Sunday, 19 September 2010

Just between friends

Isn't it true you led this country to war on false premises?

I think what the public are really interested in ...

I'm sorry, I don't recall asking what you think the public are interested in.

I'm sure your listeners are more concerned with what we are doing to make their lives, and the lives of their children, and their children's children, safer and more secure. They aren't interested in bickering, scoring points and media tittle-tattle.

So why won't you admit that there was no real evidence of a credible threat to this country before leading us into war?

I can only act on the information I'm given. I think the people understand that and I'm a pretty straightforward guy; I did what I believed was right and what had to be done. Leadership is about having to make difficult and tough choices and, if that makes me unpopular, then so be it.

Surely such decisions are not just a matter of what you believe is right, but that that belief is supported by tried and tested evidence, not hearsay and rumour … hearsay and rumour, incidentally, that your government was already favourably predisposed to accept, because it was - and remains - a long term ambition of your party's ideologues to interfere in the region.

And what if we had waited? What if by waiting the unthinkable had happened? Millions of citizens dead. Murdered by a ruthless dictator?

A dictator, by-the-way, you had no qualms dealing with in past. Even selling arms to when it served your well-connected corporate sponsors and the interests of so-called “regional allies”.

That's a cheap shot.

That's one way of looking at. Another way is that your information was so weak, uncollaborated, unsubstantiated and disparate, that by prematurely acting on it, you have caused a greater danger - a greater threat - to this country than would have been the case if you had waited for a full and comprehensive investigation.

That's all good and well after the fact, but what you have to realise that ...

That's the problem. You weren't sure of the facts and, therefore, not in possession of them. So, in other words, there is no “after the fact” because there were no “facts” after which you can retroactively seek justification.

I'm sorry, you feel that way, but I have a duty to this country, I made a solemn oath of office ...

Which you have evidently, given the lack of evidence, failed to discharge.

You know, we can continue on in this vein: the politics of the gutter, hand waving and name calling, but we are where we are and I fully intend to continue doing what I believe is the best for all of us.

Don't we have a say?

The people have had their say. That's why I'm here.

So the only dialogue you are interested in is the mark on a ballot paper?

Of course not. But you must also appreciate that, by virtue of my position, I am better placed than most to make the decisions on their behalf. That's why we elect politicians.

But as it turns out you weren't better placed and that you hid behind the curtain of “national security” to obfuscate the "facts" in order to enact your own self-confirmed prejudices?

Well, the haters gonna hate. That's all I can say on that matter. As always, it's a pleasure to talk with you. My love to your wife and children. See you at the press lunch.

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