Saturday, 30 January 2010

Note his choice of verb ...

From Tony Blair's testimony to the Chilcott inquiry:
"Responsibility but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein. I think that he was a monster. I believe he threatened not just the region but the world. And in the circumstances that we faced then, but I think even if you look back now, it was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office." (1)
Note that he believes Saddam Hussien was a global threat. Couching it as a belief - by necessity, an idea held inspite of there being no evidence to support it - allows Blair to sidestep the pesky absence of evidence supporting his demented suggestion that a third rate gangster with some broken down tanks and a bit of a nuclear reactor posed a global threat.

It's a belief, not a statement of fact. A belief doesn't need evidence, facts, or any of that inconvenient stuff.

But his choice of verb is lawyerly - it reveals - subtly - that he didn't have the evidence. It's a sly admission that he sent British troops to war knowing that there wasn't an adequate pretext.

I'm sure this fervently voiced belief squares Blair with his conscience. He can - and undoubtledly has - convinced himself that he truly believes this, just as he has doubtless convinced himself that he is truly a follower of the Catholic faith. The man's powers of self delusion and self persuasion are remarkable.

But he has failed utterly to convince anyone who thought his decision to join the invasion of Iraq was at best stupid, at worst craven, hypocritical and reckless, to change their minds.

That needs evidence.
1 - "To gasps from the gallery, Blair says we should be proud of the war," by Nigel Morris. Published in the Independent, 30th of January, 2010. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/to-gasps-from-the-gallery-blair-said-we-should-be-proud-of-the-war-1883651.html)

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