Tuesday 11 October 2005

Bush, Blair compared to Nazi war criminals

History is not going to be nice to us...

A former chief UN weapons inspector has compared British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush to the Nazi war criminals who started World War II.

Scott Ritter, a former US marine, said the US and Britain's "aggressive warfare" in Iraq was similar to German actions in Europe 66 years ago.

"Both these men could be pulled up as war criminals for engaging in actions that we condemned Germany in 1946 for doing the same thing," he said. "Tony Blair and George Bush are guilty of the crime of planning and committing aggressive warfare."

He said both leaders would be in a much better position if they had received the backing of the international community by the passing of the infamous second UN resolution.

Mr Ritter also said the "special relationship" between Britain and the US left British honour as nothing more than a "disregarded mistress".

He said the sharing of information was a one-way system, with the US benefiting from UK intelligence.

"Britain gets nothing, other than to say they are America's closest ally in Europe," he said.

Mr Ritter, who was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998, was speaking at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

He said intelligence services had been correct to say Iraq's missile program had been destroyed soon after the first Gulf conflict of 1991.

But he said the aim of the US Government was never to settle at disarmament but enforce regime change - the removal of Saddam Hussein.

He said the origins of such a policy came from president George Bush snr who, in the run up to the first Gulf War, described Saddam as the "Middle Eastern equivalent of Adolf Hitler".

Mr Ritter told how he delivered a report in 1992 stating Iraq's missile program had been eliminated. But, he said, the news was met with "stony silence" and he was told Iraq still possessed 200 missiles.

The inspectors returned to try to track down the weapons, which never materialised.

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