Why no-one's getting off with lies that cost lives any more

Gordon Gentle - one of many British and American soldiers and Iraqi civilians to have died as a result of Tony Blair's lies - yet John Gray still claims that Bush and Blair didnt lie and peddles their line of "intelligence failures"despite the findings of former CIA head George Tenet, the 9-11 commission, the US Inspector General and former members of Blair's government like Robin Cook. This can't go on.

So here's my assessment of you John Gray - and of Tony Blair and all the other people whose lies - or unwillingness to accept the truth - cost other peoples' lives

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You're either lying - or else - and this is almost as dangerous, you're unable to distinguish between what you want to believe and the evidence of what's actually happened. The unkind would say this was 'delusional' - I think instead it's being mistaken because of a wish to believe in things which clearly aren't true (like the Bush administration's claim it would never allow torture or wants real democracy in Iraq.)

Using patriotism as a defence won't work either. My country's Prime Minister or my party's leader right or wrong is neither patriotism or solidarity. Defending people like Blair who abused their power to send British troops to their deaths and to kill Iraqis based on a lie is not patriotism. Defending murdering thugs like Allawi just because our government backs them is not bravery. Allawi may put his life on the line to try to create the Iraq he thinks is right - so did Saddam. Unbfortunately they were both willing to torture, to kill people without any proper trial, and to approve military assaults on whole villages, towns or cities to punish them for having armed rebels living among them.

It's not brave to demand sanctions or wars that will kill hundreds of thousands of the people whose lives you claim to want to save. It is not bravery to start a war to try to target terrorists. It's stupidity which costs hundreds of thousands of lives and plays into terrorist groups' hands. To do it once despite the warnings and the evidence was reckless. To use blanket sanctions , military strikes and war on Iran after seeing the cost in human lives in Iraq would be utter stupidity - or else proof that those doing so couldn't care less about the people who they say they want to rescue from 'tyrrany'.

We're simply not going to let you do it again. We stopped the insane war between Israel and Lebanon and we'll either prevent war on Iran or else end it once it starts - and do so by democratic means, by constant pressure, by bringing out all the facts that will discount both Anglo-American and Iranian government propaganda

I may not agree with John McDonnell or with all the other members of the Stop the War Coalition on everything - but they're honest and they don't recycle other peoples' lies for them or defend torturers or pontless wars. Nor do they try and censor the debate when it suits them. You do - and we're not going to let people like you and Blair hide behind trade unions or political parties or Britain or democracy to do it any more.

You won't get to claim you're "supporting our troops" when you send them to die based on a lie and don't even give them the equipment that might have saved some of their lives.

You won't get to dismiss us as conspiracy theorists because we are armed with the facts from reliable and independent sources and we will make sure everyone gets to know them. We know about the real conspiracies - the conspiracy to get us to believe that Saddam was armed with WMDs and allied to Al Qa'ida ; the conspiracies to present political propaganda as intelligence reports ; the conspiracy to hide systematic torture; the conspiracy by US Vice President Dick Cheney and the Saudi monarchy to arm, train and fund sunni extremist terrorists across the Middle East and in Pakistan ( just as they did with Bin Laden and the other Mujahedin in the 80s) (1), (2) , (3) , (4).

You won't get to palm off the blame on civil servants or British intelligence - or claim that it's the media lying when you are

We know the truth know. Soon everyone will know it. If you didn't know the truth you know it now - and if you knew it but lied then know that it's the beginning of the end for you and your lies.

I'd have preferred to debate the issues freely and honestly - but you decided to end that debate at a point you hope would make your side look good and our side look bad.

And if this sounds harsh , inconsiderate of the feelings of Tony Blair and his Ministers and all the others who voted for war - David Cameron, the Conservatives and more than half the Labour MPs in parliament then it's time they felt some tiny fraction of the pain they have caused others so that they won't repeat the lies and poor judgement that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands - of grieving mothers like Rose Gentle and fathers like Reg Keys whose sons and daughters died for nothing - and the people still dying for nothing more than to avoid the politicians who started these wars having to admit a mistake or risk losing some votes.

They tell these men and women that when their sons and daughters signed up for the military they signed away their lives - that they were mere pawns or cannon-fodder to be used or thrown away by the new owners of their lives and souls - that to say otherwise is treason or hypocrisy.

The men and women who join our military did not sign up to be lied to though, or to be sent to kill or be killed by people who were no threat to the people of Britain. They did not sign up to be sent without basic equipment like a working radio and enough ammunition - as in Reg Key's son's case - or without easily available equipment to detect roadside bombs that was not fitted to the vehicle Rose Gentle's son was killed in.

We have armed forces, says the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, so will we use it or not? The answer Adam is that we should use it when necessary to defend against real threats to the UK and its democratic allies - and to prevent massacres or genocide. We should not through our military's lives away in wars that never needed fought between one dictatorship and another or to replace one dictator with another or where there is no threat to the UK and the war will cost more lives than it could possibly save.



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(1) = New Yorker Magazine 5 Mar 2007 , Annals of National Security : The Redirection, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh

(2) = ABC News 03 Apr 2007 , ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran, http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/04/abc_news_exclus.html

(3) = Steve Coll (2004) , Ghost Wars, Penguin books , London & New York

(4) = Ahmed Rashid (2001) , Taliban, Tauris,London ,2001 - p132 - Quoting Bin Laden referring to the Afghan-Soviet war in the 1980s as saying "'I settled in Pakistan in the Afghan border region. There I recieved volunteers [from Arab and Muslim countries]...these volunteers were trained by Pakistani and American officers. The weapons were supplied by the Americans, the money by the Saudis."