Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Clare Short: Blair misled us and took UK into an illegal war.

Her evidence came as no surprise to anyone - after all she had resigned from the government over the Iraq war - but she, nevertheless, painted a fascinating picture of how the government was functioning in the weeks leading up to the conflict.

During nearly three hours of testimony, the then international development secretary, who resigned soon after the March 2003 invasion as a result of what she called broken promises, described the atmosphere within the government during the runup to war. It was chaotic and fraught, she said, adding: "We were in a bit of a lunatic asylum."

Blair she said, closed down all normal communications, and worked at making sure that the forthcoming Iraq conflict was never really discussed in cabinet. And she summed up Blair's attitude towards the truth in a way which really resonated with me, it's certainly the exact same conclusion which I have reached.

"There was a lot of misleading parliament by the prime minister of the day … I'm not saying he was insincere. I think he was willing to be deceitful about it because he thought it was right."

I have always said that Blair acted like a lawyer, meaning that the truth didn't ultimately matter to him, he was more obsessed with making an argument which resonated with the public and allowed the invasion to take place.

And she spoke of Blair's ludicrous obsession with blaming the French for the Iraq war, because of their threat to use a veto.
"In my view that was a lie, a deliberate lie," she said, referring to claims that President Jacques Chirac said France would veto a fresh UN resolution in any circumstances. "Blame the French, concoct the legal authority and off we go," she said. "The British government's capacity to think better than that is thrown away, to our eternal shame."
She was applauded as she left the inquiry. Clearly what she said resonated with the families of the bereaved.

Click here for full article.

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