Blair lied to us
Posted by Simon Stewart,
So, it is all finally coming out. Though I had no doubts that it would, even I'm a little surprised at the rapidity.
There were no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). There was no threat. We were not 45 minutes from any form of attack. The UN weapons inspectors had more than adequately done their job. This was a needless, contrived war build upon wholesale lie. Blair lied to us, along with the whole government.
Any comments? Perhaps our MP could kick off.
Posted by Matt Hardie,
For once I think Simon Stewart is actually understating the gravity of the issue.
More and more evidence is coming to light every day to show that we have been lied to, and British and Iraqi lives have been lost, and put at risk on the basis of these lies. Hans Blix tells us today that the secret intelligence he was receiving from the US and UK was leading him nowhere.
Blair was so determined to follow the Bush agenda that he was prepared to lie to lead us into an illegal war.
What I cannot really understand is why. Blair has lost all credibility. How can he negotiate in Europe on behalf of British people? No-one will be prepared to listen to him or compromise with him. No-one will trust him. Six years ago, it was so refreshing to have a leader that was prepared to be a team-player in Europe. They loved him. Now he's blown it. Why did he go with Bush and not Chirac and Schroeder?
This issue is likely to be the British Watergate, possibly worse. He had everything going for him in 1997. Now this is what he will be remembered for: allying with a Republican US president's new imperialism and sending British troops to war after deceiving the British people and Parliament.
This isn't going away.
Posted by Simon Stewart,
LIES, DAMN LIES AND MORE LIES
"For reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction." Paul Wolfowitz, deputy US defence secretary.
"If the threat from Sadam turns out to have been overstated, the responsibility must rest with those who made the public statements." Robin Cook.
I will deal with three of the government's claims. Basically, the mendacity has been unparalleled and eclipses anything I can remember by any previous government.
The three claims I wish to examine are the Niger yellow cake contract; the ready to launch in forty-five minutes threat; and the urgency of the threat represented by Iraq's supposed possession of WMDs . The lack of the latter totally rips apart the government's case for war but we will come back to that.
The Niger uranium contract - which Blair used in 'the dossier' as an indication that Sadam was trying to buy uranium oxide and thus have a nuclear programme - is about the most laughable of the exposed lies of the government's case for war. The use of these forged documents to support the war not merely shows that the government lied us to but raises severe question about the government's very competence, it's so comic. The documents originally surfaced in Italy and where passed by Italian intelligence to French intelligence; they then passed them to British intelligence and we shared them with the Americans. Which does raise interesting questions about who spun them into existence in the first place and given Niger is in Francophone Africa and it two uranium mines are run by a French company are you seriously telling me the French didn't spot them for bogus. Anyway, when past to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority) they took not very long with the use of 'goggle' (a search engine) to determine that they were obvious forgeries. Blair was urged by Robin Cook in the Commons on the 4th June to withdraw his claim of last September based on the aforementioned forgeries: "that Sadam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa..." Blair is refusing to do so. Do I suspect a house of cards about to fall? You bet.
The claim, by Blair, in the House of Commons, during the debate that preceded the war, that Sadam was 45 minutes away from being able to launch a biological or chemical weapon has been shown to be equally laughable. On Cyprus, wasn't it? This claim was based on an uncorroborated one sourced piece of intelligence information, therefore not fit to be consumed raw. It needed something more behind it but that didn't stop the government using it to keep their own MPs on side. It is now palpably clear there was no such threat and the likes of Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary - who in a former life helped Sadam acquire his previous chemical and biological capability - is now trying to suggest Sadam had these weapons destroyed before the war started.
Yes, it'll be a different invention next week. And don't forget about the two totally clean chem lab trailers they discovered the other month, which some senior analysts are doubting to be WMD capable anyway. If mentioned enough times, we'll believe it's a convoy.
Whether any form of WMD is ever discovered in Iraq - and I don't mean a couple of tubs of anthrax, or a school physics textbook saying how a bomb works - it is patently clear that Iraq possessed no WMD capability which posed an urgent threat. The weapons inspectors had done their job well and there was no urgency. Thus, the whole case for war - the urgency of the threat - falls apart. There was no threat, no reason to go to war. The UK government legal case for war is totally shot; it has no legs. You really shouldn't use commercial lawyers - they're crap!
Which makes necessary a full judicial public inquiry into the whole war, and how and why we went to war. Something cobbled together by the government and its minions in the lobby fodder will not do. The intelligence select committee is appointed by and reports to the PM, and it is he who publishes the report; the foreign affairs select committee is more robust and is independent of government but will not be seen to be so. Blair and the government have to be brought to account and to democratic accountability. They have lied, wholesale. We need a full judicial public enquiry similar to the Scott Enquiry.
Compare and contrast. Here is Margaret Thatcher in the House of Commons on July 8 1982, announcing the nature of the Falklands war inquiry: "The overriding considerations are that it should be independent, that it should command confidence, that its members should have access to all relevant papers and persons and that it should complete its work speedily." Now here is Tony Blair, in the Commons the other day: "I have answered the allegations." Christ, I'm quoting Thatcher to support an argument - how bad have things got?
But, then, it never was about WMDs in the first place. It was about a cabal of neo-conservatives far right Republicans based around The Project For A New American Century and other think tanks imposing their own agenda on US foreign policy. A policy of power projection in which control of scarce resources and regions through a network of interlocking bases and a vast and powerful armed force riding atop economic supremacy will secure the American imperium and its hegemony into the future. And we allied ourselves to that!
Posted by Anonymous Bosch,
From the foetal position
Arguments loud and self righteous
Do I hear the muffled sobs of a Wounded Child?
Posted by Andy Liddell,
I believe that given time, and yes, not just 2 months after the Middle East conflict, evidence will be produced to clarify what America and Britain have said along.
Are we totally that naive, that we believe that Saddam Hussein, who used chemical weapons, against the Iranian people would simply order that his own scientists should not produce any more WMD's. It's my guess that the Iranian people and the Kurdish tribes, would not believe that.
Given that, Iraq invaded Kuwait, is it not better that Saddam Husseins is stripped of his capability to invade any such country again.
But one thing still bothers me. Why, oh, why, did not the peace loving people of this planet, march and protest outside of the Iraqi embassies world wide. Or, is that America and Britain wasn't involved, in that conflict, until after Iraq had invaded Kuwait.