Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Tony Blair protest

"The lessons learnt or not learnt from these wars will have a real impact on the future of our foreign policy," Stop the War told former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (Photo: lewishamdreamer/CC BY-NC 2.0)

Peace Group Challenges 'Architect' of Failed Wars Tony Blair to Public Debate

"Far from having a humanitarian impact, these interventions have served to make the world a much more dangerous and unstable place."

Andrea Germanos

The Stop the War coalition on Thursday invited former British Prime Minister Tony Blair—whom they called "one of the architects of the war on terror"—to a public debate on the impacts of the U.K.'s wars over the past two decades, framing such a dialogue as necessary "to help guide the foreign policy of the future."

The challenge (pdf) from the antiwar group followed an over 2,700-word essay Blair posted Saturday on his website in which he slammed U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as "tragic, dangerous, unnecessary," and an act merely "in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending 'the forever wars,' as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago."

In 2001, then-Prime Minister Blair led the U.K. to war in Afghanistan alongside U.S. President George W. Bush. In 2003, he backed the Bush-led U.S. invasion of Iraq. Blair also called for British military intervention in Syria.

Stop the War said in their letter to Blair that "the death and destruction caused by the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the attacks on Syria and Libya was catastrophic in itself and that, far from having a humanitarian impact, these interventions have served to make the world a much more dangerous and unstable place."

"This is not just a quetion of the interrpetation of history," the group continued. "The lessons learnt or not learnt from these wars will have a real impact on the future of our foreign policy."

In contrast to Blair's "continued emphasis on military intervention" to solve global problems, the peace group's letter advocates bringing an "end to the wars" by deploying a "foreign policy based on international cooperation, diplomacy, and negotiation."

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan also responded to Blair's essay, tweeting Saturday, "Weird Blair said so many words when he could have just said ‘SORRY!’"

In a minute-long rant on his show Sunday, Hasan suggested that was the only word proponents of the war in Afghanistan, including ex-government officials, should utter in reaction to the ongoing U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Speaking on Democracy Now! Thursday, British MP Jeremy Corbyn, former chair of the Stop the War coalition, also offered a critical response to comments from Blair.

Along with George W. Bush, Blair "took us into a war that made no sense whatsoever," said Corbyn, lamenting that "all the worst predictions that any of us ever made have all come to pass."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·

On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·

Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·

'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·

Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo