I WAS wondering when he was going to come slouching from the offices of his foundation, posing as a statesman, as a wise head, to save the world in its hour of need.

The audacity of Tony Blair – lifting his face from whatever trough he’s feeding from today–- to comment on the tragedy of Afghanistan is without parallel. Maybe the closest the world has come to the sheer gut-churning shameless hypocrisy of it all was when Henry Kissinger left his bloody handprints on the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Kissinger and Blair perhaps sum up best the twisted logic of power and success on the world’s stage – hailed as pragmatists, leaders, statesmen, while the ghosts of countless innocents float invisible behind them.

Blair is a bloody liar. The word "bloody" is meant in its literal not figurative sense. Yet here he is warning that the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan will make the world a more hostile place. He called the pull-out “tragic, dangerous, unnecessary”. The withdrawal was made, he said, “in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’.”

I wonder if all the dead in Iraq stirred in their graves when the man who started the Forever Wars opened his mouth. Joe Biden has made the world more dangerous; the withdrawal is tragic and imbecilic. But Blair could have been speaking to himself in the mirror – castigating his own dangerous, imbecilic, tragic and unnecessary wars, damning himself for his own role in what’s now the humiliation of the western world.

Read more: Blair's Iraq war lies sowed the seeds of Brexit

His great project – the invasion of Iraq – is the wound from which all the poison in the West now flows. Without Iraq, we’d not be where we are today. The lies which he spun to get Britain into an illegal war don’t need rehearsed. There’s been libraries of books written about the greatest con in history. Anyone who still doubts those lies is a liar themselves, and a bloodthirsty one to boot.

We still haven’t fully weighed the cost of Iraq. We haven’t even weighed the dead. We still don’t know how many lost their lives – and continue to lose their lives – as a result of the US-UK invasion. A quarter of a million? Half a million? Three-quarters of a million? A million? The official estimates vary widely. This we do know: every one of those deaths lies at the foot of George W Bush and Tony Blair.

George W Bush with Tony Blair

George W Bush with Tony Blair

Don’t give me any lines about taking out Saddam Hussein. Go take out Kim Jong-Un in North Korea if that’s your view. Go take out the Communist Party of China. Go take out every monster on Earth. Go start another world war.

The Iraq War has wrought all the destruction we see around us – not just the collapse of western power in the wake of the fall of Kabul, but the broken fractured politics within which we all now live in the west.

Firstly, think what we could have done in Afghanistan if Iraq had never happened. There was clearly cause to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the wake of September 11. But then what? It didn’t need to be an occupation. We could have helped the Afghan people rebuild their nation, forge a new democracy. That would have cost treasure troves, though; treasure troves we spent blowing Iraqi people to pieces.

The rebirth of Afghanistan was sacrificed on the altar of Iraq. Just 18 months passed between the attack on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in October 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The West wanted war, and reordering. Well, we’ve got reordering – because now the west is in its twilight and China rises, while Russia smirks at our self-destruction.

Iraq was the number one recruiting sergeant for Islamist terror. Every fanatic who needed an excuse to hate the West now had an excuse. The collapse of Iraq into a state of anarchy allowed Islamic State to rise.

Shall we recount the terror that’s stalked the streets of Europe ever since Iraq? Madrid. London. Glasgow. Nice. Paris. Shall we go on? And on? And on? Shall we recount how Iraq allowed the killers of Islamic State to wade neck-deep in blood in Syria?

Our bombs and the Islamist murderers we helped unleash in Iraq and Syria drove desperate refugees into Europe. People we now treat like animals.

You’d have to be of diminishing intelligence not to see the link between Islamist terror on the streets of Europe, and the increase in refugees seeking sanctuary, with the rise of the far right across the UK and the entire continent.

You’d have to be of diminishing intelligence also, not to see the causal link to Brexit too. Remember Nigel Farage and his propaganda poster of a line of refugees fleeing war and violence in the Middle East with the words "Breaking Point"? There you have the causal link between Iraq and Brexit in one shaming image. Iraq fed into Donald Trump as well, festering into one of the roots of the America First ideology.

In some karmic way, maybe, Iraq began rotting the West from the inside out. If our governments and intelligence agencies could lie to us over such a ghastly monstrous war, then what wouldn’t they lie to us about? The rejection of "the expert" and the rise of conspiracy and disinformation also have their seeds in Iraq.

Read more: Fall of Kabul is the beginning of the end of American power

Austerity too was influenced by Iraq. When the roof caved in because bankers had been nibbling away at the foundations like deathwatch beetles, might we not have had a little more cash to prop up the house if we hadn’t spent it all killing Iraqis?

And what did austerity do? Fuel Brexit, fuel Trump, fuel the far right, fuel populism across the western world.

The West has sinned and sinned again throughout the last century, but Iraq is cardinal. Iraq hollowed us out. All it took was one push on the husk of western liberal democracy – this time by the Taliban in Afghanistan – to see the edifice start to shudder and collapse.

That’s why I want to hear no words from Blair apart from "Guilty, M’lud.

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