The Untruth Machine is back
I see that the Guardian-Mail axis has mobilised to counter Tony Blair’s wish to re-engage with British public life. Interestingly, the Guardian’s contribution, by John Harris yesterday, was notably mild and willing to entertain the proposition that Blair might have something to offer.
Even so, it was shot through with the hardening anti-war conviction that no right-thinking person could conceivably hold the Iraq war to be other than a disaster and wrong. Harris interviewed Anthony Seldon, author of books about John Major, Blair and Gordon Brown, who “mentions the grim fate of Anthony Eden, who died 20 years after the debacle of Suez, ‘and was never able to clear his name’”.
The reason that Eden was unable to clear his name was that he lied to the House of Commons, which Blair did not.
The Suez comparison was also erroneously brought up by Robin Cook before the Iraq war, in an exchange recounted in Alastair Campbell’s diaries:
11 September 2002 TB was with Robin C, even more puffed up than usual … He was making clear he felt we had to avoid military action, saying he didn’t want to serve 20 years under a Gordon Brown premiership. He even mentioned Suez. This is not Suez, said TB. That was not thought through and the US were not there. I’m not going to let the US go unilateral.
The other wing of the axis, an anonymous Daily Mail editorial today, dispenses with the niceties, and just goes with the straight and vile condensation of all the anti-war myths into one simplified and hypocritical story, in a newspaper that did not oppose the war at the time.
Ah, but the reason that it did not oppose the war was because it was lied to by Blair and Alastair Campbell, is the antis’ triumphant response to that.
Never mind the four inquiries that have found this to be a – er, to lack a firm foundation in fact. Just ask yourself, “Why?” That is the all-powerful solvent of anti-war myth and Blair rage, so unable to tell the difference between a lie and something that turned out not to be the case.
In the introduction to the fourth volume of his diaries, Campbell has a good quotation from George W Bush’s memoir, Decision Points:
alastair campbell, chilcot, contemporary history, iraq, iraq inquiry, iraq war, suez
If I wanted to mislead the country into war why would I pick an allegation that was certain to be disproven publicly shortly after we invaded the country?
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