Clare Short: Blair testimony at Iraq Inquiry ‘ludicrous’
Press TV – January 31, 2010
Police guard protesters outside the Iraq Inquiry on January 29, 2010, as former premier Tony Blair gives his evidence.
Two days after former British premier Tony Blair gave his evidence before the country’s independent inquiry into the Iraq war, a former cabinet minister has described his testimony as “ludicrous.”
Clare Short told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that it was fallacious to suggest that al-Qaeda would team up with “rogue states,” after the September 11 attacks.
Short, who quit the cabinet soon after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, defended Prime Minister Gordon Brown, saying he had been “marginalized” when the decision to go to war was made.
Brown was chancellor of the exchequer when Blair ordered the country’s troops to join the US-led invasion.
The incursion was based on a now notorious dossier claiming the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Short said Brown’s political priorities laid elsewhere at the time and that he neither opposed nor supported the invasion but was “preoccupied” by other concerns.
During his six-hour testimony, an unrepentant Blair said he still believed he had made the right decision and would do so again, if it meant deposing Saddam, whom he described as a “monster.”
He said he believed the executed dictator “threatened not just the region but the world,” and that the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, had “dramatically” changed British and US position towards that threat.
Notably, Blair steered away from Iraq towards new alleged threats, including Iran.
He argued that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which Tehran has repeatedly affirmed is for peaceful purposes such as electricity generation, was dangerous.
Blair urged world leaders to take on a tough stance towards Iran.
On January 12, a Dutch inquiry into Netherland’s support of the 2003 invasion said the US and Britain had rushed to war without sufficient legal backing under international law.
The commission’s 551-page report said UN resolutions prior to the outbreak of the war did not provide a legitimate mandate for the attack.