SUCH WAS the fawning support, given by Tony Blair to President George Bush, that Christopher Meyer, the ex-UK ambassador to the United States, was able to taunt Blair at yesterday’s session of the Iraq inquiry.
He said that extreme right-wing Tory leader Thatcher would have had much more influence on Bush than he did, and would have driven a hard bargain with the US leader.
He told the hearing that he was ‘not making a party political point’, but that Mrs Thatcher was much tougher on the ‘special relationship’ between London and Washington.
However, Meyer missed the point. This is that the two men were in complete agreement, and that following the war that Blair spearheaded, alongside President Clinton, to destroy Yugoslavia, in 2000, Blair got a taste for imperialist war, and was more than ready to become a crusader for an attack on the people of Iraq and Saddam.
In fact, later in his contribution Meyer admitted: ‘Mr Blair’s decision to support the US invasion was not as poodle-ish as has been suggested by critics, as he was a true believer about the wickedness of Saddam Hussein’ as early as 1998.
In fact, Blair acted objectively as a traitor to the interests of the British ruling class, shielding Bush’s true intentions from the public gaze, while pushing forward the programme for war supporting dodgy intelligence and even dodgier dossiers.
There is now some evidence that a section of the British ruling class, is determined that he will pay for his desertion of their cause, and his embracing and promotion of the US agenda.
Meyer revealed that September 11 2001 was seized by a section of the US administration as a perfect cause for going to war with Iraq. It did not matter that the Iraqi leadership was completely opposed to Osama bin Laden. Beating the propaganda drums about WMDs would solve that problem.
He said that on the day of the 9-11 attack on the Twin Towers, Condleezza Rice raised with him that although it was an Al-Qaeda operation, the US leaders were searching to find a link to Saddam Hussein.
Meyer continued: ‘That little reference to him, by the following weekend, turned into a big debate between Bush and his advisers.’ Meyer could have added ‘who were desperate to get their hands on Iraq’s oil’.
In fact Iraq’s Ba’athists and Al-Qaeda were enemies, reflected in the fact that Osama bin Laden had supported the 1991 imperialist war against Iraq, to drive it out of its nineteenth province, Kuwait.
Meyer suggested that the ‘pact in blood’ was made between Bush and Blair at a six-hour adviser-free meeting between the two men at Bush’s ranch in April 2002.
The next day Blair was speaking about ‘regime change’ in Iraq, although he never reported what had been agreed at the secret meeting.
Meyer said that the US Department of Defence became so keen for war with Iraq that it became ‘irritated’ by what it termed the CIA’s ‘bias’ against the dodgy intelligence that was being produced, and set up a ‘rival and replacement’ in-house intelligence unit for the White House.
Meyer concluded that once President Bush set out a timetable for an invasion, the shortage of time meant that ‘instead of Saddam proving his innocence we had to prove his guilt by finding a smoking gun.
‘We have never really recovered from that because there was no smoking gun’.
The issue remains, however, that millions of British workers marched against war with Iraq, and the majority of the British people were ignored by the Blair-led government which was determined to follow Bush to war with Iraq, no matter what.
After the millions of deaths and refugees that the Bush-Blair war brought about, there is no doubt that the correct tribunal for Blair to appear before is the war crimes tribunal at the Hague. May he appear there soon!