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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tony Blair - the Prophet

In 2003, then-prime minister Tony Blair said there was a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Or, to be exact, he said,  "Yes, on the one hand, we do not know of a link between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks, but there are unquestionably links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Just how far those ... links go is a matter of speculation."

So there were unquestionably links we didn't know about. There were also unquestionably chemical weapons we didn't know the  whereabouts of, and we were going to Iraq to break the links we couldn't identify, and destroy the chemical weapons we couldn't find. And in invading a strongish country to remove a (for the region) secular leader, we were going to strike a blow against fundamentalism and terrorism.

I'm not saying that Tony Blair was a liar, a war criminal or a fantasist. Although we are talking about a war with no validity, non-existent weapons, and no connections that I'm aware of that have ever been found between Bin Laden and Saddam.

But, in the light of the news that an Al Qaeda army is currently taking over the cities of Northern Iraq, I would like to hail Tony Blair as a prophet. He got the connection right. He merely - and, let's face it, this is a common problem with apocalyptic prophecy - got the year wrong. He thought, as he speculated of invisible links between Al Qaeda and Iraq, that he was talking about 2003. Turns out it was 2014. And it was largely thanks to Tony and his pals dismantling the state and replacing it with a weaker, less secular, more divided one.

There is another alternative, of course. He could be a warmongering, megalomaniac idiot, who was fired up by his self-image as a Man of Destiny. But surely that can't be right? After all, he's Middle East Peace Envoy now. No, he's clearly a prophet.

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