Finally it all becomes made clear to us. There are no WMD’s to be found and the fundamental argument to go to war in Iraq has been shown to have been totally without foundation. Hussein was a savage pig but regime change and the democratisation of the world by force has never, ever been a part of US foreign policy and it still isn’t. There is a long list of total bastards still in charge and not under threat from anybody. Gaddhafi was actually held up as an example of the effectiveness of the policy when he voluntarily disclosed that he had a nuclear program that was years away from producing anything, assuming he didn’t get caught in the meantime. Nobody’s talking about regime change in Libya even though it is yet another fun loving dictatorship which (unlike Iraq) has actually been proven to be deeply involved in International terrorism. Not just the Lockerbie bombing I might add, we had personal experience in these parts as Libya supplied vast amounts of arms to the IRA who went on to use them against such enemies of the state as shoppers & children.
The sheer cynical political genius of the Bush administration has moved to deal with the situation. It cannot be their responsibility that they went to war, so who’s to blame? Why the intelligence community of course. If they had not supplied all that wrong intelligence, they would never have declared war on Iraq. Bad, mean intelligence community.
I wrote about this issue last September, specifically the total lack of media comment as to the implications if the intelligence was actually at fault and not the motives of the Bush administration. It’s a stark position now: either the Bush administration & Blair knew the intelligence was weak but had other motives for attacking Iraq or the intelligence services have failed miserably.
There were a lot of people – 10 million marched worldwide – in a lot of countries who were not convinced by the intelligence at the time. If you recall, we were continually being told that there was unequivocal proof that WMD’s existed. Not opinion. Not balance of probability. Absolute, objective certainty. They never actually produced this proof and now we know why. Those at the time who questioned the Iraq policy were vilified in a way that has never been seen between supposed allies – rather than answer their questions or assuage their fears, they were either bullied or simply abused in schoolboy language doing untold harm to the relationship of countries that used to respect and rely upon each other.
This week Blair faces the publication of the Hutton enquiry report into the apparent suicide of Dr David Kelley, a weapons expert and member of the intelligence community, whom his government deliberately exposed when they discovered he was the source of some stories in the press about the UK government sexing up the intelligence dossier on Iraq. No doubt he will look to his American cousins and explain how it is all MI6’s fault.
“I actually think the intelligence community owes the president rather than the president owing the American people” said David Kay. “I’m not doing a Paul O’Neill” he went on to say. Quite right, what David Kay is doing is far, far worse.