... suffering sleepless nights, haunted by memories of the past and how he might have done things differently, came to me this morning. It is reported here that he has intervened to urge Gordon Brown to hold the Iraq war inquiry in secret. (As Mandy, a naughty little thing who provided sexual favours to the rich and powerful, famously said: "he would wouldn't he?")
Unfortunately Blair's sleepless nights are not likely to compare with the pain, fear and dark forebodings which will have filled the nights of the victims of his torture policies.
In Blair's case the anxiety would be more like a temper tantrum, brought on at the thought of being publicly questioned about the lies he told in leading the UK to war. Such public humiliation might harm his chances of becoming President of Europe (with the other Mandy as Governor of Great Britain?).
He need not worry – there will be no subpoenas or requirement for witnesses to tell the truth (Tony: - "phew!"). Just take a look at the five-man committee. It will be chaired by Sir John Chilcott a member of the Butler inquiry into the intelligence (!) that led up to the war. He will be practiced in applying whitewash.
Sir Lawrence Freedman wrote Blair's 1999 speech in Chicago where he laid out his approach to internationalism and in 2003 described the war thus: “Even if it takes time to dislodge Saddam's regime, the US – and also Britain – will emerge from this conflict hardened in their power and ready to exercise far greater influence over not only the development of Iraq but also the wider Middle East.”
Sir Martin Gilbert argued in 2004 that Blair and Bush would in future be seen as the Churchill and Roosevelt of their times. He also wrote: “Both men had to deploy all their persuasive skills to make the case for overthrowing Hussein, despite the obvious evil of his regime”. It is reported here that these last two are both committed Zionists and therefore hardly neutral when it comes to Iraq and it's place in the Middle East.
Then there is Sir Roderick Lyne, former ambassador to Russia, member of a Trilateral Commission Task Force (on Russia) and special adviser to BP, a company which has benefitted significantly from the decision to invade Iraq. The only woman on the committee, Baroness Usha Prashar, also appears to be the only independent member - if so she will have her work cut out for her.
I would love to see a full, independent public inquiry into the Iraq War, but experience suggests it will simply be used as a sop, part of the bread and circuses which are served up to keep our daily attention moving on – avoiding even a moment's reflection.
When it comes down to it many people would agree with Alan Watkins summary:
“ A corrupt House of Commons gave its support to a corrupt prime minister, though a lot of people were taken in at the time. “
Posted by Nicholas Moore 1:47:03 PM