Nigel 2010-08-18 23:29:30
Weapons of Mass Destruction, or WMD, has become part of the jargon of our
time. When he finally goes, Blair ought have WMD chiselled on his political
headstone. He has now been caught; for it must be clear to the most devoted
courtier that he has lied about the primary reason he gave, repeatedly, for
THERE is a series of such lies; I have counted at least a dozen significant
ones. They range from Blair’s “solid evidence” linking Iraq with Al-Qaeda
and September 11 (refuted by British intelligence) to claims of Iraq’s
“growing” nuclear weapons programme (refuted by the International Atomic
Energy Agency when documents quoted by Blair were found to be forgeries), to
perhaps his most audacious tale – that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction
“could be activated within 45 minutes”.
It is now Day 83 in the post-war magical mystery hunt for Iraq’s “secret”
arsenal. One group of experts, sent by George Bush, have already gone home.
This week, British intelligence sources exposed Blair’s “45 minutes” claim
as the fiction of one defector with scant credibility. A United Nations
inspector has ridiculed Blair’s latest claim that two canvas-covered lorries
represent “proof” of mobile chemical weapons. Incredible, yesterday he
promised “a new dossier”.
It is ironic that the unravelling of Blair has come from the source of
almost all his lies, the United States, where senior intelligence officers
are now publicly complaining about their “abuse as political propagandists”.
They point to the Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul
Wolfowitz who, said one of them, fed “the most alarming tidbits to the
president … so instead of giving the president the most considered,
carefully examined information available, basically you give him the
garbage. And then in a few days when it’s clear that maybe it wasn’t right,
well then, you feed him some hot garbage.”
That Blair’s tale about Saddam Hussein being ready to attack “in 45 minutes”
is part of the “hot garbage” is not surprising. What is surprising, or
unbelievable, is that Blair did not know it was “hot”, just as he must have
known that Jack Straw and Colin Powell met in February to express serious
doubts about the whole issue of weapons of mass destruction.
IT was all a charade. Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, has spoken
this truth: the invasion of Iraq was planned long ago, he said, and that the
issue of weapons rested largely on “fabricated evidence”. Blair has made
fools not so much of the British people, most of whom were and are on to
him, but of respectable journalists and broadcasters who channelled and
amplified his black propaganda as headlines and lead items on BBC news
bulletins. They cried wolf for him. They gave him every benefit of the
doubt, and so minimised his culpability and allowed him to set much of the
For months, the charade of weapons of mass destruction overshadowed real
issues we had a right to know about and debate – that the United States
intended to take control of the Middle East by turning an entire country,
Iraq, into its oil-rich base. History is our evidence. Since the 19th
century, British governments have done the same, and the Blair government is
What is different now is that the truth is winning through. This week,
publication of an extraordinary map left little doubt that the British
military had plastered much of Iraq with cluster bombs, many of which almost
certainly have failed to detonate on impact. They usually wait for children
to pick them up, then they explode, as in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
They are cowardly weapons; but of course this was one of the most craven of
all wars, “fought” against a country with no navy, no air force and rag-tag
army. Last month, HMS Turbulent, a nuclear-power submarine, slipped back to
Plymouth, flying the Jolly Roger, the pirates’ emblem. How appropriate.
THIS British warship fired 30 American Tomahawk missiles at Iraq. Each
missile cost 700,000 pounds, a total of 21 million pounds in taxpayers’
money. That alone would have provided the basic services that the British
government has yet to restore to Basra, as it is obliged to do under
What did HMS Turbulent’s 30 missiles hit? How many people did they kill and
maim? And why have we heard nothing about this? Perhaps the missiles had
sensory devices that could distinguish Bush’s “evil-doers” and Blair’s
“wicked men” from toddlers? What is certain is they were not aimed at the
Ministry of Oil.
get away with it.