Tony Blair ‘should get a paper round’ says Angela Epstein
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The former Labour Prime Minister warned of terrorists using bioweapons while speaking at a conference to commemorate 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. Express.co.uk readers, however, did not want to hear from Mr Blair on the matter and blamed him for the crisis.
Speaking at the RUSI think tank, Mr Blair warned of “bio-terror possibilities”.
He said: “COVID-19 has taught us about deadly pathogens.
“Bio-terror possibilities may seem like the realm of science fiction.
“But we would be wise now to prepare for their potential use by non-state actors.
“Islamism, both the ideology and the violence, is a first order security threat; and, unchecked, it will come to us, even if centred far from us, as 9/11 demonstrated.”
Mr Blair was Prime Minister when Al-Qaeda carried out their September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
After 19 hijackers committed murder–suicide during the attacks, 2,977 people were killed.
Mr Blair also suggested at the think tank a military presence and further assistance was necessary to deter terrorism in Afghanistan.
The former Prime Minister said: “Counter-terrorism on its own won’t remove an entrenched threat.
“We could seek a middle course, for example in the Sahel we could adopt a strategy of assisting countries with security but also supporting the Government’s own attempts at delving their nations – because poverty and underdevelopment undoubtedly facilitate the extremists.
“In a way, this is what we did in Afghanistan post-2014.
“But even here this will likely encompass more than conventional counter-terrorism.”
Express readers laid into the former Prime Minister, calling him “useless” and blaming him for the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
One reader said: “He’s got nerve… he is responsible!”
Another said: “Shut up Tony… you were useless as PM and even more of a nonentity now…”
Another added: “Not satisfied with weapons of mass destruction which did not exist, he at it again.”
One user mocked Mr Blair and said: “Blair is bilingual, English and fluent twaddle!!!”
More users sounded off against Mr Blair’s comments, calling him “probably the most hated politician this country ever had”.
One user added: “It’s a shame Blair resigned as peace envoy for the UN and EU.
“he could have gone over to Afghanistan and explained to the Taliban why he stirred the hornets nest in the middle east in the first place along with his best mate Bush
“I’m sure they would treat him respectfully.”
Another said: “If you had not started it with Bush, none of what is happening now would have happened.”
During the RUSI think tank, Mr Blair admitted he may have been naive to think Afghanistan could have been permanently “remade”.
He added that he believed making those systems stick in Afghanistan “didn’t fail because the people didn’t want the country remade”, but because the Taliban conquered it through violence.
The former Prime Minister also said: “Maybe my generation of leaders were naive in thinking countries could be ‘remade’. Or maybe the ‘remaking’ needed to last longer.
“But we should never forget, as we see the women of Afghanistan in the media, culture and civic society now flee in fear of their lives, that our values are still those which free people choose.
“Recovering confidence in our values and in their universal application is a necessary part of ensuring we stand up for them and are prepared to defend them.”
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