Socialist Worker

A murderer who wants to rewrite the laws

Issue No. 1892

BLAIR HAS effectively abandoned his attempt to say international law supported the invasion of Iraq. Speaking to a hand-picked business audience last week, he said 'it may be that under international law' the US and Britain are not authorised to topple regimes they don't like.

'This may be the law,' he continued. 'But should it be?' He spelled out a chilling programme for further 'pre-emptive wars' and more colonial-style occupations like Iraq.

All this is supposedly justified by Blair's 'judgment' that we face a new threat of terrorism 'different in nature from anything the world has faced before'. Yet last year his own spies told him that seizing Iraq would increase the likelihood of terrorism, not reduce it. He was told that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida.

Now Blair is using the disaster he and Bush have brought to Iraq as an excuse to threaten other countries and declare war on civil liberties at home. He claimed that, though 'the public want to move on', he had chosen to make the speech because of the 'gravity of war' and the 'mortal danger' of 'global terrorism'.

The truth is that government insiders have been telling journalists for months that it is Blair who wants us to forget about the war. They've repeated his psychobabble pleas to 'move on', 'draw a line under Iraq' and 'achieve closure'.

Blair has been forced to return to the war because the mass of the population in Britain refuse to forget the crime committed in their name or the daily disasters of the occupation. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready to fire in 45 minutes according to Blair last year.

Now he pathetically says, 'We haven't found the physical evidence of them in the 11 months since the war. But in fact everyone thought he had them.' What possible evidence is there other than physical? Spiritual? And as for 'everyone' believing Saddam had WMDs-the global anti-war movement didn't, arms inspectors were proving he didn't, and now even key figures in the White House accept that he didn't.

When we said so at the time we were not treated with respect, as Blair pretended last week. He denounced the anti-war movement as misguided fools, claiming he had secret intelligence that showed the true threat Iraq posed. His media manipulation machine unleashed a torrent of attacks on opponents of the war.

The echoes could be heard in every workplace and community, as some people repeated the slur that opponents of the war were 'Saddam's stooges'. Now not only has the anti-war movement been proved right, many of those who went along with the war are angry they were misled as more revelations come out. Even the former chief of staff Admiral Boyce says the attorney general changed his secret advice to the government at the last minute to declare the war legal. The government dropped the prosecution of whistleblower Katharine Gun to avoid making that advice public.

For all these reasons everyone who opposed the war should take to the streets on 20 March. We were right.

It is the anti-war movement, not spineless backbench MPs and tame establishment judges, that will hold Blair to account. And unless we do he will move on-to other states on Bush's 'axis of evil'.

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What We Think
Sat 13 Mar 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1892
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