Top aides damning attack on Blairs Iraq war

#1
Top aide's damning attack on Blair's Iraq war
Daily Telegraph Link

A damning assessment of Tony Blair's lack of leadership in Iraq amid its descent into lawlessness has been made by one of Britain's most senior diplomats.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the former ambassador to the United Nations and the first British envoy to Iraq, said the Prime Minister had taken his "eye off the ball" in the crucial first days and weeks after the liberation, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

In the starkest language concerning the failure of the Government to anticipate the insurgency, Sir Jeremy said: "In the days following the victory of 9 April [2003] no one, it seems to me, was instructed to put the security of Iraq first. To put law and order on the streets first. There was no police force. There was no constituted army except the victorious invaders.

"And there was no American general that I could … establish who was given the accountable responsibility to make sure that the first duty of any government – and we were the government – was to keep law and order on the streets. There was a vacuum from the beginning in which looters, saboteurs, the criminals, the insurgents moved very quickly."

His trenchant remarks in a BBC documentary came to light as:

• Tony Blair announced the phased withdrawal of British forces with the return of 1,600 troops of the 7,100-strong deployment.

• The Daily Telegraph learnt that British troops will remain until 2012 – much later than had been anticipated.

• The British withdrawal was seized on by President George Bush's opponents in Washington as evidence that the coalition was crumbling.

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is expected to confirm today that Prince Harry will fly with his regiment to Iraq in April. He will be the first royal to serve in a war zone since the Duke of York flew helicopters in the Falklands conflict in 1982.

Pressure on the Prime Minister will intensify today when Lord Hurd, the former Conservative foreign secretary, will call for a high-level inquiry into what went wrong with the failure to plan for the aftermath of the invasion which has claimed the lives of 132 British soldiers since 2003.
A bit late for such stark language?
 
#2
I would say. Where was he when his comments would have made a difference?

Justice delayed is justice denied.
 
#3
He has got his eye on creating a market for his memoirs, by establishing himself as a Bliar hater, bravely (?) as Bliar is still in office (almost) he guarantees himself quadrupled sales.
 
#4
I'm confused.

Is this the Sir Jeremy Greenstock who was using bullish language in support of the war?

The same Sir Jeremy who was Bremner's deputy?

Just for fun , I thought I'd find some Sir Jeremy interviews, where he disagrees with Blair and Bush , using his vast diplomatic experience to suggest and guide in anoher direction.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june03/greenstock.html

And I listened with great care to what he has been saying. And if you analyze that and the position of the United States and the United Kingdom, I think will you see there is a lot of agreement about where we need to go, which is the complete disarmament of Iraq. And the area of disagreement boils down really to one thing, which is timing -- and timing about what?

It's about the time it's taking individual nations to come to the conclusion that trying disarm Saddam Hussein, through the normal inspection process has proved fruitless. Now the United States and the United Kingdom have got there perhaps sooner than most other countries. Because we've invested, over the past 12 years, in finding out what's going on inside Iraq.

No other members of the Security Council have done that. We've invested in intelligence and in supporting the inspection regimes in a very careful way and in calculating how the Iraqis are responding to that. And I think we are ahead of the curve in understanding how deep the degree of deceit and concealment that is being practiced by Saddam Hussein and how fruitless it is to go on this way when he can go on playing, as Hans Blix has called it, "catch as, catch can" with the inspectors. It is a question of timing as to when you reach that point of last resort.

We've reached it. You can always put off war in these circumstances by a week or a month or two or three months. But it's 600 weeks since we started the business of asking Iraq to disarm. And now it's time to cut the knot and take action. That's the only thing that Iraq will pay attention to when they see it coming.

Yes, very condemning of Blair's war there, I can feel his loathing of the idea of going to war oozing from every pore.

This from the Economist , May 6th 2004.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1130860/posts

Many of us in the international community had doubts about the invasion of March 2003: about its timing, its effect on the region, and its apparent expression of superpower unilateralism and self-righteousness
.

No you didn't Sir Jeremy, nothing in your language, speeches or interviews, suggests you thought anything of the sort still it started going tits.

As Britain's representative at the United Nations, I was nonetheless clear in my own mind that Iraq had offended so grossly against the requirements of the UN and international law, and had told so many lies about weapons of mass destruction, that it had laid itself open to the use of force to ensure compliance with UN resolutions. The British government had decided to help remove Saddam for those reasons, and it was my job to make sure it was successful.

So why are you bleating now Sir Jeremy? You were one of the players, you could have done something about it, and chose not to , at least publicly, unlike Sir Christopher Meyer, and the famous 50 'Arabists'

There were compelling reasons for staying with the United States in this complex operation, not only because Britain had something valuable to offer (a passport to other support, military incisiveness, historical perspective and experience), but also because the damage to world diplomacy if America went solo was too awful to contemplate
I'm sorry, this man is nothing but a bloody hypocrite , who is trying to flog a book based on "Oh I thought the PM was a tool , honest I did"

If I'd heard stories of violent disagreements and shouting matches between Bremner and Greenstock, I might feel slightly different.

As it is, this stinks of vile hypocracy.

Will the last rat leaving please close the portholes....
 
#5
PTP: I think you've summed up Sir Jeremy's dissembling pretty well. The words 'rat' and 'sinking ship' definitely fits the bill in his case.
 
#6
I'm actually angry at the slopey shoulders attitude. Strange how all the pro-war or at least supportive of 'movers and players' are now singing a different tune , but presenting it as "Oh this was my view all the time"

The only exception being Powell , who patently didn't think it was a good idea, as his body language and delivery at the UN showed.

Unlike Sir Jeremy.
 
#7
Well done pongo,
for quickly leaping at the throat of the silvered tongued lacky. He must not be allowed to try and re write history.
 
#9
PartTimePongo said:
I'm confused.

Is this the Sir Jeremy Greenstock who was using bullish language in support of the war?

The same Sir Jeremy who was Bremner's deputy?
Yes, he was in favour of the the war (as your post clearly demonstrates), but does that deny him the right to criticise the shambles that was post-war reconstruction

See here for his comments, damming the actions (or in-actions) after the war, rather than before the war.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the former ambassador to the United Nations and the first British envoy to Iraq, said the Prime Minister had taken his "eye off the ball" in the crucial first days and weeks after the liberation, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

In the starkest language concerning the failure of the Government to anticipate the insurgency, Sir Jeremy said: "In the days following the victory of 9 April [2003] no one, it seems to me, was instructed to put the security of Iraq first. To put law and order on the streets first. There was no police force. There was no constituted army except the victorious invaders.
 

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