Saturday, March 19, 2005


The crowds in Trafalgar Square make their voice heard

We're now into Year Three of the great humanitarian venture in Iraq. Lord Goldsmith’s advice (on just the single sheet of A4) was duly read to the Cabinet, and the Prime Minister told the House of Commons all about the real and present threat from 'Saddam' He spoke with persuasive seriousness: the strong but caring voice of the Good Shepherd – marshalling his flock of sheep to follow.

The study in October 2004, reported in the Lancet, that 100, 000 Iraqi civilian casualties occurred as a direct result of the Coalition invasion shocked to the core both supporters and non-supporters of the invasion alike. The war in Iraq could not possibly be justified on any conceivable grounds if so many tens of thousands of Iraqis were the victims of continuing mass terror, misery, bereavement, anguish and destruction. But government spokesmen quickly refuted those terrifying figures. After all, how could it be that George and Tony's invasion should result in such unimaginable ghastliness when it was backed by one whole sheet of legal advice from the Attorney General and a thick dossier of reasons from Downing Street?

Like most people, I read George Orwell’s Animal Farm at school in the days when Orwell’s warnings were thought to have been relevant only to the recent past. For some reason, I remember it quite well. It was Squealer, the cleverest of the pigs, frisking before the other animals persuasively and somehow silencing their questions, who said ( unless my memory isn’t quite accurate):

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