(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Weeks before the long-awaited Chilcot investigation into the Iraq war is published, the brains behind Britain’s role in it, Tony Blair, is calling for ground war again — this time against the Islamic State. Speaking at an event sponsored by Prospect Magazine in Westminster, Blair said his understanding of the Middle East is much deeper now than it was when he was Prime Minister. At the same time — in what could be the understatement of the century — the former Prime Minister admitted he “profoundly underestimated” the problems in Iraq after the United States toppled Saddam Hussein.
“For sure we underestimated profoundly the forces that were at work in the region and would take advantage of change once you topple the regime,” he said, adding, “That is the lesson. The lesson is not complicated. The lesson is simple. It is that, when you remove a dictatorship, out come these forces of destabilisation, whether it is al-Qaida on the Sunni side, or Iran, and its militia on the Shia side.”
The Labour leader’s admittance of culpability and ignorance was swiftly followed up by another merciless call for carnage in the burning region — this time with ISIS as the excuse.
Though the U.K. is already part of the coalition responsible for over 12,000 airstrikes against the Islamic State — which have killed a minimum of 1,200 civilians— the retired politician said the only way to defeat the group is a proper ground war. “Airstrikes are not going to defeat ISIS. Be in no doubt. If you want to defeat these people you are going to have to wage a proper ground war against them. The only question for us is whether we are prepared to,” he declared.
A number of MPs have revealed their plans to put Blair in the dock to face international criminal proceedings if the Chilcot inquiry finds he made a secret commitment to George W. Bush to support the 2003 invasion — but others had their own suggestions on how the warhawk should be dealt with.