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Monday, September 02, 2002
Straw poll

The UK foreign secretary, Jack Straw (La Bore), when discussing the Iraq situation, asserted recently that the weapons inspectors had been 'thrown out of Iraq'.

Now, I don't know whether this is a piece of accidental 'mis-speaking' or if it is a full blown deliberate porkie. Perhaps he thinks that what he said was close enough to the truth not to warrant an immediate correction. In reality, according to The Sunday Times (see last paragraph), the inspectors were withdrawn in 1998 ahead of a renewed bombing campaign.

What Jack Straw said is sufficiently far from the truth to warrant considerable censure. Withdrawing inspectors because they found it impossible to do their work is not the same as being thrown out. Jack, you're not doing your job properly: either you're incompetent or a deliberate purveyor of terminological inexactitudes. Tony, throw him out if he doesn't 'withdraw' himself. That's clear enough, isn't it?

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