Saturday, December 16, 2006

What Did Tony Blair Know?

A recently released British document states that Tony Blair knew that Saddam's WMDs were not a threat and that chaos would ensue the removal of Saddam Hussein.

It's clear that chaos would reign supreme in the months following Saddam's ouster from power in Iraq. One question, though, is 'Did the Bush administration not know or consider this when preparing plans to attack Iraq?'

In addition to making this statement, a recently released document also indicates that the British assessment of Iraq's WMD capability was that it had been contained. The Inter Press Service indicates that Carne Ross, UN negotiator for Britain, as well as others, advised Mr. Blair against going to war in Iraq, and suggested alternative solutions to solve the issues at hand:

Mr Ross revealed it was a commonly held view among British officials dealing with Iraq that any threat by Saddam Hussein had been "effectively contained".

He also reveals that British officials warned US diplomats that bringing down the Iraqi dictator would lead to the chaos the world has since witnessed. "I remember on several occasions the UK team stating this view in terms during our discussions with the US (who agreed)," he said.

"At the same time, we would frequently argue when the US raised the subject, that 'regime change' was inadvisable, primarily on the grounds that Iraq would collapse into chaos."

In corroborating the story, The Telegraph says that
Mr Ross gave his evidence to Lord Butler's inquiry in June 2004, but sources said he had never published it because the Foreign Office had suggested to him that it would breach the Official Secrets Act.
Mr. Ross also states

Co-ordinated and sustained action to prevent illegal exports and target Saddam's illegal monies would have consumed a tiny proportion of the effort and resource of the war.

This is undoubtedly true, but how likely was it that the actions of Kofi Annan and his henchmen at the United Nations exacerbated the problem and made this alternative less likely to succeed?

1 comment:

Rich Warnick said...

I feel sorry for Tony Blair, faced with the choice of damaging a great alliance of the USA and UK or doing the right thing. But he chose poorly.