EVERYONE, bar former prime minister Tony Blair, now accepts that the Iraq war was a horrendous "mistake".
By Amit Roy
November 09, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - So for ex-prime minister Gordon Brown to say in his just-published memoirs, that he wished he had done more to stop Britain taking military action against Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein by standing shoulder to shoulder with US president George W Bush in March 2003, is not entirely convincing.
In London, an estimated two million anti-war protesters were ignored by the Blair government which insisted Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) ready to be fired within 45 minutes.
Brown, a "principled" man, could have taken the Labour party with him had he chosen to oppose the war, but instead, he was quite aggressive in backing Blair. Now he claims the Americans had intelligence that threw doubt on whether Saddam possessed WMDs, but that this was not shared with Britain, which was “misled” by its closest ally.
Even without this intelligence, plenty of people realised back then that Saddam, though a brutal dictator, did not present a strategic threat to Britain. The war killed thousands, further destabilised an already unstable region, attracted Islamist militant groups into Iraq where there had been none, and gave some home-grown British Muslims an excuse to take up terrorism and even carry out suicide bombings.
For Brown to now say his job as chancellor of the exchequer was merely to provide funds for the war is the equivalent of saying “I was only following orders”.
No wonder he has a troubled conscience: “I ask myself over and over whether I could have made more of a difference before that fateful decision was taken.”
Yes, Gordon, you could have.
For him to admit the Iraq war was illegal must count as crocodile tears.
“We now know from classified American documents, that in the first days of September 2002 a report prepared by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s director for intelligence landed on the desk of the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld,” he writes in My Life, Our Times.
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He goes on: “Commissioned by Rumsfeld… it is now clear how forcibly this report challenged the official view. If I am right that somewhere within the American system the truth about Iraq’s lack of weapons was known, then we were not just misinformed but misled on the critical issue of WMDs.
“Given that Iraq had no usable chemical, biological or nuclear weapons that it could deploy and was not about to attack the coalition, then … war could not be justified as a last resort and invasion cannot now be seen as a proportionate response.”
It’s more than a personal tragedy that he did not say then what he is saying now – that the war was illegal.This article was originally published by Eastern Eye -
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