Saturday, December 12, 2009
Probably in anticipation to up-coming evidence at the Chilcot inquiry and his own appearance , Blair has switched his defence for going into Iraq .Blair has said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of the supposed weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public.Blair had always justified military action on the grounds that the Iraqi dictator was in breach of UN-backed demands that he abandon his alleged WMD programme.Now Blair appears to be openly admitting that evidence of WMD was not needed to invade Iraq, and he could have found other arguments to justify it.
Saddam Hussein , a threat to the region ? Iraq had already lost nearly two thirds of its forces and more than 80% of its infrastructure and civil society in the 1990-91 Gulf War and, if that was not enough, it was subjected to frequent American and British bombings, along with nearly 12 years of stringent sanctions.
Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's closest adviser, made clear was no threat - to America, Europe or the Middle East.
Powell said in a CBS interview "He's weaker, he's much weaker. That million-man army of ten years ago is gone. He is sitting on a very much smaller army of perhaps 350,000 that does not have the capacity to invade its neighbors any longer." Also in 2001, Powell said: "He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...."Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of "containment" that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi dictator . "The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained."
In another speech, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box". . Another comment from Powell was "Saddam has nothing but rhetoric and shooting his mouth off" !!
Condoleezza Rice in a 2001 CNN interview also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
So here were two of Bush's most important officials contradicting Blair's propaganda and exposing his lies so when Blair talks about constructing new justifications for the Iraq war , he means delivering more deceit .
Or was Saddam simply a potential threat to the regions oil supply security , a proven maverick , no longer trust-worthy enough to have any influence in the stategically important area ?
Iraq's oil reserves are vast and much of it is relatively cheap to extract.Iraq's known reserves of conventional oil rank behind only Saudi Arabia and Iran.The potential profits for foreign companies could be huge.
"This is an opportunity without precedent anywhere else in the world. The scale of reserves available for development and exploitation is without equal," Peter Kemp from Energy Intelligence told BBC News."That is something that no oil company... can ignore."
(Or governments SOYMB adds)
UK's Shell and Malaysia's Petronas oil companies has won the right to develop Iraq's giant Majnoon oil field with reserves of 13 billion barrels of oil although it currently produces just 46,000 barrels per day.