Between Iraq and a Hard Place (2003 TV Movie)
George W. Bush: Has Dr. Blix found any hard evidence yet?
Condoleeza Rice: Not yet, sir.
George W. Bush: Didn't he take any in there with him? Whose side is he on, for crying out loud?
[On UN resolution 1441]
George W. Bush: I told you, we should have gone with the original wording.
Condoleeza Rice: Sir, I'm sorry, but the phrase "98, 99, 100 coming ready or not", does not constitute an acceptable resolution. The Syrians would never had backed it.
Condoleeza Rice: It's Saddam, he's gone to the bathroom.
George W. Bush: Does that constitute a material breach?
Condoleeza Rice: It depends what he has in there.
Tony Blair: Good morning. Look we believe Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Now if we don't attack him, then he might not use them, and in that case we'll never know whether he's got them or not. And you know, that's not a risk I'm prepared to take. Besides if we do conquer Iraq, and remove Saddam Hussein, there's a chance we could win the Nobel Peace Prize, and you know, frankly, isn't that something worth going to war for?
Tony Blair: Look I'll tell you this, you know, we have to look after the Kurds in Iraq, because if we don't look after them over there, then they'll come over here, and I'll tell you, we're not going to look after them over here.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: This would be during the Iran-Iraq war?
Saddam Hussein: Yes. There were 3 of us in that war, so it was a bit crowded, yes.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: And you say the Americans were on your side?
Saddam Hussein: Yes, they even shot down an Iranian airliner. Ha ha, happy days. Then we find out they were arming the Iranians too, and they say they can't trust me.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: But they say that's because you're a brutal dictator, that you torture and kill people.
Saddam Hussein: The Americans, the British, they always know this, but still they give me weapons, they give me credit.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: They actually gave you credit?
Saddam Hussein: How do you think I buy the weapons?
Saddam Hussein: Before I took over Kuwait in 1990 I meet American Ambassador, I say, "You got a problem with this?" She say "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts".
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Even Kuwait?
Saddam Hussein: Especially Kuwait. They said so specifically. So I invade Kuwait, and Oy. Gewalt.
Iraqi Television Host: Donald Rumsfeld, you met Saddam in 1983 to discuss military and economic support for his regime, even though at the time he was launching gas attacks on Iranian soldiers.
Donald Rumsfeld: No sorry, but wasn't that a different Saddam?
Iraqi Television Host: No, no, no I don't think so.
Donald Rumsfeld: No, no, that guy was a key ally, a trusted friend and a vital force in the battle against Islamic extremism.
Iraqi Television Host: No this is the very same Saddam.
Donald Rumsfeld: Well in that case it was a different Donald Rumsfeld.
Iraqi Television Host: But you have many people who are supporting you across the years. For example Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and of course, George Bush Senior. You thought they were thousands of miles away in the safety of America, and Europe, and you are absolutely right.
[On Saddam Hussein]
Rory Bremner: But let's be clear. We're talking about a country where there's no opposition. As leader he can ignore Parliament and - sorry that's Tony Blair isn't it? Um, so he doesn't even have to ask the country before he goes to war - sorry that's still Tony Blair. No, the difference is Saddam rules Iraq through a combination of terror and brutality, backed up by a vicious regime of intimidation and torture - or is that David Blunkett? As absolute ruler Saddam recently claimed 100% victory in a Presidential Election.
John Fortune: Although that's not surprising, given that voters were accompanied into the booths by Saddam's Ba'ath party officials, and given a choice between voting for Saddam or voting for their wives and children to be killed, and their houses to be burnt down.
Peter Snow: And just a bit of fun, just a bit of fun, even small children were counted as supporters on the principal that you might as well throw in the baby with the Ba'ath voter. Ha ha.
Rory Bremner: Back in 2003, the pretext for war is that in defiance of UN resolutions, Saddam Hussein has been developing weapons of mass destruction. And as George W Bush said:
George W. Bush: We cannot have a situation where the world's worst leaders are in charge of the world's most powerful weapons.
John Bird: Since the end of World War II the Americans have spent 19 trillion dollars on what they call "defense", which they spell differently. And define very differently. If you were to spend $26m every day since the birth of Christ, you would have spent less than the Americans have spent on defence since the end of the Second World War.
Jeremy Paxman: So er, Foreign Secretary, what's the threat?
Jack Straw: Look, sorry, can I just say this is just: this is very, very important, can I just say, um, I just want to make this perfectly clear, it's very, very important. Um, the greatest threat is if these weapons which we believe he has, fall into terrorist hands.
Jeremy Paxman: Yeees, so what um, what evidence do you have of that?
Jack Straw: Sorry, can I just make the point. It's very, very important. A very important point. None.
Rory Bremner: And what values do they bring? Well the values of the new America. Democracy George Bush style. No more 100% victories but a new system where there are two candidates, and the one with the most votes loses. Freedom under the rule of law from the administration that's ignoring or refusing to sign a whole list of international treaties.
John Fortune: Justice from the people who gave you Guantanamo Bay. And Economic Strength from the people who brought you Enron.
[Watching a tape of Osama Bin Laden]
George W. Bush: Is this tape genuine or is it one of ours?
Condoleeza Rice: Oh it's genuine, sir.
Rory Bremner: So to recap: we may or may not be going to war with Iraq because Saddam may or may not have weapons of mass destruction, which he may or may not use, or pass to other terrorists groups with whom he may or may not have links.
John Fortune: So what would you say was the greatest lesson that you learnt in Oman?
John Bird: It's blindingly obvious really. If we are to mount a successful military campaign against Saddam Hussein, we must at all costs, we must get him to come and fight us in Northern Europe.
John Fortune: So what is it that they want from us?
John Bird: From us, um, dead bodies I think is what they want.
John Bird: Yes and Tony Blair himself said, what matters is that we stand up and be counted.
John Fortune: Or in our case, fall down.
John Bird: Fall down and be counted, yes.
Prince Charles: That was when I was somebody. Not any more. Bloody butler's finished us all off.
Rory Bremner: In the end it comes down to wanting to get rid of one man. And although our weapons have got infinitely more sophisticated, it's not clear if we have, as we seem to believe the best way of removing Saddam is by bombing as many of his countrymen as we have to until we get to him. And as the man said 80 years ago:
[Footage showing innocent Iraqis suffering. Colour changes from black and white to colour]
John Bird: [quoting Sir Laming Wothington-Evans] If the Arab population realised that the peaceful control of Mesopotamia ultimately depends on our intention of bombing women and children, I am very doubtful if we shall gain that acquiescence of the fathers and husbands of Mesopotamia to which the Secretary of State for the Colonies looks forward.
Iraqi Television Host: Then in 1979 you called a special meeting of the Iraqi Parliament to denounce those you believe betrayed you, and you asked them to step outside.
[Footage showing this meeting]
Iraqi television host: Sadly none of those Ministers asked to leave that day can be with us tonight.
Saddam Hussein: No, because I had them shot.
Iraqi television host: And rightly so. Nor can your own son-in-law who you promised to protect on his return to Iraq, having told the world about your secret military arsenal. You shot him too?
Saddam Hussein: No no no, no I had someone else do that.
Iraqi television host: Excellent.
Iraqi Television Host: But luckily there is one person from your past who is still alive. Do you recognise this voice?
Donald Rumsfeld: (voice-over) Hi there, Saddam. Sorry I can't be with you tonight but er, ha, don't worry, we're on our way.
John Fortune: So does Saddam have these weapons? We know he used to have enough to kill the world's population 4 times over. We know that because we sold him quite a lot of it. The last team of UN Inspectors claimed they destroyed 95% of Saddam's weapons.
Rory Bremner: During those inspections Saddam used every trick in the book, including moving biological weapons material around in a fleet of red and white vans, on which he painted "Tip Top Ice Cream Company".
John Bird: I'll have two "99's", a botulism ripple and er, a smallpox wafer.
John Bird: So what do you do when you've got a Saudi born terrorist, launching attacks on Yemen, America, Indonesia and Kenya? Well, that's obvious. You invade Iraq.
Rory Bremner: So how much of a threat is he? Well one sure way of finding out is to attack him first and see what happens.
George W. Bush: So if Osama hates Saddam, hell, he should be on our side. He could do the job for us.
Condoleezza Rice: That's what he wanted to do, Sir. When Saddam invaded Kuwait, Osama wanted to get his guys in there and wipe him out.
George W. Bush: Could he have done that?
Condoleezza Rice: He'd been well trained, Sir.
George W. Bush: Oh, ho ho, you mean by us?
Condoleezza Rice: You bet. Back in the eighties, Osama was one of the best guys we had, fighting the Russians in Afghanistan.
George W. Bush: Huh, oh the Russians. Now there was a real enemy. At least you knew where they were.
Condoleezza Rice: Right.
George W. Bush: Yeah, that's what these folk have got to understand, what goes round comes round.
Rory Bremner: George Tenet the CIA director reckons Al Qaeda exists in 60 countries. George Bush's reaction:
George W. Bush: Let's pick 'em off one at a time.
John Bird: Saddam's not alone in developing illegal weapons. So do India and Pakistan, and we're not about to attack them. Ah yes you say. But Saddam has illegal weapons of mass destruction and he's invaded other countries. And he has a load of UN Resolutions against him, which is true too. But then, so has Israel, and we're not about to attack them, or North Korea, or Iran, or Libya, or Saudi Arabia, which is after all where Bin Laden came from, which has appalling human rights records, and no democracy. Still, you've got to start somewhere, so it might as well be Iraq.