Sunday, April 07, 2013

 

Blair told Saddam had no WMD by Intelligence before meeting Bush

I still feel angry and let down by this story, even though it's it's over a decade old. I fully confess that after 18 years of dismal and selfish Tory rule, I was delighted Blair had somehow been parachuted into Downing St to, as I saw it, undo some of wrongs committed by Thatcher and her pals. When Iraq came along I think we all mostly still trusted the party leader not to draw us into any foolish foreign adventures. We had acquiesced at Kosovo as justified, Sierra Leone too, but they had both been short in duration and delivered the huge advantage of being successful.I was appalled by Saddam and thought he should be toppled if it were possible but invasion with all guns blazing was not something with which I was in any way comfortable.

We now find that just before Blair went to see Bush in Texas, intelligence told him that Iraq's stock of WMD was 'trivial' and that Libya was the greater danger in nuclear terms. Today's Independent on Sunday takes up the story:
   
     "Intelligence officers have disclosed that just the day before Mr Blair went to visit president George Bush in April 2002, he appeared to accept this but returned a "changed man" and subsequently ordered the production of dossiers to "find the intelligence" that he wanted to use to justify going to war.
 This and other secret evidence (given in camera) to the inquiry will, The Independent on Sunday understands, be used as the basis for severe criticism of the former prime minister when the Chilcot report is published."

Despite the fact that he had been told Iraq's WMD would fit 'into the back of a petrol truck, Blair returned from meeting George Bush at his Taxas ranch gung ho for an invasion. Why was this? Well, he'd clearly been won over by a man whom he admits he admires. So many theories have been offered as to how his mind was changed but my bet is that it was pure and simple star struck hero worship. If you look at the picture above you can almost read Tony's mind: 'Gosh, I'm being driven in his truck by the US president- isn't this just great! .





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