Put that man in the little room across the square!

#21
OldRedCap said:
I see Blair as the really evil bstard here. Bush was carried away by wanting to do something about 9/11 but did not know what or to whom; his redneck supporters demanded action. The others were in it for whatever tit-bits dropped off the table. Blair, however, schemed and plotted, twisted and lied, connived and compelled to advance his own cause. I think he saw himself as Thatcher re-born and that Iraq was to be his Falklands in future history.
Hmmmm!

Blair drove the process forward for the intervention in Serbia during 1999. Clinton was happy to offer up a few bombers, but little else. It set two clear precedences in the 'new' post-Cold War international system. It was Allied Force, its non-UNSC approval, and its 'humanitarian-just cause' notion that beat the path to the invasion of Iraq.

Striking Afghanistan to avenge the Twin Towers was not enough for the US, and they needed a more 'appropriate' target to mollify mid-Amerika. The Bush Administration settled on Iraq rather than Iran or Syria because they genuinely believed they had a 'good excuse': WMD. Of course, we ALL know in hindsight (some of us were inclined to believe before) that WMD didn't exist, and Iraq's only failure was to get its paperwork up to the impossible standard demanded by the US (via the UN). Chalabi, his INC, and others have spent many years spreading the intelligence that Iraq had WMD in order to get the mighty US military to topple Saddam for their own selfish gain. The Bush Administration saw what it wanted to see. However, unlike Serbia in 1999, Blair was only a bit-part player in this act who yhought it would be to the UK's benefit to ride the US's coat-tails.

Bush, Blair and Co will not be tried like the Bosnian/YU scumbags - but they should!
 
#22
OldRedCap said:
Just finished some while back reading book by a Yank who went round the world visiting everywhere that had US troops stationed - I've loaned it out and cannot quote here. The author was certain, and made a very good case for, American policy being to become even bigger Colonials that we ever were and determined to have a globe where the sun never set on a sphere of influence.
Globalisation is part of that neo-colonial process. Hegemonic colonialism based around dependence upon US economic supremacy, foreign aid benevolence and the threat of US military action.

Iraq and Afghanistan have 'proven' the blunt tool known as the US military. Soaring energy prices, then the financial crisis, have 'proven' the need for a contraction of rampant globalisation.

It won't happen overnight, but the America's days as 'the' superpower are now formally in decline. Place your bets on who and when they're going to get a good shoeing?
 
#23
"Anyone want to run a book that O'Barmy will sign Bush off with a full pardon that would put him beyond reach of justice? "

Can you be pardoned for a Crime you have not been convicted of ?
Our Tame Yanks out here had an argument, when some of them suggested that Bush would issue a Blanket Pardon for anyone convicted in the future of Crimes committed in the War against Terrorism. Part of that 'row', wouldn't qualify it as a debate, was that to be Pardoned you First have to be convicted.
john
 
#24
whitecity said:
Hmmmm!

Blair drove the process forward for the intervention in Serbia during 1999. Clinton was happy to offer up a few bombers, but little else. It set two clear precedences in the 'new' post-Cold War international system. It was Allied Force, its non-UNSC approval, and its 'humanitarian-just cause' notion that beat the path to the invasion of Iraq.

Striking Afghanistan to avenge the Twin Towers was not enough for the US, and they needed a more 'appropriate' target to mollify mid-Amerika. The Bush Administration settled on Iraq rather than Iran or Syria because they genuinely believed they had a 'good excuse': WMD. Of course, we ALL know in hindsight (some of us were inclined to believe before) that WMD didn't exist, and Iraq's only failure was to get its paperwork up to the impossible standard demanded by the US (via the UN). Chalabi, his INC, and others have spent many years spreading the intelligence that Iraq had WMD in order to get the mighty US military to topple Saddam for their own selfish gain. The Bush Administration saw what it wanted to see. However, unlike Serbia in 1999, Blair was only a bit-part player in this act who yhought it would be to the UK's benefit to ride the US's coat-tails.
Bush, Blair and Co will not be tried like the Bosnian/YU scumbags - but they should!
I agree with everything you have written except the bit I have bolded. Blair was desperate to get involved in Iraq not because of Bush, but because he believed totally that getting rid of Saddam was the 'right' thing to do. Bush, knowing that Blair would have difficulties in making the case for war, offered him a 'get out' clause with no harm to the UK/US relationship, but Blair absolutely would not take it.

Some did know before the invasion that there was almost no likelihood of finding anything more than a few rusty 152mm chemical shells left over from the Iran/Iraq war. :wink:
 
#27
Sorry, to have to get off this outrage bus but I think there may be a certain amount of 20/20 hindsight and selective memory here.

I for one was fairly comfortable with both the rationales behind the invasion of Iraq; that there were WMD and that Sadaam was a threat to regional stability and that the world would be a better place if he was not in charge. I suspect many in this site shared similar views. Don't forget that nearly every world Government thought that Iraq had WMD, even if not all agreed to the plan to get rid of him. Although the 45 min claim may have been proven to be an exageration the rest of the WMD claims were widely held, underpinned by Sadaam himself who seemed determined to bluff his way through the threat by being deliberatly ambiguous about whether he had any or not. He certainly had had some and had spent 10 years trying to bluff and disorientate the inspection regieme.

I was a little concerned that it would take people's eyes of Afghanistan before it was properly sorted out, which is probably my only claim to correctly quessing the future.

I will also freely admit that my concerns about the future of Iraq after the invasion were asuaged by the statements from both the White House and 10 Downing St. I was sure that two such well resourced Governments full of clever people would have thought about what to do after the invasion. IMHO, this is the area where any inquiery should be focused; it is where it all started to go wrong.

Finally, don't forget that Paliament voted in favour of the invasion of Iraq, with cross party support. As did both houses in the US. Also remember that Tony Blair fought and won a general election after the war in which the invasion was one of the key strands of the attack against him and his Government. In British Democracy, a win in a General Election is seen as broad support for the parties record and manifesto. By winning this election the British Public effectively gave him a vote of confidence. They are unlikely to be too bothered now about opening up old wounds.

I don't like the man, but lets keep this in perspective. He made a call based on intelligence shared by most of the world and was supported by Paliament in doing so. Unless he misled Parliament (ignoring the 45 min claim which was almost immediately discounted) he is guilty of nothing.

Puts on Tin Hat and ducks for cover!
 
#28
The ultimate question would have to be whether Blair gave the HoC or the public information on Iraq that he knew or suspected to be false. I'm confident he didn't because of one man - Robin Cook. He resigned because he was against the war on principle, but his diaries clearly stated he believed Saddam had a stockpile of battlefield chem and bio weapons. He also never claimed in the run-up to the invasion he never had them - if he thought there was a chance he was clean he would have said so. He didn't, and as a foreign secretery he would have had access to the raw intel on Iraq, before all this even started. If the inteligence services knew or suspected Saddam was clean, Cook would have known, and shouted it from the roof tops.
 
#29
parapauk said:
The ultimate question would have to be whether Blair gave the HoC or the public information on Iraq that he knew or suspected to be false. I'm confident he didn't because of one man - Robin Cook. He resigned because he was against the war on principle, but his diaries clearly stated he believed Saddam had a stockpile of battlefield chem and bio weapons. He also never claimed in the run-up to the invasion he never had them - if he thought there was a chance he was clean he would have said so. He didn't, and as a foreign secretery he would have had access to the raw intel on Iraq, before all this even started. If the inteligence services knew or suspected Saddam was clean, Cook would have known, and shouted it from the roof tops.
........... And yet..... No wmd's because they weren't there.
Belief is never enough without proof, and they had none.
 
#30
LISpace said:
I agree with everything you have written except the bit I have bolded. Blair was desperate to get involved in Iraq not because of Bush, but because he believed totally that getting rid of Saddam was the 'right' thing to do.
Can I not feel benevolent to Blair once in my life?
 
#31
parapauk said:
The ultimate question would have to be whether Blair gave the HoC or the public information on Iraq that he knew or suspected to be false. I'm confident he didn't because of one man - Robin Cook. He resigned because he was against the war on principle, but his diaries clearly stated he believed Saddam had a stockpile of battlefield chem and bio weapons. He also never claimed in the run-up to the invasion he never had them - if he thought there was a chance he was clean he would have said so. He didn't, and as a foreign secretery he would have had access to the raw intel on Iraq, before all this even started. If the inteligence services knew or suspected Saddam was clean, Cook would have known, and shouted it from the roof tops.
Broadly speaking, I concur. A similar case could be made for Colin Powell.

However, what was the relationship between HMG/Whitehouse and their respective intellligence advisors? I'm lead to believe that the former clearly encouraged intelligence of a specific nature and 'bias' to be sought, sifted, analysed and then reported - at the expense of the weight of evidence being obtained. In effect, and put bluntly, political masters told intelligence pawns to go look for evidence of WMD and to put all their effort into finding it; and made it almost impossible for dissenters to be heard.

So, you can claim with some justification that HMG was genuinely mislead about WMD, but I would not say they were honestly mislead as they had a very big hand in their own delusion.
 
#32
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
The ultimate question would have to be whether Blair gave the HoC or the public information on Iraq that he knew or suspected to be false. I'm confident he didn't because of one man - Robin Cook. He resigned because he was against the war on principle, but his diaries clearly stated he believed Saddam had a stockpile of battlefield chem and bio weapons. He also never claimed in the run-up to the invasion he never had them - if he thought there was a chance he was clean he would have said so. He didn't, and as a foreign secretery he would have had access to the raw intel on Iraq, before all this even started. If the inteligence services knew or suspected Saddam was clean, Cook would have known, and shouted it from the roof tops.
Broadly speaking, I concur. A similar case could be made for Colin Powell.

However, what was the relationship between HMG/Whitehouse and their respective intellligence advisors? I'm lead to believe that the former clearly encouraged intelligence of a specific nature and 'bias' to be sought, sifted, analysed and then reported - at the expense of the weight of evidence being obtained. In effect, and put bluntly, political masters told intelligence pawns to go look for evidence of WMD and to put all their effort into finding it; and made it almost impossible for dissenters to be heard.

So, you can claim with some justification that HMG was genuinely mislead about WMD, but I would not say they were honestly mislead as they had a very big hand in their own delusion.
Strength or weakness of any intel is in it's interpretation. All through history people have interpretted intel the way that fits their current theory. If they set out with the mindset that there were WsMD then their interpretation would have been to make the intel fit what they took as a 'given'. Much like when a border guard looks at a passport photo, his intiial reaction to to try to make the photo fit the face he sees before him.
That having been said it doesn't excuse the two Bs. Particularly Blair who had seen what winning a war can do to a PM's popularity and re-election chances (but probably only if you conduct a defensive or liberating war not an offensive one that drags on and on).
 
#33
I was always against the actions of Bush and Blair, as they were hell bent on seeking a target for revenge of 9/11. Additionally it was done at such a rush that there were bound to be massive implications for the post war Iraq. Little or no thought was given to the post Saddam Iraq and the probability of an insurgency.

Yes Saddam was no saint, but was he any worse than Mugabe to his country? Saddam would never have allowed the AQ element to exist within Iraq. As a result of the lack of planning hundreds of thousands of people have died.

With regard to WMD, we had the UN inspection team within the country, they could clearly see how much WMD was available. Hans Blix and people like Dr David Kelly knew that the WMD theory was a myth, and was the excuse that the US/UK were going to use as the reason for invasion.

I believe the manipulation of Parliament to give consent to invade Iraq by using falsified documentation (some derived from the internet) was a crime. Brown may wish to try to disassociate himself from this but he was on the War Cabinet. If he didnt agree with it he could always have resigned.

I believe Blair, Brown, Hoon and others should one day stand trial for war crimes.
 
#34
chicken_jim said:
I don't like the man, but lets keep this in perspective. He made a call based on intelligence shared by most of the world and was supported by Paliament in doing so. Unless he misled Parliament (ignoring the 45 min claim which was almost immediately discounted) he is guilty of nothing.

Puts on Tin Hat and ducks for cover!
Not sure what you mean by 'intelligence shared by the rest of the world'? If you mean 'believed' then I don't think that's correct. But in any case, since when do we invade countries on the basis of intelligence? Our foriegn policy should be based on what is in the national interest, not 'intelligence'. As the Butler Report stated, the intelligence was put under more pressure than it could reasonably bear (or words to that effect). We have intelligence that North Korea has WMD and is a threat to the region. Should we therefore invade? No. Why not? Because it would not be in the national interest.

Pariliament was misled because, due to pressure from No 10, virtually all the caveats were stripped out of the assessments, or the absolute worst case scenario was presented, or single source intelligence was given a value that it shouldn't have, as long as it supported the case for war.

The Iraq debate was a masterful performance by Blair: he managed to quote from JIC assessments but not finish sentences (ie the bit with the caveat) or just brush the few caveats that remained aside with a big doom laden voice, saying 'can we take that risk?' etc etc.
 
#35
parapauk said:
The ultimate question would have to be whether Blair gave the HoC or the public information on Iraq that he knew or suspected to be false. I'm confident he didn't because of one man - Robin Cook. He resigned because he was against the war on principle, but his diaries clearly stated he believed Saddam had a stockpile of battlefield chem and bio weapons. He also never claimed in the run-up to the invasion he never had them - if he thought there was a chance he was clean he would have said so. He didn't, and as a foreign secretery he would have had access to the raw intel on Iraq, before all this even started. If the inteligence services knew or suspected Saddam was clean, Cook would have known, and shouted it from the roof tops.
I haven't read Cook's diaries so I'm not sure what he meant by 'stockpiles', but certainly there was a good chance that there were chem artillery shells remaining in Iraq, and this was subsequently discovered to be true. But what threat would these pose to the region? Range of a 152mm shell? 17 or 18km? Something like that. So if Saddam parked a 152mm battery on the Saudi border and let rip 18km into the vast Arabian desert, what exactly would have been the damage? At worst, maybe one camel with a slight cough.

Saddam wasn't 'clean' but what he did have was no threat except to maybe his own people. And Saddam dropping VX on Kurds hadn't bothered us previously, so why should it in 2002/3?
 
#36
whitecity said:
So, you can claim with some justification that HMG was genuinely mislead about WMD, but I would not say they were honestly mislead as they had a very big hand in their own delusion.
I agree up to a point. Most did not dig a little deeper into the information that was being presented to them. I also agree with Markintime's point about only seeing what you want or expect to see. But No 10, and Blair, knew exactly what was going on. It didn't matter to Blair, as he was convinced he was doing the right thing. It didn't matter to Alastair Campbell either, as he was only interested in building a case for war, and as a good tabloid journalist he knew that the truth cannot be allowed to get in the way of a good 'story'.

When the FCO tried to put the brakes on No 10, they got either ignored or bypassed, which was one of the main factors in Cook resigning.
 
#37
blacknasty said:
Ive often wondered if he wasnt married to that creature of a wife then she would be pursuing him personnally through the courts right now. But then again everything he did seemed to offer her a court case for someone!! I hate the fact that so many people especially him have gained so much money out of it for no effect whatsoever on his family.

Can anyone tell me what Britain gained financially or otherwise out of this.
Sweet FA :x , sorry, ask the families of those who have lost loved ones and those who now live with broken bodies and minds :( .

War should be the very last option taken; sitting in Camp Coyote I was sure we would be there a long, long time, posturing because invading a sovereign state isn’t cricket is it? And there were a lot of other avenues available to sort the mess out before crossing the start line.

Put that man in the little room across the square! Bloody right, lock em up throw away the key, but its not going to happen is it?
 
#38
chicken_jim said:
I for one was fairly comfortable with both the rationales behind the invasion of Iraq; that there were WMD and that Sadaam was a threat to regional stability and that the world would be a better place if he was not in charge. I suspect many in this site shared similar views.
Don't know about this site but a fair few formed up for one march at least. Even the police estimated 750,000 and that was in the days when they counted the legs and divided by five when doing crowd estimates.
 
#39
One of the things that most sticks in my mind was the rationale we were given for not exceeding our UN mandate and pressing on further into Iraq in '91. I was attached to the Septics and we were given lectures in the field, well within Iraq, about creating instability and civil war as well as national wars in the area if a vacuum were to be created and all the protagonists and neighbours allowed to come and carve a piece of Sadam's empire.
I could not see that there had been any significant changes by 2003 and the same rationale should have held sway. We already had total control of Iraq's airspace and controlled how he traded with the outside world. If his own people couldn't find it within themselves to rise against him why should Bush and Blair on the pretext of 'mirage' WsMD and non observance of UN resolutions, my goodness if we invaded countries for that we would have had to invade Israel virtually every other week. Britain long ago gave up offensive wars, we should stick to defensive or liberating lest we set a precedent and China decides that we deserve a new leader and invade us to ‘liberate’ us.
 

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