Saturday, December 5, 2020

Phillipified

Journalist Melanie Phillips is right in her analysis of the impact of the decision not to publish the full correspondence between Tony Blair and George W. Bush before the 2003 invasion of Iraq

 

On the 2nd June, Melanie Phillips, a journalist loathed by many on the left, argued that “the threat from Saddam Hussein…” [and thus his Weapons of Mass Destruction] “… was real” in an article for The Times.

 

Tony Blair and George W. Bush may be remembered very differently in history
Tony Blair and George W. Bush may be remembered very differently in history

Though many will throw their hands up in abject horror and disgust, Phillips has a point. Sir John Chilcott could have used this opportunity to set the record straight about it being fact that Saddam gassed thousands of Kurds and also that he somehow managed to hide the arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction that he did, at some point at least, possess. Phillips rightly points out that those that blame Blair for holding up publication miss the point. The real reason that all of this correspondence isn’t being shared is to protect the Anglo-American ‘Special Relationship’.

 

It is about time that the true story of the background to the War on Iraq was revealed. As the historian Andrew Roberts once suggested, strangely, if this were to happen, it could end up becoming documented as a chapter where Blair and Bush ultimately wouldn’t be remembered as the true villains.

 

 

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    10 COMMENTS

    1. I think it was 100% reasonable to think that the Iraqis had WOMD and that Saddam’s regime was an enormously dangerous and destabilising for who had already waged three bloody wars as well as presiding over a totalitarian state that aspired to Hitlerian levels of horror. We took far to long to do anything about it and we made a huge error in not planning properly for the aftermath of victory.

      • Your point is most valid. Not planning for the aftermath was a major mistake. We failed to look to history but getting rid of Saddam, in the long run, will be remembered as a good thing ultimately.

    2. The repellant, reptilian Tony Blair is a self-serving war-criminal and should be dealt with as such.
      “100% reasonable to think that the Iraqis had WOMD”………???!!! Utter horsefeathers ! (Beggars belief that
      anybody could possibly think such a thing!)

    3. The poor weapons inspector David Kelly was intimidated, bullied and harassed to death. He was guilty of disclosing the truth. Politicians don’t always support the truth, ask Alistair Campbell.

    4. I agree with you on many points, Matthew, but not here. A few years ago, I had a conversation with an engineer friend. He told me that neither the UK nor the USA was ever in danger from ‘WoMD’. To fire a weapon halfway around the world would take something the size of the Redstone Rocket and technology akin to what NASA has. You don’t need a weapons inspector to tell you that a country like a Iraq (which had been subjected to severe economic sanctions) would never have had the resources to develop such a thing. Most of their stuff was secondhand Russian, which would have been out of date here in the 1960s. And yes, according to the grapevine, Mr Bliar knew all this.

      Besides which, I really am tired of the ‘divide and rule’ games that have been played out in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein was indeed a tyrant, but what most people forget is that just a few decades ago, the USA was actually a supporter of his. Most notably, they supported Saddam when he invaded Iran – only for the tables to later be turned during the first Gulf War.

      If we look back through history, western intervention in the Middle East has never worked out well. Britain fought three disastrous wars with Afghanistan in the 19th/early 20th century. Then following WW1, the Ottoman Empire was carved up along lines chosen by the Allies without enough consideration for the various cultural/ethnic groups that lived there. Then there was the gassing of the Kurds in Mesopotamia. Then the creation of Israel. Then the installation of the Shah in Iran – a man so unpopular that the people actually overthrew him in favour of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Not to mention the more recent Iraq/Afghanistan wars and now the emergence of ISIS (which arguably would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the invasion of Iraq). At some point, you surely have to say that enough is enough – and leave the Middle East well alone.

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