Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Campbell Says We Should "Be Proud" of Iraq War.

I was not remotely surprised that Campbell would appear before the Chilcott Inquiry and stick to his guns, insisting that everything that was done was done with the purest of motives, but it really didn't come across as very convincing.

He appeared, at one point, to be willing to blame everyone else for all that went wrong. He blamed the French for making the invasion inevitable, the BBC for taking people's minds - including the government's - off of the post invasion rebuilding of Iraq - thanks to the infamous 6.05am broadcast in which he was accused of "sexing up" the case for war. Finally, he even laid the blame at the door of the Americans for not having a plan to rebuild Iraq and to restore order once the invasion was over. (I wonder if he would have dared to do that were it not for the fact that Bush has left office and Obama is now in charge.)

He stated that we should all be "proud" of what our country did and insisted that the September dossier did not "misrepresent" the threat from Saddam's weapon; despite the fact that it's foreword clearly stated that it was "beyond doubt" that Iraq had WMD, when we all clearly know that this was not the case.

"I think that Britain, far from beating ourselves up about this, should be really proud of the role that we played in changing Iraq from what it was to what it is now becoming."
He even, and at this point I though he bordered on the ludicrous, insisted that Bush and Blair had come to no decision on regime change, but were both determined that Saddam should be disarmed of WMD with or, hopefully, without a war.

At that point I nearly threw the remote control at the TV as Blair recently, in a surprisingly candid recent TV interview which I feel sure will haunt him, admitted that he thought it right to remove Saddam even if he did not possess WMD.

Speaking on BBC One's Fern Britton Meets programme, Mr Blair was asked whether he would still have gone on with invasion plans had he known at the time that there were no WMDs.

He said: "I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments, about the nature of the threat."

Here's how Campbell put it:
"You seem to be wanting me to say that Tony Blair signed up to saying, regardless of the facts and WMD, we are going to get rid of this guy," he said. "It was not like this."
But Blair himself, in his interview with Fern Britton, made the very opposite argument to the one Campbell now claims he was making. Blair was saying that he would have thought it right to remove Saddam even if he had not had WMD, so Campbell's point is simply invalid according to recent statements by Blair himself.

It made me wonder if he has even been keeping up with Blair's latest pronouncements. Or perhaps he simple thinks the rest of us aren't.

But he left me laughing when he stated this:
He denied that Sir John Scarlett, the chief of the security services, would have felt under pressure, consciously or subconsciously, to unduly strengthen the dossier and rejected the idea that the joint intelligence committee (JIC) "would have overstated the case to any degree ... that would hit its credibility".
The notion that John Scarlett continues to have any credibility with anyone who is following this carefully is hysterically funny.

Indeed, even Campbell took a pop at Scarlett's reputation when he disagreed with Scarlett's argument that he couldn't change the foreword of the dossier as this was a political document.

"If John Scarlett or any of his team had had any concerns of real substance about the foreword, then they know they could have raised those directly with the prime minister," he said.

So, Scarlett's main defence - that the foreword didn't concern him as it was “overtly political” - has been dismissed by Campbell.

So, whilst claiming that he's defending Scarlett, he's actually throwing him under the bus along with the French, the BBC, and his American allies.

Maybe he actually believes in this nonsense which he spouts, but he's having to blame an awful lot of other people in order to stick to this dodgy narrative.


John said...

It is now clear that Campbell and Blair fabricated the "dossiers" as a cover for their real intentions. This leads to another question: why did they persecute Dr David Kelly, the British UN Weapons Inspector, when they probably knew he was right? Why did Kelly have to die? See The strange case of the death of Dr David Kelly, UN Weapons Inpector. Gilligan and others were censured and dismissed for their role in "hounding" Dr David Kelly. It is time to censure Blair and Campbell for hounding this good man to death, or worse.

Kel said...

Thank you for the link. I agree that Blair and Campbell have much to answer for.