As I've said before, Blair habitually misrepresents the results of the Iraqi elections. His claim that 70% of Iraqis "voted for a non-sectarian government in which the Sunnis and the Shias and the Kurds all work together" is just so much naive wishful thinking. It is, in fact, just the sort of naive wishful thinking which has contributed so much to the coalition's disastrous handling of the occupation. That description of the results is clearly not true in any meaningful sense.
Someone must have brought this fact to his attention (possibly the Guardian editorial team) because he tried a new version today.
The one thing you cannot dispute, after the turnout at the Iraqi elections, with people voting for what they knew was going to be a cross-party government, you can't dispute the majority of Iraqis want a different type of future.What an utter git. I suppose I voted for the Blair government to be given absolute power on a 22% mandate and I fully support the FPTP system because I voted for the Liberal Democrats at the last general election... Actually, he probably does believe that. The git.
Something like 80% of Iraqis who voted, voted for parties which represent narrow sectarian interests. These are the clear facts. They might be spinnable in some pathetic clutching at straws exercise at a press conference but that won't change the reality of the situation where it matters. Yes, Iraqis want a different type of future but the problem is that they can't agree on what different type of future it should be. Shiites want one future, Sunnis another and Kurds another again. And that's leaving aside the factional disputes inside these three main groups or the views of Iraq's minority communities. This isn't actually hard to understand. Not unless you're an utter git anyway.
He also said something else which caught my attention. Here's a little bit of context.
Blair is again going through his mantra on why he believes Iraq has not caused an increase in support for Islamist terrorism. In short, Blair believes that the terrorists’ beliefs and ideology are wrong and it is therefore “utterly irrational” to suggest that Iraq is having the effect which pretty much every sensible observer says it is. Ironically, he doesn’t appear to appreciate that human beings are often rather susceptible to ideologies and beliefs which are wrong. He of all people should know better.
In fact, it is obviously quite possible to give added credibility to an ideology which is wrong. Invading Iraq on a false prospectus gave enormous added credibility to the belief that the American and British governments are intent on waging war on all Muslims. Like Blair, I don’t actually think they are* but that is beside the point. What matters is what potential terrorists believe and all the evidence suggest that the catastrophic invasion of Iraq has caused ever increasing numbers to believe that Bush and Blair really are on a crusade against Muslims. The effect is undoubtedly real even though the belief it is based on is false. Blair is apparently not able to understand this.
Anyway, here’s what Blair said when defending his decisions on Iraq.
We removed Saddam. Again, if Saddam’s party wanted to stand in the Iraqi election, they could have stood and been voted in.And the two word reply to that claim is this; utter bollocks.
It simply isn’t true. Suspected ex-baathists were barred from standing at the elections as candidates for other parties. There was certainly no possibility that the Baath Party would be allowed to put forward candidates of its own.
So what is Blair on about? Why does he make these fatuous claims? And what point is there to this one?
If we look at all of these statements, the intelligence picture they paint is one accumulated over the past nine years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative. It concludes that Blair has lied, that he has continued to produce lies, that he has existing and active plans for the use of lies, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own population; and that he is actively trying to acquire new lies.
And that he's an utter git.
(By the way, if anyone wondered, the title isn't a typo. Ficton. Perfectly normal word round our way. Should be used more often.)
* I do believe that Bush and Blair have been criminally negligent in their failure to fulfil their responsibilities to the Iraqi people. These failures have been caused by their indifference, their carelessness, their incompetence, their unwillingness to listen to expert warnings and their lack of intelligence (no pun intended exactly). They did not want to preside over the slaughter now unfolding in Iraq but that is what they have done. Just as a reckless driver is held to account for unintentionally killing a pedestrian, Blair and Bush should be held to account for their lethally reckless attitude towards the people of Iraq.
Tags: News, Politics, Iraq, Tony Blair