Paging Mr. Kettle...

With the reported deaths of Saddam's murderous off-spring, Blair yet against justified the invasion of Iraq. Saddam's regime, he stated, "was not just a security threat because of its weapons program but was responsible for the torture and killing of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis."

It was significant that Blair, yet again, has stated that Saddam's WMD "program" was the issue, *not* the vast stocks of actual weapons Blair claimed existed in the run up to war. His backtracking knows no bounds.

These deaths were an opportunity for Blair to remind us of the evil nature of the Saddam regime. Of course, this was not what we were told we were going to war for nor was it the legal justification given for it. But it does distract attention away from the non-discovery of WMD. And the killing of Saddam's evil spawn does have the advantage of ensuring that they cannot give evidence in court, either about Iraqi's WMD (or lack of them) or Saddam's links with the US. Who knows, they may have reported that they learned their torture techniques, like so many other murderous dictators, from US advisors. Or that many of the deaths Blair is now so concerned about occurred when the US and UK were supporting and arming Saddam (and Tony was strangely silent).

And it is equally significant that Blair did not mention the other force in Iraq responsible for the "killing of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis," namely himself and Bush. With a minimum of 6073 civilian deaths, the invasion of Iraq has resulted in more than twice the numbers killed on September 11th. The total numbers of civilians killed will, probably, never be known. The numbers of Iraqi conscripts are also unknown.

Then there is torture. The same day Blair made his comments the BBC reported that Jack Straw was "considering" an Amnesty International report alleging human rights violations, including torture, of prisoners being held by American forces.

Of course the actions of the US and UK are small fry compared to their old pal Saddam. But he had decades to get his body count so high. Nor should we forget the aid of the US and UK governments during most of that time.

While it may seem unlikely that US and UK hypocrisy can reach new depths, it would be unwise to make any bets on it.


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