Paddy Ashdowns view on what next?

#1
Independent article

Quote
Paddy Ashdown: 'Troops home by Christmas' is not an option
You must commit over a long period as much or more of your resources as during the war
Published: 25 January 2007


The international community, usually with US leadership, has undertaken statebuilding missions about once every two years since the end of the Cold War. Some of these interventions have been relatively successful: East Timor, over time; Bosnia, though not to start with; Haiti, perhaps. However, we still make high- profile cock-ups.

Leaving aside the legalities, the American military operation to roll up Iraq was an astonishing success. But the US-led statebuilding operation was a copybook example of how not to do this. We can't build states "by numbers", but nevertheless we need to establish a kind of institutional memory as to how we do this in a more successful way.

First, we forget that, although you can successfully fight modern high-tech wars in weeks, statebuilding takes decades. Afghanistan I think, is probably a 30-year project. When our politicians plunge us into these interventions they nearly always say: "Troops home by Christmas", metaphorically speaking. We know this is driven by the electoral cycle, but the fact is you must be prepared to commit over a long period probably as much or more resources as you committed during the war. In the days and weeks after the conflict probably more troops are necessary than were needed during it; Iraq is a classic example of this.

Secondly, we lovingly forget that item number one is always the rule of law. It is not elections, I'm afraid. If you have elections before you establish the rule of law then all you do is elect the criminals who ran the war. What you create is not a democracy but a criminally captured space. That is what we had in Bosnia. Corruption is now in the marrow and bone of Bosnian society.

The rule of law comes, first of all, by dominating the security space post-conflict. It is necessary to have something close to martial law at the beginning; if not, you lose control. Yet, the US disbanded the entire Iraqi army, with too few troops to do the job. From that point on, they lost control of the situation.

Thirdly, probably the best way to get your troops home early is to reform the economy. If we had done economic reform in the first year in Bosnia we would have had the economy growing in the way it is now. Economic reform needs to come very early, in my view, even before elections.

Fourthly, I don't believe that you can build peace in one nation unless you have at least the acquiescence, if not the active support, of neighbouring states. We managed to build a chance for peace in Northern Ireland when we recognised that Dublin had a right to a say in what went on. Yet we go into Iraq and, at the same time, appear to do everything we can to provoke neighbouring states, such as Iran. We sometimes have to deal with unpleasant people, whether in Iran, or previously in Serbia, but you cannot take an island of instability within a sea of instability and hope to be able to cope with it. With regard to Iraq, the key problem of the Middle East is the Palestinian problem. The fact that the Americans were not prepared to do what was necessary for a just solution in Palestine has meant they have paid the price in Iraq.

These are some of the key lessons. However, they do not appear to have been learnt. In Afghanistan, we have 1/25th the number of troops and 1/50th the amount of aid, per head of population, that we put into Kosovo. There is political short-sightedness: a combination of hubris, nemesis and amnesia.

Hubris followed by nemesis can be seen in the ideologically driven Bush administration, which threw all the plans about how to handle post-war Iraq out of the window and handed Iraq over to the Pentagon. The State Department had more knowledge about the conditions but were told to not get involved. Some of the problems are just pure amnesia.

Two things can happen. Perhaps we are going to burn our fingers one last time in Iraq and then never do this again. That would be a tragedy in an interdependent world. I do not believe we have reached the end of the era of large-scale wars and that we will only be left with small intra-state wars. I think a perfect storm is gathering out there and that large-scale war will return unless we are very careful. I also think there are times when you have to intervene because of the effect on world peace. Either we will say "never again" after Iraq and, particularly, Afghanistan or we will learn how to do it properly and people will understand that intervention is not a rare phenomenon but part of the bloodstream of modern international diplomacy.

Extracted from an interview to appear in the next issue of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. The writer is the former Liberal Democrat leader and a member of the House of Lords
my bold .... anyone take that particular publication?.


Paddy for next head of UN ??
 
#2
Somewhat at odds with the position of Ming the Charismaless...
 
#3
Not suprising because former booty paddy isn't your typical whinging lefty arrse that makes up the liberal democrats.

This article makes a lot of sense.
 
#4
Secondly, we lovingly forget that item number one is always the rule of law. It is not elections, I'm afraid. If you have elections before you establish the rule of law then all you do is elect the criminals who ran the war :numberone:
Bang on Paddy.
 
#5
Why, oh why, oh why is this guy in with the lib-dems?

If he was running the Thatcher show, he'd be prime minister tomorrow.

He's done his bit, he's done it harder than just about everyone on this forum, he's got loads of experience and he's by no means daft. If only he could get some of the wiles of a career scumbag (like Blair but without the lies), he'd be at the top of the food chain in no time.

I think he would make a superb statesman.

His reasoning on the current conflicts is bang-on. Anyone would think he'd got it verbatim from the 'Giblets Manual on Global Power' but I think he's actually thought this up himself without my 'intervention'.
:headbang:

Edited 'cos I've just spotted me own Hubris, thingy and wossname.
 
#6
Forgot to say on my first post:

Bloody well said, Mr ashdown.
 
#7
There's no place in British politics for a man of Mr Ashdown's intelligence, experience and integrity. After all he only had an affair once and was decent enough to straighten things up with his wife. Hardly rates as a score compared with the bedhopping, outright lying and general moral bankruptcy of the current lot.
 
#8
I remember the conservatives making a slur on his intelligence when he was leader of the Lib Dems, he makes more sense than the rest of them put together.
 
#9
Paddy Ashdown's analysis shown above is excellent. Well done!

However, the cynic in me says this would not have been his analysis were he still seeking your vote. He has the 'freedom' to tell it as he 'really' sees it since he is not seeking public office. The majority of political decisions are made based upon how they will be seen, and the effect upon, the domestic electorate; they are not made in the best interests of those who they affect.

Iraq was invaded because it played will to the US electorate - sod what the Iraqis thought or what it meant to them. The US will pull out when withdraw gets more votes than it loses - sod what the consequences are for the Iraqis themselves. The British position is, however, a little different. Tony Blair was on a mission (from god) and the British population was largely apathetic - so he got away with going to war. It's now becoming more of an issue, directly and indirectly (through military criticism), and the timing of the 'our' withdraw is now being dictated by public pressure (and money) not his desire to see his 'mission' out or because it's good for the Iraqis.

Those seeking public office tell you what they think you consider is right - not what is right.
 
#10
I don't disagree with anything Paddy is saying but who is pushing forward an increase in defence spending? And an increase in the size of the Army?
 
#11
Giblets said:
Why, oh why, oh why is this guy in with the lib-dems?

If he was running the Thatcher show, he'd be prime minister tomorrow.
Ashdown is a dedicated Europhile, so me might get on well in today's Tory Party. He also spread lies about our historic Christian ally Serbia, and supported Islamists in Bosnia.
 
#12
He also spread lies about our historic Christian ally Serbia, and supported Islamists in Bosnia.
Perhaps you could expand this further?

So Milosevic, Mladic and Karadjic are simply the result of a campaign of lies and disinformation by Mr. Ashdown?

Is the International Criminal Tribunal simply a device to persecute our 'Historic Christian Allies"?

Why did we go into Bosnia and Kosovo again, can you remember Hereward?
 
#13
PartTimePongo said:
He also spread lies about our historic Christian ally Serbia, and supported Islamists in Bosnia.
Perhaps you could expand this further?

So Milosevic, Mladic and Karadjic are simply the result of a campaign of lies and disinformation by Mr. Ashdown?

Is the International Criminal Tribunal simply a device to persecute our 'Historic Christian Allies"?

Why did we go into Bosnia and Kosovo again, can you remember Hereward?
Our treasonous policy in the Balkans was a German-initiated long-term plan to expand EU control into the Balkans.
 
#14
Good grief.

'Treasonous' - How exactly? Please answer the questions I posed, they were not intended to be rhetorical. Your answer is evasive.
 
#15
http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2006-03-27.html

LIES AND MYTHS ABOUT MILOSEVIC AND THE SERBS

by Rodney Atkinson

Dateline 27th March 2006

"I never saw the Yugoslav Federal Army mistreat anyone in Kosovo" Roland Keith, Commander in the OSCE's Kosovo Verification Mission, 1999.

In the week of the death of Milosevic anti-Serb propaganda reached a peak with not a single word of praise for a people who have in all three European Wars of the 20th century proved their anti-fascist credentials. Instead it is the propaganda of Croatian fascism, German imperialism and BBC appeasement which defends the attack on Yugoslavia (illegal on at least 7 counts under international law) and its break up into the same petty nationalist states with clerical fascist governments which Nazism and Fascism constructed in the 1940s.

So the EU (under German direction) the USA and the UN conducted the most illegal war of all time, without UN approval, destroyed the most ethnically mixed State in the Balkans (Serbia) and brought about the most ethnically and religiously pure state of Croatia and a religiously divided Bosnia. The UN has failed to disarm the KLA who have now invaded Macedonia - with the weapons that the UN was supposed to remove from them! Now, having allowed the Kosovo Muslims to drive out most of the Christian Serbs from Kosovo, the UN seems bent on removing Kosovo from Serbia. This in religious and cultural terms would be like removing Kent from England or Texas from the United States, with Canterbury and Houston becoming Muslims cities!

Throughout the 1990s, the BBC, the British press and the Western media in general have lied and deceived, covered up the truth, broadcast fabrications prepared by anti Yugoslav forces, ignored historical fact and have been willing victims of one of the most successful propaganda missions of modern times. Here are some of the myths and lies which now pass for "facts" in the media today.


Milosevic "started the wars against Bosnia and Croatia"

Serbs were not the aggressors but the defenders of their internationally recognised State of Yugoslavia against foreign powers (principally Germany and the USA) who financed insurrection by Bosnian Muslims, Croatian nationalists (using the same "U" emblem as the Ustashe fascist allies of Germany during the second World War) and Kosovo Muslim Albanians. All three of these groups had provided the Nazis with Waffen SS divisions against our allies, the Serbs, between 1940 and 1945).

Milosevic was a "fascist"
He was in fact the exact opposite, his opponents in Croatia and Bosnia being the historical fascists whose 1990s actions were based on precisely the same imagery, ideology and in some cases even the names of their fascist movements during the second world war. Milosevic could be described, as the whole of Yugoslavia was during the cold war, as a "Reform Communist".

Milosevic was a dictator.
He was elected three times, with the same lack of Western democratic niceties which we praised in the election of Yeltsin and Putin!

He persecuted the Kosovo Albanians.
The exact opposite was the case for the Kosovo Liberation Army had been murdering Serbs and Albanian Kosovans for years. In this they had continued the ethnic cleansing of Serbs started by the Nazis and fascists during the Second World War and carried on by Tito (a Croat) after the war. There were Albanian Muslims in Milosevic's Government - but that did not stop the gradual ethnic cleansing of Serbs from their historic homeland (and centre of Orthodox Christianity) in Kosovo by the KLA, rightly described by international observers as a terrorist organisation.

The KLA has now invaded Macedonia, where Albanian Muslims are creating "a third Albania"!

Both the Commander of the OSCE's Kosovo Verification Mission in 1999 (just before Yugoslavia was attacked) Roland Keith and the former Canadian Ambassador in Belgrade James Bissett have condemned the war and defended the Yugoslav Government. Bissett said that the 1999 attack was a "put up job" and quotes the most revealing admission by the former British Defense Minister, Lord Gilbert, who told the British House of Commons in July 2000 that the terms that NATO sought to force upon Milosevic at Rambouillet were deliberately designed to provoke war.

Commander Keith described the KLA as a terrorist organisation which had a grip on most villages in Kosovo. He had direct experience of grotesque lies told by villagers about ethnic cleansing and he said he never saw the Yugoslav Federal Army mistreat anyone in Kosovo.

Milosevic would have been found guilty of war crimes.
In fact the trial and Milosevic's detailed and penetrating challenge to prosecution witnesses had made a complete fool of the kangaroo court which had effectively kidnapped him in Belgrade (using the same anti-constitutional methods as the European Union did to destroy the sovereignty of the nation states of Europe - Presidential or Crown Prerogative!)

Milosevic was not accused in the International Court in The Hague but by a "special Tribunal" set up by the anti Serb forces. Blair and his partners in the illegal war were indicted at the REAL International Court - but refused to turn up.

The evidence at the trial proved Milosevic's guilt.
Far from that the Court was repeatedly unable to make any connection between Milosevic's orders and the assumed "atrocities". Indeed several Serb army personnel gave evidence that Belgrade had always insisted that soldiers who committed crimes should be brought to justice. The Court case also revealed that Lord Paddy Ashdown had lied to the Court and one of the Prosecution's star witnesses exonerated Milosevic and said he had been tortured to make him provide evidence against the accused.

What about the war time atrocities?
Most were myths, the rest questionable.

The Sarajevo market bomb was not set by Serbs but by Bosnian Muslims, as the UN later confirmed.

The skeletonic "concentration camp" victim was a hoax, as the BBC's John Simpson confirmed.

The "10,000 deaths in Kosovo" was proved a complete myth.

The Srebrenica "massacre of 8,000 Muslims" consists of some 2,000 bodies including Serbs who died in battle over a long period. Teenagers among the dead were commonplace especially among Croat and Bosnian army troops. The "International Community" never describes the massacres of Serb villagers around Srebrenica before the Yugoslav army moved in, nor the evil Muslim Commander Naser Oric who, Roland Keith testifies, carried out those raids and showed journalists video tape of the beheadings he ordered. Oric withdrew his troops from Srebrenica before the Serbs arrived. His army was later caught and badly defeated - which explains the origins of the Bosnian bodies found.

The Rajmonda murder. The US broadcaster CBC revealed a KLA soldier's lies about a "murder by the Serbs" in 1999, months after the original false story had been widely broadcast. By the time of the retraction, the damage of course was done, many times over, and could not be undone.

The Racak massacre. The road to Racak, broadcast by CBC in May 2000, showed how the famous casus belli of the war on Yugoslavia was a hoax, that the Yugoslav army did NOT slaughter unarmed ethnic Albanian civilians, as had been the US/NATO claim to justify the need to bomb the country.

What about ethnic cleansing?
Why should the leader of Yugoslavia break up his own country? Only the Croats (who drove out 400,000 Serbs from the Krajina) and the Bosnians and Kosovo Albanians (who drove out a similar number of Serbs) had a reason to do so - and they did. It was in fact the federal Prime Minister of Yugoslavia who happened to be a Croat who ordered the army into Slovenia and Croatia. And it was another Croat President Tudjman who wrote a constitution which described the Serbs as an "alien minority". He then drove 40,000 Serbs out of Croatia - the first ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia.

What about political bigotry?
Anyone reading Milosevic's historical speeches would recognise someone who lacked political, racial or religious bigotry - unlike the extreme bigotry of his opponents President Tudjman of Croatia ("genocide is a natural phenomenon commanded by the almighty in defence of Roman Catholicism") and President Izetbegovic ("There can be no peace or co-existence between the Islamic Faith and non Islamic institutions"). So why were Izetbegovic and Tudjman not put on trial in The Hague?

In the light of such hypocrisy it is not surprising that one of the most criminal war Commanders - General Agim Ceku, who at various times fought in the Croat and KLA armies, murdered hundreds (at the Medak Pocket) and ethnically cleansed hundred of thousands of Serbs (from the Krajina) and had been indicted at The Hague, but was then put on the payroll of the UN in the "Kosovo Protection Force"! His indictment was later rescinded.

For further evidence of the massive fascist attack on Yugoslavia over the years please read the following papers - all but the first one are on this website:

The Illegality of NATO's War against Yugoslavia www.ukconservatism.freeuk.com/archive27.html

Canadian Ambassador and Kosovo Commander explode myths of Yugoslav War
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2004-10-14.html

John Kerry gets funds from Terrorist KLA
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2004-10-18.html

The Carcass of Yugoslavia
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2004-12-08.html

Illegal Yugoslav War a boost to Islamic Extremism
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2005-08-15.html

Kosovo - German Imperialism to defy UN?
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2005-09-03.html

The Vatican and Islam
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2005-10-22.html

German Nazis aided Croat Fascists in 1990s.
www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2006-03-15.html
 
#16
No, I don't want a cut and paste from a foaming at the mouth website, I want you to answer the question as posed, in simple terms.

How was our intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo 'Treasonous'. How was treason commited?

That cut and paste, also fails to point out how Mr. Ashdown "spread lies"

It also seems very careful to avoid mentioning any instances where the Serb Army, Police or Paramilitaries may have committed any crimes?

So the EU (under German direction) the USA and the UN conducted the most illegal war of all time, without UN approval, destroyed the most ethnically mixed State in the Balkans (Serbia) and brought about the most ethnically and religiously pure state of Croatia and a religiously divided Bosnia
Apart from the contradiction in that paragraph - The UN conducted an illegal war, then the UN did it without it's own approval. Eh?

UN Resolution 1160

http://www.nato.int/kosovo/docu/u980331a.htm

I'm sure those Arrsers who were intimate with Bosnia , Kosovo and the aftermath , will add their views.
 
#17
bloody 'ell Hereward what you got against the Boxheads? :-O lived here since 91 and I've not noticed any return to facism/imperialism or any other 'ism (unless they've been hiding it from me). Still your strange site, which seems to quote that equally strange German foreign policy site rather too often for comfort, must know better than me. :thumbdown:
 
#18
PartTimePongo said:
So Milosevic, Mladic and Karadjic are simply the result of a campaign of lies and disinformation by Mr. Ashdown?

Is the International Criminal Tribunal simply a device to persecute our 'Historic Christian Allies"?

Why did we go into Bosnia and Kosovo again, can you remember Hereward?
Kosovo, why? There was an order from Washington. The Americans tried to demonstrate to the whole World how they can punish those who disagree with their dictate. Do you PTP really believe that the fate of Albanians in Kosovo was the real cause?

So called 'International Tribunal' is no more than a tool to implement American political will. Miloshevic was no more guilty than senior Croatian and Bosnian politicians. What is the difference between Bosnian president Izetbegovic and mr.Karadjic? As for war crimes then they are on the same level. Gen. Mladic is no more guilty than Croatian and Muslim commanders.

Though I agree that an expression 'historic Christian allies' sounds laughably. Great Britain hadn't allies but had once own interests. Now the second component is vanished from this formula.
 
#19
Secondly, we lovingly forget that item number one is always the rule of law. It is not elections, I'm afraid. If you have elections before you establish the rule of law then all you do is elect the criminals who ran the war. What you create is not a democracy but a criminally captured space. That is what we had in Bosnia. Corruption is now in the marrow and bone of Bosnian society.

The rule of law comes, first of all, by dominating the security space post-conflict. It is necessary to have something close to martial law at the beginning; if not, you lose control. Yet, the US disbanded the entire Iraqi army, with too few troops to do the job. From that point on, they lost control of the situation.

Thirdly, probably the best way to get your troops home early is to reform the economy. If we had done economic reform in the first year in Bosnia we would have had the economy growing in the way it is now. Economic reform needs to come very early, in my view, even before elections.

Fourthly, I don't believe that you can build peace in one nation unless you have at least the acquiescence, if not the active support, of neighbouring states.
Paddy's heart is in the right place but I dont believe any of the above suggestions would have led to stability in Iraq even if they had been adopted by the Coalition.

There are other factors at work specific to Iraq and the Mid East that we have to understand. The role of Islam in society for a start and the separation of religion and politics, which wasnt an issue in post-WW2 Germany or Japan, or even the former Yugoslavia for that matter.

The uncomfortable truth is that the gulf between Western and Islamic societies is just too large for either side to impose their belief system over the other.

In the case of Iraq its now obvious that it was a Pandora's box that was kept shut only with the weight of Saddam's boot.

Moral of the story, leave well enough alone and keep the sword sheathed unless absolutely necessary.
 
#20
Taz_786 said:
Secondly, we lovingly forget that item number one is always the rule of law. It is not elections, I'm afraid. If you have elections before you establish the rule of law then all you do is elect the criminals who ran the war. What you create is not a democracy but a criminally captured space. That is what we had in Bosnia. Corruption is now in the marrow and bone of Bosnian society.


Ceratinly that is what the locals think - and it doesn't matter which bit you are in.
 
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