The members of the Chilcot Inquiry have a choice: they can be loyal to the Establishment or they can expose the subterfuge … The degree of deceit involved in our decision to go to war on Iraq becomes steadily clearer. This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions and playing footsie on Sunday morning television does nothing to repair the damage. It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair (pictured left) engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George W. Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn't want, and on a basis that it's increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible. Who is any longer naive enough to accept that the then Prime Minister's mind remained innocently open after his visit to Crawford, Texas?
Hindsight is a great temptress. But we needn't trouble her on the way to a confident conclusion that Mr. Blair's fundamental flaw was his sycophancy towards power. Perhaps this seems odd in a man who drank so much of that mind-altering brew at home. But Washington turned his head and he couldn't resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him. In this sense he was weak and, as we can see, he remains so. Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that "hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right". But this is a narcissist's defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgment: it is certainly no answer to death. – Times Online
Dominant Social Theme: Bad Blair.
Free-Market Analysis: Now this is a remarkable article about an inquest into the Iraq War that is taking place in Britain. For all of Britain's implosion when it comes to civil rights – from the nation's indescribably incompetent socialist health care and education systems, to its endless weapons bans that have led to "knife crimes," to its plethora of public video cams that have given the British the dubious distinction of being the most photographed people on earth – this public deliberation of Tony Blair's decision to make war strikes us as fairly remarkable.
The article itself, in one of Britain's major media organs is fairly remarkable as well. One has to keep in mind who the author is, as follows: "Ken Macdonald QC practices at Matrix Chambers and is a visiting professor of law at the London School of Economics. He was Director of Public Prosecutions, 2003- 2008." Macdonald was therefore Director of Public Prosecutions under Blair, and while his editorial can be seen, in a way, as an apologia for actions not taken at the time, its rhetoric is far fiercer than almost anything that has recently decorated US mainstream media. Here's some more from the article:
If Chilcot fails to reveal the truth without fear in this Middle Eastern story of violence and destruction, the inquiry will be held in deserved and withering contempt. This would be a serious blow to the integrity of the State. It would not restore trust. For so many years this would not have mattered. Questions sufficiently critical and grand were decided at an elevated level, and in air more refined than most people would ever inhale. A besotted king could be skewered in the shadows and depart, or an illustrious commission twist and turn from any finding of government fault. And if the cost of the reasoning was ermine splashed in whitewash, the price would be willingly paid. But it's harder today and the tax on dishonesty is rising.
Now our system has to prove itself again and again, it has to persuade people that it deserves their loyalty and support. Citizens believe deeply in a democratic right to know and they no longer acknowledge their unworthiness to enjoy its nourishment. Naturally, this is a less comfortable world for people in power, but it's a much better world for everyone else. The real tragedy of Iraq, beyond all the danger and the terrible loss, is that it rendered any affair of the heart between government and people no more than a wisp, like a lie in the wind. It broke faith.
This is the gravity of Chilcot, and its broader meaning. A few months of their deliberations will tell us how well, through the solemn work of these illustrious individuals, each one of us, and therefore our country, measures up to a compromised past. We have seen enormous acts of courage on the part of our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most heart-rending sacrifices have been made; many of them will become poetry and song in future years. But none of this sprinkles, as he might once have hoped it would, any starlight on Tony Blair. On the contrary, it is entirely the work of warriors thrust carelessly into death's way by a Prime Minister lost in self-aggrandisement and a governing class too closed to speak truth to power.
Of course Macdonald's statement points to our belief that the Internet is indeed a transformative device. We're not prepared to provide readers with a chronological description of the evolution of this inquest, but we do see at work the fine hand of modern communications' technology. We have no doubt that the widespread disgust felt in Britain over Blair's engagement in Iraq has been abetted by the Internet and its ability to broadcast points of view that are other than the mainstream's. And the inquest, despite elaborate hedging by Prime Minister Gordon Brown – who has put so many stipulations on the inquiry that it's remarkable it can proceed at all – has already drawn blood. Tony Blair, who is due to be interviewed by the commission has already given an interview to the BBC that can only be described as preliminary damage control, as follows:
Tony Blair admits: I would have invaded Iraq anyway … Tony Blair told Fern Britton, in an interview to be broadcast on BBC1, that he would have found a way to justify the Iraq invasion. Tony Blair has said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public. The former prime minister made the confession during an interview with Fern Britton, to be broadcast on Sunday on BBC1, in which he said he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein from power. "If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?" Blair was asked. He replied: "I would still have thought it right to remove him [Saddam Hussein]". Significantly, Blair added: "I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat." He continued: "I can't really think we'd be better with him and his two sons in charge, but it's incredibly difficult. That's why I sympathise with the people who were against it [the war] for perfectly good reasons and are against it now, but for me, in the end I had to take the decision." (- UK Guardian)
All the above, dear reader, is available on the Internet. And from our point of view what is taking place in Britain is going to involve the United States sooner or later. A batch of some 20 million "mislabled" emails from the Bush era has just come to light and from our point of view there remains in America a good deal of untapped resentment over the various conflicts that George Bush dragged the US into – along with the lingering aftermath of the economic debacle that was at least partially the result.
We have no idea where the British Iraq inquiry will lead. But we will note that Blair was informed directly by other government powers that regime change was not a viable reason for going to war. His glib admission that it would have been enough for him – now broadcast far and wide over the Internet – is further proof of the difficulties that the elite is having with this stubborn medium.
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