‘BLAIR SHOULD GO TO THE HAGUE’ – says Rose Gentle

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ROSE GENTLE (centre) on the demonstration in March 2005 to mark the second anniversary on the launching of the war on Iraq
ROSE GENTLE (centre) on the demonstration in March 2005 to mark the second anniversary on the launching of the war on Iraq

‘Tony Blair should be going to the Hague Tribunal after what he has said,’ Rose Gentle of Military families Against the War, whose son was killed in Iraq, told News Line yesterday.

She alleges: ‘All we were told was a lot of lies, he lied to parliament as well.

‘He even told the Fern Britton programme he would have gone in anyway, whether there were WMDs or not.’

Commenting on the fact that much of Blair’s evidence to the Iraq inquiry will be in secret, Rose said: ‘We’ve been fighting for five years for this inquiry.

‘We won’t let the evidence be heard behind closed doors, we’ll camp out if we have to.

‘What’s the point of the inquiry if we can’t hear the evidence in public.

‘The families want to be in the same room as Blair, we won’t let him off the hook.’

Stop the War Coalition said in a statement: ‘Tony Blair’s statement to the BBC that he was right to take Britain into the war against Iraq is an admission of war crimes.

‘When Blair appears before the Iraq Inquiry in January, this must be the focus of the committee’s questioning.

‘It cannot ignore the implications of what Blair is now admitting.

‘It is an illegal act of aggression under international law to attack another country for the purposes of regime change.

‘Tony Blair’s cabinet and the House of Commons would not have agreed to war if Blair had given this reason for going to war.

‘This is why Blair lied to parliament and the people of Britain in claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could be launched within 45 minutes.

‘The British public knew he was lying, which is why they protested in unprecedented numbers against a war which was both unjustified and immoral.

‘None of this matters to Tony Blair because he says he was right and parliament and the British public were wrong.

‘It doesn’t matter to Blair that the price paid by Iraqis has been one million killed, five million refugees and the utter destruction of their country.

‘It doesn’t matter to Blair that the Iraq war made the Middle East – already the world’s most volatile region – even more unstable.

‘It doesn’t matter to Blair that the Iraq war has made the world increasingly insecure, as Londoners learned so tragically in July 2005 when 56 of them lost their lives in terrorist bombings.’

Stop the War’s national convenor Lindsey German said: ‘If Tony Blair repeats his confession of war crimes to the Iraq Inquiry, it will have no alternative but to recommend that legal proceedings be taken against him.

‘Not to do so will confirm what many people suspect – that Sir John Chilcot’s committee was handpicked by Gordon Brown with the clear intention of whitewashing war crimes.’

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg condemned Blair’s ‘breathtaking cynicism in stating that he would have found any old excuse to go to war’.

Insisting Blair’s evidence is held in public, Clegg added: ‘It is highly ironic that he is willing to speak publicly to Fern Britton but not to the inquiry set up to investigate the Iraq War.’