The pro-war commentators: what do they say now?

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The Independent Online

Stephen Glover, 'Daily Mail' columnist

What he said then: "The fall of Baghdad, and the ousting of Saddam Hussein, mark a spectacular victory for American and British forces. This may be a turning point of history. Tony Blair ... deserves particular praise since he took Britain to war in defiance of what was probably a majority of his backbenchers." Daily Mail, 11 April 2003

What he said recently: "Is it not clear that things are going from bad to worse in Iraq? It is as though America and Britain have created their very own Palestine in the Middle East." Daily Mail, 6 April 2004

What he says now: "I was extremely sceptical about the war for the six months before the invasion. Because of the involvement of British troops, I gave it a slightly grudging acceptance. I would like to see an end to British involvement but I can't see how we can honourably get out now. We have got to make the best of a bad job."

David Aaronovitch, 'Guardian' and 'Observer' columnist

What he said then: "If, in a few weeks, the Security Council agrees to wage war against Saddam, I shall support it. If there is no resolution but the invasion goes ahead, I will not oppose it. I can't demonstrate against the liberation, however risky, of the Iraqi people." 2 February, 2002

What he said recently: "Now, nearly a year after the beginning of the coalition invasion of Iraq, something is beginning to be created, and it doesn't look like anything that anybody quite anticipated. It is more complex, more difficult, more beset by difficulties and tragedies than anyone who supported the invasion ever allowed for before the war." February 2004

What he says today: "It would be stupid to say things have gone as I had hoped. But getting rid of Saddam was the only chance that the Iraqi people had and the next few weeks will show whether it's a chance they are able to take."

Anne McElvoy, London 'Evening Standard' columnist

What she said then:"The Iraqi people will be heartily relieved to be rid of him. The brave but misguided protesters can only get in the way. If they want to do their humanitarian duty, they could try staying at home." 22 Jan 2003

What she said recently: "Iraq is a country in which a US-led coalition has won a military victory against a dictator and is now attempting to create the rudimentary conditions for democratic elections, whether as a unified country, or a divided one. The worry for all supporters of the war like me is not that America will get 'bogged down', but that it will not finish what it started." 7 April 2004

What she says now: "Places that are hell on earth one day do not become heaven on earth tomorrow. Being an interventionist means sticking with the hard slog afterwards. I don't deny the situation is very serious. I do object to the view that it was fine to allow Saddam to continue in power because that was somehow easier for us."

Rebekah Wade, editor of 'The Sun'

What she said then "Unlike the display of arrogance and greed put on by President Chirac, Blair has acted throughout with the highest moral principles. A swift and successful war which proves to the world just what a deadly menace Saddam has been for years will cement Blair's place in history." Sun editorial, 13 March 2003

What she said recently: "A year ago today, life began to change for the better in Iraq. Don't just take our word for it. A poll this week shows that 70 per cent of Iraqis say life has improved with Saddam off their backs. The war on Saddam's evil regime was right - and it was worth it, no matter what the Dismal Jimmies may whine ... As billions in American and British aid pours in, Iraq has electricity, running water, goods in the shops, cars instead of donkeys - and hope for the first time." Sun editorial, 19 March 2004

What she says now: "No comment."

Tony Parsons, 'Daily Mirror' columnist

What he said then: "Being against this war when British soldiers are fighting and dying seems cheap, grubby and inappropriate. The self-congratulatory banners of the peace marchers ... seem pitifully inadequate ... [amid] the realities of combat." 24 March 2003

What he said recently: "If Tony Blair can make nice with Colonel Gaddafi, then why couldn't he have made nice with Saddam Hussein? He goes to war against a nation that poses us no danger, and then kisses the ring of the proxy murderer of a 25-year-old British policewoman." 29 February 2004

What he says now: "The whole sorry mess looks like a bloody disaster. Leaders like Bush and Blair make me sick: never heard a shot fired in anger in their lives, wouldn't dream of packing off their own children to fight and die, yet trigger-happy gunslingers when it comes to somebody else's son. History will record [Blair] is a liar."

Johann Hari, 'Independent' columnist

What he said then: "Those who still deny all this evidence will know soon enough, once the war is over, what the Iraqi people thought all along. When it emerges ... that they wanted this war, will the anti-war movement recant? 26 March 2003

What he said recently: "The only time British newspaper readers hear about Iraq or Afghanistan is when there is a suicide-bomb ... Most experts believe that Iraqi elections will happen this year, and the grotesque, racist idea that Iraqis cannot be democrats because they are primitive tribal people has already been proved wrong." 20 Feb 2004

What he says now: "Before the war I rejected all the WMD arguments. I said that they were rubbish. They were. But I also said that the best evidence we had was that the majority of Iraqis could see no other way to overthrow Saddam and therefore wanted war to proceed. All the opinion polls have shown a clear majority of Iraqis wanted the invasion to proceed."

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