|Blair told the TRUTH on Iraq Posted by Fraser at 9 14 PM on Saturday, January 30|
AS Tony Blair winked, grimaced and purred his way through the Iraq inquiry he seemed to be oozing spin and deception.
And the worst thing? He wasn’t. He was making serious, crucial points: about Iran, terrorism and the need to confront it.
No one believes him. And that’s what’s so dangerous. He has changed the way Britain thinks about its place in the world.
I have no love for Blair. But his instincts on a lot of things were dead right. On reform. On tax. On choice. And the need to confront evil overseas.
He told the truth to Fern Britton: that even if Saddam had no weapons, he’d still have thought it right to remove him. Quite right. So why not just tell us that in the first place?
Being a lawyer, Blair uses evasion and half-truths in the same way that a carpenter uses hammer and nails. And look where it landed him. Caught up in a web that he spun himself: of delusion and weasel words.
The Chilcot inquiry says it doesn’t intend to put Blair on trial. It needn’t bother. I can do it in a few sentences.
On the charge of being the USA’s ‘poodle’ and doing what Bush wanted, I find him INNOCENT. Here’s why:
Back in 1999 he was in Chicago saying the West should start to tackle failed states — intervening against evil regimes. He had to put steel in the spine of Bill Clinton, persuading him to bomb Kosovo. They did. A war was stopped and lives saved.
If George W Bush had not wanted to invade Iraq, Blair would have been persuading him to. That’s the truth.
On the charge of fighting an illegal war, I find him INNOCENT. The whole concept of ‘international law’ is a woolly sham.
As Blair said, the Kosovo intervention was more legally dodgy than Iraq. But that was popular, so no one complained much.
And since when did this country allow self-promoting lawyers like Phillipe Sands to decide our national security strategy?
But I find Blair GUILTY of an offence that no one has accused him of: losing the war. The British were defeated in Basra.
The truth, as the Chilcot inquiry heard, is that Britain had so few troops that it had 200 soldiers in a city of 1.3 million. Little wonder the death squads took control. Britain was in ‘see no evil’ mode, pretending the butchery wasn’t happening.
And in provoking Iran? Again, I find him GUILTY.
The ayatollahs were amazed to see Britain lose Basra to untrained gangsters.
Blair was quite right to say that Iran is the No1 threat. That we cannot allow these psychos to get hold of nuclear weapons.
But his failure in Basra has made this more likely. As Donald Rumsfeld said: Weakness is more provocative than strength.
And the next time a British Prime Minister says "we must invade, the intelligence is clear" then who will believe him? Blair has effectively handcuffed the next Prime Minister, making it pretty much impossible to go to war unless we’re attacked.
Britain should shape the world — not sit back as genocides happen, or psycho states get nuclear weapons.
Yet, stung by Iraq, we’re risk becoming yet another European country that looks the other way.
And this is Blair’s legacy.