by Chris Ames
Before the Inquiry published its report, I was concerned at its promise to publish the evidence that supported its narrative, worrying that it would conceal the evidence that told a different story. I should not (I think) have worried. The Inquiry has published plenty of new evidence that contradicts its key conclusion that the UK government managed:
to reconcile its objective of disarming Iraq, if possible by peaceful means, with the US goal of regime change. That was achieved by the development of an ultimatum strategy threatening the use of force if Saddam Husseindid not comply with the demands of the international community, and by seeking topersuade the US to adopt that strategy and pursue it through the UN.
It seems to me that our over-riding objective is the removal of Saddam not the insertion of arms inspectors. It is only with a new regime that we can be sure of an end to CBRN proliferation and an end to hostile intent towards his neighbours plus his support for terrorism. We need to make a far greater effort to bring him down […] with proper backing for internal opposition […]
Mr Blair replied: “I agree with this entirely and I should prepare a note for GWB[President Bush] next week.”
Mr Powell argued that only the removal of Saddam Hussein and a new regime would deal with the risks from Iraq.