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January 08, 2004

Comments

Simon

Blair et al. said that there would be WMD, Michael Howard said that it would be sunny yesterday. People get things wrong...Certainly, it was a possibility that had to be considered. If it didn't happen then that is good news...

Jamie

It was put forward as more than just "a possibility that had to be considered". It was put forward as a reason for inaction. The "good news" is that they were largely ignored.

don

"It was put forward as a reason for inaction."
Baroness Williams (Today 7/1/04) still considers that containment was sufficient to deal with Saddam. (But perhaps there are also Lib Dem predictions about the suffering caused by the "US" sanctions against Iraq!)

Eamonn

I suspect Baroness Williams would have argued that containment of Hitler would have been sufficient to deal with the Nazis.

Peter Bocking

Containment,wonderful word that,conjures up a line in the sand,"Not one step further or else".Or else what? There was already international pressure to lift sanctions because of the suffering of the Iraqi people,suffering wholly induced by Saddam Hussein.Once the sanctions had been lifted Iraq would have rearmed and the Hussein family business reactivated and the "Or else" a little harder to enforce.How long did Mrs Williams envisage containment to be maintained, and at what cost. Slowly there would have been domestic pressure in the West to disengage, reduce expenditure,governments would come and go, each with different priorities.Saddam Hussein is master of media manipulation, with no compunction about feeding horror stories to the western media,so easy to manufacture disasters by placing military assets amongst civilians.
No, the West would have grown weary of containment and politicians would have had to think of another word to rein in Saddam Hussein.

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