Saturday, March 06, 2010

Grilling? He didn't mention WMDs once!

The reason for war? Forget real and imminent threats: it was to scare the shit out of other rogue states, says Gordon Brown at the Chilcot inquiry. And he gets away with it.

Imagine a job interview where, instead of getting sweaty palms, you get to choose the panel and pick your mum, your favourite uncle and your best mate. Or a disciplinary at work chaired by your nan and your dopiest workmates.

No doubt the results would be hilarious. Perhaps not dissimilar from yesterday's show at the Chilcot inquiry.

The "grilling" session, as the press had been dubbed it to increase the sense of anticipation, consisted in Gordon Brown sitting in front of the very same people he himself had appointed.

But if that was "grilling", I dread to think what "gentle questioning" is.

Non-English speakers will often tell you that the British meaning of "sorry" is redundant because the word is used all the time. It's like a nervous twitch, a routine formula that soon loses its value.

Yesterday may have been a case in point. Gordon Brown made sure he could be seen and heard saying how "sorry" he is for the sad loss of life in Iraq.

But then he proceeded to stand 100% by everything his and Blair's government did in Iraq. He may have implied that the focus on "reconstruction" was not as thorough as it might have been, but then he was quick to specify that it was to do with those pesky Americans and if only he could have persuaded them.

So, sorry about what exactly? It really does sound lame.

According to Gordon Brown, everything about the Iraq affair was the "right" thing to do. Everything that Mr Blair did during this period, he did "properly".

Funding was never a problem either: if 345 quazillions had been requested to be spent on Iraq, Brown would have signed the cheque pronto no questions asked (incidentally, if only the panel had quoted Geoff Hoon and his permanent secretary. They probably forgot).

Also, it isn't true that the Prime Minister dodged any questions over WMDs and the justifications for war. Simply, there weren't any. Here we have an inquiry set up over a war waged on the basis of the most notorious acronym in history and Gordon Brown is allowed to get away with not mentioning it once.

He talked of "breached UN resolutions" and that "some countries were not prepared to take action under any circumstances".

He also said that the conflict had been "right" to prevent other "rogue states" flouting international law. Forget "real and present danger" from weapons of mass destruction, as the fools were told. The whole thing was just to show the Iranians and the North Koreans what a yellow card may look like.

No wonder Gordon Brown left with a smile on his face.

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