Tony Blair has been accused of passing the buck in a ‘cynical spin operation’ after offering a feeble half-apology for the Iraq War.
The SNP leader in Westminster Angus Robertson said: ‘Nobody will be fooled by Tony Blair’s weasel words. His comments are plainly the start of a cynical spin operation ahead of the expected timetable announcement for publication of the Chilcot report.
Bereaved army families are furious with the former prime minister who said he was sorry…. for the mistakes of other people.
War criminal Blair said he was sorry for ‘some of the mistakes in planning’ and for mistakes in handling the aftermath of the conflict. He admitted that he was partly responsible for the rise of ISIS in Iraq, but continued to justify his actions, saying he found it hard to apologise for removing Saddam Hussein.
The Mail Online reports:
Parents of British soldiers who died in the conflict said he should apologise personally to them for their loss. Politicians who opposed the conflict accused him of ‘weasel words’.
His comments also prompted fears about the outcome of the Chilcot Inquiry into the war and whether it will uncover the truth.
Mr Blair, 62, has already received details of the criticisms he is expected to face from Sir John Chilcot’s marathon inquiry.
His intervention at this stage was seen as an attempt to counteract the report’s conclusions before they are published.
Reg Keys, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys was a Royal Military Policeman killed by an Iraqi mob in 2003, called Mr Blair ‘the consummate master of spin’.
‘He is pre-empting the various angles of criticism when Chilcot comes out. He is laying the groundwork beforehand,’ he said.
‘He’s apologising for incorrect intelligence – well why didn’t he march over to MI5 and MI6 at the time and sack them? He’s pointing the finger now at intelligence chiefs, he’s passing the buck, the buck stops at No 10.
‘He’s shifting the blame and trying to lessen the impact on himself. The ultimate responsibility is with him. He made the case for war. Blair was the one spinning it.
‘If he’s going to apologise, can’t he find it in his heart to apologise for loss of life? He’s trying to soften the blow, not that I think it will be that hard hitting anyway, it will be diluted.’
Janice Procter, 53, whose son Private Michael Tench, 18, was killed by a roadside bomb in 2007, said: ‘Tony Blair is a liar and he should be tried for murder.
‘This just shows the report will be a total whitewash and a complete cover-up with him shifting the blame on to other people.
‘How does he sleep at night? He couldn’t apologise to me in 2007. He should be made to face every single parent whose son died in the war. The fact we are having to still fight for the truth is beyond belief.’
Rose Gentle, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle, 19, died in the Iraq War in 2004, said: ‘That is not an apology, to me. He is the one who looked over every bit of information he was given. He was the PM who gave the go-ahead for us to go in. He is the one to blame.
‘I’ve been speaking to the families overnight and they are all really upset. It is certainly not an apology to us.
‘I think when we get the report a lot of questions will be left out. They have had such a long time to answer.’