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17th January 2011
WHO SAID THIS? –
REGIME CHANGE THE ONLY ANSWER TO SADDAM AND WMD THREAT
It was the late Dr David Kelly
The selective amnesia of those intent on laying Tony Blair low is clear to all with access to a search engine. As Stan Rosenthal, commenting at Chris Ames’ s high-horsed site points out even the late Dr David Kelly was not always quite as deserving of the title – hero of the anti-war left – as he became after his death.
DR DAVID KELLY said this just days before the March 2003 Iraq invasion (source, Guardian):
“The long-term threat, however, remains Iraq’s development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction – something that only regime change will avert.”
THREATENING TO TELL THE TRUTH. BUT ONLY THREATENING
So, in his search for the threat motive does Brian Jones mention this “threat” at Chris Ames’ blog post, suggestively-named- Toxic Terror and the White House?
Of course not. But Dr Jones does say –
“… even if Tony Blair had been right and Iraq had been armed with large stockpiles of WMD, he has yet to explain clearly what immediate “threat” he had in mind that convinced him that Britain should join the war. My suspicion is that the “threat” he was most worried about was that Britain would fall from favour in the eyes of the American superpower.”
Stan Rosenthal, a commenter there and a regular here, sets the cat among the pigeons. He links to a BBC page which was not findable. Odd that, hmm, coming from the BBC? Brian Jones responds to Stan –
“Thank you for that , Stan – it opens another can of worms. The link didn’t get me there but you gave me enough to know you were referring to a particular interview with which I am familiar. I found a report on it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/3411073.stm which is not entirely consistent, and I think there are many things about it that suggest we should be cautious.”
Suitably enlightened by Stan does Mr Jones then think of asking this? –
WHY DID KELLY FIRM UP HIS THOUGHTS BETWEEN OCTOBER 2002 AND MARCH 2003?
Again, of course he didn’t ask. Why let the facts dilute a good blackwash? These phrases of Dr Jones’s are part of the ongoing blackwash against Tony Blair –
“Not exactly consistent”? And “we should be cautious”?
Oh, I think I understand: any quote that blackwashes Blair, his integrity and motives is acceptable. But anything which suggests that Dr Kelly or any other individual might have come to feel stronger than he/they initially did over WMD and invasion is objectionable and worthy of omission!
Since the antis are very keen on asking these kind of change-of -mind questions of the then Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, why don’t they also ask them of Dr Kelly position? For the sake of fairness and consistency, you understand.
Remember this: the Panorama report refers to October 2002. It was March 2003 when Dr Kelly warned that only regime change would stop Saddam in the long-term. The Iraq invasion dates from 20th March to 1st May, 2003 (Wikipedia)
Back to Dr Jones’s post at Ames’s site.
Brian Jones offers a round-the-houses analysis of “threats” where he mentions David Frum of, as Jones describes it, “the notorious soundbite – ‘axis of evil’ “. Would that be notorious as in disgraceful, widely known but wrong-headed?
- As in notoriously wrong-headed/disgraceful on the threats from Saddam’s Iraq? Clearly. No threats there.
- As in notoriously wrong-headed/disgraceful on the threats from North Korea. Probably. No threats there.
- As in notoriously wrong-headed/disgraceful on the threats from Iran. Yes. Ahmadinejad threatens no-one.
- As in notoriously wrong-headed/disgraceful on the threats from Al Qaeda? What have they ever done to anyone?
- As in notoriously wrong-headed/disgraceful on the threats from Hezbollah. Ditto.
Frum could have included Hamas, not to mention the Taleban. But these five are enough to make my point.
Despite concluding that at least some of these various threateners might well be real so-and-sos, as in Bush’s book, Dr Jones has decided to use the Daily Mail diversionary tactic of bringing it all back to the opinion that Bush Jnr was upset that Saddam had once plotted to kill Bush Snr.
Bush may have been further unnerved by his (probably justified) belief that Iraq had tried to assassinate his father during a visit to Kuwait in April 1993 to celebrate the liberation of Kuwait two years earlier (see http://hnn.us/articles/1000.html and paragraph 2 of the letter of 22 March 2002 from E L Manningham-Buller of the Security Service (MI5) to John Gieve at the Home Office, published on the Inquiry website.
Although he did not need to give any explanation for it at the time because a majority of the US public already approved of an invasion of Iraq, it appears that, on reflection, Bush is more than ready to link this very personal experience to his decision.
So there we have it – “on reflection”. Nothing to do with any evil axis/axes, although they’re all still out there (apart from Saddam’s IRAQ) and all still threatening (apart from Saddam’s IRAQ!)
Somehow or other Dr Jones has managed to convince himself, and Mr Ames of course, that none of them were a real threat.
In the end we can safely conclude from his post that George W Bush was mainly moved to invade Iraq by motives of personal revenge towards Saddam, and Blair was mainly moved to support Bush by wishing to keep in with the USA.
What utter nonsense. What despicable self-serving tripe. It would almost be laughable, except that so many people see no axis of evil, hear no axis of evil, speak no axis of evil.
WHY ‘BLIXING IT’
Dr Jones’s Blixing is almost as skilful as Hans Blix’s original. The Iraq war, according to the good Doctor Jones, was ostensibly an add-on following the anger of Bush and the American people following 9/11. But it was mainly due to unfinished business: the fact that his Dad had been under assassination efforts from Saddam.
I describe this as “Blixing it”. Blixing it, for the uninitiated, is best described, though not pithily, as re-writing history and the evidence of history, PLUS re-writing evidence and the history of evidence in order to put as good a light as possible on the efforts to back up one’s message, one’s personal and one’s political positions, in whichever order applies.
Blix felt slighted and ignored by the political leaders in his post. From The Mail:
At their meeting in February 2003, Dr Blix spoke to Mr Blair about their findings – or the lack of them.
‘I said to Mr Blair “Yes, I also thought there could be weapons of mass destruction”, but I said “Are you so sure? Would it not be paradoxical if you were to invade Iraq with 200,000 men and found there were no weapons of mass destruction?”.
‘His response was “No, no”. He was quite convinced. The intelligence services were convinced, and even the Egyptians were convinced, so I had no reason to doubt his good faith at the time. But I was doubtful.’
Blix was ‘doubtful’. Just as well Blix wasn’t making the decisions. No reference to the fact that Mr Blair, like so many decision-makers was persuaded, due to Saddam’s history of WMD use, that he had WMD and could use them again in the future. No mention of that from Dr Jones. Why not? Because it would point to Mr Blair’s understanding of the long-term and immediate issues and to Blair’s belief and not his “lies”. And of course it would lead us back to Kelly’s then opinions and to those of Hans Blix, which were nothing like as determinedly against military action as we are led to believe now, with the benefit of hindsight and a touch of indignity.
I am aware that some accuse Tony Blair of this Blixing ‘sin’. I contend that he is but a bit-part player when it comes to really Blixing it. The real stars of this show are such as Dr Brian Jones and of course Dr Hans Blix, himself.
The modus operandi in this tactic is to shift the goalposts and re-assess, then find the most likely ‘smoking gun’. The Mail does this all the time. Instinctively. When “war criminal” Blair sounds a bit unlikely given comparison to REAL war criminals, “rich socialist” will have to do. After all when their Tory readers hate some non-Tory for being so successful, what more can they say than that he is a “newly enriched Socialist”? What a sin.
But for a more intellectual angle on Blixing it, Dr Jones is the biscuit-taker par excellence. Like Blix he too feels his expertise and opinions have been marginalised by the powers-that-be, or the powers-that-were. And we can’t have that now, can we?!
Could this be the same Brian Jones whose April 2004 37-page paper prepared for “Butler’s Review” was saved helpfully for us by Ames at – “WRITTEN EVIDENCE OF BRIAN JONES FOR LORD BUTLER’S REVIEW”?
I reported on it here on Brian Jones in December 2009:
Jones on Kelly: ‘at no time did he indicate to me that he personally shared any reservations about the dossier. The impression I gained is that he thought it was broadly in line with the views he held on Iraq, and that its publication might help to resolve the existing stand-off.
It is important to stress that Dr Jones is full of praise for the way Tony Blair has seized on the issue of nuclear, chemical and biological proliferation. “I think he is one of the very few world leaders who has really grasped this issue,” Dr Jones said. “He uses a broad brush in using the term WMD but I really do think it is probably, as he says, the security concern of at least this part of the 21st century.”
How the memory is erased when muddling the facts for the sake of an agenda is permitted to eradicate rational ‘thinking’.
Hans Blix – (Wikipedia)
Quite what those “serious consequences” were, Blix, not being in a position of responsibility, does not, and is not expected to inform us. But when others DO make seriously consequential decisions he is quite at liberty, as mascot of the Left, to criticise and question them and their decisions.
See Michael White’s, October 2004 ‘No one to blame’ for flaws in Iraq dossier, Butler tells MPs’
‘The intelligence dossiers which asserted that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction represented the agreed truth at the time – shared by “90% of the world”, including Hans Blix – but they failed to reflect the “thinness” of some of the sources, Lord Butler of Brockwell told MPs yesterday.
Making a skilful defence of his much-criticised report into the pre-war intelligence, Lord Butler insisted that no one – neither Tony Blair nor John Scarlett, now head of M16 – could be held responsible.’
Meanwhile Blix and Jones join the rest in the anti-Iraq war brigade in damning Blair as being illiberal with the verity.
Weird old world, isn’t it?
Some are not convinced that Dr Blix is the great peace-loving leader he’d like us to think he is. Personally I think it is playing too tough and hard to suggest that he is a member of the Saddam Hussein fan club. Apart from feeling personally slighted by mere politicians, Dr Blix thinks that given time, the bad guys can be reigned in through diplomacy, despite the evidence to the contrary. There have been several other well-meaning people who thought like that in the past. Chamberlain comes to mind.
Butler Inquiry, 2004 (from Wikipedia)
On February 3, 2004, the British Government announced an inquiry into the intelligence relating to Iraq‘s weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the Government’s decision to invade Iraq (as part of the U.S.-led coalition) in 2003. A similar investigation was set up in the USA. Despite the apparent certainty of both governments prior to the war that Iraq possessed such weapons, no such illegal weapons or programs were found by the Iraq Survey Group.
The inquiry also dealt with the wider issue of WMD programmes in “countries of concern” and the global trade in WMD. Recommendations were made to the prime minister to better evaluate and assess intelligence information in the future before invoking action.
Hutton Inquiry (source Wikipedia) –
Brian Jones gave evidence to the 2003 Hutton Inquiry which was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.
You might find this excerpt from the Hutton transcripts interesting. I certainly did:
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”
And – “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the privilege of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”
AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is an honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, BBC, Brian Jones, Butler, Chris Ames, Death of David Kelly, Hans Blix, Hutton, Iraq, Iraq inquiry, Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair, United States, Weapon of mass destruction, wmd