UnNews:Tony Blair nearly sorry for Iraq mistakes
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Tony Blair nearly sorry for Iraq mistakes
UnFair and UnBalanced
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 10:42:UTC)(
25 October 2015
ATLANTA, Georgia-- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is nearly sorry for “mistakes” made during the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but is not sorry for “making them”. Mr. Blair said he felt remorse for the lashings of Tipp-ex throughout his dossiers and doctrines; but as far as he could remember, it was all to do with a flaky spell-checker that was swiftly “removed”.
Interviewed on CNN last night from the safety of the U.S., it was clear Blair has “still got it”, when it comes to ambiguity, dissemblance, and vigorous massaging of public spadework, in the continuing Chilcott Inquiry into the legality of the Iraq invasion.
Blair’s sort-of-mistakes go a bit beyond spelling and punctuation, as the self-styled Middle East peace envoy had claimed that Iraq had Weapons of mass destruction deployable in the time it takes to buy a four-pack and some tobacco from ASDA, requiring a swift invasion, claims now seen to be overtaken by reality.
However, Blair introduced an innovation to British politics. While New Labour’s other ministers use phrases like “lessons need to be learned” when it is they who need to learn them, Blair said in the interview: “I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” a remarkable use of the first person. At Buckingham Palace, the Queen commented, “One is impressed.”
Although Blair is right — he can say that — analysts classify it not as an apology but a master-class in political spin. Expert John Major noted, “The ex-PM skillfully conveys humility while at the same time doing the total opposite in case he finds himself answering to the Judiciary.”
Blair also told CNN that he can say that “…(Saddam) had used chemical weapons extensively against this own people and against others. The program, in the form we thought it was, did not exist in the way we thought.” However, he cannot say it, because weapons expert Dr David Kelly can, and did, pre-invasion; and was forced by the PM to appear in Parliament, retract his statement, and face incessant television interviews for the rest of his short life until suicide happily intervened.
In the U.S., George W. Bush’s decision to take that country into Iraq on comparable advice has become an issue in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Gadfly jillionaire Donald Trump challenged establishment favorite Jeb Bush to either diss his brother or diss the electorate. CNN anchors were furious that Trump did not leave that neat trick to them. An alleged Republican, Trump told thousands of Tea Party backers at a televangelism church in Dallas that he will eventually also ask Democrat Hillary Clinton about her identical position while she was in the Senate — any day now — and maybe someday even give her the Faustian choice of blemishing the women's rights core of her campaign like a stained blue dress.
Ironically, apologising for others' atrocities was never a problem for Blair. He has apologized for the Irish potato famine of 1846 and the slave trade abolished in 1807. But he has been tight-lipped about his own responsibility for squandering lives in the Iraq War. Blair may feel sufficient time has passed to change the story again, without really changing it, with an apology for the violent aftermath of the policy decision for which no apology is needed — surely not from someone who is “just a kind of normal, open and honest Christian” like you and I.
- Jethro Mullen "Tony Blair says he's sorry for Iraq War 'mistakes,' but not for ousting Saddam". CNN.com, October 25, 2015