Iraq: ‘sovereignty’ was not transferred; a British ‘Fahrenheit 911’?
Why do Tony Blair, e.g. in his press conference on 25 May , the BBC, Jack Straw and “Condi” Rice, in her little scribble to Mr President ("Mr President, Iraq is sovereign… â€“ Condiâ€?; Bush: "Let FreeDom Reign!â€?) persist in talking about the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqis when the occupiers never possessed it to hand over? Sovereignty continued to reside in the Iraqi people through all the bombings, invasion and occupation. Don’t these people have advisers who know better? Or, as an e-correspondent of mine suggests, "I think these people know precisely what they are saying. The Coalition’s largesse knows no bounds! Sovereignty certainly cannot be given back to the Iraqi people by the Coalition, who did not possess it in the first place. Nemo dat quod non habet!â€? It’s a relatively small thing, but it makes its squalid little contribution to one’s rage and frustration. Even in talking of their pretend ‘handover’ of Iraq to its own people, they can’t resist the resident lie.
Still on Iraq (sorry): I’ve just come home from seeing Michael Moore’s magnificent film, Fahrenheit 911. I assume that some of the welter of allegations and accusations in the movie may well be inaccurate or unwarranted, but even allowing for that, it seems to me a remarkable and powerfully articulated indictment. If there’s any justice, it should annihilate Bush’s chances of re-election. But I fear that the great majority of American voters who go to see it will be, like me, already converted, and want to have the views they already hold confirmed. Will it reach enough of the undecided swing voters? Michael Moore, interviewed on the radio the other day while over here for the launch of Fahrenheit, said the man he really blamed was Blair. Bush had of course done terrible things, but he was genuinely too stupid to know any better. Blair was much cleverer, much better informed, and might well have had a real opportunity (Moore said) to stop Bush’s war before it began by refusing to have Britain take part in it without clear UN approval. Yet he had gone along with the lies and evasions and twisting of intelligence. He was far more culpable than Bush: yet where were the British Fahrenheit 911s, the angry exposures, the holding to account? Good questions.
In a way, I envy the Americans: at least in the faintly Lincoln-like Kerry they have a respectable, supportable alternative to Bush and his gang. Where’s the alternative to Blair for whom we could conscientiously vote?