The face of defeat

Geoff Hoon is the former British defence secretary and is currently in Australia. His performance on last night’s ABC Lateline was a spectacular example of trying to convince viewers that Iraq is on the track to democracy, the occupation is relatively benign and the risk of international terrorism hasn’t increased since the 2003 invasion. It was a pathetic example of a man desperately covering his lying arse. In a just world, Hoon would be charged with war crimes.

Some “highlights”:

TONY JONES: The question is, though, did you ignore that specific intelligence saying that the terrorism threat would be heightened, while simultaneously accepting what proved to be incorrect intelligence advice about WMD in Iraq?

GEOFFREY HOON: We did not ignore that advice. That was part of preparations for dealing with the situation in Iraq after the defeat of Saddam and his forces. What I’ve recognised is that we were not prepared for the scale or intensity of the violence perpetrated by terrorists against the Iraqi people themselves.

TONY JONES: In spite of the intelligence suggesting that this threat would be heightened not only in Iraq, evidently, but across the world, which, in fact, has happened?

GEOFFREY HOON: Well, I don’t accept that there is a direct connection the way that your question implies. I’ve made clear already that…

TONY JONES: But yet your intelligence services made that connection before the war.

Hoon claimed that the Iraq mission was about allowing the Iraqis to vote and the “Coalition” troops remain in the country thanks to the government’s invitation. Let’s not discuss how the current administration is largely of US creation and yet is increasingly close to Iran.

“They want our help”, Hoon said of the Iraq people. “Crucially, ultimately, they want to take responsibility for themselves and it’s our job to help them.” How very colonial of him. And how untrue. The vast majority of Iraqis voted in January for an independent government AND freedom from occupation troops. Perhaps Hoon would like to speak to the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed since our “help” arrived.

Hoon’s spinning and distortions provide a useful example. A key manager of the Iraq invasion is left to defend an imperial war fought on a lie. How noble.

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