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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The great WMD hoax- and why David Aaronovitch owes Tony Benn an apology


says today's Daily Mail headline. Who'd have thought it eh? Tony Blair lying? I'm sure that news comes as a huge surprise to readers of this blog.

Reading the Mail's headline reminded me of the events of February 2003. Veteran socialist politician and peace campaigner Tony Benn travelled to Baghdad to ask Saddam Hussein if he did indeed possess WMDs. (you can watch part one of Tony's interview above, and you can watch parts two and three here and here).

For going to Baghdad and meeting with Saddam, Benn was savaged by the pro-war hawks in the media. David Aaronovitch, wrote this sneering, sarcastic piece poking fun at Benn in The Guardian. What a silly old naïve fool Tony Benn was the neocons and 'liberal interventionists' chimed, going to Baghdad and asking Saddam if he had WMD. Of course Saddam would say he hadn't and of course he was lying.

But it wasn’t Saddam Hussein who was telling porkies, but the British and American governments.

Of course, some of us said the WMD line was baloney. It wasn't a difficult call to make- for if Bush and Blair had genuinely believed Iraq possessed WMDs they would not have been so keen to attack the country, as I argued here.

But many, many journalists did swallow the lies about WMDs, hook, line and sinker.
As I said here, the pundits who parroted the U.S. and Britain's deceitful propaganda on Iraq have never been properly held to account.

Far from it, they've actually been rewarded for getting things so badly wrong.

Melanie Phillips, and not John Pilger or Seumas Milne, is on Question Time tonight.

UPDATE: Blair and Bush's Bush and Blair’s secret, illegal plan to ‘regime change’ in Iraq. Read all about it here and here.


olching said...

Wot? Tony Blair lying? David Aaronovitch getting something wrong? Well I never...

Why is Mad Mel Phillips on QT (and so often at that)? Well, we don't have freakshows any longer, so I think she acts as a substitute.

Honestly, did you hear Rusbridger's daughter pass comment on Mad Mel on CiF? Caused a bit of a stir, as it exposed the Graun's nepotism (she is as vacuous as it gets, BellaM), but that was probably the most intelligent thing she has ever said. (And of course immediately picked up on by the pro-war hawk-orks.)

Mike said...

Seriously, though, according to expert testimony, we now know that the 45 minute claim was not hyped up by the government and only became a matter of debate after the war; we also know the government was still getting intelligence reports that Iraq was hiding WMDs just ten days before the war, proving that Blair did not lie, and now it has been confirmed that Blair DID tell Bush to go through the UN route.

It's a good first week for the government.

Neil Clark said...

hi olching, hope all's well.
what a hyped-up stir there was over Isabella Rusbridger on Planet Neo-Con.
Mike, whatever it is you've been smoking mate, make sure you're not smoking it when a policeman passes your window. ever thought of getting a job as a new labour spin doctor? you'd be very good at it.

Curtif said...

what a hyped-up stir there was over Isabella Rusbridger on Planet Neo-Con.

I don't buy any of the conspiracy theories for one second, but that doesn't detract from the fact that she was pretty damn stupid.

It's one thing slagging off Melanie Phillips on your own dime (a practice to be warmly encouraged as a general rule), but doing it on a national newspaper website when you're the editor's daughter is something else again.

jack said...

Neil your Web blog has been honoured in Sweden.

Anonymous said...

David Aaronovitch debunks the 911 truth movement