Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The British Way

We are told that Blair made war because he wanted not to look as weak as Michael Foot. Did none of his close circle feel they had a duty to warn him that to kill and maim over a million people was extravagant ambition? Therein was enacted what the right wing political philosopher Leo Strauss calls 'the noble lie', the right of leaders to lie to the masses, aided and abetted by a small elite of the chosen ones privy to the truth.

The Iraqi academic Sami Ramadhani says his countrymen have no interest in this inquiry. They have felt and seen what happened. Ordinary Britons too have a clearer view than assumed by these people in high places. We should have had ordinary Iraqi and British citizens on the panel and sharp lawyers too. They might have disarmed the slip sliders and pushed collective responsibility.

L'etat was never just Blair. But that isn't how Albion does things. The British way is to suppress any incipient social rebellions by making sure something is seen to be done, and also that nothing really changes.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: I'm beginning to feel some sympathy for Tony Blair. We should have had ordinary Iraqi and British citizens on the inquiry panel, The Independent, 30 November 2009

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