Ever get the urge to whack some of these clueless ms media 'interviewers'?
There was American ABC's Christiane Amanpour interviewing Tony Bliar about his memoir (A Journey). She asked, "I guess no surprises. There is zero apologising for what happened in Iraq. You stick to your contention about the WMD and if it wasn't WMD then you say at least the by-product would be getting rid of Saddam Hussein and wouldn't the world be a better place without him? But you also talk about not comprehending the complexities that were going to be unleashed in Iraq. What precisely were these?"
Bliar being Bliar launched into the following monstrously irrelevant riff on 9/11: "I think we understand more clearly now, and this is something I didn't understand fully at the time of 9/11, that 3,000 people were killed in the streets of New York in a single day, and I think it's possible just to hold that thought in our minds because I always say about this the important thing is if these people could've killed 30,000 or 300,000 then they would have, and that really changed the calculus of risk altogether. But what I understood less clearly at that time was how deep this ideological movement is. This is actually more like the phenomenon of revolutionary communism. It's the religious or cultural equivalent of it, and its roots are deep, its tentacles are long, and its narrative about Islam stretches far further than we think into even parts of mainstream opinion who abhor the extremism but sort of buy some of the rhetoric that goes with it."
The obvious question at this point for Amanpour would have been: Fascinating Tone, but what on earth did the pan-Islamic al-Qaida have to do with a secular Arab nationalist regime, disarmed after the first Gulf War in 1991 and virtually on its knees after more than a decade of genocidal US/UK-enforced UN sanctions? Amazingly, this did not occur to her.
Is it too much to expect Amanpour to have scanned Blair's testimony before Britain's Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Take this bit, for example: "11.23 Blair says that one of the differences between UK and US thinking is that Britain accepted that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But he adds that the fear of repressive states linking up with terrorist groups justifies robust action against any WMD programmes, even if evidence is scanty." (Tony Blair at the Iraq Inquiry live, Matthew Moore, telegraph.co.uk, 29/1/10)
Scanty? Try non-existent!
Now imagine what an informed interviewer could have done with that in this context: Tone, allow me to take you back to your testimony before the Chilcot Inquiry in January. Were you for real when you said that the war on Iraq could be justified - that is, a war resulting in over a million deaths and costing so far over US$3 trillion dollars - merely on the basis of an unsubstantiated fear that there was a remote possibility that Saddam and Osama might decide to cosy up?
[NB: For a devastating analysis of Bliar's chapter on Iraq, read Fisking Blair's chapter on Iraq, Mehdi Hasan, New Statesman, 1/9/10]