. I was interested when I noticed (thanks to a commenter) that the BBC and Human Rights Watch are reunited once again, because the BBC, HRW and we at BBBC go back a bit. Anyway, in their latest well-timed offering (HUTTON’s nearly upon us) they ask ‘why George Bush and Tony Blair did not try remove Saddam Hussein much earlier’, part of a finger wagging theme that the war must not be retrospectively justified on humanitarian grounds. This struck me as a bit disingenuous really, not to say stupid (unless they got confused and meant Bush senior?), because although W. scarcely had time before Sept 11th 2001 struck, Clinton along with the CIA wanted to in the 90’s, and he aspired to intervene militarily to remove Saddam.
Basically this kind of non-story is given high profile because HRW and the BBC habitually get into bed together, and of course the sceptical slant against the war is now essential to the BBC’s coverage of anything. Oh, and did I mention HUTTON? It does, however, show HRW ready and willing to pour cold water on the emergence of the very values they espouse. I quote:
‘the scope of the Iraq Government’s killing in March 2003, was not of the exceptional and dire magnitude that would justify humanitarian intervention.’
Update. Jeff Jarvis has more: ‘This is a tainted, political move by Human Rights Watch… the organisation would rather fight Bush than defend the human rights of the Iraqi people’. Kinda like the BBC, really.