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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

"The Independent's must-read man" - Daniel Finkelstein

You can contact John in the comments area or email him at

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Fair? Its absolutely crackers . . .
quietzapple wrote:
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 at 04:02 pm (UTC)
Saddam was not immortal, and his enemies were legions.

Even had they not got at one another's throats before his death the Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Al Queda, Iran, and other subgroups would have all had their interests and imagined sleights to pursue, most likely as murderously, if not more so than now.

Had the Allies backed down and not invaded we have Saddam's word, entirely credible in view of his WMD junkie history, that he would have resumed those programmes.

When Iraq finally cracked, assuming he hadn't used the new batches again, we can expect that some would have been available to some at least of the combative groups above.

Of course there is no proof that they do not have anything left over from past production, apart from the chemical weapons shells some insurgents used as simple explosive after the invasion . . .

The Second Iraq War obsessives seem to view the whole subsequent investigations as a bizarre game, rather as a moot might take as one side the political equivalent of a game of fairy chess, while we worry about the UK's household.
Violence in the Guardian?
blairsupporter wrote:
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 at 04:37 pm (UTC)
The very fact that Michael White asks this innane question proves how much the liberal Left has MOST of our journos by the...

You excluded, again, John.

There will be few comments at White's, of course. A tiny fraction of those who agree with George Monbiot that Blair should be ... er ... what was it again? Oh, yes. Arrested.

Yeah, right, Monbiot.

White would have gained more of my respect if he hadn't been so wishy-washy with his question. Instead he should have asked "Is it fair for George Monbiot to ask someone else to take the blame (and perhaps the bullet) for trying to arrest Tony Blair?"

I know what I think, Monbiot is guilty of incitement to violence, and should be arrested. Especially THIS particular week when the outrageous outraged are gathering outside Blair's trial (sorry - The Inquiry) to mete out some summary justice, if they get the chance.

Whereas, and nothing personal, but White is not even guilty of excitement.


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