Blair Getting Away With Murder 561


Blair just said “You would be hard pressed to find anyone who in September 2002 doubted that Saddam had WMD”.

It wouldn’t have been that hard. If he had asked members of the Near East and North Africa Department of the FCO, the Middle East experts in the FCO’s Research Analysts, or in the Defence Intelligence Service, he would have found absolutely no shortage of people who doubted it, whatever position No 10 was forcing on their institutions.

One of the many failures of this Inquiry has been a failure to ask individual witnesses before it whether they personally had believed in the existence of any significant Iraqi WMD programme. I know for certain that would have drawn some extremely enlightening answers from among the FCO and probably MOD participants.

Sir Martin Gilbert allowed Blair to conflate Iran, Iraq, Al-Qaida, WMD and terrorism in a completely unjustified way. When Straw tried exactly the same trick, Rod Lyne did not allow him to get away with it.

A further stark contrast with Straw is that both Blair and Straw were asked about the failure of the UK to secure movement in the Middle East peace process by using our role in Iraq to influence the USA. A major, detailed and fascinating part of Straw’s answer was that Israel’s – and specifically Netanyahu’s – political influence in the USA had prevented progress.

By contrast, Blair did not even mention Israel in response to the questions on the failure to achieve progress in the Middle East. He solely blamed the Palestinian Intafada. He has been anxious to widen the discussion beyond Iraq at every opportunity, and frequently referred to destabilising factors in the Middle East, and again and again pointed to a growing threat from Iran and Iranian sponsorship of terrorism, and to Palestinian terrorism (including Saddam Hussein’s past sponsorship of it).

He has made not one single comment about Israel’s behaviour as a contributing factor in Middle East instability. Given Blair’s official position as Middle East envoy, this lack of any bare pretence at impartiality is most revealing.


561 thoughts on “Blair Getting Away With Murder

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  • Grumpy Old Man

    Dear Craig. You didn’t expect anything else. did you? Playing the world statesman (Broad picture, dear boy, you wouldn’t understand), moving the enquiry members away from their remit and the detailed knowledge they have gained over the past few weeks is a classic case of avoiding the questions he does not wish to answer. As you have noted, it takes a certain kind of mind to step on that.

  • eddie

    You are being hit for six Craig. Get over it. You have hoped for too much from this enquiry, but it is getting at the real truth, not your version of it. The FCO is a hotbed of appeasement and always has been.

  • tony_opmoc

    Get George Galloway in there as Special Prosecutor.

    He’d have this bag of shit, slit from head to toe, such that we could plainly see the evil inside.

    Tony

  • dreoilin

    Gawd, I’d love that Tony. I’m short of sleep and I can’t bear watching this overly-polite carry-on which results in Blair talking rings round them and rarely being interrupted. I think he’s getting into his stride compared to how he started off, when I thought he was quite nervous.

  • technicolour

    Phew. They’ve broken for lunch. I’m pleased it was well-mannered. Blair’s basically saying that Bush made him do it, isn’t he.

  • johnf

    eddie

    >The FCO is a hotbed of appeasement and always has been.

    That’s the precise opposite of the truth. In the lead up to the Second World War, it was the Foreign Office who stood up to hitler and Downing St who appeased. The three senior figures at the Foreign Office – The Foreign Secretary, Eden; the Head of the Foreign Office, Vansittart; and the Head of Communications, Leeper – all had to be sacked by Chamberlain before he could appease Hitler.

    Just the same as today. With Blair and Campbell playing the role today of appeasing the neocons that Chamberlain and Ball played in the 30’s appeasing the Nazis.

  • alan campbell

    Yes, George Galloway – that moral giant and serial lover of dictators. Tremendous idea, Tony.

    Personally I was always against the Iraq War. It simply wasn’t in our self-interest – which is what our foreign policy should be based on.

    What I find most irritating about the Inquiry, is this procession of FCO mandarins (Greenstock, Meyer) and mini-mandarins (Craig) who are saying that they always knew it was a terrible idea.

    You’d think that they might have resigned in protest in March 2003? Or perhaps they were too worried about their mortgage repayments.

    Anyway, why don’t we move on to something else – how about that special bomb the US set off in the Caribbean to deliberately cause the Haiti earthquake? The bastards.

  • Ed

    If Chilcott has any sense, he’ll allow Blair to ramble on for the rest of the day, and then re-summon him at some later date for further questioning.

    None of Blair’s dissembling should be surprising, and even skilled cross-examiners would have difficulty keeping pace with this torrent of bullshit. The best thing Chilcott can do is to keep Blair talking, then go over the transcript, possibly summon “rebuttal” witnesses, and then re-question Blair afterwards.

    Rough the bastard up with some aggressive challenging of his credibility, wait for him to start changing his story, and then rip into his mendacity. But they really need another session to begin to expose the depths of Blair’s dishonesty.

  • Craig

    Eddie,

    I expected too much from the enquiry? I stated from the start it is a whitewash before a handpicked panel of Iraq war supporters. Actually it has been much more useful than I ever expected in some of the detail it has revealed. It will still be an Establishment whitewash in the end.

  • eddie

    But when Wood and Wilmshurt were giving evidence you were all wetting your pants with excitement. “We are on to something here” was the tenor of the comments. So I suppose we will have to endure yet another enquiry until you get the answers you want.

  • tony_opmoc

    alan campbell,

    I disagree with many of Galloway’s views. I think he is incredibly naive in some of his beliefs.

    But what he believes is not the point.

    I thought of him as Special Prosecutor, because of his obvious skills at such a job.

    When he was summoned by the US Senate, he turned an attack on him, to such a devastating attack on US Foreign Policy, that they didn’t know what had hit them, and even his fiercest opponents were staggered in admiration of his skill.

    Tony

  • John E

    Say what you like about George Galloway, but he’s on our side. His principled opposition to the Iraq war led to him being expelled from the Labour Party – contrast that with the MPs who voted for the war and are now full of excuses about how they were lied to.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Eddie,

    I somewhat enjoy your references to cricket because the game was devised by children – “Hit for six” – when the boundaries are blurred eh?

    “He has made not one single comment about Israel’s behaviour as a contributing factor in Middle East instability. Given Blair’s official position as Middle East envoy, this lack of any bare pretence at impartiality is most revealing.”

    Craig’s astute mind has evaporated Blair’s attempt to ‘topple the gyro’ and steer the panel with his own compass – something I suspect he was ‘told’ to do!

  • jives

    @alan campbell.

    Stop banging on about subjects outwith the thread.

    If you want to riff out on conspiracy stuff then there are plenty other sites out there where you can try and rile people or provoke tedious thread shifts.

    Craig has made this clear,and even set up a specific thread for this stuff.

  • Anonymous

    If its he shaking the hands with Saddam, then read his reasons. |whilst you were tucked in your bed, hes was (kissing ass) with Saddam for an aim….to get aide supplies to his people, whilst i might add the Americans were there still trying to sell him weapons.

    If thats your argument….you go ahead a feel rightly smug, me I think he’s done more to help ‘people’ then your armchair comments would suggest you have…so Park it

  • mrjohn

    I only managed to watch about 30 seconds online before I started getting angry and switched off, having lived outside of the UK since 1989 I guess I have a very low tolerance of Blair, it’s like a virus, you guys obviously developed the right antibodies.

    All I saw was a softball question allowing Blair to connect Saddam to 9-11, his answer suggested both Bush and Blair were tested and found wanting, and 2 countries had to fall to satisfy their need for revenge.

  • Anonymous

    still trying to work out why they keep insinuating a link between 9/11 and sadam?

    There wasnt one!

    nothing changed, just Bush got to remove several parts of the American constitution and got to play wargames with blair, and divy up the resulting contracts like playing a game of Civilisation…

  • Clark

    Hi All,

    I just got back from outside Chicott. Blair, the coward, never showed his face, none of the press photographers I spoke to had even glimpsed him.

    I’ll link to my photo’s of the demo later.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    mrjohn,

    ..allowing Blair to connect Saddam to 9-11, his answer suggested both Bush and Blair were tested and found wanting, and 2 countries had to fall to satisfy their need for revenge.

    I believe we are all tested in some way. I was. When I developed the ‘Children for Iraq website, I was accused of using vile images of children hurt by war.

    Many attempts to cajole me were made by people offering to ‘re-design’ the site for free.

    I was asked to make statements about the Coptic community in Iraq and then learned that their leader in Iraq had been murdered.

    My emotions at the time were high, out of control – so I studied the history.

    The 1980 Iran/Iraq war when USA sold weapons and gave support to Hussein.

    Then the ‘highway of death’ as retreating Iraqis were massacred, a carnage that shocked the world.

    Then the massacre of Highway 8 by the Americans after the ceasefire.

    Then the induced uprising when the CIA showered the poor Marsh Arabs and Kurds with leaflets promising the removal of Saddam that never happened and Saddam then murdered many of them.

    Then the million loss of life by sanctions that caused massive malnutrition, lack of medical supplies and diseases like diarrhea and cholera soared due to lack of clean water that was partly caused by the ban on chlorine desperately needed for water de-salinization.

    Then the depleted uranium and spread of cancers.

    Then Clinton’s ‘slow motion’ war. Bush’s ‘secret war, the lies, the dossier; then ‘shock and awe’ as dawn broke in March 2003 as Iraqi children sat down with their mothers for breakfast only to be met by the searing heat of fire, destruction and the blessed peace of death to stop the pain.

    The pictures remain.

  • glenn

    If you can stand watching that grinning killer, and listening to

    to his nauseating voice, for the whole of his testimony, you have

    a far stronger stomach than mine. I just cannot listen for another

    minute. The only time I want to ever hear him again is when he

    answers questions in the dock at the Hague.

  • Richard Robinson

    “always volunteering to be the condom while Blair fucks the truth.”

    That’s a splendid phrase, but there’s a problem. If “fucking with” is a bad thing, maybe you’re doing it wrong ? (I know, I know, it’s a very common usage. I still think it’s problematical).

    “It’s like a virus, you guys obviously developed the right antibodies”. I disagree. We haven’t succeeded in throwing the infection off, yet.

  • Jives

    This just stated by Blair at the imquiry>

    ” A deeply repressive regime,extremely secretive and run by a very elite few…”

    He was talking about Iraq,apparently…

  • mrjohn

    Mark Golding

    I wonder if they ever considered what “shock and awe” would mean to a small child.

  • CheebaCow

    Richard –

    I considered slightly different phrasing, but didn’t want the comment deleted =P I know not everyone is as comfortable with colourful language as I am.

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