London bombings linked to Iraq: Crispin
LONDON: The London bombings were linked to the war in Iraq, insisted a former British ambassador to the UN on Sunday.
Sir Crispin Tickell, Britain’s permanent representative to the UN between 1987 and 1990, said it was ‘moonshine’ to suggest the July 7 London blasts, which killed 56 people, and the failed repeat attack on July 21 were unconnected to Britain’s participation in the US-led March 2003 invasion. He also dismissed claims that the invasion was unconnected to a desire to control oil supplies.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeatedly said Iraq was just the latest excuse being used by Islamist extremists carrying out terrorist atrocities. Blair has insisted that the London attacks were the result of an “evil ideology”, and not a response to Iraq or wider British foreign policy. Tickell, 75, made the comments in an interview with Britain’s GMTV television.
“I think they are linked, and I think that the case that they’re not linked is pretty hard to make,” the former diplomat said.
“We were one of the principal performers in Iraq, we are one of the principal victims of these terrorist attacks, so to say that it’s got nothing to do with it is, frankly, moonshine. Another bit of moonshine that appears from time to time is those who say that the Western invasion had nothing to do with oil – of course it had to do with oil. It was the Americans who are heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, and the wild part of the world which they want to stabilise and hold reasonably firmly in their grip is the Middle East.
And so these kinds of myths float around. What I’m always surprised at is the vigour with which people say things that are blatantly absurd.
I don’t think it does governments any good if they say things that are demonstrably dodgy, and that is some of the line that has been taken both in the US and in Britain.
It means that when they come up with some other story, they won’t be believed. And I’m sorry to say that in the case of the two cases I mentioned, oil and the attacks on London, nobody is going to accept that they’re not linked, of course they’re linked. And to pretend otherwise doesn’t do you any credit.” afp