Early thoughts on the latest leak…
A SECRET document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification.
So Blair was sold on regime change months before the war, and WMD was just a ruse, a smokescreen, the phony casus belli?
Lucky for our Tone, then, that Saddam was successfully lured to continue to opt for non-compliance and lured to spurn the “final opportunity” offered in 1441; not to mention that he was lured to reject the Anglo-American six-point plan; and that the French vetoed a second resolution.
Even so, I wasn’t aware that having a political motivation to go with your legal justification for war, was all that heinous a crime. Contrary to popular belief, Blair was never short of a pre-war word or two on the humanitarian dividend a change of regime would deliver. Take this as he opened the war debate in the House on March 18th, 2003:
We must face the consequences of the actions we advocate. For me, that means all the dangers of war. But for others, opposed to this course, it means – let us be clear – that the Iraqi people, whose only true hope of liberation lies in the removal of Saddam, for them, the darkness will close back over them again; and he will be free to take his revenge upon those he must know wish him gone.
In fact, I don’t know anyone other than a handful of confused students, former FCO grandees and Ba’athist sympathizers/apologists who thought regime change a particularly bad idea. Plenty of disagreement concerning the means, but near unanimity on the preferred end.
So the blackest it can be painted for the PM, then, is that he, too, was sold on regime change, but recognizing that international law and UN charters pay little heed to tyrants who torture, main, oppress and murder within their own borders, sought the required legal authority to pursue his political goal.
I mean, what a bastard? Who could vote for a Prime Minister who staked his entire political future on a war to change the regime of a quasi-fascist, mass-murdering, WMD-using megalomaniac?