Monday, 31 May 2010

Brian Haw revisited

Ah, the vagaries of history:

But one fact about Brian Haw which few people remember is this: he started his protest not against the Iraq war but against the UN's 'blunt' sanctions against Iraq.

Believe it or not, this is one thing on which he and Tony Blair and George Bush were in agreement (although Brian may not have known that). Even before 9/11, Britain and the US could see that the UN sanctions regime wasn't working. Saddam was screwing the system so that funds intended for medicines for sick children were actually diverted to line the pockets of the regime.

Regardless of the subsequent WMD fiasco and the rights and wrongs of the war itself, it's just worth perhaps having this heretical thought: way back in early 2001 when he first pitched his tent, the man who has come to symbolise opposition to 'Blair's war' was himself on the same page as the Foreign Office.

So, Brian Haw, valiant protestor against the Iraq War, actually started off agreeing with Tony Blair and George W. Bush. Wouldn't it be ironic if, in some small way, his protest actually led to the war he now decries?

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