Iraq Secrets and US & UK Lies ...
Here's some more powder to keep nice and dry. I suggest you store it somewhere safe. Filed right alongside those Downing Street Memos should be as good a place as any.
Roy Greenslade is professor of journalism at London's City University, and in today's Guardian he 'salutes' author Dilip Hiro's fine work - "Secrets and Lies: The True Story of the Iraq War". It's a depressing yet magisterial assessment of the reasoning that led to the Iraq invasion and war.
This Old Brit salutes Mr Hiro, too. He's a man who not only knows what he's writing about - but also who he's writing about. What's more, he's one of that rare breed of writers not afraid to come right out and name names.
For example, just take a look at this little lot:
Dick Cheney; Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz; the under secretary of defence, Douglas Feith; the defence adviser Richard Perle; the president's chief political adviser, Karl Rove; and, of course, the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.
It goes without saying, of course, that Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld and Saddam also get more than a mere mention. Likewise, Colin Powell. Indeed, Greenslade writes thus:
Hiro's point-by-point rebuttal of Powell's allegations is masterly.
All the political lies, distortions and obfuscations of both the US and UK to help themselves more easily launch their illegal Iraq invasion, are coolly dismantled in the most meticulous manner imaginable.
Witness this particular excerpt.
That he does the job so meticulously - even, arguably, in too detailed a fashion on occasion - makes his overall indictment even more powerful than the scatter-gun approach of other war critics, such as Michael Moore.
And take a look at this.
... he holds up every piece of fake intelligence to scrutiny, revealing both its falsity and the propaganda use to which it was put. Every excuse advanced by Bush and Blair for the invasion is shown to be hollow, as they seek to conceal the main reason for their pre-emptive strike: the desire for regime change. In some of the most telling passages, Hiro reveals the key roles played by the sinister group who surrounded Bush ...
Then, squirm in disgust as you read:
... the Pentagon strenuously denied that it had used napalm in Iraq, despite an Australian correspondent witnessing its use. That wasn't napalm, said a spokesman, it was a Mark 77 firebomb. As Hiro observes this statement was "cynical sophistry", since the Mark 77 is a mixture of kerosene and polystyrene, while napalm is a mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene. The result is just the same ...
And for today's final teaser.
But the haunting moments come, just as they did in the revelations about the reality of the Vietnam war, when one discovers that neither politicians nor military leaders ever tell the truth.
Like to learn more? Then click on the link for the full article.