29 – Friday 29 January 2010 : Blair at the Iraq Inquiry

In musings, politics on January 29, 2010 by Gabor Tagged: ,

OK, so in his evidence to the Iraq Inquiry, there were a lot of things Tony Blair did not say.  He did not say sorry.  He did not say he got it wrong.  But he was never going to.

I don’t like Tony Blair.  I never have.  One of his strengths was his sense of conviction and purpose.  To me, that is also, if not his weakness, one of the things that has worried me, probably because I could not detect any firm philosophical underpinning.

In his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, Blair seemed to stick to his line that the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do;  Saddam Hussein had to be got rid of.

Never mind that we were sold this war as being about WMD: that is what the UN resolutions were about.

Never mind the “dodgy dossier”.  I downloaded and read that pile of junk at the time.  I could not believe that my country was being taken to war on such unconvincing evidence.

No: Blair was convinced that going to war was the right thing to do.  In order to achieve that, he rode roughshod over his Cabinet (and more of those self-centred unprincipled toadies should have resigned.

I do find his conviction interesting, however.  This will be an interesting subject for historians.  In 1995 there was the Rwandan genocide.  Hundreds of thousands died.  The world stood back and watched.  We all said it must not be repeated.  I do not see how that can not have affected Blair, who became PM in 1997.  Shortly after he came to power, he developed an interventionist foreign policy that seemed to work with Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  So far, so good.

But in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, the humanitarian reasons for intervention were there for all to see.  With the invasion of Iraq, the policy of intervention was taken a step further.  But was the humanitarian justification there?  And if it was there in Iraq, what about Zimbabwe?  Or Burma? Or … ?  It seems to me that the invasion of Iraq took the “Blair doctrine” a step too far, probably because he allowed it to become confused with other reasons.  Others now say that participation in the invasion of Iraq lost Great Britain such moral authority and leadership as this country once had.  That seems to me to be correct.


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