Monday, 1 March 2004

Happy happy joy joy

Clive Summerfield @ Monday, March 01, 2004
Good old Clare Short. Not only does she recieve a threatening letter from Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull, warning her not to give interviews regarding the bugging of Kofi Annan, but she went on ITV's Jonathon Dimbleby programme to publicised the fact.

And now it seems that the Ministry of Defence is facing legal action of the deaths of 13 Iraqi civilians. It seems that Public Interest Lawyers (bit of an oxymoron there methinks) are preparing to sue the MoD for compensation on behalf of the victims' families. So the lawyers will get richer (at our expense), the victims' families will get a modicum of compensation (at our expense), but meanwhile the families of servicemen killed in Iraq will still get bugger all in real terms. And all this for participating in a war of dubious legality.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Tony has any regrets about signing the Treaty of Rome which set up the International Criminal Court? With all the debate around the legality of the war, it would be ironic were Tony Blair and Geoff Hoon to be hauled up in front of the ICC for waging illegal war in Iraq. After all, if the justification was the location and destruction of WMDs then any military action that did not relate to such activities (e.g. use of cluster bombs, hitting restaurants in Baghdad, etc) could be deemed illegal under the terms of the ICC. Funnier still, that the US didn't ratify the Treaty and thus is not bound by its terms.

Part of the problem stems from Tony's desire to be liked by, and have the support of the majority of people. Fully aware that there was no consensus of support for regime change, yet convinced of the moral rightness of his cause to remove Saddam, Tony had to find an issue upon which he could build his support. He settled - in a decision which will stay with him forever - on alleged WMDs. From that point onwards, the die was cast and so the case for war was built from lie upon lie, mis-direction upon mis-direction, until even tony himself was most likely no longer aware of what was truth and what was falsehood. For a pretty straight sort of guy, he now appears incapable of talking in anything but lawyer-speak, full of evasions and meaningless phrases.

Until the Attorney General, along with Blair and co, comes clean on, this issue is going to drag on and on. What is needed is not another whitewash - this time headed by Butler - but rather a comprehensive public inquiry into the whole case for war. Until that point, it is the duty of all people to challenge and question the Prime Minister on his actions, and to hold him to account.

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