Archive article from The Socialist Issue 304
Blair's Lies Sow Divisions At The Top
ANY TRIUMPH Blair hoped for after the Iraq war is vanishing rapidly. The accusations of Blair lying about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have now revealed antagonisms between the intelligence agencies and the government that go beyond the Iraq war.
It is over eight weeks since the end of the war and chaos still reigns in Iraq with no water or electricity, few hospital facilities, continuous killings of both US troops and Iraqis and 'democracy' a long way off the agenda.
In the last two weeks it has been shown that Blair's main reasons for going to war were not backed up by any convincing intelligence data - in other words he lied.
This was particularly the case when Blair asserted that Saddam could use WMDs within 45 minutes of an order given and that these weapons were a threat to other countries.
The only evidence backing this up was a claim by an Iraqi defector which was not corroborated and flies in the face of all other evidence.
The intelligence services, armed forces and Hans Blix, Chief Weapons Inspector for the UN, have all distanced themselves from Blair's assertions.
The Intelligence and Security Committee, which will look into the allegations, is appointed by and accountable to the Prime Minister and meets in secret while the Foreign Affairs Select Committee has limited access to information. A Liberal Democrat motion calling for an independent judicial inquiry is not an alternative as a capitalist judge cannot be impartial. The motion anyway was defeated by 98 votes with only 11 Labour MPs voting against the government.
The socialist calls for an inquiry run by representatives of working class people - the ranks of the trade unions, community organisations, other democratic organisations as well as representatives from the mass peace movement with powers to investigate all areas.
John Reid, Leader of the Commons, spoke of "rogue elements" within the security services who are leaking damaging material on Blair. However, it is clear that leading elements within the intelligence are unhappy with their material being used by Downing Street to draw false conclusions to justify war.
The security services are a law unto themselves with huge powers and, even though the state is seen as united in propping up the capitalist system, different wings do disagree on tactics and on this occasion how to deal with a rogue Prime Minister.
Reid is correct in saying that in the past the Intelligence Services have plotted against Labour governments whom they perceived were threatening their system. However, this government has done their bidding.
These revelations and obvious disquiet among the intelligence services and other wings of the ruling class towards Blair is most likely a warning. Blair can blatantly lie to the working class about such scams as PFI but in the last analysis he is representing the interests of big business and is not supposed to deceive them.
When Blair talks of invading other countries such as Iran and North Korea, he provokes warnings from capitalist writers against following Bush on another adventure.
Divisions have always existed within the major capitalist governments about whether to attack Iraq and now that the outcome of the war is bringing huge problems they seek to wound and rein in the pro-war elements.
Blair and New Labour are not out of the woods yet on this issue. So far we have seen criticism of Blair in the national press, from the Tories and Liberals as well as the intelligence services.
This will be as nothing compared to the anger of our class when they fight back against this lying government.