Blair rechtvaardigde gisteren niet alleen zijn besluit de Amerikaanse invasie van Irak in 2003 te steunen, maar maakte van zijn hoorzitting voor de Chilcout onderzoek-commissie ook uitgebreid gebruik om een vergelijking te maken met een, zijns inziens, huidige noodzaak om Iran aan te vallen.
Een uiterst gevaarlijke these waarop helaas niet door de commissieleden is ingegaan.
Ook in Nederland wordt het rapport-Davids niet becommentarieerd met het oog op ‘lessen voor de toekomst’. Naast een ‘Amerika-reflex’ heeft ons kabinet ook een ‘Israel-reflex’, die leidt tot zijn onvoorwaardelijke steun aan het zionistisch annexatie- en bezettingsbeleid van Israel.
Waar Israel aanstuurt op een ‘preventieve’ aanval op Iran, is het essentieel om te weten hoe ons kabinet tegenover zulk een (voorgenomen) oorlog staat. Dit is ook van belang voor de besluitvorming over de Nederlandse ISAF-missie in Afghanistan, omdat oorlog met Iran vergaande consequenties heeft voor de hele regio, zo niet voor de wereld.
..He told the hearings that the world faced the same decisions now as he and President George W Bush had over Iraq. Mr Balir warned that Tehran’s actions made him even more afraid today that a rogue state could supply weapons of mass destruction to terrorists than when he took Britain to war against Saddam Hussein in 2003.
"My judgment – and it may be other people don’t take this view, and that’s for the leaders of today to make their judgment – is we don’t take any risks with this issue," he said.
"My fear was – and I would say I hold this fear stronger today than I did back then as a result of what Iran particularly today is doing – my fear is that states that are highly repressive or failed, the danger of a WMD link is that they become porous, they construct all sorts of different alliances with people.
"When I look at the way that Iran today links up with terror groups … I would say that a large part of the destabilisation in the Middle East at the present time comes from Iran."..
David Morrison, 19 January 2010
There is a widespread feeling in Britain that Prime Minister Tony Blair was, to say the least, economical with the truth in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, in particular, that he expressed a certainty about Iraq’s possession of “weapons of mass destruction” that was unwarranted by the intelligence evidence available to him at the time.
However, the story of how in the 12 months prior to the invasion he engineered the UK’s participation in a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime is not widely known, even though the basic facts have been in the public domain for many years…
The decisions made in London reflect the Barack Obama administration’s searchfor a more intelligent and flexible strategy in Afghanistan. But the change of emphasis persists in ignoring another key element of the Afghan reality: namely, the role of important regional states (beyond the most obvious one of Pakistan). For a number of such states – Russia, China and especially Iran – has the capacity to reinforce or help derail western policy towards Afghanistan.
Iran’s position is made highly relevant by a set of factors: the extensive common border with Afghanistan, its political and social involvement in the west of the country, transport links to the Iranian ports of Chabahar and Konarak, and Tehran’s perennial concern over drug-trafficking across the frontier…
The risk of an Israel/Iran war is rising (see “Israel’s shadow over Iran”, 14 January 2010). But the Iran/Afghanistan connection tends to be excluded from any such scenario. Many analysts have argued that the dangerous consequences of such a war include Iran’s capacity to interfere in Iraq and to disrupt Gulf oil-supplies. These dangers most certainly exist, but it may well be that an even greater impact would be felt in Afghanistan.
The London summit could signal a change in attitude to the Taliban that might just presage some hesitant progress in a complex, costly and divisive conflict. But if there were to be an Israeli attack on Iran, all could be derailed.
The combination of Iran’s effort to protect its nuclear facilities and Israel’s to prevent its rival developing a weapon makes a crisis in 2010 all the more likely.
The British government’s justification for launching the Iraq war has been dramatically undermined by two separate inquiries casting new light on the build-up to the invasion in 2003. Delivering the first independent assessment of the legality of the conflict, an official Dutch inquiry yesterday concluded that ‘the military action had no sound mandate in international law.’ In a 550-page report, it concluded that: ‘The UN Security Council resolution on Iraq from the 1990s did not give a mandate to the US-British led military intervention in 2003.’ The report added that ‘in its depiction of Iraq’s WMD programme, the [Dutch] government was to a considerable extent led by public and other information from the US and the UK.’