Friday, 21 January 2011

Quote of the day... this gem from one Tony Blair;
People think of WMDs as concrete things like tanks or rockets, but they can be in peoples minds – in the intellectual capability of scientists to develop them.
This quote, from his testimony at the Chilcott inquiry, marks perhaps the most fatuous attempt to justify the illegal and murderous invasion of Iraq in 2003. However, the only person reporting the quote at present is Ian Bone, with the line not appearing in the coverage from any major news outlet.

Of course, as I've written before, "little to nothing will come of the verdict" of this inquiry. "We are not going to see Bush and Blair in the dock for war crimes any time soon," and to expect such international wrongs to be righted through the very state system that perpetrated them is foolish. I would also caution against singling out Blair as exceptionally guilty in this instance because, despite his particular zeal, he was simply playing his part in a socio-economic system which expects military force to be used when neccessary to secure strategic markets and resources.

However, the lack of this quote in media coverage is telling. Particularly from the liberal outlets which have spoken out against the war.

For instance, the Guardian urges people that they "are looking for something that isn't there – the smoking gun that proves Blair's villainy." The reality, it insists, is "mistakes, his misplaced optimism in the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) intelligence about WMD, the efficacy of invading such a snake pit as quasi-Stalinist Iraq or the Pentagon's reckless occupation strategy."

In other words, oppose the war because of the strategic errors, not because it was fundamentally a wrong thing to do. Whilst the Guardian is correct about there being no final proof of Blair's villainy - this being real life rather than a Bond movie - its argument remains that of the more dovish element of the ruling class. Opposed to the war for tactical reasons, it has absolutely no wish to challenge the presumptions that underwrite the narrow debate in the mainstream media.
We should not, as even the "anti-war" establishment would no doubt like us to, "move on," or leave this in the past. This is not just about one conflict, or one warmongering leader.

Afghanistan, equally illegal and unjust, goes on. More arenas of battle will open up, as the markets require. And innocent people will continue to die. The point is not opposing a single war (thus giving up once it is over), but challenging the very concept of war and wholesale slaughter.