Tuesday, July 06, 2004
#4, Depression, is just over the horizon, but #5, Acceptance, is probably still a good ways off:
Tony Blair conceded today that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction "may never be found" but claimed that they could have been "hidden, removed or destroyed".
Appearing before the Commons liaison committee of senior MPs, the prime minister said: "I was very, very confident the Iraq Survey Group would find them - I have to accept we haven't found them and we may not find them."
But - a week before the Butler inquiry into intelligence failures over Iraq reports back - Mr Blair warned against going to the "other extreme" and believing that Saddam never held WMD; they could have been "hidden, removed or destroyed", he added . . . .
Asked by Tory MP Sir George Younger if it had been a mistake to put so much emphasis on Iraqi WMD and not regime change, he replied: "Just because we haven't found stockpiles of WMD doesn't mean he was not a threat" . . . .
Although he was pressed by several MPs - both Labour and Tory - to list the achievement of his "special relationship" with the US, he rejected that Britain was merely "thrown scraps" by Mr Bush.
Showing some real anger, he said: "And if you really want to know I think most countries round the world would give their eye teeth to have that relationship.
"And it is a shame that here it is seen somehow as a sign of mockery that we have the closeness of that relationship."