Well thank goodness
for that - the dossier of "evidence" is finally released, we can bomb Iraq
with a clear conscience. I have changed my opinions completely, fuck the poor people in their tents and mud huts, they're asking for it! Bomb the bastards! Woohoo!
Oh, wait, hang on - damn you, Blair, there's no evidence in there at all, you fool - I was looking forward to illegally starting a war against the wishes of every right-thinking person in the world, and now you've ruined it for me. Let's have a closer look at this dossier of "evidence":
The dossier is based on the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee - lots of text patiently explains how important they are, how long they've been going, and how wise and reputable they are. Blair believes that we'll understand that he can't publish everything, or reveal sources. Yes, fair enough Tone, but what about the evidence? Funny, there doesn't seem to be any. Plenty of "intelligence shows", "intelligence indicates", "almost certainly" - okay, no evidence yet. But lots of statistics about what various chemical weapons can do (mustard gas, that'll fire up the tabloids), five pages of what Iraq used to do (including a lovely picture of some dead children, but no mention of how many children have died thanks to our sanctions), plenty of grainy pictures of "dual purpose" buildings, photos of missiles, and an awful lot of supposition, suggestion, and conjecture. It's 55 pages long, and doesn't even get started properly until page 20 - before that it's blank pages, introductions, summaries, and a history of what Saddam used to do. On page 35 it rehashes a history of the weapons inspections, then on page 46 there's a big history of Iraq under Saddam. And that's it. Pages 20 to 35 are the only meat. 15 pages, 1.5 spacing, with big-ass margins (just to clarify, white space is always a good thing, I'm just pointing out how little actual text there is on the pages). And let's be clear on this point, there is no actual evidence on any of those 15 pages.
If Iraq managed to get hold of some fissile material and various bits and pieces, it could have a nuclear weapon in one or two years. Gasp! So could I! When will they come to get me? Yes, Saddam is a bad, bad man. Yes, he's been trying to get hold of naughty stuff that he's not allowed to have. Yes, he doesn't particularly like us. Yes, he's used chemical weapons on his own people (er, chemical weapons that we sold to him, used on people we completely ignored when Amnesty kept telling us what was going on - until now, when it's convenient to remember). Yes, we should keep an eye on the slippery sod, and keep those weapons inspectors in there. We kinda already knew that though, Tony, you're just collating old news and presenting it as shocking new data. But there is nothing in this dossier of "evidence" that makes me think "ooh, shit, now I see he is a threat to us", no actual proof, even for a second. If Saddam is the problem, and Saddam alone, then prepare a small team to go in quietly and assassinate him, if that's what you really want. Why cluster bomb and dump depleted uranium on the ordinary poor bastards trying desperately to survive? How is that going to stop Saddam? Are dying children easier targets? Is it fun? Do you get some sick, fucking perverted pleasure out of it? If you imagine for one second that doing that will upset Saddam, you're sorely mistaken. You're just clearing up his mess for him.
In a hilarious section, the dossier "proves" that Saddam is lying about a large area he calls "presidential" or "sovereign", and thus excluded from weapons inspections - because it is much bigger than Buckingham Palace! What the fuck? It's a weapons site because it's bigger than where the Queen lives??
There's also a very interesting history of Saddam and Iraq that never once mentions the CIA's involvement in the various upheavals, no mention of the US's involvement in the Iran-Iraq war, or how we used to support the guy. The section on Saddam's persecution of the Kurds fails to mention that we allow Turkey to enter the no-fly zone regularly to take pot shots at them. And the pictures of dead children that Saddam used chemical weapons on seem to be missing the captions explaining that we gave him the fucking stuff in the first place, or that while this all went on he was our best mate, despite the howls of protest from human rights groups for years begging us to stop selling the crazy bastard weapons.
When Blair announced he was releasing this big dossier of "evidence", I thought, perhaps stupidly, that there might be some actual evidence in the dossier. Is that too much to expect? Am I wrong for thinking that? Have I twisted his words? There's no evidence in there, just statements about what "intelligence shows". The phrase "intelligence shows Saddam has weapons" is NOT proof. That's like saying, here is a piece of paper that proves conclusively that Iraq has a big nuclear bomb. You open the piece of paper, and it says "Someone told me that Iraq has a big nuclear bomb." That's not evidence. That's just shit. Sorry Blair, you'll have to do better than that. Perhaps we can have some actual, honest-to-goodness evidence next time, please. If you start a war based on this flimsy piece of conjecture, then you're a lying, murdering, genocidal sack of shit, and will burn in hell for all eternity, along with Bush, Saddam, and the fucking Teletubbies.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King
Update, 15th July 2004
The Butler Report has just come out in the UK, which sternly says that lots of things went wrong, but - hey! - nobody is to blame. So that's all right, then. Apparently the intelligence was bad, the sources were flawed, there was nothing recent to say Saddam was a threat, urgent or otherwise, the 45 minutes claim shouldn't have been in there, and caveats were taken out of the dodgy dossier, but it's nobody's fault, and nobody should get sacked. Again with the whitewash by a Blair-friendly old geezer - so, let me get this straight, the Hutton enquiry finds that the dossier was *not* manipulated by the government at all, was entirely correct, and the government was entirely blameless. Now the Butler report says, ah, well, yes the intelligence was actually shit, and things were removed, taken out of context, and overall were dodgy, but the government is entirely blameless. Blair must think we're all retarded, or ridden with Alzheimers, or something. So when David Kelly said the 45 minutes claim was bullshit, then got bullied into killing himself - does this mean he was telling the truth? Does that mean the BBC was telling the truth, too? That would make Blair and Campbell and co a bunch of liars, wouldn't it? Whatever it means, I'm sure the government is blameless.
So, if the intelligence was poor, there was no recent intelligence, AND caveats were taken out by the government, how is that not sexed-up? Blair is now saying it doesn't matter that Saddam didn't have any WMDs, because he was a very bad man who killed people. No, it doesn't matter, I guess - oh, wait though, wasn't that the MAIN FUCKING REASON we went to war in the first place? You insisted he had them, he was a threat, he would kill us all, he could get nukes, fire, fire, run, run - and now all of a sudden, we did it for the poor oppressed Iraqi people, he used to gas them, you know, he had rape rooms, and everything. The people we didn't give a shit about when we sold him the weapons, and supported him while he gassed them. The same people we bombed into the middle of the next millennium, whose arms and legs we ripped off, who we killed - about ten thousand of them dead so far. And a thousand soldiers dead, too - for fucking NOTHING. "Oh, but you can never be sure with intelligence, that's just the nature of it" - then why start a war based on it? With all the dodgy sources, single sources, and hearsay, surely somebody, somewhere could have put their hand up and said hang on a second, we can't base a war on this. Surely Blair and friends could see that the intelligence wasn't enough, especially when they had to remove caveats and make it sound more impressive? But hey, nobody is to blame, everything's fine, the world is safer with Saddam gone. Sure it is, tell that to the poor fuckers dying EVERY SINGLE DAY over there. Tony and company - you are all a bunch of lying, murdering scumbags, and I hope you burn in hell for all eternity. Fuck you all.