Commentary

Prosecuting Bush’s Poodle

Tony Blair at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009. Photo by Andy Mettler/flickr

Tony Blair at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009. Photo by Andy Mettler/flickr

Compare Tony Blair’s latest confession to mass murder with Bush’s.

The BBC has just aired an interview of Blair in which he was asked whether he would have attacked Iraq even if he had known there were no “weapons of mass destruction” there. Blair replied:

“I would still have thought it right to remove him.”

Him is, of course, Saddam Hussein. And of course Blair did know that Iraq had no serious weapons and that any such weapons were not Bush’s real motivation. The Downing Street Minutes record a meeting at which Blair was informed of that fact. The White House Memo (from Jan. 31, 2003) does the same.

Blair tells the BBC that he would have gone to war because Iraq posed a “threat to the region.” Never mind that the Downing Street Minutes record the Foreign Secretary informing Blair that, “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”

And never mind that in the same meeting the Attorney General told Blair, as he told him again just afterwards in a letter, that regime change was not a legal basis for war.

Back on Dec. 16, 2003, ABC News aired an interview in which Diane Sawyer asked George W. Bush about the claims he had made about “weapons of mass destruction,” and he replied:

“What’s the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger.”

Yes, what’s the difference?

No big deal.

Just a million human beings killed and four million displaced.

Iraqi deaths as a result of the invasion and occupation, measured above the high death rate under international sanctions preceding the attack, are estimated at 1.2 million by two independent sources (Just Foreign Policy’s updated figure based on the Johns Hopkins/Lancet report, and the British polling company Opinion Research Business’s estimate as of August 2007).

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Iraqis who have fled their homes has reached 4.7 million.

If these estimates are accurate, a total of nearly 6 million human beings had been displaced from their homes or killed. Many times that many have certainly been injured, traumatized, impoverished, and deprived of clean water and other basic needs.

Now let’s compare the reaction to Blair’s confession in the UK with the reaction to Bush’s in the United States. First Blair. AFP reports:

“Lawyers representing the deposed Iraqi leadership said they would seek to prosecute Blair following his remarks, while one newspaper commentator said it was a ‘game-changing admission’ for the ongoing official inquiry into the war.

“Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix added: ‘The war was sold on the WMD, and now you feel, or hear that it was only a question of deployment of arguments, as he said, it sounds a bit like a fig leaf that was held up.’

“Blair is due to give evidence to the inquiry into the war, led by former civil servant John Chilcot, early next year, and the commentator in the Sunday Telegraph said the investigation’s focus must now change. ‘Mr Blair’s game-changing admission gives them a licence to be tougher and more prosecutorial,’ he wrote, a call echoed by campaigners at Stop the War Coalition, who urged Chilcot’s inquiry to recommend legal action against Blair.

“Professor Philippe Sands, a leading international lawyer, said he believed Blair’s comments had left him vulnerable to legal proceedings.”

Now Bush in the United States:

[Sound of crickets chirping.]

Actually, the U.S. corporate media did have a response to Bush turning the WMD claims into a joke at a Washington press-politico dinner party in 2004 (when he showed slides of himself looking under chairs for Iraq’s WMD): they laughed along with him and congressional leaders.

And yet, a grassroots movement has been created in the United States that is going to be taking advantage of every opportunity growing out of the prosecution of Bush’s poodle to hold the poodle’s owner responsible.

David Swanson is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and author of the new book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when tour will be in your town by visiting davidswanson.org/book.

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3 Responses for “Prosecuting Bush’s Poodle”

  1. Jesse Hemingway says:

    I would like to submit this article below to prove just how criminally insane George W. Bush and Tony Blair actually were and still are. This article indicates the fact that Team Bush & Blair wanted to commit a murder spree rather the remove Saddam Hussein from power. For 1 billon dollars team Bush & Blair could have over thrown Iraq peacefully.
    The question is why team Bush & Blair chose the 3 trillion dollar regime change model and the millions murdered and displaced; for a regime change that should have only cost 1 billion dollars? The reason is that team Bush & Blair were using the 9/11 attacks on the United States as their leverage. Now the Bush Administration has denied that they ever attempted to tie Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks.
    The judgment to go to war for regime change Iraq by Team Bush & Blair now looks clear as day that it was a criminal act of aggression no (ifs ands or buts).

    Report Says Hussein Was Open To Exile Before 2003 Invasion
    He Is Said to Have Sought $1 Billion and Information on Arms

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/26/AR2007092602414.html

    By Karen DeYoung and Michael Abramowitz
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Less than a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein signaled that he was willing to go into exile as long as he could take with him $1 billion and information on weapons of mass destruction, according to a report of a Feb. 22, 2003, meeting between President Bush and his Spanish counterpart published by a Spanish newspaper yesterday

  2. Jesse Hemingway says:

    Just plug this phrase in to a web search:

    (Hussein Was Open to Exile Before 2003 Invasion)

    I hope you can handle the truth!!!

  3. When all is said and done ‘Human evolution could easily take a quantum leap into the distant future the day after mankind realizes that God does not choose sides’ J walker, 2004.

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