Saturday, November 18, 2006

An Unexpected Outcome

So Blair has finally admitted that Iraq is a disaster. Sort of. Sir David Frost asked him whether western intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster". He replied:
It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq? It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al-Qa'ida with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war.
And he would know. After all, when it comes to creating a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war, he knows what he's talking about.

Those first two words are newsworthy in their way but they're not ultimately of any great significance. As a whole, his answer is really just another repetition of the line he's been selling for quite a while now. For example, at his monthly press conference a couple of weeks ago, he said:
And of course it is incredibly difficult today, but it is difficult because of those deliberately trying to visit terror on the people of Iraq rather than allowing them to decide their future democratically.

This new message was brought in to replace the previous line: things are improving in Iraq, you merchants of gloom just don't want to see it. Whatever happened to that one? Perhaps it was scrapped due to Blair's fetish with modernity. "The implementation of this new line is essential if we are to keep up with the ever changing complexities of the 21st Century" you can almost hear him instructing his Cabinet.

Anyway, this is his defence? It's a disaster because we started a war and some nasty men deliberately fought back? In a war? How unsporting! And entirely unexpected too. I now fully understand why he didn't bother to plan for that. I mean, who could possibly have thought that such a thing could happen?

Dig up satire's corpse again. This time, we're going to kill it deliberately.

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Anonymous said...

Not a bad start for the new English al Jazeera channel though. Who would have thought Sir David Frost would manage to tease out such a "slip of the tongue"?

CuriousHamster said...

Indeed. Perhaps Frosty's "softy softly" interview technique has something going it after all.

The attempt to spin this away is astonishing. One comment on Nick Robinson's blog from "Paul" was particularly noteworthy:

How sad that the BBC, SKY News and the other news agencies have chosen to make such a fuss about something that actually didnt happen. Blair used the words "it has" BEFORE Frost had uttered the word "disaster". The only story here is that the PM anticipated the end of the question incorrectly.


Anyway, I've watched the clip a few times and it just isn't true. Frost had definitely finished speaking before Blair said "it has". Still, entirely in keeping with this lot that they've decided to try to lie their way out of it.

Niels Rakhorst said...

Can't believe Tony has now resorted to blaming the Iraqis, regardless of his exact opinion on the state of the place.

No, sorry, I mean I'm surprised no-one's called him on it, and we haven't flash-mobbed parliament. This is silly.