Socialist Worker

The big lies which launched Iraqi war

Do you remember the claims that were made to justify the slaughter in Iraq?

Issue No. 1858

BEHIND THE noise of the row between the government and the BBC over the war on Iraq one thing is absolutely clear. Tony Blair lied to justify the war, and is still lying today. 'There is not a single fact in either dossier that is actually disputed,' claimed Blair last week. He was trying to defend the two dossiers his government produced in the run-up to war.

In fact they were packed with lies.

  • 'Iraq has chemical and biological weapons which could be activated within 45 minutes.' In the months since the war officially ended not a shred of evidence has been found to show the Iraqi regime had chemical or biological weapons, still less that it could use them within 45 minutes.
  • 'Iraq has sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' That meant Iraq was 'reconstituting' its nuclear programme. The International Atomic Energy Authority says the documents the claim was based on were 'blatant forgeries'. The US CIA confirmed that the documents were forgeries back in February 2002 - seven months before Blair's dossier was produced.
  • 'Iraq has developed mobile laboratories for biological warfare agents.' The lorries the US claimed were such mobile labs turned out to be nothing of the kind - and with their open sides covered only with canvas were hardly suitable for any kind of 'lab'.
  • 'Iraq has illegal al-Samoud missiles with a range of 650 kilometres which could attack British bases in Cyprus.' Even the al-Samoud missiles that UN inspectors declared 'illegal' and which were destroyed in the run-up to war had a range of just 183 kilometres.


Sent to their deaths by Tony Blair

'IT WAS murder.' That was the claim by the British army, echoed by most of the media, on the deaths of six British soldiers in Iraq last week. There certainly was murder in the town of Majar al-Kabir last week. It was committed by British soldiers, as they shot dead at least five Iraqi civilians and injured many more. The six soldiers were killed after this, when local Iraqis reacted furiously to those murders.

The British troops had ignored a written agreement not to do weapons searches. The people of the area liberated it from Saddam's regime before US or British troops arrived. They had been fighting a guerrilla war from the surrounding marshlands for decades against Saddam's regime.

They feared that the British troops wanted to seize their weapons to make it easier for the US and Britain to impose foreign rule on the country. Local people were also angry that the British used dogs in searching people's houses, and that they insulted women. British soldiers were sent to war on a lie and their deaths are Blair's fault.


Cover-ups, empty promises and trickery

WOULD YOU trust Tony Blair?

  • 'Foundation hospitals won't mean privatisation.' Blair claims foundation hospitals won't open the door to privatisation. But every health worker, trade unionist and health expert knows that this is a lie. As Dr Miller, the chair of the consultants in the BMA doctors' organisation put it, foundation hospitals could mean 'the end of the NHS'.
  • 'Our air is not for sale.' So announced Labour's Andrew Smith before the 1997 election. Blair went ahead and privatised air traffic control anyway. Andrew Smith's reward was promotion to chief secretary to the Treasury.
  • 'Read my lips - no return to selection.' David Blunkett promised no selection in schools, but New Labour is bringing in specialist schools which are allowed to select pupils.
  • 'No return to boom and bust.' This has been Gordon Brown's mantra about the economy. But this week official figures revealed that Britain's economy is in its worst state since the recession of the early 1990s.

New Labour hid the truth about all these issues. Now they have systematically lied about the war on Iraq and the occupation of that country.


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Article information

News
Sat 5 Jul 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1858
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