attempts to draw us into his extremist world view, where events are predetermined and where disastrous actions do not fuel reactions.
Thus in Blair’s world, despite direct evidence from the suicide bombers themselves, the carnage of the July 7 2005 attacks in London was unconnected to the carnage that he had unleashed two years earlier in the Middle East.
And al-Qaida is an isolated entity, apparently unconnected to the West’s support for extremist mojahedin in Afghanistan or the West’s multibillion-pound trades with Saudi Arabia’s “friendly” absolute monarchy — armorer of choice for Syria’s extremist rebels — which in turn sponsors hard-line Wahhabi doctrines and from within whose borders 15 of the 19 attackers on September 11 2001 hailed.
Blair implores us to reject the fact of his responsibility for the collapse of the Iraqi state.
In his world, the cause of Iraq’s collapse into statelets is not the invasion that he sponsored despite the now vindicated opposition of millions worldwide.
Blair urges us to believe that Syria is to blame for an Iraqi-based insurgency which claimed at least 7,800 civilian lives last year, and tens of thousands dating back to his tenure in office.
Not the deliberate divide and rule of the Bush-Blair era, where in the absence of a deliberately dissolved state, religious fault lines were inflamed and those fissures actively encouraged by the occupiers.
The facts contradict Blair. Eighty-thousand Iraqi civilians dead from conflict in eight years. Hundreds of thousands of other Iraqi deaths through sickness and war. This is his legacy.
So his proposed remedy — more intervention to bring about the “defeat of extremism” — will be treated by millions with the contempt Blair deserves.
The lessons of his own bloody failure and of others like him must continue to be drawn. For every act there is a reaction. And the Middle East is among the regions feeling the consequences of meddling not just by Blair, but by the West as a whole for centuries.
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