Saturday, 30 January 2010

Linguistic Brilliance

Some people say that Chilcot has been pointless. "These people aren't in the dock", they say, "they aren't being required to legally answer for what they did. The supreme crime was supposed to be waging a war of aggression - can't these fucks even remember their own made-up laws?"

Well to these naysayers, I say this: you have missed the comedy value inherent in party hacks squirming to avoid responsibility for hundreds of thousands of deaths that they are directly responsible for.

First up:
Jack Straw.
Jack Straw's secret plan to keep Britain out of Iraq war

Straw, the first serving cabinet minister to give evidence to the inquiry, revealed that he had agonised over the morality of backing the war, saying he could have vetoed British involvement in 2003 and had subsequently "gone over again and again" whether he made the right judgment.

He also conceded that the decision to go to war and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction had undermined trust and led to "a grave loss of life" that he "deeply regrets". But he said that although his support for the war was the most difficult decision he had ever made, he never considered resigning – although he accepted that by resigning he could have stopped Britain joining the war.

Let's not bother with Malcolm Tucker's experience, beyond noting, Muntz style: Ha-ha!

Now we get to the war-criminal-in-chief*. First off, let's see if you can parse the following statements:

Blair suggests he did not impose conditions. The US/UK relationship is "an alliance", not a "contract".

Blair says he did not trade one policy for another. "I would not have done Iraq if I had not thought it was right."

Blair says after 9/11 he was not prepared to take any risks.

In the end, it's a matter of judgement.

This is not about a lie, or a deceipt, or a conspiracy or a deception. It's a decision .... I believed, and in the end so did the cabinet and so did parliament, incidentally, that it wasn't right to run that risk.

Of course, in no set of circumstances would he have run that risk. He had people for that. Soldiers and Iraqis, mainly. He had holidays with Berlusconi to do, after all. A tour of Basra could've seriously damaged that road map to tequila sunrise.

P.S. is anyone else confused by the idea that 'decisions' and 'lies' are now mutually exclusive?

UPDATE: sorry, should have mentioned some FCO legal advice
The lawyer, who told her superiors that an invasion without UN sanction would be a "crime of aggression" when she quit a few days before the invasion, said today that the way ministers handled the legal arguments over the war was "lamentable".

Oh Elizabeth Wilmhurst, if Willow Rosenburg and Aleks Krotoski weren't so high on my list, you'd be the one I'd run away with to Catalonia tomorrow.**

*Look, if you can hang Nazis not for the holocaust but for 'planning and waging a war of aggression' I fail to see why we can't subject former MP for Sedgefield at least to community service for the same.

**Yeah, they'd jump at the chance. Even the one who's real. This is completely a justifiable set of realistic priorities.