Kofi Annan, still wrong
I am all for people going on about Tony Blair and repeating what they thought about Iraq, but The Times (pay wall) leads its front page today with Kofi Annan doing both those things.
Annan, who as leader of the United Nations first set out the doctrine of “benign intervention” in 1998.
Who nevertheless disagreed with military action in Iraq, and still does.
He is wrong, of course. Tony Blair could not have prevented the American invasion. George Bush offered Blair the chance to stand aside from the first phase of military operations if he could not secure the vote in the House of Commons, but there was no question of the invasion not going ahead.
Other people – not Annan, who is talking about the time in March 2003 when Bush and Blair failed to secure a further UN resolution – suggest that, if Blair had opposed military action in 2002 he could have swayed Bush.
That was never likely, so it loses its plausibility as hypothetical history, but even then the Bush administration was pretty set on its course.
A more plausible alternative history is Jack Straw’s. Britain could have stayed out of the initial invasion if he, as Foreign Secretary, had opposed it. But the US invasion would have gone ahead. And he didn’t.Tagged in: iraq, iraq war, Kofi Annan
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