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Not agreeing about the war

John Rentoul

libya 235x300 Not agreeing about the warI disagree with my colleagues at The Independent and The Independent on Sunday about the Iraq war, and I disagreed with the front page lead story on Sunday. It quotes anonymous sources and Toby Dodge saying the sorts of things that people who didn’t agree with the war expect them to say, in particular that the Chilcot report “will be absolutely damning on Blair’s style of government, the decision-making process and the planning and execution for its aftermath”. That last bit, possibly; for the rest, we will see.

The story refers to the evidence of the MI6 agent SIS 4, published by the Chilcot inquiry, but does not quote this bit:

The lack of our response to the re-emergence of Iraq as a serious regional power was like having tea with some very proper people in the drawing room and noticing that there was a python getting out of a box in one corner. I was very alarmed at the way that Iraq was eroding the sanctions regime and evading it.

And it repeats the common view in early 2002 that Libya was more of a chemical, biological and nuclear weapons threat than Iraq. In which case it was a good thing that the Iraq war persuaded Gaddafi to give up his illegal weapons ambitions, was it not?

If you do not care for liberal interventionism, Patrick Cockburn’s report on Libya for The Independent on Sunday was more important. He says that the country is sliding towards Iraq-style disorder. He blames Nato intervention, because the forces that ousted Gaddafi could not have done it without help and were not strong enough to impose order on the country. And he implies that the western media don’t care because the West’s responsibility for the situation in Libya today seems more indirect than it was in Iraq.

A good argument for not trying to do anything, anywhere.

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  • Kippers

    “The lack of our response to the re-emergence of Iraq as a serious regional power ……. ”
    A serious question: where is the evidence that that was happening?

  • mightymark

    Ooh my guilty secret must be outed – I don’t pay for anything here! My presence is wholly (electro) parasitic. By the way, you obviously go to different public bars to me!

  • PurbeckPashmina

    You obviously want to. How’s uncle Magoo these days?


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