"TONY BLAIR only recently learnt something that his critics say should have been obvious to him for years: gratitude is not a virtue that George W. Bush has in abundance."
"Blairs decision to stay with the US on Iraq in the face of enormous domestic political opposition was only the latest of his demonstrations of solidarity with America. Before that, and immediately after the attack on the World Trade Centre, he flew to America to offer his condolences at a Mass at St Patricks Cathedral, and attended a joint session of Congress to demonstrate publicly Britains determination to join Americas War on Terror. Bush pledged eternal gratitude. And proceeded to ignore Blairs loyalty and his own pledge.
"First came steel tariffs, hardly a proper reward for a trading partners loyalty. Then came the awarding of contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, a process in which the Bush Administration made no distinction between nations that had supported the German-French onslaught on American policies and allies such as Britain and Poland.
"There is more of this sort of thing most lately, cancelling plans to purchase Rolls-Royce engines for new fighter planes and refusing to share sensitive technology with Britain but you get the idea."
Blair's shabby role will be examined both in sorrow and in pity by historians. That a person of high intelligence and talent chose to side with the most retrograde administration in Washington's history will be the first thing on his record.
Shock and AWE: Depleted Blairium
As if Blair's above contributions were not enough, reports are just coming in of the effects of depleted uranium being felt in the UK, scientists think as a direct result of the Iraq war. Two articles, on in the London Times (UK Radiation jump blamed on Iraq Shells) and Robert Fisk's Is The Problem Weather, Or Is It War? talks of the same topic. From the Times article:
"Each detector recorded a significant rise in uranium levels during the Gulf war bombing campaign in March 2003. The reading from a park in Reading was high enough for the Environment Agency to be alerted."
"A British scientist, Chris Busby, has been digging through statistics from the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment which measures uranium in high-volume air samples. His suspicion was that depleted uranium particles from the two Gulf wars - DU is used in the anti-armour warheads of the ordnance of American and British tanks and planes - may have spread across Europe. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but here's something very odd.
"When Busby applied for the information from Aldermaston in 2004, they told him to get lost. When he demanded the information under the 2005 Freedom of Information Act, Aldermaston coughed up the figures. But wait.
"The only statistic missing from the data they gave him was for the early months of 2003. Remember what was happening then? A little dust-up in Iraq, a massive American-British invasion of Saddam's dictatorship in which tons of DU shells were used by American troops. Eventually Busby, who worked out all the high-altitude wind movements over Europe, received the data from the Defence Procurement Agency in Bristol - which showed an increase in uranium in high-volume air sampling over Britain during this period."
And who, do you think, runs the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment? Here's an extract from an article by Lauren Moret (Depleted Uranium Contaminates Europe) on the same subject:
"Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), at Aldermaston, was established years ago to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.
"The British government facility (AWE) was taken over 3 years ago by Halliburton, which refused at first to release air monitoring data to Dr. Busby, as required by law."
Attaboy, Tony. Now we don't need to bother fighting 'em 'over there'.