Monday, February 02, 2004

Much of Europe Is Derisive About Report on Iraqi Arms: "Much of Europe has given a collective snort to the testimony by David Kay, the former chief United States weapons inspector, that there probably were no illicit weapons in Iraq before the United States-led war there. 'There is a kind of cynicism here,' said Dominique Moïsi, a political analyst in Paris. 'So the Americans lied to their people and to us and maybe to themselves. That's exactly what we already thought.'"

"There was greater bemusement in Europe over Britain's seemingly contradictory report that chastised the British Broadcasting Corporation for suggesting that Prime Minister Tony Blair's administration had hyped intelligence reports of weapons in Iraq. "Especially in France, there is a feeling that if the David Kay report is right," Mr. Moïsi said. "How can the BBC be so severely punished for revealing what was ultimately true?"

"Some German media scoffed at the purported independence of the Hutton report, which led to the resignations of the BBC's board chairman, Gavyn Davies its director general, Greg Dyke, and Andrew Gilligan, the reporter of the original account. "Hutton has been a servant to the crown all his life; he always knows what his duty is," read an editorial in Friday's Die Tageszeitung, a national newspaper published in Berlin. It likened Lord Hutton's role to "a football team putting up their own manager as referee and then celebrating a win on dubious penalties."

The Hutton report certainly presents a bizarre spectacle at this particular juncture. Nothing could be more apparent to the whole world than that the WMDs claims about Iraq were 'sexed up' to say the least, and yet this clown-figure appears to condemn the BBC and totally exonerate the Blair Government.

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