AS TONY Blair jetted his way through the Gulf area, meeting Kuwaiti sheikhs, lecturing to British squaddies and kissing Iraqi children in one big photo-opportunity, evidence was growing that he and US president Bush lied about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

If it’s shown that Blair lied to parliament and the whole population to justify war then it could significantly damage Blair and New Labour - resignations are likely. Labour MPs are demanding a statement from Blair and a public inquiry into the scandal, which could be supported by the Tories.

Government ministers have distorted weapons inspectors Blix’s findings on WMD, produced plagiarised and doctored dossiers and ’spun’ intelligence agency reports to give the impression that Iraq had the capability to use WMD against other countries.

Many more MPs would have voted against the war without assurances that Saddam’s WMDs were a threat. Blair could have found it impossible to back the war.

These lies were used to justify a war which sent 32 British soldiers to their deaths, killed or injured thousands of Iraqis and reduced Iraq to chaos.

Of course Blair is constantly lying to ordinary workers. In fact the whole New Labour project is based on lies. We’re told that PFI is good for our hospitals and schools, that foundation hospitals won’t mean a two-tier heath service and that workers don’t need protection from bosses like TAG whose workers were sacked by text message. All lies.

Now Blair has lied to MPs and representatives of the establishment and threatened the intelligence services’ credibility, he could be seen as a liability to the system he represents. Even a Labour MP compares this current crisis to the Watergate affair which brought down US President Nixon.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it wasn’t "crucially important" that there was no "literal" evidence, but most people would think that if the Americans can’t find evidence or even manufacture it, the real reason for the war was for strategic power, economic domination, and oil.

The ruling class find it harder now than previously to justify going to war - more people are aware of international issues and sceptical about their motives.

That’s why millions were prepared to protest on the streets both before and during the war. Never before has such opposition to a war been expressed on that scale worldwide.

Our movement, unlike many Labour MPs, never believed Blair’s lies about the war. Hence the need to "sell" the idea of war with reasons such as getting rid of an evil dictator, installing democracy or the threat of WMDs.

With rising opposition at home, Blair was under pressure to justify a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Two dossiers were produced to convince Labour MPs and get public support for the war.

In fact Downing Street ’spun’ intelligence reports to try to prove there were WMDs in Iraq which threatened Britain and other countries. Blair said that these weapons could be used within 45 minutes of an order when the evidence to back this up was weak and uncorroborated.

Likewise Blair’s absurd statements of possible links between Al-Qa’ida and Baghdad were never backed by the intelligence agencies. Blair and his Labour government are clearly prepared to lie to defend the bosses’ system. We say:

  • Get rid of Blair and all of New Labour
  • New urgency is now needed to build a new mass workers’ party.
  • Fight for a socialist alternative.

Committee for a workers' International publications

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