War Crimes
Indicting Tony Blair
Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Spokesman No. 95

Edited by Ken Coates
September 2007
Spokesman Books                
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9780851247458
86 pages, Illustrated, 5 3/4 x 8 1/4"
$16.50 Paper Original


Contents

Ken Coates - Editorial
Kurt Vonnegut
Indicting Tony Blair 
Alice Mahon – Introduction 
Judge E W Thomas
An indictment of Tony Blair, and the failure of the political process  
Alex Salmond MP – Blair's Impeachment  
Adam Price MP – A Pre-emptive Lie  
Richard Horton – The Lancet Survey - Truth will out 
Noam Chomsky interviewed by Michael Shank – Ensuring Obedience 
Craig Murray – Speaking Peace on the BBC  
Reviews:
Tony Simpson
John Daniels
Stan Newens
Edward Herman
Michael Barratt Brown

Editorial by Ken Coates  

On the 3rd April 2007, the Russian News Agency, Novosti, reported a statement by Yuri Baluyevsky, the head of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff. He warned that ‘Washington needs to think twice before launching a military campaign against Tehran, as such an attack would have global implications’. The General said that it might be realistic to anticipate that the Americans could inflict damage on Iran’s military and industrial potential: ‘but winning the war is unachievable – its reverberations would be heard across the world’.

General Baluyevsky said that when deciding upon military action against Iran, the US leadership should bear in mind the negative experience it had garnered in other countries of the region. He warned that if the US goes to war with Iran as well as Afghanistan and Iraq ‘the world may see America decline as the world’s mightiest and most powerful state’.

Other Russian spokesmen had previously warned of possible American air strikes on April 6th, Good Friday.1 There have also been repeated warnings by critics of the regime in Washington, not so specific, but pointing up strong possibilities of such military initiatives.2 White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, denied all these stories at a news briefing on Monday 2nd April. The news had been widely reported that the American aircraft carrier, Nimitz, with a supporting flotilla of lesser ships, was bound for the Persian Gulf to join other aircraft carrier strike groups already hovering there. The American military claimed that the presence of two major carriers in the Gulf was ‘intended to demonstrate US “resolve to build regional security and bring long term stability to the region”.’
Previously fifteen British sailors and marines had been detained by Iranian forces, when they were alleged to be operating in Iranian territorial waters.3 This allegation had been strenuously, even belligerently, denied by Tony Blair, although Craig Murray, the former Ambassador in Tashkent, who was victimised by the Foreign Office for undiplomatically speaking up for human rights in Uzbekistan, offered rather compelling testimony to show that arguments about the positioning of the frontier between Iraqi and Iranian territorial waters were somewhat metaphysical in nature.
Before his time in Tashkent, Mr. Murray spent several years in a basement in Whitehall, seeking to determine maritime boundaries for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He had been personally responsible in the Embargo Surveillance Centre for getting ‘individual real time clearance for the Royal Navy to board specific vessels in these waters’. He says of the present dispute:  ‘As I feared, Blair adopted the stupid and confrontational approach of publishing maps ignoring the boundaries dispute, thus claiming a very blurred situation is crystal clear and the Iranians totally in the wrong.’
Mr. Murray continues:   ‘Tony Blair’s contempt for Middle Eastern lives has already been adequately demonstrated in Iraq and Lebanon. His lack of genuine concern for British servicemen is demonstrated by his steadfast refusal to meet even one parent of a dead British serviceman or woman killed in the wars he created.’

Footnotes:

1. Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, Vice President of the Academy of Geo-political Sciences, warned that ‘The Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future’. Andre Uglanov reported in Arguments and Facts that he expected an onslaught from various bases, including Diego Garcia and the aircraft carriers currently deployed in the Persian Gulf. He cited Ivashov as anticipating an American attack, ‘or more precisely a violent action against Iran’.
 
2. See, notably, the recent statements by Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter.  

3. Since these words were written, a dramatic announcement was made by President Ahmadinejad at the end of a discourse on recent foreign policy developments. He ceremonially decorated the Revolutionary Guards who had captured the fifteen British sailors and marines, and then announced their imminent and unconditional release. They had been pardoned he said, in commemoration of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, of Easter, and of the Passover. Kitted out with new suits presented by the Iranian authorities, the fifteen, laden with presents, were flown out of Tehran the next morning. 


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