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Thursday, October 10, 2002
Weapons inspectors, truth and deception

In a Guardian article dated October 8th, George Monbiot is the first journalist, to my knowledge, to draw attention to the big lie that the UN weapons inspectors were expelled from Iraq in 1998. He writes
The US government maintains that Saddam Hussein expelled the UN inspectors from Iraq in 1998, but this is not true. On October 30 1998, the US rejected a new UN proposal by again refusing to lift the oil embargo if Iraq disarmed. On the following day, the Iraqi government announced that it would cease to cooperate with the inspectors. In fact it permitted them to continue working, and over the next six weeks they completed around 300 operations.
The inspectors were then withdrawn. I have blogged about this before. I have made the point that, if people lie about one thing that is checkable, how can we believe anything in their hand held close to the chest? In other words, the dossier of Iraqi misdeeds is not reliable evidence.

Some years ago, during the Soviet era, I watched incredulously as an American political spokesman said, without batting an eyelid, that there had never been a democratically elected communist government. I was further horrified as the interviewer failed to mention that the Chilean socialist-communist government under Allende had been overthrown with considerable assistance from the USA in 1973 (on September 11th, strangely enough). Doesn't that count?

What I want to know is: why aren't interviewers and journalists, with the honourable exception of George Monbiot, making more of this latest lie? Is it that they think that it's close enough to the truth not to warrant a challenge?

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