Memoirs: "Dannatt had some support in military internet chatrooms"

#1
The memoirs of Jonathan Powell, who was Tony Blair's chief of staff, mention General Dannatt's controversial Daily Mail interview in 2006 and the support he got at the time on ARRSE:

Gen Dannatt's attack on the deployment of British forces in Iraq caught us completely unawares. When we were told the news of the interview he had given to the Mail in October 2006, saying that the presence of British forces in Iraq made things worse and they should get out soon, we couldn't get hold of anyone.

Des Browne, who had succeeded John Reid as defence secretary, was in a plane on his way up to Scotland. The chief of the defence staff was in Australia and unreachable. And Dannatt himself was refusing to return calls. We thought for a moment about sacking him but concluded that that would just make him into a martyr. His comments certainly didn't help our troops in Basra; Muqtada al-Sadr's JAM militia leaders celebrated, claiming that his comments proved that their efforts were working and that they should redouble their attacks on British forces. We immediately received complaints from the Nato secretary general, the Americans, Australians and other countries with forces serving in Iraq. Although some of the responses in the military internet chatrooms were favourable, his fellow chiefs were furious with him.
Jonathan Powell: when the general opened fire on Tony Blair | Politics | The Guardian
 
#2
Well, he needed back-up from somewhere. Then again, I can understand his oppos being annoyed that because he narked off the PM, they had to sit through a lunch where:

"Tony explained to those present that politicians would not support maintaining a first-division army if they were caused too much political pain by serving generals speaking out against their mission."

Hang on a second - I thought we maintained a first-division army to support the UK Government in achieving its defence and security policies. Obviously got it wrong, and we're only here because we're on the balance point between "too painful to keep; too painful to get rid of".

DT
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Basically, Powell and his chums (Blair et al) didn't like being told that their policy on Iraq and funding for the mission was a complete cluster**** that cost the lives of British soldiers unecessarily, especially by a man with first-hand knowledge, despite he being one in a long, long chain of people who were all saying 'Listen chums, this isn't actually a tasking from God at all, it's a piece of kiss-arse for the US so that Blair can get some medals and a 'place in history', and it's not funded or equipped properly'.

Blair and Powell didn't want that out in the open, so they thought about sacking the person who put it in the public domain, even though it was already out there.

Blair also went to a meeting in which he actually had the ****ing gall to say (I'll paraphrase): "Unless the chiefs of staff kiss my arse and make the right noises (ie: I am God's annointed one, and war in Iraq is my commandment), the defence of the realm can go **** itself. I'm far more important, and telling everyone how important and annointed I am is far more important than telling the truth, doing the right thing or completing a succesful mission in Iraq that doesn't make us look like a $5 hadji outfit.".

God told him to lie, and lie, and lie to 65 million people, not because it was 'kinda the right thing to do', but because he wanted to assure his place in history. Well, he sure did that, but not in the way he'd hoped for. He hasn't got the adulation of the masses, most of us despise the lying little spiv.

As for those chiefs of staff who did kiss Blair's arse and say nothing when something needed saying: Shame on you, may your retirements be filled with misery for the disservice you did the services.
 
#4
Powell. What an utter, utter cnut. The way he paints it you'd think it was Dannatts idea to invade Iraq.

But it does demonstrate one of the new labour philosophies.

Number 3 in a series of 100. "if it goes wrong for you its never your fault. There is always something/someone else to blame. (broken home/lack of social mobility/white hetro males/being a lefty cnut/etc et. al)"
 
#5
Strange that Powell recalls some internet support. I remember a frenzied outpouring, even tidal wave of support for General Dannatt, from serving and retired personnel. The Government, (incl Powell), were so wrong on Iraq, from the invasion to the failure to provide security, an international obligation which was tossed in the bin. And of course, it led to the quagmire in Afghanistan and the bleeding dry of the UK Defence Budget.

Powell should be considered almost in the same class as Blair.... He probably recoils in horror at the headlines the following day in Mail, Independent and Telegraph. (The Indy carried quotes from arrse on front page). From that day onwards it was impossible to sack Dannatt, there would have been a revolt. Dannatt's comments were a turning point, an embarrassment for Jackson, Stirrup and the rest of the politicised military class.

Twas a grand day!
 
#6
Dannatt himself was refusing to return calls. We thought for a moment about sacking him but concluded that that would just make him into a martyr.
I despise the disrespectful tone with which politicians, most of whom are terrifyingly unqualified for the positions they hold, talk about a decorated General with decades of hard service under his belt.

As for Dannatt's interview coming as a surprise, it certainly shouldn't have. I was in Basra at the time. We were getting hit every time we left camp, yet we had no clear objectives whatsoever, and his comments were an unaltered reflection of the opinion of every single person in the command chain.

They speak about him as some sort of traitor because he spoke up for us. It would be funny if it weren't so sick.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I despise the disrespectful tone with which politicians, most of whom are terrifyingly unqualified for the positions they hold, talk about a decorated General with decades of hard service under his belt.

As for Dannatt's interview coming as a surprise, it certainly shouldn't have. I was in Basra at the time. We were getting hit every time we left camp, yet we had no clear objectives whatsoever, and his comments were an unaltered reflection of the opinion of every single person in the command chain.

They speak about him as some sort of traitor because he spoke up for us. It would be funny if it weren't so sick.
Sick's not a patch on what this tosser Powell is all about. Remember this is the same guy who cosied up to Blair and was instrumental in the outing of Dr David Kelly (who. like Dannatt, was merely highlighting the truth). This is the guy who lied right next to Blair and Campbell, and was one of the 'sofa government' of unofficial advisors who worked to 'sex up' the Iraqi WMD document so that Britain could be sent to war.

It's because of Powell and his 'chums' Blair and Campbell that we did indeed go to Iraq without a proper mission tasking, without the right kit, without the right political support, on a lie. How ****ing dare this slimey liar impugne Gen' Sir Richard Dannatt? Why the **** is continuing this low-life behaviour in a book?

Like Blair, this ****** left an office he was never elected for and joined the big merchant banks to peddle his odious influence when Blair got the push. This is the same scumbag who has repeatedly suggested that we 'negotiate' with terrorists too.

The bloke is the lowest sort of scum there is.
 
#8
I see it is "Mike" Jackson but firmly surname Dannatt, the piece from the Grauniad, kinda gives the game away about all those politicians, scuse me generals appointed with the nod of the politicians. Clearly "Dannatt" slipped through the net. Probably didn't know what had hit them after "Mike" retired.

Powell had to apologise to Blair that night for nodding through Dannatt's appointment as head of the army a few months earlier. "When Mike Jackson retired as chief of the general staff in August 2006, the MoD sent over to No 10 the CV of his proposed successor, asking for the prime minister's agreement. Tony's foreign policy and defence adviser, Nigel Sheinwald, came to see me and we agreed that it wasn't worth consulting Tony about such a trivial subject.

"Tony complained about him to me, and I, forgetting what had happened earlier, said that it was his fault as he had appointed him. He denied that he had and said he had never been consulted. I went back to the files and discovered that he was right and had to confess to Tony."

Blair was so enraged by Dannatt's attack that he met the service chiefs for lunch at the Ministry of Defence. Powell writes that Dannatt, an evangelical Christian, dominated the meeting.

"Dannatt insisted on talking, and after a few minutes it was quite clear to me that he was unsuited to his job. Tony explained to those present that politicians would not support maintaining a first-division army if they were caused too much political pain by serving generals speaking out against their mission. It was always easier for politicians not to risk soldiers' lives. But I fear he was too subtle for Dannatt, who was divinely convinced of his own rightness."

David Cameron appointed Dannatt last year as a military adviser. Liam Fox, the defence secretary, fought the appointment and ensured that Dannatt did not become a minister.

Powell comes across as a right whinging nobber...
 
#9
When Mike Jackson retired as chief of the general staff in August 2006, the MoD sent over to No 10 the CV of his proposed successor, asking for the prime minister's agreement. Tony's foreign policy and defence adviser, Nigel Sheinwald, came to see me and we agreed that it wasn't worth consulting Tony about such a trivial subject.
Appointment of the professional head of the Army a trivial subject?
 
#10
...of course. What's more, when Dannatt puts his head above the parapet and Blair goes on the warpath, Powell insists that his anger is about the 'poor' choice for CGS, not that the decision was made by the first two ding-a-lings to have a look at the files.

It's at this point it becomes blindingly obvious that New Labour were not interested in the long-game or the wider implications of the policies and decisions, but simply on getting all that they could, now.
 
#11
An unelected (this isn't meant as a compliment) talking head. He sums up the New Labour approach to the forces and what he says about our Tone's reactions to Gen Dannatt is very revealing about his Messiah complex.


How I'd love to meet this tube. But his sort don't inhabit the real world
 
#13
Well, he needed back-up from somewhere. Then again, I can understand his oppos being annoyed that because he narked off the PM, they had to sit through a lunch where:

"Tony explained to those present that politicians would not support maintaining a first-division army if they were caused too much political pain by serving generals speaking out against their mission."

Hang on a second - I thought we maintained a first-division army to support the UK Government in achieving its defence and security policies. Obviously got it wrong, and we're only here because we're on the balance point between "too painful to keep; too painful to get rid of".

DT
If tony really did say it as above... he should be fcuking hung in a gibbet for being a traitor to the country. Her Majesty's Armed Forces are here to protect the realm and aid the projection of our nations wishes throughout the world.

Not pander to some arrsepiece and his cronies.
 
#15
Appointment of the professional head of the Army a trivial subject?

That was my immediate thought as well,It´s almost frightening to know that they probably took more time choosing which wine they wanted for lunch than who was going to lead the countries defence forces,fcuking unbelievable!
And then write how stupid you were in a book?
 
#16
Not surprisingly, Dannatt's version of events in his autobiography are somewhat different.

IIRC he was due to be the inspecting officer at BRNC Dartmouth the day this all broke but cancelled (his wife, Pippa, stood in for him!) and drove through the night to personally sort out the fallout because Des Browne didn't want to....

Powell is an insidious shit for dragging the good Gen down like this.
 
#17
Lions led by Donkeys .. never a statement so true. As much as I sometimes disagree with Gen Dannant over some of his comments regarding my former service I respect the guys character, tenacity and directness. I just wish the light blue Senior Officers in my former service had the same traits. Delta Dog's post should be forwarded to Bliar, proof of the truth in the General's comments that. Not that he would take any heed though.

Powell isnt worth bothering about, just another politican snapping at the heels of someone he isnt fit to lace the boots of.
 
#19
The memoirs of Jonathan Powell, who was Tony Blair's chief of staff, mention General Dannatt's controversial Daily Mail interview in 2006 and the support he got at the time on ARRSE:



Jonathan Powell: when the general opened fire on Tony Blair | Politics | The Guardian
I would venture to suggest that the 'some' support to which Powell alludes is an understated acknowledgement of the popular base of support General Dannatt had among some 70,000 odd members of this forum for the moral courage he displayed in speaking 'truth to power', representing a significant number of votes that would have been lost to Labour had the General been summarily dismissed. I would not personally give too much credence to the 'memoires' of a non-elected political non-entity such as Powell since the only purpose for which he was employed as a 'spin-doctor' was (and presumably remains) to distort reality and manipulate perception. I wonder, therefore, whether his 'memoires' and the opinions he seeks to express, although amusing, and possibly entertaining, actually merit the favour of being taken seriously by anyone.
 
#20
Jonathan Powell - chief of staff?

Richard Dannatt - chief of staff?

You decide.


Lions led by donkeys? Fatuous expression from a fatuous politician, who made up the context even if perhaps he didn't make up the expression itself. Cake AND arrse...
 

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