In 2003, Britain teamed up with America to attack Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on false pretenses, an action that would eventually lead to over 1,000,000 preventable deaths – a war crime by any standard. 15 years later, Britain is again beating the war drums over a supposed Russian assassination of a former Russian intelligence agent on British soil. The question the rest of us have to ask is obvious: how do we know they’re not lying again?
The British Prime Minister in 2003, Tony Blair, solemnly presented to the world a “dossier of death” that supposedly detailed Hussein’s arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, ready to attack Britain within 45 minutes of the Iraqi strongman giving the orders. Even worse, the dossier claimed, Hussein had procured significant amounts of uranium from African sources, enough to build 200 nuclear bombs.
We were told all this, and then told that the international community “had no choice but to act”. It was a casus belli of such strength that it was apparent there would be no talking the Anglo-Americans out of their impending action. Iraq was, in Blair’s words, “a current and serious threat to the UK national interest”.
The trouble is, all of those claims were lies.
Hussein’s Government disintegrated at the first sight of the iron wave coming their way, and the victorious Anglo-American forces scoured every square metre of the country for the chemical and biological weapons that would have been triumphantly paraded before the world’s media. Had they been found. There were no chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.
Usually when someone lies to you, and you find out about it, you don’t trust them again until you are satisfied that they have learned the value in honesty. But no contrition has been shown, ever, by any of the leaders who worked to bring about the slaughter in Iraq. Neither George W Bush nor Tony Blair have ever shown genuine regret for the invasion, or even the barest awareness that the invasion was the wrong thing to do.
Both George W Bush and Tony Blair are free men, not wanted by any Western war crimes tribunal. No Western leader openly calls for their arrest or imprisonment, despite that they murdered as many people as Pol Pot. No-one in British politics appears to be willing to commit Blair to trial for war crimes, the minimum acknowledgement necessary that the lost Iraqi lives had some value.
So why should we trust the claims of the British Government this week that the Russian state killed someone on British soil? Nothing appears to have changed since the last time they lied.
Most worryingly for New Zealand, our current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern volunteered to work for the unapologetic war criminal for two and a half years, and after the scale of the destruction wrought in Iraq was widely known, and even after the fact that the invasion was launched on false pretenses was known. This suggests that not even our Prime Minister has the moral fibre to understand that killing a million people with lies is a bad thing and that people who do it should not be supported.
The prospect for world peace is looking grimmer, but, as this newspaper has previously written about, there’s no need to worry until the television starts telling us that Russians are mistreating babies somewhere. Then it’s time to hit the bunkers.
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