Hans Blix, the weapons inspector chief humiliated by Blair and Bush in the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, gives his view (largely implicitly) on Blair's pretty chilling Chilcot grilling, during which he heavily hinted that not-only would he do it again in Iraq, with or without the WMD lies, but that he would have followed it up with an attack on Iran. While I don't agree with some of Blix's views, particularly on what I regard as Israel's entirely understandable - and genuine - security fears, he talks a heck of a lot of sense about the folly of taking on Iran without international agreement and a bloody good reason (an example of which certainly does not exist, at least yet). He also gives the lie to Blair's 2010 counterfactual pseudo-justification for the Iraq war, namely, that had there been no war then Saddam would now be locked in an arms race with Iran and Israel. Iraq would be as crippled now under Saddam as it was in 2003, Blix suggests. In other words, Blair was talking through an alternative orifice to his cakehole.
As for his point about a nuclear-armed Iran. Tell you what, I think he's right. Iran with nukes would certainly be extremely uncomfortable, but the fact remains that with the responsibility that comes with possession of the Bomb comes a sea-change in national outlook and identity. Using it as an aggressive weapon is literally suicide, given the guaranteed swiftness and totally devastating response to such a crime. Blix implies that not even the current regime in Iran is that crazy, for all its wild words and posturing. And I agree, mainly because he's probably right, but partly because just hearing a mollifying voice of reason after the endless propaganda and ignorant, one-eyed, 'blood price,' warmongering lunacy of liars like Blair is a hell of a relief.
You may disagree.
I also observe that the lesson of the Iraq war for Iran is that the fact that Iraq DIDN'T have weapons of mass destruction are what sealed its fate. America and Israel can threaten all sorts against Iran, but the rational calculation is that the USA (and Israel, who seems to set their foreign policy agenda in the region for them), who have plotted up in the next door country, will have no qualms about invading Iran on any pretext they find convenient, at any time they feel moved to do so, whatever Iran does or does not do. Accordingly, developing a nuclear arsenal, which is the only thing proven capable of holding an oil-thirsty superpower at bay for fear of nuclear retaliation, is entirely rational, under almost any threat. And that's a consequence of the invasion of Iraq...ReplyDelete
Well argued, "Silicon Implant" (er). To me, that's the kind of analytical honesty and comprehension of the complexity of these realities that we all in future are desperately going to need if we are even to hope for some sort of stability in that region, and, by implication, the world. This is no simplistic, Blairite case of 'goodies' and 'baddies,' at least in terms of future policy, at least post-Afghanistan.ReplyDelete
I thank you for the comment.
If they really want to keep Iran in check, the best thing is to let its main rival in the region, Saddam's Iraq, do the job - woops, too late.ReplyDelete
Which leaves Syria in the frame - I reckon we could do business with Syria perfectly well if there was any will to do so in the West.
Adam: You've framed in a handful of well-chosen words the successful Middle East policy of any future UK (and US) government.ReplyDelete
Basically, jaw jaw not war war, as someone pretty significant once said.