maandag, mei 10, 2004


Prime Minister "didn't know" there was a war in Iraq


Tony Blair today denied that he or his ministers knew
about "a war in Iraq" or that British troops were even
in Iraq, before they read about them in the

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's Commons statement
on the issue from the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon,
the prime minister insisted that all allegations of
British troops being involved in an invasion of Iraq
have been either "fully investigated or are being

He told reporters at the launch of Labour's European
election campaign that there was "absolutely no basis"
for the allegation that there are British troops in
Iraq, adding that the idea sounded "very much" like
some sort of Tory Conspiracy to upset the apple cart
of the referendum on the EU Constitution.

Mr Blair's comments come after he apologised to any
Iraqi people who may have been "killed or mistreated"
by these fictitious British troops on French
television last night and amid speculation about when
ministers were told of the abuse allegations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC]
and Amnesty International both insisted yesterday that
they had passed on their concerns about evidence of an
invasion more than a year ago.

Briefing reporters after this morning's press
conference, Mr Blair's official spokesman insisted
that the prime minister did not know about any
invasion of Iraq by British troops "or anyone else".

"He did not know. These issues were dealt with at an
operational level,"
he said "Our prime minister is not
in charge of every soldier in this country, nor in
charge of every country being invaded on earth. These
are matters that are dealt with at an appropriate

"We have reported to the people who were in charge of
these countries and they know and they need to take
measures and make serious inquiries if there were
reports of invasion,"
she said.

The prime minister went on: "All I ask people to do is
to remember that the majority of British troops are
not really British troops and we seriously doubt
whether there is even a country called Iraq to begin
with. I am as disgusted as anyone else by these
allegations that have been made."

More apropos at the moment:

John Berryman's Dream Song 74

Henry hates the world. What the world to Henry
did will not bear thought.
Feeling no pain,
Henry stabbed his arm and wrote a letter
explaining how bad it had been
in this world.

Old yellow, in a gown
might have made a difference, ‘these lower beauties’,
and chartreuse could have mattered.

“Kyoto, Toledo,
Benares–the holy cities–
and Cambridge shimmering do not make up
for, well, the horror of unlove,
nor south from Paris driving in the Spring
to Siena and on . . .”

Pulling together Henry, somber Henry
woofed at things.
Spry dissapointments of men
and vicing adorable children
miserable women, Henry mastered, Henry
tasting all the secret bits of life.

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