The Iraqi government’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, says he supports Blair on removing Saddam (video clip of Blair interview.)
Comment at end
12th December, 2009
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST
… THE CONSERVATIVES ….
‘Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari says the people of Iraq support Mr Blair because they were forced to live through years of repression.
“I believe it was worth it. I believe Saddam Hussein’s regime was an affront to the international community, to the international consciousness, because of the atrocities and crimes he has committed.”‘
Try telling that to today’s British Conservatives, Mr Zebari …
The Conservatives have other, far more important things on their minds than the fate of the Iraqi people under Saddam. They accuse Tony Blair of “trying to influence public opinion” by implying that WMDs was perhaps not the only reason for ridding Iraq of their dictator.
Hysterical, isn’t it? While most of the press AND THEIR SPROG BLOGGERS have read their own meaning into his words, and have choosen to conclude that we would have been with the Iraq invasion anyway, WMDs or not, so Blair is CLEARLY a WAR CRIMINAL WITHOUT EQUAL, what bothers the Tories?
That Blair might be trying to ‘INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION’!!!!
While the Daily Maul and others report every snip of news from the Iraq Inquiry as if it were the smoking gun with which to shoot Blair, the Tories accuse HIM of trying to influence public opinion!?
So he WANTS to hand people a smoking gun, does he? FGS.
SORRY … but … I’M STILL LAUGHING –
The party which SUPPORTED Blair in parliament over the Iraq invasion!
You may recall that some in Blair’s own party and all of the internationally ignorant peace-loving Liberal Democrats were agin.
This CONservative party is the very party who are happy to see the (Tory supporting) Daily Maul and others haul Blair across the coals DAILY over a decision with which they AGREED!!!!!
Blair WON the Commons vote, largely thanks to the Conservatives, by 412 votes to 149.
Influencing public opinion INDEED!?
In deed and fact, the Conservatives are the big liars in all of this.
Don’t you forget it. Especially if, like me, you are undecided as to which party deserves your vote in the next general election.
Ottaway’s “dismay” over “cynical ploy”. Yes, I know …
Conservative MP Richard Ottoway, a member of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said today that Mr Blair’s comments were a “cynical ploy to soften up public opinion” before his appearance at the Iraq Inquiry.
Mr Ottoway added that Mr Blair had misled parliament on “more than one occasion” and that people would be “dismayed” that what was the “most significant foreign affairs initiative since World War II had been debated on a false premise”.
“But the one place he would have undoubtedly failed would have been in the House of Commons. “I think MPs were invited to make their own judgement on the merits for the case for war and they were entitled to do so on the truth and it looks very much as though the truth was withheld from parliament and many mps may well have made a different decision if they had the full unvarnished truth.”
Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell agreed, saying he would have failed to obtain the support of the House of Commons.
Er … quite, chaps.
Just what I was saying earlier at this blog. Mr Blair did NOT say he would have “gone to war” since he wanted, not needed (Royal Prerogative, remember?) parliament’s agreement to do that. This seeking of parliament’s permission was, by the way, the first time EVER that a British PM had asked for a vote in Parliament to go to war.
What a dictatorial/presidential (delete as necessary) prime minister that man was, eh?
What Blair was saying in tomorrow’s interview (released today so that the press can get their attacks in first) was that he would have argued the case on different premises from WMDs, if he had known that they did not exist. (Personally, I would not be at all surprised if WMDs turn up one day in Syria or even Iran. The enemy of my enemy …)
IAN DUNCAN SMITH, Leader, Conservative Party: “Does the prime minister agree with me that any country that supported Resolution 1441 should support the second resolution that naturally flows from it?”
TONY BLAIR: “Mr. Speaker, yes, I certainly do agree with that.”
And this? (Just so you know) …
Tory former leader – Iain Duncan Smith, September 2007 – Don’t leave Iraq: Quit Afghanistan instead
‘Afghanistan v Iraq: it’s a “no brainer”. Or is it?
“Of course, supporting the fledgeling democratic Government in Kabul is important; but Iraq is much more strategically vital. It is galling that after all the hard work our forces have put in to stabilising Iraq, their withdrawal should be seen by the world as a retreat. But by failing to get the balance of priorities right between Iraq and Afghanistan we have only ourselves to blame.
The UK is America’s most capable ally in Iraq. Other Western nations such as Germany and France steadfastly refuse to be involved militarily, citing their opposition to the war – although the recent foiled bomb plots in Germany show that that cuts no ice with al-Qaeda. However, France and Germany supported the Afghan war and, given our commitment in Iraq, their forces should now be deployed in Helmand province, not ours. Yet they won’t do their bit.'”
CNN report, July 8th 2003 including Duncan Smith’s “get out of jail card” at the end.
“I refute any suggestion we misled parliament or the country totally,” Blair told a committee of senior members of parliament Tuesday.
“I think we did the right thing in relation to Iraq. I stand 100 percent by it and I think our intelligence services gave us the correct intelligence and information at the time.
“I am quite sure we did the right thing in removing Saddam Hussein because not merely was he a threat … to the wider world but it was an appalling regime that the world is well rid of.”
Fighting for his political reputation, Blair said he was confident that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq.
He also insisted he had told parliament about a mistake in a February dossier that included an unattributed section of a student’s thesis that had been posted on the Internet.
Blair’s appearance before the Liason Committee — made up of the 36 chairmen of other select committees of the lower House of Commons — comes a day after another parliamentary panel criticized the prime minister over the February dossier.
On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Committee concluded the dossier “was almost wholly counterproductive” and that Blair, in comments to parliament, “misrepresented its status and thus inadvertently made a bad situation worse.” (Full story)
Blair had referred to the dossier as “further intelligence,” although he acknowledged later it contained material from a graduate thesis.
The Foreign Affairs Committee concluded the government did not mislead the public ahead of the war and cleared Blair’s communications director Alastair Campbell of any wrongdoing in preparing an earlier dossier used to justify the UK joining the U.S.-led war against Iraq.
But the committee said the “jury is still out” on the accuracy of information in the earlier document, published in September 2002, which claimed that Iraq could deploy biological or chemical weapons within 45 minutes.
“The jury is not out at all,” Blair told Tuesday’s hearing.
“You would almost think that this question about Saddam and weapons of mass destruction was somehow invented by the CIA and British intelligence. There is no doubt that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
Asked whether he accepted that he misrepresented the status of the February dossier, Blair said: “No. I accept that what we should have done was we should have said that this middle part of the document was actually taken from a reference document.
“I didn’t know at the time that I put it before parliament that it should have been sourced in that way.
Pressed on the issue, Blair insisted: “We have apologized already and said it was a mistake, we should have sourced the second part of it. …
“But the information in it was correct (and) the briefing paper was indeed largely based on intelligence.”
Blair’s appearance Tuesday comes amid calls by political rivals for a judicial inquiry into the case for war, and as a new poll shows that support among British voters for the war has fallen from almost two-thirds at the time of the war to less than half now.
About 47 percent of voters now say it was right to go to war, compared with 64 percent in April and 58 percent in June, according to the poll published in The Times of London on Tuesday. (Full story)
Conservative opposition leader Iain Duncan Smith and Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy have demanded a judicial inquiry into the case for war, saying the Foreign Affairs Committee was denied access to the witnesses and documents it needed to come to a conclusion.
Duncan Smith also has called on Blair to apologize for misleading parliament by claiming the second dossier, published in February, was produced by the security services, when much of it was in fact taken from a doctoral student’s thesis downloaded from the Internet.
“We have never heard the prime minister actually accept and admit that the February dossier was represented as something it was not,” Duncan Smith said.
Saturday, 12th December, 2009 – BBC Radio 4 news, 5:00pm.
Irwin Stelzer reminded listeners that there was NO UN support (a ‘silly, silly’ argument given that the SC can be vetoed by anti-democratic countries, which they probably were) for Kosovo either. “We had no permission to intervene in Kosovo, and yet we did it.” He said Blair is and was right.
“If there was a threat to western values, such as there was on 9/11 & 7/7, it was/is a mere matter of self-defense. The difference between the values of people who want to kill us and our values, where we hold to a belief in tolerance.”
Hans Blix the UN’s former weapons inspector is blixing it himself this time instead of allowing the peace-loving anti-Iraq war – [No? – what do you mean “NO”] – Conservatives do it for them.
No, Mr Blix, Saddam’s removal was NOT “a game”. It was deadly serious. And, you know what? I get the impression from your words of a lack of sincerity.
Your intervention IS a game, Mr Blix. And YOUR ‘sincerity’ is that of a man whose opinion and advice were NOT the deciding factors in the west’s intervention over Saddam’s murder of his people and over WMD factories which it was KNOWN he had used before on more than one occasion.
We can be grateful that Tony Blair was a decision-maker at that time, and not YOU. If YOU, we’d still be working out how to enforce UN resolutions, 18 years on, and how to contain Iraq and Iran.
Thanks, Mr Blix. For nothing.
As for the BBC newsreader’s report – “The main justification was flawed … Blair says military action was the right thing to do … he would have ordered the action even if he knew there were no WMDs.”
Er, Nope, BBC. He didn’t say that.
He actually said that he would have to put the case on a different premise. He did not say, could not know, whether Parliament would have approved that premise.
On this the BBC was right – “He may be shifting his position as to why the war was justified but don’t expect him to change his mind.”
Of course, in the Beeb’s usual hand-wringing way there was this little nugget – “Nearly all Gulf Arab leaders quietly provided support. But Gulf Arabs at street level admired Saddam as standing against the west. Blair’s admission will do nothing to assuage those that see him and Bush as western warmongers.”
Awww … pity.
And what exactly WOULD assuage ‘THOSE’?
Tags: Conservative party, daily maul, Hans Blix, Hoshyar Zebari, Iain Duncan Smith, Iraq inquiry, iraq war, Irwin M Stelzer, Richard Ottaway MP, supported Blair in Iraq decision, Tony Blair, UN SC Kosovo