Tuesday 15 December 2009

Weapons of Mass Deception

I was wrong about the Chilcot Inquiry into the causes of the Iraq War, at least in part. I said it would add nothing new to our understanding of the Iraq war, an ill-conceived adventure that cost so many lives. But it has; it has added to our understanding of Tony Blair, of the motives, of the character and of the attitude of this morally debased man before he has even had a chance to appear.

We now know, by his own admission, that Weapons of Mass Destruction were not vital to the war; it was merely a ‘technique’ used to persuade Parliament and the nation beyond that the invasion of a sovereign state was justified. We now know that he would have invaded Iraq anyway, though he would have used a different set of arguments, a different technique of mass deception.

Last month I wrote a blog on Chilcot, headed Just another Toothless Dog, in which I said;

In order to get support for the invasion Blair lied to both the Parliament and the nation beyond. Forms of news management and propaganda were introduced by Alistair Campbell, his thuggish aid, which would have shamed even Doctor Goebbels. There was absolutely no threat at all to our national security from Iraq and Blair knew there was no threat; this was not an exercise in self-deception. Lying was used as a deliberate and sustained political strategy, possibly for the first time ever in our history, at least on such a scale. Parliament wasn’t just ‘mislead’; Parliament was manipulated and deliberately deceived

Well, I honestly never expected that we would receive an open admission of these simple truths. I try to be as objective as I can in these matters, but I cannot think of this man other than with the deepest contempt; contempt for his cowardice, his hypocrisy and his utter lack of moral backbone. He now recognises that the WMD argument no longer holds so he shifts ground, presumably in anticipation of his appearance before Chilcot in the New Year.

I can see it now, the final flowering of the hints he has laid down ever since the Labour Party conference the year after the invasion; that ridding the world of Saddam was the ‘moral’ thing to do, the right thing to do, the thing that harmonised most with his ‘Christian conscience.’ There will be no mention, of course, of the huge death toll that followed in wake of this ‘moral’ decision.

Oh, make no mistake: I think the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, just as I think it would be a better place without Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Robert Mugabe, Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro and Colonel Gaddafi, all repellant dictators. But by what right do we remove one piece on the board only to retain the others? More specifically, what gave Blair the right to remove Saddam, who at no point represented a threat to the security of this country, only to do deals with Gaddafi, who did represent such a threat? We remove Saddam only to shake hands with the butcher of Lockerbie. It makes no sense other than in terms of the most depraved forms of realpolitik imaginable.

I sometimes wish that I did believe in God, in a final court of divine retribution, because Blair has so much to answer for, so many souls demanding justice.


  1. Ana, i agree with you on many points.
    to start a war for a hidden agenda and then to drag it on, something wrong with this picture.

  2. Hey! the comments work! (for me)

    I am not sure we will see the entire reason(s) of this war. Those who claim oil do not realize the small amount that comes from Iraq for most Western Countries - in fact only 12% of the oil the U.S. uses comes from the entire Middle East.

    On a side note - there were weapons of mass destruction found - by why this was so played down - even by the Bush Administration only baffles me more. :)

  3. Now, did He really break the seal
    And rise again? We dare not say;
    But conscious unbelievers feel
    Quite sure of Judgement Day.

    (W. H. Auden. 'Friday's Child.')

  4. As far as lying is concerned about dangers to Britain, how that was got past anyone is a sign of how daft the British have become; or how bad the teaching of geography is. In the Gulf War Saddam only had a few SCUDS that could just reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Maybe the British are so daft now they believe Tel Aviv is just across the Channel because Israel is in the Eurovison Song Contest. A quick look at an atlas tells you we were never in danger. Neither was Cyprus or anywhere with Brits on happy hols.We let Blair get away, literally, with murder. I have to say I saw that and if a batty old taxi driver (I was at the time) could work that out why couldn't Parliament? I think they all were as bad as Blair. They wanted to shore up the British economy by following America to the second biggest puddle of oil on the planet. They were fascinated by Bush and his drive for American hegemony; as was Blair. They, in fact by extension we, are to blame. The whole great Ponzi scheme of Western Capitalism was supported on a bubble and, particularly in America's case a massive military industrial complex. Blair and Bush see the justification for their wars as the sustaining of our economies no matter what it takes. Obama is the same and hence the latest 'surge' in Afghanistan and his inevitable draw back from an exit from Iraq where America is now hunkered down in some of the biggest military bases in the world and won't be leaving for generations. I bet you Blair sees himself as a martyr. I bet his after dinner speeches are full of the nobility of carrying the blame for the greater good of his people and those of his ally America.

    I don't know how much oil comes from the Middle East to the West, not having checked yet, but 12% is significant; and much more significant is that what remains in the Mid East is accesssible economically and supply from other areas is progressively not. Future supply is the point.

  5. Rehan, I shall memorise that.

    John, Blair was advised by professional historians how complex the internal composition of Iraq was, with the competing and mutual-balanced tensions, advice he simply ignored.

  6. It's one of my favourite and most complex poems of Auden.