Monday, 19 December 2011

Should Bush and Blair be brought to justice? An exchange with the Guardian’s Deborah Orr – “one of Britain's leading social and political commentators"

According to Deborah Orr, Bush and Blair lied when they told us that they had to bomb Iraq because Saddam had WMD and posed an imminent threat. She claims Blair's real (though unstated) motivation was to bring peace and democracy to the Middle East. In reality, he made it clear that Saddam could remain in power if he disarmed: "I detest his regime. But even now he can save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully". He also made it clear that he had no desire to remove his brutal friends from power in Saudi Arabia:

Time magazine: Your wife chaired a press conference about the bad treatment of women in Afghanistan. What about Saudi Arabia? Do you approve of the way women are treated there?

Blair: I'm not going to get into the business of attacking the Saudi system.

Time magazine: But you do attack the Afghan system.

Blair: Yes, but we are in conflict with the Taliban regime. At the present time I don't think it is very helpful to tell the Saudis how they should live (10 December 2001).

'Our' leaders will continue to remain taciturn about the Saudi leaders' brutally as long as they remain subservient to the economic interests of Western elites. However, for the sake of argument, let's assume that Orr is correct. Why does she believe that Blair and Bush had the right to keep their real motivations for war secret from us?

Dear Deborah Orr,

I've included your views in my latest article. Hope you find it interesting:

Best wishes,
Nice piece. Though I can't forbear from pointing out that my own point was that Blair believed his own lies about himself, and still does.
Thanks, Deborah. Do you think your piece would have been published without that caveat? It seems that only fig leafs like Pilger are willing to say that Bush and Blair invaded Iraq and Afghanistan for rapacious reasons.
Blair and Bush, especially Blair, don't recognise their own reasons as rapacious. They think that what is good for them is good for everyone. That's why they felt that they could run countries in the first place, and also why accusations of rapaciousness are so easily withstood by them. They dismiss them because their own mistaken belief is that they are NOT acting out of self-interest, egged on by others with self-interest guiding them too. The fact that, lo and behold, it does benefit their military-industrial complex is to them just proof that they are right, and that good things come to good people. Their delusion is self-affirming. The Indie ran a number of "it's all about oil" pieces. If I'd wanted to argue that Blair himself knew it was all about oil and was lying about his messianic mission to spread "liberal democracy", they'd have let me. But it's not what I think, so I didn't want to write it.
So just to be clear, you believe that Blair attacked Iraq because he wanted to bring peace and democracy to the Middle East? Is there any evidence to support this position?
Yes. His self-righteous inanity and insanity.
You wouldn't be regularly writing for the mainstream media if you believed otherwise. That's the main point of my piece really.

Despite the lack of evidence, you present your controversial opinion as fact. Let's remind ourselves of the facts. Blair explicitly stated that Britain had to invade Iraq because Saddam had WMD and hence posed an imminent threat to our survival. When you claim the real reason Blair attacked Iraq was to spread peace and democracy, you are admitting that he lied to Parliament and the British public. Democracy promotion only became the main justification when the initial pretext for war collapsed. Do you think Blair should be punished for his mendacity?

In contrast to Jonathan Steele, you state that for Bush oil was "clearly a strong motivating factor". However, the threat Saddam posed was the sole reason given by Bush in his march to war. Oil was certainty not mentioned. You do not draw attention to this fact - you just go to the next paragraph. Why did you not call for Bush to be punished commensurately in some way?
I look forward to your measured reply.
Oh, I suppose it's because I'm a craven puppet of the establishment, while you're a fearless truth and justice seeker. Eh?
That's not my argument, Deborah. That's a red herring. Could you please answer my question: Do you think Bush and Blair should be punished for lying about why they invaded Iraq?
Best wishes,
It is now clear the lies Bush and Blair told to justify war caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and yet you still don't believe they should be brought to justice. That's astonishing.

1 comment:

  1. "Oh, I suppose it's because I'm a craven puppet of the establishment" LOL -

    She knows (how exactly? been inside his mind?) that TB'liar 'believed' his lies, because he's insane.

    But she knows equally well that she's not a craven puppet of the establishment.

    Talk about multiple-deluded. No wonder she's doing OK as a professional presstitute.

    Don't waste time on such corpohacks. Who can take them seriously? Well, convinced guardianistas, I guess; shut into the same soft libdelusions. No wonder the hardfaced realpolitiker crims own them and manage them so easily; doing what they do for a few score thou a year and a soft, 'prestigeful' career in the corpomedia.

    And I don't doubt even managing to doublethink up -- most of the time -- some ersatz semblance of self-respect too: 'No-one tells me what to write, or what to think!'.

    You have to say, paraphrasing Chomsky's famous Marrputdown yet again: 'No Deborah, no-one has to tell you. You do it for them without telling. That's why they hire you, dearie. Don't you get it: you're a useful goodthinker. Especially useful, in fact, because you have this surface patina of an independent-minded, feisty, rather radical thinker. But you still know, with steely clarity just beneath the surface, which side your career's greased, and where the invisible-but-mandatory toeing lines are.' (Crikey! Long paraphrase)

    The only possible response to such wilfully-blind craven puppets is laughter -- and then ignoring their pap, and going to the real radicals for the real McKay.