Monday 9 January 2006

New call to impeach Blair over Iraq

How many more people have to say it before those supine so-called "representatives" of the people in Houses of Parliament decide to act?

Tony Blair should be impeached over the Iraq war, according to one of Britain's most senior former soldiers.

General Sir Michael Rose, who commanded UN forces in Bosnia, accused the prime minister of taking the country to war on what turned out to be "false grounds", saying it is something "no one should be allowed to walk away from".

Despite publicly insisting that his aim was to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, Mr Blair "probably had some other strategy in mind", said Gen Rose.

He makes the call for Mr Blair's impeachment in a documentary by the former BBC correspondent and former independent MP Martin Bell.

Gen Rose told Bell he would have resigned his commission rather than take troops to war on the flimsy basis offered by Mr Blair.

And he said: "The politicians should be held to account, and my own view is that Blair should be impeached.

"That would prevent politicians treating quite so carelessly the subject of taking a country into war."

He added to that criticism on the Today programme, saying: "Certainly from a soldier's perspective there can't be any more serious decision taken by a prime minister than declaring war.

"And then to go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from."

The general described Mr Blair's actions in the run-up to war as "somewhere in between" getting the politics wrong and actually acting illegally.

"The politics was wrong, that he rarely declared what his ultimate aims were, as far as we can see, in terms of harping continually on weapons of mass destruction when actually he probably had some other strategy in mind," he said.

"And secondly, the consequences of that war have been quite disastrous both for the people of Iraq and also for the west in terms of our wider interests in the war against global terror."

Gen Rose is one of a number of retired soldiers taking part in a documentary by the former war correspondent Bell, entitled Iraq: The Failure Of War.

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