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Opinion

Twenty years on from Iraq, a reader asks: what did Blair truly believe?

Weapons of mass destruction were never found in Iraq, yet they were used to justify a pointless war, says reader David Lindsay

Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq

Image: Angie Johnston from Pixabay

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, it has become fashionable to say that Tony Blair “never lied”, but how can anyone possibly suggest that with a straight face? Unlike 90 per cent of the population, did Blair truly believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, capable of deployment within 45 minutes against the British bases on Cyprus, bases that for some reason Saddam Hussein might have been minded to have attacked? On what basis could Blair possibly have believed that? As Aneurin Bevan said of Anthony Eden in similar circumstances, Blair was either too wicked to be prime minister, or he was too stupid to be prime minister.

The wicked and the stupid are back with a vengeance, not that they ever went away. They are being reverently asked for their reflections two decades on. None of them has ever suffered professionally. Quite the reverse, in fact. Ninety per cent of the British population saw through the Iraq War from the start, but none of the 60 million of us has ever been deemed capable of assuming any of those wholly discredited individuals’ positions in public life. 

David Lindsay

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