Friday, 29 January 2010

Blair's Defence

In about 1 hour from now, Tony Blair will sit before the Chilcot Enquiry and be asked to justify his key role in the Iraq war.

The interrogation will go on most of the day. Who knows what shape the questioning will take: will it take a broad look at politics and motivation or will it get bogged down in the detail of who said what and who knew what and when they knew it?

In my opinion, the vital questions to be asked would be: what did he think he was doing, and why did he do it?

It seems to me that Blair's defence could go something like this:

As an opposition leader, he saw the massacres in Rwanda and the developing wars in the Balkans and the murders in Halabja being ignored by the Conservative govenment. In fact the Tories gave export credits to Saddam and were close to Milosovic.

He saw John Major and George Bush the 1st stopping short of removing Saddam when they had a golden opportunity to free the people of Iraq.

Rwanda in particular must have made a deep scar. Millions were dying and armies and weapons of mass destruction were being used on defenceless civilians. Being a reasonable person, he thought that something should be done about this, but he saw our governments were doing little to stop it.

So he decided that if and when he was in charge, he would not stand by while he could do something about these and similar atrocities.

He persuaded Bill Clinton to actively oppose and destroy Milosovic. With a limited success in the Balkans he became convinced that intervention worked, and intervention to rid the world of mass murderers was a good thing: who could argue?

And so to Iraq and the failure of the USA to have a workable policy for the peace......

You could of course argue that intervention is always wrong, but few said that after Kosovo, because it was seen as a success, whereas the howls that followed in Iraq were loudest after the failure to consolidate the peace, hindsight being a wonderful thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment