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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yet more inaccuracies from 'The History Man'

Never be fooled into thinking that just because a person holds the title of 'Professor', he/she is a person of superior wisdom - or accuracy. Niall Ferguson is a case in point. I can't think of any other prominent academic who makes so many sweeping, factually incorrect statements.

In this piece, on the execution of Saddam, Ferguson castigates the Iraqi dictator for 'bluffing' that he had WMD. The inference being of course, if only Saddam he had come clean and told Dubya and Tony he was 'WMD' free, his country would never have been attacked.

What utter twaddle. Saddam claimed repeatedly that he did not possess WMD- as did all the other members of the Iraqi government. On no occasion in the build-up to war did Saddam 'bluff' that Iraq possessed WMD. If Ferguson can produce a source to prove otherwise, then he should make it public.

Iraq was attacked not because Bush and Blair thought Saddam had WMD, but because they were pretty damn sure that he didn't.


Anonymous said...

The way I understood it (having spoken to an American former practitioner-turned-academic about this), Saddam took aside each of his ministers and told them that he possessed WMDs, but that they should tell that to none of their colleagues. Saddam knew they would blab, and suspected that Iranian intel had infiltrated his cabinet, calculating that this would terrify them into leaving him alone. He didn't bank on Britain's SIS getting hold of this 'info' too, however. Hence many within SIS actually believing he had WMDs.

So, um, I guess that's the closest Saddam came to a bluff. Though obviously he didn't bluff publicly.

grapesofplenty said...

Diplomat Carne Ross has blown the gaffe on how the British government knew Saddam didn't have WMDs.
As Neil says, if Bush and Blair honestly thought Saddam did have such weapons, they would not have attacked him as the casualties would simply have been too high.