Persona non grata (atomic_joe2) wrote in anti_war,
Persona non grata

Tony Blair at the Iraq inquiry.

Watching him on TV was a weird experience. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights initially until he got into his stride after about 10 minutes. Here he was finally before the panel in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London. After weeks of witnesses and claim and counter claim the main event and it was...anti-climactic.

Maybe it was because no sensationalist new facts about the war emerged. Maybe it was because it was hyped too much by an expectant media as 'the closest we'll get to a trial of Tony Blair'. Personally I would have had him appear at the very end of the inquiry after all the other politicians and lawyers had given testimony about the reasons for invasion, the war itself and the aftermath. I would have spread it over a couple of days so he could have answered questions about all that had gone before. As it was, today was what we got.

Bizarrely, I felt that he made a better case for invading Iraq today than he did in 2002 / 2003. I mean I still disagree with the whole damn thing and I would still have gone on the march in London against the imperialist folly had he put his case across then like he did earlier today. But today he seemed to be more sure of himself and secure in his opinion. I could be imagining this of course or maybe I've forgotten his style of oratory that was once so magnetic and thrilling he even persuaded Middle England to vote Labour in 1997 and 2001. He still had that spark on the 2005 campaign trail but it was diminished by Iraq.

There was one moment of twisted irony when he went off on one about Iran and the possibility of a future Prime Minister having to take a decision similar to his with Iraq, blithely ignorant of the fact that the very reason Iran is so emboldened and ready to provoke a game of nuclear brinkmanship with the West is a direct result of the US and UK prescence next door.

But in the end he didn't apologise. Not properly anyway. There was no Frost / Nixon moment. No admission of what we all knew: that he and Dubya had decided to go to war with Iraq months before, WMD or no WMD, UN resolution or not.

This inquiry is looking dangerously like a whitewash...
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