Iraq civil war warning for Blair

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5240808.stm

Civil war is a more likely outcome in Iraq than democracy, Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad has warned Tony Blair in a confidential memo.
William Patey, who left the Iraqi capital last week, also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

He did also say that "the position is not hopeless" - but said it would be "messy" for five to 10 years.

Mr Blair said the violence was designed to put extremists in charge rather than leaders committed to democracy.

"What should our response be? However difficult it is, stay the course, stand up for those people who want democracy, stand up for those people who are fighting sectarianism, stand up for a different vision of the Middle East based on democracy, liberty, the rule of law," he told reporters
What should our response be? Be more extreme than the extremists worked for one Mr. Hussein. Not an option I know.

Does make you wonder if the only way to keep the country united and functioning , instead of having to police several mini-civil wars in the event of partition , is to install a.n.other ruthless bastige.

US echoes Iraq civil war warning

The top US commander in the Middle East, Gen John Abizaid, has said Iraq could move toward civil war if the sectarian violence is not stopped.
"Sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it," Gen Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A similar warning was contained in a confidential memo to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair by the UK's outgoing ambassador to Iraq.

William Patey also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

A bomb left near a busy Baghdad shopping area on Thursday killed at least 10 people and injured 29, police said.

US commanders have recently moved 3,700 troops from Mosul to Baghdad to bolster the capital's fragile security.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5243042.stm
 
#2
The British Ambassador to Iraq has said that he beleives that the situation in Iraq will most likely get much worse, possibly all out civil war and all the death and destruction that will result in.

To try to avoid such a situation will call for even more military intervention, more troops, more deaths again.

Saddam Hussain was no statesman, but he did at least manage to control an extremely volatile country. Perhaps with use of terror, tyranny and dictatorship, but many Iraqis enjoyed a 'normal' life which they may not see again in their lifetime.

He was seen as a threat to us but it is now acknowledged that he was basically 'all talk'. Has the invasion of Iraq really made the world a safer place? He was also someone who could be negotiated with to a lesser or greater degree, and if he was the enemy at least he was a visible and controllable enemy.

How many more British and America lads are going to have to give their lives in a worthless pursuit? Not that I'm saying we should pull out - how can we?

Would we be better off with Sadam still ruling Iraq today?
 
#3
Jammy66 said:
He was seen as a threat to us but it is now acknowledged that he was basically 'all talk'
Jammy66 said:
Agreed that the WMD justification was spurious, but that doesn't mean that he would never have threatened us.

Jammy66 said:
Has the invasion of Iraq really made the world a safer place? He was also someone who could be negotiated with to a lesser or greater degree, and if he was the enemy at least he was a visible and controllable enemy.

How many more British and America lads are going to have to give their lives in a worthless pursuit? Not that I'm saying we should pull out - how can we?

Would we be better off with Sadam still ruling Iraq today?
I think that we in the west probably would have been better off - for the time being - with Sadam in place now. There's some fairly plausible speculation that our intervention in Iraq was part of the motivation for the 7th of July attacks. It's also weakened our legitimacy and capacity for involvement in countries that might be a real threat, like Iran.

I'd be interested to know whether anyone has any thoughts on a plausible exit strategy from Iraq or whether we're now irreversibly damned if we do and damned if we don't?
 
#5
PartTimePongo said:
Does make you wonder if the only way to keep the country united and functioning , instead of having to police several mini-civil wars in the event of partition , is to install a.n.other ruthless bastige.
I hope not. But if that is the case, I would rather see someone like Tito. Saddam was more like Hitler or Stalin (by his own account no less). Who truly knows? Course, I'm not really qualified to comment am I? I'll go back to my corner.
 
#7
There'd be a lot more people alive today if Saddam had remained in power. To restore him, however, would require a lot more bloodshed before Iraq stabilised - and it probably wouldn't end with him in power.

Coalition troops would be obliged to remain until the civil war ends. Whether that would be sooner than under the current plans is anyone's guess. Either way, it will be a long time and I can't see it being a proud withdrawal.

Lesson - don't invade unless you intend to conquer and rule.
 
#8
Just an outside chance, but you never know...

Perhaps the Israelis could be encouraged to swap Israel for Iraq.

1. The Palestinians and Lebanese would be happy.
2. The Israelis would quell any civil unrest in Iraq.
3. The Israelis wouldn't have to import oil and could use the resources to make their plastic toolboxes.
4. The Israelis and Iranians could fit their nuclear warheads to shorter range missiles and so improve the prospect of world peace.

See, it just takes a bit of lateral thinking. ;)
 
#9
So Bliar has 2 choices:

1. Thousands of more troops from the UK and US.

2. Immediate withdrawl.

Sorry, that should be 3 choices:

3. Pretend everything is all right during the Parliamentary recess, regardless of the cost in lives.
 
#10
To paraphrase Catherine Tate's annoying chav - Yeah, but is he bovvered?

He'll continue to do whatever US policy dictates and justify it as the war on turr.
 
#11
A surprising volte-face by a (US) liberal commentator:

[url=http://progressive.org/mag_wx080406][color=blue]The Progressive[/color][/url] said:
Finally, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has thrown in the towel on the Iraq War.

“It is now obvious that we are not midwifing democracy in Iraq. We are baby-sitting a civil war,” he wrote in his Times column on August 4.

Long the war’s leading liberal defender, Friedman came late and reluctantly to the realization that the jig is up.

“We can’t throw more good lives after good lives,” he wrote.
The NYT piece itself is online but subscription only, though I've Googled and found the following links discussing it:

The Progressive
The New Yorker
The Free Press
 
#12
Blair and Bush will just dig their heels in and stay in Iraq til the end of their tenure, then it won't be their problem anymore
 

Similar threads

Top