Sunday, 7 February 2010

Crocodile Tears

I hear that Alistair Campbell was filled with emotion on today's Andrew Marr program on the BBC when asked if Tony Blair had misled the nation on the case to go to war with Iraq.

He took time to compose himself before answering to defend his old sidekick and 'that' dossier in making the decision to go to war. He felt that the question kept being raised by those who wanted to 'settle old scores' while Blair had been an 'honourable man'. Clearly, being asked this question again was angering Campbell who felt that enough was getting enough. Referring to Blair's assertion at the time that the case for Hussein having WMD was 'Beyond doubt', if it was subsequently proved by the Chilcot Inquiry that there was doubt, then could it be construed that Blair misled parliament and the people?

In answering Campbell went into a long monologue about being 'vilified' and that enough was enough over this. Blair was an honourable man - draw a line. He even inferred that those who kept asking such questions were just ignorant of the case for war with Iraq.

That struck the main notes for me as, clearly, sceptics like me 'don't get it'. In my eyes, it is Campbell and Blair who don't get it. You see, we were ignorant of the case for war in Iraq as all of us were led to believe there were WMD. Even then, the case for war was slim in international law and a second UN resolution should have been sought. Then, as now, I suspected a sub-plot which was beyond the notion that Hussein was an evil man - we knew that from the Gulf war and his many atrocities against his own people. But the case for regime change does not lie on the whims of minorities of world leaders - that just defeats the cause of the UN and international peace. Perversely, it legitimises Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, over which he seemed to think he had a sovereign claim. Once you decide to break international law or break with it, then you are no better than the evil ones, no matter how 'honourable' you think you are.

Then there was the total under-estimation of the job at hand, as in Afghanistan. Ill prepared, under provisioned troops have laid down their lives for upholding what Blair and Campbell believed in - since the invasions. What Blair and Campbell don't get is that all British citizens are to be held culpable for their actions - we voted them in, the decisions were made by our sovereign and elected Government and the troops bore the insignia of our Queen. The blood is shared equally on all our hands thanks to their 'honourable' beliefs.

We need to find out the truth of what went on and why. How did Britain get so far from the democratic process in its governing? Why did so few people make this decision and where was the real debate of the real evidence to make the decision to send us to war? Why did we allow Blair and his inner sanctum to make these decisions in isolation on, frankly, cooked up evidence rather than 'sexed up'?

Campbell needs to understand that we live in a democracy where we have a right to demand transparency and get to the truth. There is little doubt that Blair was and is a sincere man - but we want to know was that sincerity driven by the wrong motives.

Until we get truthful answers, he had better keep answering the questions. If he things its rather stressful, go talk to the injured kids lying in our forces' hospitals and the families of those who lost relatives. Stress is something they know at first hand.

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