Coffee House

What if the stop the war protesters had got their way?

15 February 2013

11:39 AM

15 February 2013

11:39 AM

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Stop the War protest today, which led me to think about a point Christopher Hitchens once made: how the world would look if the ‘stop the war’ protests – in their various forms – had their way?

  • Saddam Hussein would be lord and master of the annexed Kuwait, his terrorised citizens living in a country once described as a concentration camp above ground and a mass grave below it. The Kurds may not have held out against him, the Shi’ite south still brutally repressed.
  • Slobodan Milosevic would be a European dictator, having made Bosnia part of a Greater Serbia and ethnically cleansed Kosovo.
  • Afghanistan still would be run by the Taleban, with al-Qaeda as their guests. It would be the world headquarters of ever-more-ambitious terrorist attacks, far more deadly than the 7/7 hit on London.
  • The hand-amputating RUF milita would have overrun Freetown in Sierra Leone, instead of the British army repelling them.
  • And Colonel Gaddafi would be sitting in Tripoli having massacred rebels at Benghazi, having seen the Western world rattle the sabre only to run away when action was required.

Any one of these developments would have emboldened butchers, ethnic cleansers and mass-murderers worldwide. Evil begets evil.


Instead, a far better world is there. Yesterday, the One Billion Rising demonstrations took place worldwide, an inspiring spectacle raising awareness of violence against women. What struck me was that one such demonstration took place in Kabul. That would never have happened under the Taleban, who prefer girls uneducated and women oppressed.

I have huge criticisms of the Iraq intervention (the scandal, to me, was the haste of our exit). Today, I think intervention in Syria or Iran would be a disaster. But the choice was not as simple as the protesters made out: it was not between war and no war. The choice, most often, has been between foreign intervention and standing in silent witness to massacres of innocents. As Burke once said, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And one of the very best things about Britain is that we do not look the other way: we try and shape the world, rather than be shape by it.

David Cameron’s decision to support the French in Mali and to help the Libyan rebels places him firmly and proudly in that tradition (although, like Blair, he seems unwilling to fund it – but that’s another issue). The military interventions of the postwar years have many unforseen and oftentimes tragic consequences, many being far messier and longer-lasting than we ever envisaged. But would Iraq be a better place today if the stop-the-war crowd had their way and Saddam was still in power? A world without British and American intervention would be a more dangerous, brutal and bloodier place.

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Show comments
  • Showboat

    This piece totally overlooks that we backed, trained and armed Saddam, the Taleban and Gaddaffi in the first place and that other horrors that we didn’t intervene in have happened anyway. And that we do not yet know the final effects of our intervention in those countries.

  • Blutherup

    1) Saddam had already been evicted from Kuwait in the first Iraq war.
    2) What have Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo got to do with Iraq?
    3) The war in Afghanistan had already begun.
    4) Sierra Leone: see (2).
    5) Libya: see (2).

    You can’t prove that all the other instances you cite are necessary consequences of not starting the war against Iraq. Otherwise how about (6): if a Labour govt hadn’t gone into the Iraq war, there wouldn’t have been an increase in the Lib Dem vote, but we’d still have had Brown, so the chances are Cameon would have had an outright majority in 2010. Implausible? No more than what you’ve suggested.

  • Roger Hudson

    This piece shows such shallow black or white thought. Saddam was a very nasty man but such men can be levered to some extent. What we have now is chaos and chaos is very difficult to deal with. The 2003 war was an illegal attack by Bush with cynical help from Blair, Saddam was being contained and we only brought ten long years of chaos, not peace .
    As for Nelsons shallow mention of Bosnia it shows how little he really knows. Bosnian Serbs were never in a position to overrun much more than what they have now , Republica Serbska ( that ‘entity’ in the state called BiH). I have a house there ( in the other entity) and follow things very closely, unlike Mr. Nelson.
    Nelson should go to Syria and see what chaos his wars for democracy brings, or stay in the political clubs of London and keep quiet.

  • Aser

    So, Mr Nelson, how exactly did Saddam Hussein rise and sustain his power? How exactly did Gadaffi sustain his power? Forgive me, but, er, all the countries above you’ve mentioned are not arms manufacturers. You seem to suggest the arms and weapons they use to oppress their people pop out from thin air! Literally!

    PS. 7/7 was a direct result of the war and occupation of Iraq. Yes, another one of those great interventions. What was it you said? “A world without British and American intervention would be a more dangerous, brutal and bloodier place.” The US led invasion of Iraq has cost over million lives, millions displaced and potentially over a million seeking retribution – and counting.

    Not dangerous, not brutal and definitely not bloodier enough for you!

  • F.J. Bergmann

    I notice that there is no downside presented for the absence of the attack on Iraq in 2003, the one that is shown being protested. Perhaps it’s because there was no upside: it was a disgraceful plot by “leaders” to enrich themselves further at everyone’s expense, with no regard for any consequences. Perhaps the Christopher Dorner approach has its merits, when no penalties for hideous malfeasance are otherwise enforced.

  • darwins beard

    I belive I am in the minority here having fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan and what Theodore Roosevelt called “The Man in the Arena” I agree with Fraser Nelson in as much as tyranny should always be opposed, and in fact we should not have stopped at Saddam but also Robert Mugabe the darling of the “right on” left in the 80s who has murdered and oppressed more of his own people the the Rhodesians ever did or Omar Al Bashir or Teodor Obiang ect ect.

    For those who watch to many Vietnam films and think US Marines and Apache pilots have a secret agenda to naplam journalists, wear ear necklaces and enthnically cleanse the Middle East, grow up, turn off Al Jazeera put Mehdi Hassan down for a few seconds
    after all the vast vast majority of Iraqis where killed by other Iraqis trained and supplied by Iran, The Pakistani Taliban have killed far more people the drone strikes and the Afghani Taliban still kill more of there own people then an NATO airstrike.
    The biggest failure was in the sending of troops to fight Islamic extremists in other countries while allowing it to grow and find a voice at home for fear of political parties being branded “racists” or even better “islamaphobic” or worse endangering the minority vote for Labour

    • Jonas

      “The biggest failure was in the sending of troops to fight Islamic extremists in other countries while allowing it to grow and find a voice at home for fear of political parties being branded “racists” or even better “islamaphobic” or worse endangering the minority vote for Labour”

      That´s the most sensible thing I´ve heard all week! Maybe veterans like yourself can play a role in encouraging the European peoples and your compatriots to regain their cultural confidence and stop being afraid of being ostracized by the powerful, yet confused, leftist and liberal “elite”. As Mark Steyn said “It´s better to be right, than to be cool”.

    • aschops

      “after all the vast vast majority of Iraqis where killed by other Iraqis trained and supplied by Iran”

      That’s a lie, you Western fucktard. The best studies on Iraqi War casualties indicate that over 1,000,000 Iraqis died in that war, and I’m yet to see a breakdown of the casualties by perpetrator. For propagandistic aims, the media relies on a flawed study by the Iraq Body Count group that only recognizes 100,000 deaths, and I have no doubt that the category IBQ most underestimates is that caused by Coalition forces – hence why it’s embraced by the Western media.

      In any case, the Iraqi group that’s caused most violence in the country is Al Qaida – a radically Sunni group that’s murdered thousands of Iraqi Shias; yes, the Shias – the same sect to which Iranians belong and that they sponsor in Iraq. That Iran would be funding the very group threatening its allies in Iraq is ludicrous – but consonant with the lack of knowledge you displaced about this issue with your previous comment about Iraq casualties.

      • darwins beard

        Ever heard of Muqtada Al Sadar, and the Jaish Al Mahdi ? your an Idiot, and yes I am a westerner and I live in a nice big house have clean water, free healthcare and dont have to worry about being blown up when I vote, You mad bro ?

  • LaszloZapacik

    There wasn’t really need for the five examples, you could have just quoted Animal Farm:
    “Surely you don’t want Jones back?”

    • Fergus Pickering

      But they got Jones back. The pigs had become Jones.

  • OnTheWayOut

    IF anything, you’re understating. The Kurds would surely have been massacred, and it’s not unlikely that Saddam would have nuclear weapons by now

    • aschops

      Yeah, the Kurds would’ve been massacred – to stop this, the West had to massacre the rest of the Iraqi population instead. You self-righteous fucktard.

  • Mike Barnes

    “far more deadly than the 7/7 hit on London”

    The one carried out by people from Yorkshire and trained in Pakistan.

    You’re going to have to explain it again please, how the war in Afghanistan has spared us from terrorism.

  • paulus

    A nice analysis but not deep enough, when we talk of
    morality we talk of a subjective concept and as such it must only be offered
    subjectively, and in humility: there is no absolute right no absolute wrong.

    But what we can do is we can measure things, it may seem callous but there is a coloration between money spent and the good we can do. A
    couple of fly overs and we can declare victory and let the people on the ground
    sort it out amongst themselves, boots on the ground and we are sucked into

    Iraq was a disaster for reasons we all know and don’t need to go into, but alls to say it was the last governments fault. There could be no suggestion of cut and run in Afghanistan, as the world would have been all the more dangerous, its not perfect, but its better than we could have hoped.

    Wars are expensive business, and too much sovereign wealth ends up in the hands of private actors, who offshore that wealth and fund and fuel further conflicts, this is not desirable or sustainable. A trillion $ left the American economy and the consequences of such a large transfer of wealth are evident today. But this is in the past and reflection doesn’t offer a true image.

    • Casper Leon Nielsen

      You declare there are no absolute right and no absolute wrong. This is called moral relativism.
      I would direct you to read Sam Harris excellent book “The moral landscape” for some clarification why moralistic relativism as you present here is not a sound philosophy.

      • paulus

        No you are wrong its not moral relativism, its moral reality, when a decision to go to war is made, it is multi faceted, our Fraser here is a neo con, a respectable point of view backed up with idealism and moral authority. However, the Guardian will give you a perfectly respectable aopposite point of view.

        Your recommending a book to me on philosophy, thinking it is a golden calf to be worshipped ? such arrogance and naivity, Ive read it and he makes leaps of logic in the tradition of St Augustine. Moreover, we are talking about government not philosophy.

        I suggest you talk to me when you have gone past reading books and are able to write them.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Yes, Iraq would be a much better place if Saddam were still in power. How can you doubt it? What was wrong with it when he WAS in power – I mean compared with the surrounding countryside. Would Egypt be better off if Mubarak were still there. Yes it would. Who do we want to win in Syria? Assad, undoubtedly.

    • arnoldo87

      If Saddam were still in power, he would have rebuilt his WMD capability following the cessation of sanctions, and continued his murderous reign of his own people.
      Is that better than 2003?
      Or there may have been a violent revolution such as is now under way in Syria.
      Is Syria now better than it was two years ago?
      These are the only two possible outcomes, Fergus, unless you can think of a third golden scenario?

      • Fergus Pickering

        Yes, I was suggesting a continuation of his murderous reign. As opposed to the present murderous reign of anarchy. Hobbes is my God in this respect.

      • Roger Hudson

        Why do you postulate a cessation of sanctions? a continued decade of sanctions and containment would have been better than ten years of chaos, more car bombs in Baghdad only today.

        • arnoldo87

          Sanctions were only applied because Saddam refused to demonstrate that he had removed his WMD materials. If there had been no invasion, then Blix would have continued his inspections and found out that there were no WMD.
          Sanctions would then have been lifted.
          The chaos you refer to was inevitable once Saddam & co had been removed from power. Just like the scenario in Syria today.

  • rollahardsix

    As I remember it was not British and Americans who caused the vast bulk of the huge civilian casuaties in Iraq – it was Iraqis themselves. Did we ‘let the genie out the bottle’? Yes. Was that forseeable? Yes. However in my view the people who are directly responsible for the carnage and loss of life are those people who’s response to the removal of their dictator was to instigate a bloody civil war and wage a battle for control of the country, regardless of cost in property and lives.

    • ecdumas

      UNICEF estimated that the sanctions against Iraq following the Gulf War claimed the lives of some 500,000 children. For other estimates of sanctions-related deaths see

      • Victor Southern

        In 1991 the population of Iraq was 18.5 million of whom 6 million would have been children under the age of 16. 500,000 deaths would have been more than 8% of all of them. Infant mortality rose after the Kuwait war to 108 per 1000.
        The UNICEF figures are bunkum.
        Apart from that there was no ban on the import of medicines nor of foodstuffs.

  • Bert3000

    This really is an offensive piece. Next time they decide to hold a pointless colonial war for the benefit of armchair generals like Fraser Nelson I suggest they put Fraser Nelson in the front line. We’ll see how keen he is then.

    Too many people have died for our politicians’ egotistical need to interfere in other people’s countries.

    • sarah_13

      Offensive or not, he is correct.

  • ecdumas

    The problem with counterfactuals like this is that they simply express the prejudices/preferences of their authors.

    I recently met Zainab Salbi (founder of Women for Women International), whose father was Saddam’s private pilot (against his will), who vividly remembers Saddam regularly coming to supper with her family (against their will) and has terrible stories about him that we’ve not heard much about in the West.

    She hated him, what he did and what he stood for.

    But she is adamant that there should not have been invasion and that there were forces within Iraq that in time would have toppled Saddam and his regime.

    I had a discussion on Wednesday with an Iraqi journalist who lived through the Iran-Iraq War, Desert Storm and the 2003 invasion. A Shia and opponent of Saddam, he too thinks the West’s policy towards Saddam was wholly misplaced – like choosing between diseases, he said – and also believed internal opposition would have got rid of him.

    And for those who still believe that the application of extreme violence to a problem can really solve anything, please read ‘The Utility of Force’ by Sir Rupert Smith, who was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (i.e. NATO No 2) 1998-2001. The first line of his book is ‘War no longer exists’ and the rest of it explains why interventions like Iraq and Afghanistan are doomed to fail in the modern world; in short, you knock over the government and are then faced with an endless insurgency.

    Simplistic nostrums such as those offered here are way past their sell-by date, too.

  • Arin O’A

    “And one of the very best things about Britain is that
    we do not look the

    other way: we try and shape the world, rather than be shape by it.” I
    think you mean the promise of lucrative contracts after demolishing Bagdad made
    it too hard (for Blair) to look the other way, the millions of Stop the War
    protestors knew this all too

    well and the agenda awaiting Iraq, the voice of millions of people across the

    globe ignored, so much for democracy.

    I’d like to think the protestors’ did not condone the dictator but looked to
    omit any unnecessary and excessive casualties while dismantling the tyrant, had
    we conjured up the Arab Spring a decade ago as we did in this one we would have
    still managed to “shape the world” without so many fatalities on our side.

    • Roger Hudson

      The term ‘Arab Spring’ makes we want to vomit. The nice bloggers and progressives in Egypt, Libya and Syria have been trampled by forces of chaos and intolerance.

  • Sean Lynch

    The Taliban, for all intents and purposes, run most of Afghanistan and will promptly return to power as soon as the coalition forces return to power. Would Pakistan be a safer place had we not invaded Afghanistan? Arguably. Would Iran be weaker if Saddam were still in power? Definitely. Would the US ambassador to Libya have been murdered in Tripoli if Gaddafi were still in power? No. Would the Qatari Royal Family – who fund Al-Qaeda – be buying up London if we had removed them from power? Definitely not. How long is a piece of string? As long as you want it to be.

  • sarah_13

    Spot on. I made a similar point yesterday, although not as eloquently, in response to Massie’s blog about Laurie penny and her Leftist narcissists.

  • HooksLaw

    The war was a great triumph for George Bush, an epoch-making decision, and so was his insistence upon the ‘surge’.

  • itdoesntaddup

    There were two interventions in Iraq. If the 1991 intervention had not occurred, Saddam would not merely be occupying what he considered Iraq’s 19th province, but also Jubail, Abqaiq, Ras Tanurah… and holding the West to ransom by controlling not merely Kuwaiti but also Saudi oil and gas.

    If the second intervention had not occurred, there would have been an ongoing stalemate inside Iraq, with sanctions busters making fortunes on the side – and Iraq’s oil and gas resources would also have remained largely undeveloped beyond the fields operational already. The impact on the Arab Spring is harder to work out: several alternative scenarios are plausible.

  • telemachus

    I find it difficult to accept the concept that these dictators and repressive regimes would not wither
    The first Gulf war was simply a reversal of aggression against a neighbour and not opposed by peace campaigners
    I removing Saddam in the second we killed many thousands of innocents who would still be alive and to what end Is Iraq our friend?
    We could have bombed out the training camps without getting involved in tribal wars as we have
    Milosevic was coming to the end of his useful political life
    You do not have to be a pacifist to preach proportionality

    • Fraser Nelson

      North Korea? Zimbabwe? Iran? There is, alas, no gravitational force pulling exhausted and discredited dictators from power.

      • telemachus

        But are those 3 regimes actually doing anything except oppressing their own people? The bellicose nuclear concerns may simply be defensive in the face of surrounding hostility

        • rollahardsix

          I take your point telemachus, they do have a ‘seige mentality’ now, but i do think the hostility they face from the rest of the world is caused in the first instance by their own pronouncements and actions.

      • Mr_Bubbles1

        Which stop next then, Fraser? Heck, why stop there, let’s sort the whole Middle East out. I assume you’ll be first in line to sign up and ship out, yes? And you’ll be happy for your taxes to go up to pay for it all? Yep, yep.

        I really don’t understand the bloodlust of my fellow right wingers at times. What goes on in these countries is none of our bloody business until and unless they are a true and direct threat to us (note: not happened since The Falklands. And incidentally, you might want to look a bit closer to home when it comes to the threat of terrorism). We have enough problems over here to sort out, including a debt mountain which we’re no closer to even beginning to reduce.

        We’re using money we don’t have, to ship off young servicemen and women to fight and die in utterly pointless wars in countries that no one over here gives a damn about in order to make our utterly inept and corrupt ‘leaders’ look good for 5 minutes.

        • Austin Barry

          A paradox: we ship-out our native squaddies to die in wars driven by Islamic lunacy, while concurrently shipping-in Muslims to build and consolidate domestic Islamic lunacy.

          To be fair, however, the major enemy within is not so much Islam as our political elite.

        • Makroon

          Well said.
          And when Mr Nelson deliberately mixes the UN sanctioned, multi-national effort to drive the Iraqis from Kuwait, with Cheney’s private war against Saddam, you have to wonder how his mind works.

      • Richard Stanford Brown

        I think you are too impatient Mr Nelson. There is a force that pulls down dictators, the desire for freedom, often also revenge, that oppressed peoples share.

        • Andy

          Its working well in North Korea.

      • ButcombeMan

        Fraser, you have run several things together and got the history wrong. Saddam had been driven out of Kuwait in the first Gulf War as even Telemachus says (not known for his accuracy)..

        Counterfactual someone says of your article, exactly right.

        Saddam could not have returned to Kuwait.

        The second Gulf War was based on lies and deceit, by Blair and others, IDS foolishly led the Tories not to oppose it, probably because he was influenced by nutters in the US. Tory support was a huge political error.

        Moreover, the allies eyes were taken of the ball in Afghanistan, by the Iraq distraction. It was foolish and it empowered Iran.

        The protesters in your picture were right. History will find your analysis mistaken, it was not the coming out of Iraq that was the great mistake.

        • Andy

          You are being rather unfair to Iain Duncan Smith and to Michael Howard. You ‘assume’ Blair was honest with them – I believe Michael Howard was briefed on Privy Council Terms. I later saw an interview with him in which he said ‘Had I known then what I know now, I would not have supported the war’.

          • arnoldo87

            A lot less people would have supported the war had they known there were no WMD. That much is obvious.
            The truth is, though, that nearly the whole world thought that Saddam had WMD, including the British Intelligence Services.

            • ButcombeMan

              Not true.

              • arnoldo87

                Please give us proof of who said, BEFORE the war, that there were no WMD in Iraq.

            • Pincer22

              You are always asking for proof of peoples claims about Blair being a liar.
              Can you provide your proof that “that nearly the whole world thought that Saddam had WMD, including the British Intelligence Services.”
              Because I haven’t seen any.
              The weight of evidence at the time was at best inconclusive, so where is your proof to back up this claim

              • arnoldo87

                There is evidence on the web to show that Labour, Tories, LibDems, Hans Blix, Robin Cook, and a whole load of intelligence services of different countries believed he had WMD. Just read 1441.
                Nevertheless, I will do you a deal. Find me just one bit of proof from before the war that someone other than George Galloway or the Russians thought that there were no WMD, and I will produce my evidence for all the sources I named and many more.

          • ButcombeMan

            Au Contraire, I do not assume Blair was honest with them.

            How could you possibly conclude that?

        • arnoldo87

          Every time I see someone call Blair a liar over Iraq, I ask them for the evidence.
          So far, BM, no one has managed to produce any.
          So please have a go at being the first to do so.
          Good Luck.

          • ButcombeMan

            You need help & a program of study.

            Start with the phoney dossier and end up with the Downing Street memo.

            Blair knew exactly what he was doing. So did Robin Cook.

            The “evidence” and the case for war was rigged, to present an untrue picture and to deceive parliament & public opinion. IDS fell for it, to his everlasting disgrace.

            I am sure IDS now realises that. I am also sure he fell for it because being himself an honourable man, he could not conceive, that any UK Prime Minsiter could commit the monstrous deceit that took place. We know better now.

            This below, is a highlighted version of the Downing Street memo, to help those who need their hand held because the branwashing has gone too deep.


            • arnoldo87

              You don’t get it do you?
              I need you to give me the quote, medium and date of a statement made by Blair on Iraq that he knew at the time was untrue.

              Such as:-
              “I was not driving that car” by Chris Huhne, or

              “Norma, I’m just popping out for a hot Curry” by John Major

              That sort of thing.

              Throwing the Downing Street Memo at me just won’t do it. You seem to think that the underlined bit “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed round the policy” is somehow significant, as many people before you have done.

              Perhaps you think it meant that facts and intelligence were being invented to show that WMD existed, but that the attendees all knew that they did not. Whereas it clearly means that they were being placed around the policy presentationally to provide the whole picture.

              If this were not the case how do you explain the paragraph a little lower down:-

              “For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary”.
              If you were correct, you had a whole bunch of senior politicos and intelligence men all aware that there were no WMD in Iraq, and yet contemplating, in the meeting, the consequences of Saddam using those weapons (that were not there).
              That would be LaLa land, would it not, old chap?
              BM – you really do need to understand that it is you and thousands like you who have been thoroughly brainwashed.
              To prove that you haven’t, though, all you have to do is produce proof (precise proof, mind you – not wishy washy vague references) of Blair’s lie.
              I’ll not be holding my breath, though.

              • Pincer22

                Surely you are not trying to suggest that Blair is a paragon of virtue?

                • arnoldo87

                  No – I disagreed with Blair on many things, and he is as manipulative with the media as any other politician. I just don’t think he lied over Iraq.

              • ButcombeMan

                Oh I “get it “all right, you are Alistair Campbell, John Scarlet or another apologist for Blair, I claim my £5.

                Hardly anyone except the guilty denies now that there was a monstrous fraud perpetrated over the case for war with Iraq with the decision taken months before Blair pretended..

                Actually the criminal deception was even more in the US than it was here, false links to 9/11 for example. I still have US friends who believe in that. That is where the brain washing took place, on a stunned & vulnerable nation.

                There was, according to the dictionary definition of fraud, a course of derception and an intentional concealment or perversion of truth.

                The HoC was deceived. IDS was deceived.

                Take a look at the Senate Committee report.

                I never believed the case for war from the beginning, so no one brainwashed me.

                Gilligan was broadly right. Hence Campbell’s over reaction in near panic.

                • arnoldo87

                  Is that it, then, BM?
                  The entire contents of the internet at your disposal to find just one tiny lie, and all you can come up with (again) is a generalisation about “criminal deception”.
                  How do you think a prosecuting brief would fare if all he gave the jury was the opening statement and the closing argument, but missed out all of his witnesses and evidence in between?
                  So you join the sad ranks of Coffee House Bliar-merchants who, under challenge, have failed to find even one Blair lie on Iraq.
                  Incidentally, the decision to go to war was taken by the House of Commons on March 18th 2003, and at no time before that date. The decision was theirs alone.
                  For your future reference, that’s what a piece of evidence looks like.

            • Pincer22

              I argued for the war because I believed they had WMD.
              Even though I knew Blair to be an untrustworthy snake I couldn’t believe even he would lie about something like that.
              How wrong I was.

              • arnoldo87

                Here you are calling Blair a liar. But you have no proof, do you?
                Do you think it an honourable thing to do to call a man a liar, without such proof?

                • Pincer22

                  He lied to the entire country about his religious orientation, only converting when leaving office.

                  So he lied about the thing he claims to believe in most, his god.

                  ‘As the Foreign Secretary has pointed out, resolution 1441 gives the legal basis for this war’ – Tony Blair to the House of Commons, 12 March 2003″
                  This is a blatant lie, and he would have known it to be so.

                  ‘The assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt … that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.’ – The Prime Minister’s foreword to the dossier on Iraq, 24 September 2000

                  If that isn’t a lie, what is?

                • arnoldo87

                  Reference your claim about 45 minutes being central to the build up to war, You now know that you were wrong about this. But did you tell a lie?
                  I don’t think so – rather you repeated what other (misinformed) people had told you that happened to match your opinion of Blair and what he would do or say. This is exactly what Blair did when he said what he said about the intelligence. Remember it wasn’t HIS intelligence – he had to depend on what came in from the field, and also his preconception on what Saddam was likely to be doing. Just like you did on 45 minutes.
                  What Blair said about the legal basis for war was true. You may disagree with Goldsmith’s view, but that was what he told Blair. So how can this be a lie?
                  As for the religious bit – slightly off subject, but please give the exact quote, medium and date and I will check it out. It is often necessary to do this, you know!

          • Pincer22

            Whilst it is very difficult to prove Blair lied outright (though I have little doubt he did) he led the country into war on misinformation, spin and sexed up intelligence. Whilst not outright lies, it was dishonest and deceitfull, at best.
            Blair also said he didn’t know the ’45 minute’ claim was about battle field weapons.
            I don’t believe him, and if true he should be prosecuted for crimminal negligence.
            Remember this is the man who ‘accidently’ shredded his expenses receipts as he was leaving office.
            This is the man who lied to us about his religious leanings.
            Please don’t try and make him out to be anything but the snake oil salesman that he is

            • arnoldo87

              Only one oblique reference to a lie here – the 45 minute claim.
              Please explain exactly what point you are making, and your reference to criminal negligence.

              • Pincer22

                I will explain.

                Blair as effective Chief Exec of the UK claimed he did not know and did not ask whether the 45 minute claim was about strategic or battle field weapons. (a claim I personally do not believe, I have little doubt this is a blatant lie, but Blair is as slippery as an eel smothered in axle grease)

                The 45 minute claim was central to the whole build up.

                So he sent British soldiers to die in their hundreds on a fact he had not even checked. This was a basic task for his position, which he claims he failed to do

                Imagine if a businessman running a business whose failure to carry out a basic task as part of his role led to the deaths of hundreds of people. He would be charged with criminal negligence.

                A Network Rail guard was recently jailed because a young girl died due to his negligence.

                On the same basis Blair should be charged over the deaths of hundreds of British service personal, which occured due to his negligence in checking basic facts.
                So yes I do believe there is a case to answer for Criminal Negligence, though personally I would be far happier with High Treason

                • arnoldo87

                  You claim that “The 45 minute claim was central to the whole build up.”
                  How many times do you think that it was mentioned in the Commons debate when Blair gave his report on the WMD Dossier in September 2002? Only once – when Blair himself summarised the contents of the dossier.
                  How many times do you think it was mentioned in the debate, on March 18th 2003, that actually took us to war in Iraq? Well Blair never mentioned it – and neither did anyone else!
                  How many times do you think it was mentioned in the House of Commons during the intervening period, when the country was consumed by the debate about whether we should go to war and people were marching in London etc.? Only once.
                  So I think that you would have to conclude that your claim that it was central to the build up to war is quite, quite wrong.
                  In any event I have always struggled to understand the premise of the 45 minute statement in the dossier. If the battlefield or strategic weapon landed on or near you, why would the preparation time of the enemy bother you. 45 minutes or 145 minutes – you are still dead. You couldn’t possibly know exactly when they decided to use them.
                  As for Blair not knowing whether they were battlefield or strategic – what difference did it make? They were either going to be used against British troops or on a ballistic missile that we already knew from the 1991 Gulf War could reach Tel Aviv, Saudi Arabia or Cyprus. They were all within range of rocketry that Saddam had left over from that war.

            • proseak

              Did he just lie to us, or to himself first? There was next-to-no evidence supporting claims of WMD, and plenty suggesting otherwise.


      • victor67

        Fraser Nelson is typical of the cocooned political elite that he serves. They readily advocate war but no nothing of its horror.
        Most Iraqi’s loathed Saddam but they certainly did not welcome a bloody invasion and occupation. Nelson talks about evil begating evil but says nothing of the evil of the “rightous” Fallujah, Haditha, Abu Graib and the thousands of Iraqi civillians killed by trigger happy Marines. America used Iraq as a battleground against the global jihad. This was a war crime where millions of Iraqi’s suffered.
        US interventions are not about bringing freedom and democracy but conformity to a Western agenda. Iraq was the worst foreign policy decision since Suez. Mr Nelson read Johnathon Steele book Defeat and then come back and talk about the Iraq war.

    • Hexhamgeezer


    • HooksLaw

      Different people died.
      The invasion killed relatively few people including a small proportion of civilians.
      Saddam was already killing his own and the UN was compliant with his starvation of innocent children.
      Following the invasion most deaths were sectarian murders by other Iraqis or insurgents.
      Meantime Gadaffi gave up his nuclear weapon programme – the purpose of which i leave to you to figure out.

      • victor67

        Wrong. The Iraqi resistance against the US occupation had widespread support and was not just made up of Jihadi”s as the western media reported. The reasons are stated in my post above.

      • Jacob Muehlbauer

        “The UN was compliant with his starvation of innocent children”? No mention of US sanctions?