By Alan Hart
6 March 2010
Alan Hart highlights the double standard displayed by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the Iraq Inquiry on 5 March, where he sought to justify the aggression against Iraq on the grounds of Iraq’s non-compliance with international law – something Israel has been doing for 62 years.
”... for 62 years the Zionist state of Israel has been, and continues to be, the biggest single violator of international law. No state on Planet Earth has been allowed to get away with defying UN resolutions for so long. And, I say, no state poses a bigger threat to the peace of the region and the world than Israel on its present course.”
There could not be a more graphic illustration of the double-standard that drives Western foreign policy and has prevented a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict than Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s explanation to the Chilcot Inquiry on why he, when he was Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and wrote the cheques for it, backed the war on Iraq.
He said, “It was the right decision for the right reasons.”
What were they?
Not 9/11 or the weapons of mass destruction assertions.
In an effort to distance himself from America’s neo-cons and their soul-mate in London, Prime Minister (at the time) Tony Blair, Brown said: "I never subscribed to what you might call the neo-conservative proposition, that somehow, at the barrel of a gun, overnight liberty or democracy could be conjured up. What I believed was that the case for intervention was that international law had to be observed."
Putting some flesh on that bone, Brown said his view was that if the international community could not act together over Iraq, he feared that “the new world order we were trying to create would be put at risk.”
“Aggressor states that refuse to obey the laws of the international community” have to be confronted. Iraq was a “serial violator of the rules of the international community”.
There is, of course, some truth in that, but not nearly as much truth as in the statement that for 62 years the Zionist state of Israel has been, and continues to be, the biggest single violator of international law. No state on Planet Earth has been allowed to get away with defying UN resolutions for so long. And, I say, no state poses a bigger threat to the peace of the region and the world than Israel on its present course.
As I have previously written, the double-standard which allows Israel to behave as it likes with impunity was effectively put into place when the major powers, all of them, refused to condemn Israel as the aggressor in 1967 and demand that it withdraw from occupied territories without preconditions.
If Mr Brown means what he says, and if by chance he remains prime minister after Britain’s imminent election, logic suggests that he will take the lead with President Obama in putting together a coalition to require Israel, by war if necessary, to comply with “the rules of the international community”.
Of course he won’t because logic, like truth and reality, has no place in politics, domestic or international.
A book by Karl Rove, once described as President “Dubya” Bush’s brains, is about to be published. The memoir is titled Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. In it Rove says he doubts that Bush would have invaded Iraq and taken Britain into a disastrous war if he had known that intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was simply wrong. "The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam."
If Rove is right (and is being something other than self-serving), what would Prime Minister Tony Blair’s position have been? He is firmly on the BBC’s record as saying that he probably would have moved ahead with removing Saddam Hussein from power even had he known that the narrative about weapons of mass destruction was fictional by finding different ways to justify it. As I have previously written, I never saw Blair as Bush’s puppet. I think he was and is a neo-con in spirit. And I think it’s more likely than not that he was firmly in the camp of those pressing Bush to go to war. So if Rove had done what he now seems to be saying he should have done – played a part of exposing the intelligence on WMD for the nonsense it was, Blair might not have got the war he and apparently Gordon Brown wanted.
Alan Hart is a researcher, author and former correspondent for ITN’s "News At Ten" and the BBC’s "Panorama programme".