Backlash begins for bLIAR
Following yesterday’s admittance from former PM Tony Blair that he would have agreed to invade Iraq no matter the reason a backlash has begun against him here in the UK.
Although bLIAR may have thought that appearing on Fern Britton’s BBC show would somehow soften public opinion in his favor, instead it has seen a wave of comments from commentators, officials and everyone else in between.
Here are a selection of my favourite:
Sir Ken MacDonald: ex-director of public prosecutions: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8411326.stm)
“It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.”
Sir Ken, who works at the same barristers’ chambers as Mr Blair’s wife Cherie, said: “Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that ‘hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right’.
“But this is a narcissist’s defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgement: it is certainly no answer to death.”
Jonathan Steele: The Guardian:
As for Blair’s claim that the invasion was justified because Iraq is better off without Saddam and his vile sons, he would do better to consult Iraqis rather than rely on his blind judgment that he did what was right. They are the ones whose country has been plunged into chaos and destruction thanks to Bush and Blair, with millions made homeless and countless thousands dead.
Andrew Gilligan: The Telegraph:
Mr Blair’s statement that he wanted rid of Saddam all along, and would simply have “deploy[ed] different arguments” to do so in the absence of WMD, is his clearest admission to date that the famous weapons were indeed a pretext. His belief that a war on Iraq would have been necessary even without WMD is both significant – and highly questionable.
Bruce Anderson: The Independent:
Tony Blair has now admitted what some of us suspected at the time. He was prepared to go to war with Saddam Hussein in order to secure regime change. That was laudable, and we should disregard the witterings of the so-called international lawyers who question its legality. Admittedly, regime change is not to be undertaken lightly (for one thing, we no longer have enough ships and men). But if it becomes necessary and can be done, Britain is still sovereign. In the case of Iraq, however, there was a tragic failure to think through the consequences.
George Pitcher: The Telegraph:
With a hat-tip to George Burns, Blair knows that sincerity is everything and, if he can fake that, then he’s cracked it. Partly it’s disquiet that Blair has again used a soft BBC opportunity to prepare his way for a tricky public performance, in this case telling the Chilcot Inquiry that he’d have found any old reason to invade Iraq: WMD, regime change, bad hair day, whatever…
…There’s something of the Jeffrey Archer to Tony Blair. If there’s a past that doesn’t suit him, he invents another one.
Alex Carlile: The Independent:
A mark of the reservations held about the inquiry is implicit in the decision of Tony Blair to reveal not to Chilcot but to Fern Britton broadcast on BBC1 today that he would have regarded regime change in Iraq as justifiable anyway, even had there been no intelligence of weapons of mass destruction at the time when he told Parliament that they could be deployed in 45 minutes. Mr Blair recognised that different arguments would have been deployed, in a debate I believe he almost certainly would have lost in Cabinet, despite his pre-eminence at the time. Had he gone down that road, I have no doubt that his intellectually rigorous attorney general Lord Goldsmith QC would have resigned in what would have become a sore and open discussion of the war’s legality.
Ken McDonald: The Times:
The degree of deceit involved in our decision to go to war on Iraq becomes steadily clearer. This was a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions and playing footsie on Sunday morning television does nothing to repair the damage. It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner George Bush and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn’t want, and on a basis that it’s increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible.
Iain Dale: Iain Dale’s blogspot:
I am intrigued that he chose to give an interview to Fern Britton just ahead of giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry. It’s almost as if by giving this interview he might be trying to influence Sir John’s line of questioning. I wouldn’t put it past him.
Mehdi Hassan: New Statesman:
Blair’s neoconservatismin foreign affairs has often been masked by his supporters in the press as “humanitarian interventionism” or “muscular liberalism”. I hope these latest revelations will put an end to all that nonsense from the apologists.
Sadly despite this backlash, the Chilcott Inquiry shows that with no fingers of blame and no prosecution to be sort, bLIAR’s confession will in my view see him smirking his way to freedom.