Tony Blair ’believed own propaganda’ in Iraq says Short
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More than 128,000 angry Britons have signed the petition to strip the former-Prime Minister of his knighthood. Sir Tony has faced significant backlash over his decision to follow the United States and lead the UK into conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars cost the lives of 179 British personnel as well as many more civilians.
Years of criticism culminated in a devastating report into the Iraq war by Sir John Chilcot in 2016.
The report found that the former Prime Minister overplayed evidence about Saddam Hussein’s weaponry and ignored peaceful solutions.
Sir John found that Sir Tony presented the case for war with “a certainty which was not justified” based on “flawed intelligence” about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Despite this controversy, on New Year’s Eve it was announced that he would be appointed to the Order of the Garter as a Knight Companion.
Angus Scott launched the petition on Change.org shortly after news of the award was published.
In an explanation in his petition, Mr Scott wrote: “Tony Blair is to be knighted with the highest possible ranking in the new year honours list, Buckingham Palace has said.
“Sir Tony, who held the keys to No 10 between 1997 and 2007, will be appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
“Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society.
“He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts.
“For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.
“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.”
All but one of the Prime Ministers before Sir Tony were given the prestigious honour a few years after leaving office.
But Sir Tony was forced to wait for more than 14 years after his premiership.
It had been suggested that the Queen’s strained relationship with him during his decade in power may have contributed to the unusually long wait.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer took to Twitter to congratulate his predecessor.
Sir Keir said: “The last Labour government delivered enduring change from the national minimum wage to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
“My congratulations to Tony Blair on this recognition for his public service to our country.”
However, many more people flocked to Twitter to express their disapproval.
Political commentator Liam Young wrote: “Tony Blair knighted for services to imperialism. The man should be in the dock of The Hague. What a shameful day.”
Meanwhile, journalist John Pilger said: “The contempt in which Britain’s elite holds the public has never been more eloquently expressed than in the decision to award Tony Blair the highest order of knighthood. One million Iraqis dead, three million dispossessed, a trail of blood to 7/7. Rise Sir Tony!”
Military mums who lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq have also been angered by the decision to knight Sir Tony in the New Year honours.
Some have threatened to return their Elizabeth Crosses – an honour awarded to bereaved families – as a sign of their disapproval.
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