David Knopfler Blog

Somewhat political observations

Monday, February 01, 2010

Oh what a tangled web... meetings with Israelis

Blair mentioned (in studied passing) to the Chilcot inquiry last week, that while at Crawford seeing Bush in 2002 to discuss possible invasion of Iraq that they had "meetings with Israelis." Would this be to check if they'd be down with it, if more scuds fell on Tel Aviv during the invasion of 2003? or to reassure them that all the talk of WMDs was froth and not to worry because the weapons inspectors had cleared the ranges? As Sir Walter Scott put it... "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

It seems to me, unlikely Blair would have mentioned it by accident. More likely he was confident that this information would come out at some stage anyway, (in Bush's memoirs perhaps ;)) so better try not to look like a conspiracy was afoot. It seems, thus far, he may have over-estimated the panel's facility. Maybe Sir Roderick still has a trick or two up his sleeve, but I'm not holding my breath.


Blogger AshbyFamily said...

It's easy for everyone, with the benefit of hindsight I might add, to throw out their conspiracy theories regarding the invasion of Iraq under the premise of WMDs. I think Tony Blair made a very important point in the hearings, namely that Sadam had already used WMDs on his own people. That is very important to remember. Couple that with bipartisan intelligence suggesting that WMDs were still in Iraq and I think you've got to give Mr. Blair the benefit of the doubt. Now, obviously the intelligence changed and I can understand the dissenting opinions with regard to Iraq as a whole. However, if you recall the initial invasion, their was bi-partisan agreement (both in the US and UK) in favor of an Iraq plan. Perhaps I'm naive, but I'd like to believe that Mr. Blair wasn't conspiring, but was rather reacting in a way he thought was appropriate at the time. I extend that same courtesy to the more liberal PM and US President we have today. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we don't need to invent conspiracies, we have real threats out in the open.

5:31 am  
Blogger David Knopfler said...

To say I'm throwing around conspiracy theories is a tad smeary. I don't think the Kurds would see themselves as "his own people." The intel was far from bipartisan and the Inspectors like Ritter and Blix wanted to finish the job. Check out their opinions online. "An Iraq plan" is hardly the same thing as an illegal invasion involving massive loss of life. I think Blair is clear that he did what he thought was right, as you say: The problem is, the same can be said for the invasion of Poland - not of course that I'm comparing Blair to Hitler. I'm simply saying that after 1442 was correctly rejected by the UN, the legal case for invasion simply wasn't there - especially when the intel was sexed up at Downing Street to get Parliament's consent. For Goldsmith to then decide 1441 was adequate won't do. There is a smell in the UK that isn't going to go away until some of the mistakes are identified and a few heads roll.

2:07 am  
Blogger AshbyFamily said...

Fair points David. I suppose there is some need for wrongs to be righted.

3:28 am  

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