Reinforcements for Iraq: A Brigade of Fearless Hacks

By Clark, Neil | New Statesman (1996), May 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

Reinforcements for Iraq: A Brigade of Fearless Hacks


Clark, Neil, New Statesman (1996)


Despite what the Prime Minister says, the chances of Britain sending further reinforcements to Iraq must be high. So who should go? I propose a new division, made up of those journalists and writers who were so keen that we go to war and who so faithfully echoed the propaganda of the warmongers in Washington and Westminster.

The first laptop bombardier should be William Shawcross who, in the lead-up to invasion, could be seen perched on every television sofa in the country explaining why Iraq posed such a deadly threat. The author of such gems as "Why Saddam will never disarm" was recently photographed at a swish London party held by his brother-in-law, Sir Rocco Forte. Surely, Shawcross would be better employed helping the British forces search for those weapons of mass destruction which, he assured us, Iraq possessed.

Next up, Andrew Roberts--cheerleader of the fanatically pro-American Atlantic Partnership and a man who advocated using nuclear weapons against Yugoslavia in 1999. Being one of Britain's "most talented historians", he argued that we could equate Iraq, a developing world country--with its Dad's Army and non-existent air force--with Nazi Germany at its peak.

Then there's Tim Hames of the Times, tireless advocate of the pre-emptive strike. When Saddam Hussein was captured last December, Hames proclaimed "the war is over". If that is the case, then Hames could have no possible worries about a spot of military service in Najaf. His fellow Times scribbler Stephen Pollard can accompany him. Eighteen months ago Pollard wanted to send George Galloway a one-way ticket to Baghdad. Now that Iraq has been "liberated", and Pollard's beloved US is in control, it is surely time to send the ticket to Pollard. Patrolling the streets of Fallujah has to be more exciting than writing a biography of David Blunkett. …

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