Anorak News | Play Your Cards Right

Play Your Cards Right

by | 18th, June 2003

‘IF Clare Short believed that Tony Blair deliberately misled the British public over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, how is it she was happy to remain a member of his government?

Clare Short’s bombshell fails to explode

Robin Cook at least had the integrity to resign on the eve of war, but Short surely sacrificed whatever shred of credibility she had when she clung onto her job.

So, her appearance yesterday alongside Cook before a committee of MPs investigating the lead-up to war with Iraq was hardly the nuclear bomb under this Government that it could have been.

Indeed, the anti-war Independent and Guardian are the only papers that lead with the testimonies of the two former Cabinet ministers.

The pro-war Times and the Telegraph are much more concerned about where we are now rather than how we got here.

The former suggests that Britain is pressing America to do deals with some of the 31 top Iraqi prisoners that are in custody, offering possible freedom in exchange for information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein and his fabled WMDs.

Ironically, the US administration has so far rejected the appeals of its closest ally, saying there are legal obstacles in the way.

”US authorities have been happy to offer plea bargains to some of America’s most notorious criminals,” the Times points out, ”but apparently draw the line at members of a regime they have denounced as evil.”

Another regime the White House has denounced as evil is Iran and in recent days it has been turning up the heat on the mullahs in Tehran.

But to the US bad cop, Britain is pressing the EU to act as good cop, offering Iran a two-month ultimatum to comply with demands to halt its nuclear programme and support for terrorists.

Britain, the Telegraph says, is trying to avoid a similar rift between America and Europe to the one over the war with Iraq.

”A short, sharp shock now, reasonably early, might act as a salutary warning to the Iranians that, as we must listen to them, they must take our concerns seriously,” a Foreign Office message says.

And if they don’t, we’ll make up a few concerns for them to take seriously.

Posted: 18th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink