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Re: Butler

>Just been on World Service trying to get Butler to say whether or not he
>withdrew or was thrown out from Iraq.  If anyone heard it, email me,
>tell me what you thought.

I only heard the second half of the discussion (the whole thing should be
available now on the World Service website. I think you can still contribute
to the online debate).

For what its worth I was pretty unimpressed with what I heard. Most of the
questions seemed to be along the lines of "Saddam is so terrible, why don't
we just go in and kill him?'. Ann Clwyd rang in and gave a little speech
about INDICT and asked why RB thought the 'International Community' were not
bringing SH to justice for war crimes. Not a word about sanctions.

Someone did mention the hipocrisy re: Israel. RB agreed with the caller and
lamented the hipocrisy, even reminding us of part 14 of UNSCR 687 which
called for a WMD free zone in the Middle East. However, he did not say (and
was not asked) whether he thought killing 500,000 Israeli children would be
a price worth paying to achieve this.

There was only one caller I heard who made some meaningful remarks about
sanctions and the suffering of ordinary Iraqis. This was right at the end,
and as the interviewer reminded RB that he had only 20 seconds left RB just
trotted out the usual "it's ultimately Saddam's responsibility" line and
that was it.

The only part worth listening to that I heard was when he explicitly denied
that there had been any spies in UNSCOM, and then said he wouldn't be
surprised if some of its members told secrets to their security services
when they got home. When the interviewer said (paraphrasing) 'well, that's
what spying IS, isn't it?' he waffled and ummed and ahhed and basically got
himself into a bit of a pickle.

The result? Perhaps he'll sell a few more copies of his book.


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