Irony of irony: there’s great excitement in the media that an Iraqi defector has come clean and admitted he lied about Saddam Hussein having a stockpile of biologicial weapons. This will finally nail Blair and Bush, they say. Well, think again. What it means as those two will actually get away with it.
A chap called Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who was known to the West’s security services as Curveball, made the claim to German secret service agents after he sought asylum in German. He was told that his wife would not be granted asylum if he did not cooperate and give then inside information about the Military Industries Commission for whom he had worked. So he spun the line about the biological weapons and mobile factories producing them which could be swiftly moved to evade detection by UN weapons inspectors. According to the BBC, the BND (Bundes Nachrichten Dienst – the Federal News Service, a title which deserves an Oscar for imagination in the cause of euphemism) checked with al-Janabi’s former boss who told them it was all complete cobblers, but the Germans carried on believing he was telling him the truth, most probably because they wanted to, and passed on the info to the US and Britain.
So – and this comes as no surprise to anyone over the age of four – the invasion of Iraq was justified by an untruth. Thus there is great jubilation among hacks and hackettes in the Western world that ‘Tony Blair can finally be nailed’. Poor saps. He can’t be nailed at all. On the contrary he is now finally off the hook. All he need to is stick to his line that what he decided was done in accordance with military intelligence and in good faith, and if that military intelligence was now shown to be of no more value than last month’s laundry list – well, he can’t be blamed can he. End of story.
It all naturally begs the question as to whether the truth about the claim came out a lot sooner than now – or indeed not – and why alarm bells didn’t ring at the time when it could not be corroborated – which, being completely untrue, it couldn’t of course. But that wasn’t the point. Bush wanted to go to war, for whatever reason – and it is still a mystery – and the bullshit invented by al-Janabi came like manna from heaven. Blair was intent on supporting Bush – again for whatever reason that might have been (I think it was something as shallow conceit and vanity to be seen playing with the big boys. I’m afraid I’ve concluded that conceti and vanity are more or less the sole motivation for almost all of Blair’s politics), so he wouldn’t have been too hard to be persuaded that the bio weapons bullshit was the long-sought for smoking gun. But the upshot is that he has finally and irrvocably got away with it. From now on it is between him and his conscience. And as I have also concluded that he is the sort of conman who succeeds by believing his own bullshit, that, I’m sorry to say, will be no contest. Al-Janabi says his motive was straightforward: to topple Saddam and his regime. In that he succeeded. But unfortunately more than 100,000 innocent Iraqis have lost their lives because of him. I wonder how that makes him feel?