another ranch in Texas?…

Posted on Wednesday 26 January 2011

Mandarins dispute Blair’s assertion on Iraq intentions
The Independent

By Michael Savage
26 January 2011

Tony Blair’s claim that his Cabinet colleagues were fully aware of his determination to deal with Saddam Hussein has been bluntly called into question by devastating testimony from two of his most senior officials. Lord Wilson and Lord Turnbull, who were both heads of the civil service under Mr Blair, told the Chilcot inquiry yesterday that some Cabinet ministers were kept in the dark about the former Prime Minister’s intentions in Iraq. During his second appearance at the inquiry last week, Mr Blair had said his Cabinet were well aware during most of 2002 that he was pursuing a policy against Saddam that could lead to military action.

But both former Cabinet Secretaries made it clear that senior ministers were not kept up to date with Mr Blair’s intentions. Far from keeping his Cabinet in the loop, Lord Wilson, the Cabinet Secretary from 1998 to 2002, said Mr Blair assured them in April 2002 that "nothing was imminent". "I don’t think anyone would have gone away thinking they had authorised a course of action that would lead to military action," Lord Wilson said. Lord Turnbull, who took over the job in the summer of 2002, described how he fundamentally disagreed with Mr Blair’s version of events. "I shook my head when I heard [Mr Blair’s evidence]," he told the inquiry. He noted a "mismatch between where the Prime Minister’s thinking was and how much that was shared with his colleagues"…
This second round at the Chilcot Inquiry are pretty much putting the coffin nails into the casket of Tony Blair’s political reputation. I think they actually have a symbolic monarchy in England to have someone to venerate, because their political style is to fry their Prime Ministers and Cabinet on a routine basis. Tony Blair didn’t play this one straight, and by the time this inquiry is over, everyone in the UK will know it. I would recommend he find a retirement ranch somewhere near Crawford Texas.

I find myself wondering "Why?" Why did Blair opt for the Regime Change route for Iraq so early? The more testimony we hear, the more obvious it becomes that that’s what he did. I think before last week, the standard thesis was that he made a "pact in blood" with Bush to invade Iraq at their Crawford meeing in early April, 2002. But the recently declassified Memo of March 17, 2002 makes it crystal clear that he was already there before he visited Bush’s brush-covered ranch that Spring. So we’re left wondering "Why?"

It’s fairly certain that the impetus on this side of the Atlantic arose in the White House of George H. W. Bush and persisted in the offices of the American Enterprise Institute where his Cabinet spent eight years in exile as "the Neoconservatives." Their idea was to fill the void left by the fall of the USSR with an American hegemony that transcended the UN. Was Tony Blair equally deluded? Was he in on a hunt for oil? Did he dream of Britain’s former glory when they controlled the Middle East? I have no idea, but there’s little question that he wasn’t just being drug along by the lunatics in Washington. He was a player, and his country is on to his game. Like I said, a neighboring ranch in Texas would be a good option for Tony for a while…

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