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soddim
1st May 2009, 19:36
With acknowledgements to Arab News

Editorial: A mission that ended in shame
1 May 2009

For all the self-congratulation at yesterday’s ceremony in Basra marking the formal end to the six-year combat role of British forces in Iraq, the verdict of one senior US officer this week has been that the British actually suffered a defeat.

In the early days of their occupation, British commanders were proud their soldiers were patrolling the streets in their berets and without body armor, giving sweets to children and chatting through interpreters to locals. The implication was that the US patrol method, using helmeted and Keflar-protected troops in heavily armored vehicles was not the right way to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqis.

In the end neither the softly-softly British approach nor the US mailed fist worked out. With the unstoppable rise of the local Shiite militias, the British became besieged in one of Saddam’s old Basra palaces and completely lost control of the city. They were finally forced to retreat to the airport eight miles outside the city, where they could more easily protect their perimeter. Basra thereafter remained a lawless town in the grip of the militias until last year, Iraqi troops and police, backed by US forces, re-seized control in the “Charge of the Knights” operation.

The problem for both the US and British occupation forces was that their political masters Bush and Blair became victims of their own lies, which they had used to justify the invasion. Not only was Saddam’s regime supposed to have weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed in short order, but Iraqis were supposed to be longing for rescue from the dictatorship in which they lived. Given that Basra and the south of the country were predominantly Shiite areas, and Shiites had been regular victims of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime, it is hardly surprising that initially there was a welcome for British soldiers. But that welcome quickly turned to anger when, due to a complete lack of serious planning from Washington and London, the occupiers proved incapable of delivering reconstruction, not least of reliable power and safe drinking water.

George W. Bush simply did not understand the monumental task he had set himself and the British clearly imagined that as a former colonial occupier, they could muddle through as they always do. This criminal lack of thought as to how Iraqi infrastructure could be restored as quickly as possible and security and government passed back rapidly to Iraqis, was what boosted the insurgency of both Sunnis and Shiites.

Now the British are pulling out the last 4,000 of their combat troops, leaving just 400 specialists to carry on training Iraqi police and army units. The Americans have taken over their occupation in the south but they too are due to pull out of urban areas and regroup in their bases within the coming two months, before quitting the country completely by 2011.

The question now is whether Washington and London are repeating the same mistakes in Afghanistan, where too much reliance on military might has alienated moderate Afghans and actually boosted the Taleban.

lurkposition
1st May 2009, 19:43
And this has what exactly to do with Military aviation?

Succumb to odd propaganda if you must but take your fishing elsewhere.

Byee

anotherthing
1st May 2009, 19:46
I think anyone with half a brain (that's most politicians ruled out) could see right from the start that there would not be a clean regime change and that the killing would continue despite the best efforts of the allied forces.

It is the same, possibly even worse, in Afghanistan. Too many of the population just simply do not want democratic politics to prevail in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

I think both will be subject to killing sprees for a long time into the future, and both will also become even bigger contributors to terrorist activity.

Jackonicko
1st May 2009, 19:49
An extremely partial and anti-British view, which does not reflect reality.

I found it compelling that even the local Militia commander reluctantly expressed his admiration for British 'cleverness' and for the effectiveness of our approach.

Some Yanks seem to only be able to get any self validation by running down the Brits, and some Brits seem only too keen to believe the resulting propaganda and to indulge in futile and rather embarrassing self flagellation.

Defeat my ar$e. Get a grip, Soddim.

lurkposition
1st May 2009, 19:50
Thanks Jacko, I thought it was just me !

soddim
1st May 2009, 19:51
lurkposition, take your narrowmindness elsewhere please. This has everything to do with military aviation and military life. If you do not understand that and the need to study the point of view of friendly Arab nations, you would do well to return to your normal reading. The Sun?

soddim
1st May 2009, 19:54
Jacko. As a journalist, I would have thought you would be less narrow-minded of the journalistic opinions that differed from yours.

Defeat my ar$e. Get a grip, Soddim. It's not me that needs to get a grip. Iraq was an unmitigated disaster and Afghanistan is going the same way.

lurkposition
1st May 2009, 19:55
Cor, raw nerve or what.
I have been working in the middle East before you were eating from your bunnykins dishes.
I had great regard for those I was working with. I am also aware of the propaganda that is constructed in that part of the world.
Look inwards and contemplate!

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 19:59
Some Yanks seem to only be able to get any self validation by running down the Brits,


Is this an example of that thar "British irony" thing I hear so much about?

And, of course, the reverse of your statement is never true.

I read it as an Arab essay, with the writer having his political viewpoint.

One I don't agree with.

soddim
1st May 2009, 19:59
lurkposition I have also worked in the ME and I doubt that you can tell me anything about how they think or why. Anyway, you have to accept that they are entitled to their opinion of our performance in Iraq - that is what I posted.

If you don't like it - fine. But it is their editorial and we do a lot of trade with Saudi. Maybe you don't like that either but it pays a lot of UK bills.

CirrusF
1st May 2009, 20:05
If there is eventually an Iraq inquiry, the MoD will come out of it unscathed - once it was "established" that the invasion was "legal", the MoD carried out their tasks with (except in a few isolated cases) dignity and respect for the Iraqi people. Perhaps some senior officers should have kicked up more of an objection about the blatantly cooked justification.

Those who should be found guilty are Blair, John Scarlett and SIS. JIC chairman John Scarlett was the pivotal figure in the creation of the "dodgy dossier", and he could never have created it without complicity from Dearlove who was at the time CSS. SIS allowed themselves to become politicised, and that undermined British democracy.

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 20:07
1) The war was illegal, before & after the event.

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war.

3) British troops have died for a lie.

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now.

7) You'll never get thanked for it.

8) It will happen again.

mr fish
1st May 2009, 20:27
are the population still being tortured with power drills and mains voltage
just for opening their mouths to the wrong people?
is there still a risk of being gassed if you belong to a "minority"?
sure, no fanfare and tickertape parade,
maybe in a few years, a strong and stable iraq will take her place in the
"civilized" world.
that seems like a victory to me.

i'm sure i'm not alone when i say "TO THE FALLEN, WE SALUTE YOU":ok:

RileyDove
1st May 2009, 20:51
Where do you get the 'victory' bit from when the prime purpose of the invasion was to negate the 'threat' from chemical and biological weapons to the region ? Regime change wasn't on the agenda that was given to the public as the justification for war. I am proud of the efforts of British forces -however the politicians that sent them there should hang their heads in shame.

SRENNAPS
1st May 2009, 21:08
Pious Pilot,

My answers are in red:

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war. British Troops were sent to do a job based on what their leaders believed in.

3) British troops have died for a lie. There was no lie. And trust me they died believing what they were doing was right.

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it. Why? He was not a dictator who invaded another country for gain. He invaded a country in the belief that he would make the world a better place.

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol. Sorry but you are very wrong there. The Great British Public do care and certainly the people I work for have shown it in huge numbers quite recently. The difference is that the Great British Public are free to be able to watch pop idol which is more than the Iraqi people were able to do a few years ago.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now. I take it that you would be happy to see hundreds, thousands or even millions of Iraqi people to be continually exterminated (women and children) because you did not agree with it.

7) You'll never get thanked for it. Already been thanked mate...several times in Kuwait and Saudi and quite often when I am down my local pub.....by the people who only watch pop idol!!!!

8) It will happen again. Well I hope it does, to be able to rid the world of all dictatorships that bring evil on innocent people.

By the way could somebody please answer my question in this thread:

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/372313-gulf-tornado-ops.html

A lot of good men have died in this cause since 1991 (and I knew a few of them).

barnstormer1968
1st May 2009, 21:15
Hi.
I think you may find that it is your own side of the pond that is well known for irony, whereas my side of the pond is known for sarcasm. Your own post (see below) did contain a magnificent piece of irony itself,

Is this an example of that thar "British irony" thing I hear so much about?
And, of course, the reverse of your statement is never true.
I read it as an Arab essay, with the writer having his political viewpoint.
One I don't agree with. just look at line two!

Well done old fruit, Britishness is rubbing off on you quite nicely.

Being serious, I did think you came across as a bit touchy in your post. Please remember, that no matter how much we might moan about Americans (even though we generally like you), it isn't a patch on how much we moan about ourselves:}

soddim
1st May 2009, 21:22
SRENNAPS Have to take issue with your statement
No war is legal or illegal. That seems to indicate that there is no war that can be justified by our legal standards.

We in this country have a very advanced legal system that was questioned before MOD was happy to commit to the war in Iraq. The Attorney General even changed his brief so that Tony could say he was going to war legally and that made everybody happy that our military could not be charged with war crimes.

Sorry, but, although I admire your loyalty, and I share your total support for our military, I cannot agree that the war was either legal or necessary.

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 21:27
To SRENNAPS,

Answered in green

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

Being abstract with your reply doesn't make it right, you sound like an apologist with a conscience. The war was illegal before the UN decided it was also illegal. Iraq had no WMD, that's why the inspectors couldn't find any. That was the reason behind the war, before it was changed to regime change then terrorist destruction etc The UK 'govern'ment couldn't give a $hit about its own citizens, what makes you think they care about a foreign country?

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war. British Troops were sent to do a job based on what their leaders believed in.

See No.1. When you sign up, it's to do the right things not be led in to illegal & immoral wars that have more to do with oil than doing the right thing. The reason given was a lie, not even a good lie.

3) British troops have died for a lie. There was no lie. And trust me they died believing what they were doing was right.

See No.1

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it. Why? He was not a dictator who invaded another country for gain. He invaded a country in the belief that he would make the world a better place.

See No.1

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol. Sorry but you are very wrong there. The Great British Public do care and certainly the people I work for have shown it in huge numbers quite recently. The difference is that the Great British Public are free to be able to watch pop idol which is more than the Iraqi people were able to do a few years ago.

If the 'great' british public did care, blair et al would be in jail.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now. I take it that you would be happy to see hundreds, thousands or even millions of Iraqi people to be continually exterminated (women and children) because you did not agree with it.

No of course not, by that measure I'd take it that you are happy to see "hundreds, thousands, millions" of innocent people bombed from 25,000ft and the destabilisation leading to many more thousands of deaths from insurgents etc

7) You'll never get thanked for it. Already been thanked mate...several times in Kuwait and Saudi and quite often when I am down my local pub.....by the people who only watch pop idol!!!!

Well done to you, I'm sure it makes you feel like billy big.

8) It will happen again. Well I hope it does, to be able to rid the world of all dictatorships that bring evil on innocent people.

To be replaced with more evil than before.

SRENNAPS
1st May 2009, 21:46
PP

I only take offence (and deep offence) to one of your answers. No it does not. In fact it makes me shy away..... But I doubt you have any idea of what I am talking about.

You look at the wrong carried out by the right acting against the wrong.
We would have all been dead years ago with your beliefs

barnstormer1968
1st May 2009, 21:51
Answered in green

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

Being abstract with your reply doesn't make it right. The war was illegal before the UN decided it was also illegal. Iraq had no WMD, that's why the inspectors couldn't find any. That was the reason behind the war, before it was changed to regime change then terrorist destruction etc etc

Hmm nice pretty colours.
I am always intrigued as to which laws anyone thinks the action broke. For something to be illegal, it has to break or go against a set law, and even then it normally needs a test case to be compared to.
So, (to anyone) which actual law forbidding the UK to be involved in Iraq in this exact way did the UK actually break (UN resolutions are not laws). Before answering, please remember this must have already been in existence, prior to the action. Also which countries law are we to look at, ours, Iraq's or anyone elses?, for example If I were to travel at excess speed in my car, then I would be fined under British law, whereas if I did it in Iraq, then I would be fined under their law.
If you think I am being frivolous, I am not, it is just that actual law is not something that is real just because lots of people say it is.
This was something with no set law to follow, even though we had been in Iraq several times before over the previous one hundred years, as had others.
In a silly, but factually correct example of how laws need to be in place to be broken, consider this: If I were to shoot my neighbour in the face and kill him, I would be imprisoned for life, as I had broken a long standing law, whereas if an alien appeared with him, and I shot the alien in the face and killed him too, then that would be perfectly legal, as there is no law saying it is wrong!. Maybe after this, it may become illegal to shoot aliens, but until the law is passed, then it cannot be broken. Quite obvious if you bother to think about it.:ok:

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 22:01
SRENNAPS,

No, I'd rather have my friends alive than dead, even more so when they've died for a lie for people that couldn't care less and to line the pockets of the real benefactors who pull the strings.


barnstormer,

I got about 1/4 of the way through you post before the red tape and get out clauses showed you up for being another apologist. The reasons were a lie, the war was illegal but above that, just plain wrong. It's not my opinion, it's a fact.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq war illegal, says Annan (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661134.stm)

barnstormer1968
1st May 2009, 22:10
I am sorry to hear that you know of someone (or several) people who actually died when actively looking for WMD's. I personally did not hear of anyone dying during the search itself. I take it that is what you refer to? As no other troops (that I know personally or otherwise) were in theatre with anything to do with WMD's, but were in Iraq on general policing and rebuilding duties, and clearly enjoying the support of the countries general population.I got about 1/4 of the way through you post before the red tape and get out clauses showed you up for being another apologist. The reasons were a lie, the war was illegal but above that, just plain wrong. It's not my opinion, it's a fact.
http://static.pprune.org/images/statusicon/user_online.gif http://static.pprune.org/images/buttons/report.gif (http://www.pprune.org/report.php?p=4899816) http://static.pprune.org/images/buttons/reply_small.gif (http://www.pprune.org/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=4899816&noquote=1)
I think you will find that I am in no way an apologist. ( I personally know far too many grateful Iraqi's for that). But, I can no longer take you seriously after your "it's a fact" statement.
If it is after all a fact, then do not waste time on this forum, and present your facts to any police station. The police will have to arrest Tony Blair (under the new UK police pledge(don't forget to tell them the EXACT law(s) he broke)), and bob's your uncle...all done and dusted in a few hours (after years of debate).

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 22:13
I am sorry to hear that you know of someone (or several) people who actually died when actively looking for WMD's. I personally did not hear of anyone dying during the search itself. I take it that is what you refer to? As no other troops (that I know personally or otherwise) were in theatre with anything to do with WMD's, but were in Iraq on general policing and rebuilding duties, and clearly enjoying the support of the countries general population.

You've either got the wrong end of the stick or live in an alternative reality, clearly indeed fella.

barnstormer1968
1st May 2009, 22:20
I actually have the right end of the stick.
But was just mocking you.
Feel free to prove me incorrect by telling me just how many thousands of troops you have actually spoken to, whom believe they went for your "lie"
I have not spoken to thousands myself, but certainly hundreds, and am yet to meet one who would subscribe to your theory!

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 22:27
I think you will find that I am in no way an apologist. ( I personally know far too many grateful Iraqi's for that). But, I can no longer take you seriously after your "it's a fact" statement.
If it is after all a fact, then do not waste time on this forum, and present your facts to any police station. The police will have to arrest Tony Blair (under the new UK police pledge(don't forget to tell them the EXACT law(s) he broke)), and bob's your uncle...all done and dusted in a few hours (after years of debate).Grateful Iraqi's, what about the 90,000+ civilians killed and many more maimed?? I'm sure they're chuffed to bits fella.
Even so, that makes it ok to send our troops to fight a war based on a lie??? I think not.

There would have been no UK troops involved if the truth was told, that's why they lied.

If you can't take me seriously, why offer further advice? It seems to me you can't sell your deluded version of events so you'd rather go down the personal belittling path, crack on fella but take it to PM.

Once there's been full public inquiry, I might take you up on the police station offer. But it wouldn't surprise me if certain info is masked behind 'national security' and bliar will squirm his way out of it.

Thelma Viaduct
1st May 2009, 22:32
I actually have the right end of the stick.
But was just mocking you.
Feel free to prove me incorrect by telling me just how many thousands of troops you have actually spoken to, whom believe they went for your "lie"
I have not spoken to thousands myself, but certainly hundreds, and am yet to meet one who would subscribe to your theory!I'm not sure the mods take too lightly to mocking, be careful. :ok:

It's hard to see the outside of the nut from the inside.
Adolf Hitler had millions of followers, that didn't make him right did it.

You really don't seem capable of following a simple point.
It's not "my" lie, it's blair's lie.

GPMG,

Out of respect for those that have died, that's myself done. RIP

GPMG
1st May 2009, 22:37
Gentlemen, I think there may be some beer / emotions talking in this quite heated debate.
Yesterday was a significant date for many of you, would it not be best to let the dust to settle a little, before making judgement?

Wrathmonk
1st May 2009, 22:41
Until someone is able/willing to answer SRENNAPS question then surely the mission in Iraq hasn't ended. It'll just get the same amount of headlines as it did from 91 - 03. Nil. Boys just getting on with the job they are directed to do by the leaders of the time.

In terms of this thread - it would be a whole lot more fun if it was moved to Jet Blast. Too much PC on this board!:E

soddim
1st May 2009, 23:06
This thread is not meant to be fun - if we cannot debate isuues like this with civility we should not call ourselves civilised adults.

flash8
2nd May 2009, 00:24
1) The war was illegal, before & after the event.

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war.

3) British troops have died for a lie.

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now.

7) You'll never get thanked for it.

8) It will happen again.


Couldn't have put it better myself. So true.

parabellum
2nd May 2009, 00:29
Pious Pilot - you are keen on facts, so here are a few for you that have been posted here many times before, maybe you missed them?

The UN approved the war against Iraq and the war commenced in January, 1991. a few months later, at Iraq's request, a conditional cease fire was signed .

Ten years later, none of the conditions of the cease fire had been met by Iraq and hostilities resumed, same war, OK?

GWB went to the UN as a courtesy, he already had their mandate since 1991. Bush was, at the time, unaware that Russia, China and France were deeply 'in bed' with Iraq and had breached the sanctions consistently over a period of years, hence their resistance in the security council to the resumption of hostilities.

Had the war with Iraq been illegal then lawyers would be queueing up from here to Tokyo to file their cases. Please don't besmirch the name of all the allied forces by suggesting they were engaged in something illegal, they were most definitely not.

TheInquisitor
2nd May 2009, 06:15
Parabellum - "Delta-Hotel" chap.

The mandate given in 1991, containing the magic phrase "All Necessary Means", never expired - there was no time limit placed on it when it was passed. If the ceasefire conditions were not met (which they weren't), hostilities could have resumed at any time. Hence the war was "legal".

The attorney general was not, I believe, forced to change his advice - the first draft of his advice (if this indeed existed) was just plain wrong, for the reasons given above.

Odd, isn't it, how it's only raving Lefty fantasists that believe in some all-pervading concept of "International Law" - such a canon simply does not exist. The UN does not make "Laws", it regulates Treaties. A Treaty is an agreement between several parties; a law is something that imposes itself upon you without requiring your consent or agreement. Parties to a treaty can withdraw from that treaty at any time; you cannot "withdraw' from a law.

A treaty may require a signatory state to prosecute those who transgress treaty articles, or hand them over for prosecution to a supra-national body; but since recognition of that supra-national body requires the agreement of said signatory in the first place, and the signatory can choose to withdraw at any time, the treaty itself cannot be regarded as a "law". Hence the statement above:
No war is legal or illegal
is, in fact, true. What is 'allowed' and 'not allowed' is largely decided on the hoof by the UN security council, which as we have plainly seen, can be trounced completely by one veto-wielding member that has commercial interests at stake.

Some speak about Iraq being an 'Immoral' war. By whose standards, exactly? Who gets to decide what is 'Immoral' and what isn't? Certainly not the UN! Is it not 'Immoral' to threaten to veto an action that a majority of members consider necessary, simply because you stand to lose out on lucrative, sanction-busting deals (China, Russia, France, anyone?) that certainly were "illegal" (under the terms imposed by the UNSC itself)? Where is your moral outrage at these "illegal" acts?

It's also odd that its always the self-same Leftists who regard everything done by democratic western governments with suspicion (especially if they're not the 'progressive-thinking' type of Govt they espouse), yet quite happily swallow wholesale any piece of Arab propaganda that surfaces.

phil gollin
2nd May 2009, 07:43
On the original post - there are two glaring errors (or possibly being generous poor interpretations).

1: The reason the British withdrew from Basra in September 2007 was that the Iraqi central Government AND Coalition leadership (i.e. the US) wanted to defuse the situation where the British forces were standing up to the corrupt Basran police, etc.... (remember the attack on the police compound where Challenger tanks flattened the walls ?). This was done because the local elections had resulted in a separtist provincial government and the central government AND Coalition decided to appease them rather than impose law. It is laughable for the Iraqi or US governments to blame the British for following orders.

----------------

2: The Idea that "the charge of the knoights" in March 2008 was a success covers a strange event and a re-writing of history. What happened was that the Iraqi government attacked and were rebuffed by the insurgents (along with lots of US and British criticism of poor planning, co-ordination and implementation). Something strange then happened - the insurgents then "disappeared". A few days later the Iraqi army attacked again, this time against minimal opposition.

In the PR type history of Iraq trotted out regularly no one remembers the first fiasco, merely the second "glorious" attack and no one explains what happened to the insurgents. To a certain extent it doesn't matter (did they run away - where to ? Did they get bribed to stay quiet - how ? what ?)

What does matter is what happens when the US pulls out.

-----------------

As long as the PR version of "history" is accepted as the truth then one might as well read a novel rather than make sense of what is happening.

.

AllTrimDoubt
2nd May 2009, 08:02
What's your take on the Tudors then, Soddim?

See if you can trawl on that one.

Or get a life.

phil gollin
2nd May 2009, 08:03
As far as to whether the war was "legal" or "illegal" then the British position is easy.

The British (and Americans) signed up to the UN charter (in fact they were the main parties who drew it up) and that says that "aggressive" war is illegal. "Regime Change" as a reason for war is regarded as "aggressive".

The British (and US) therefore needed to demonstrate to themselves that the war was not "aggressive" (i.e. "regime Change" was not the reason for the war).

The British put more open effort into hiding behind a legal opinion that the threat that Saddam posed was a legally acceptable reason for war. They carefully minimised the anti regime rhetoric and kept carping on about the "dossier" that showed the threat. It was rather obvious at the time that Blair and co were rather embarrassed by the less circumspect statements from the US.

The problem with the British legal opinion falls into several categories (and I am NO expert so maybe other sources would be better than me) ;

a: An original opinion was basically against an invasion.

b: The second document (which was the legal reason quoted by Blair, etc...) has not been published in full, and more importantly the background to it, including any instructions or guidance from the government, hasn't been published. (This is important as the basis/instrctions could be vital, e.g. Blair MIGHT repeat MIGHT have said, "give me your legal opinion on the basis that the ddossier is 100% accurate" - who knows ?)

c: As ever a single legal opinion is only an opinion. Strictly speaking it should be tried by judgement in front of a suitable court. One Barrister might have one opinion, another another. One can assume that the opinion given was relatively honest given the conditions under which it was prepared (see above) but that does not mean it was correct.

d: In retrospect, the dossier was shown to be overblown and incorrect so that the legal opinion and decision to go to war was "wrong".

e: It is a question of whether the government knew of the dossier's inaccuracies. If they did then, as far as the British are concerned, the war was wrong and illegal. It would also have been wrong, and illegal, if the legal opinion had been obtained incorrectly.

f: All this ignores, of course, the huge public outcry over the lead-up to the war, the huge anti-war movement and such other travesties as the David Kelly affair.

-------------------


Until the full story of the dossier and legal opinion are released (i.e. never) one cannot ever get a proper view unless Blair (or someonelse "in the know") tells their real story.

.
.

Wrathmonk
2nd May 2009, 08:25
This thread is not meant to be fun

Perhaps - just believe it would be better debated in a forum where the hotel lobby rules are, shall we say, a little bit more downmarket.:ok:

However, posting this thread in this forum, IMHO, borders on distasteful. You and Pious give the impression that all those in the military are little more than Blair and Bush's puppets. I'm sure many of those in the military would love to use hindsight but they can't. We don't have that luxury. Other posters have hit the nail on the head - if Saddam had played by the international rules then maybe all this wouldn't have happened.

The UK military is not a conscripted force. We have choices. If we don't like what our political masters are doing then we leave.

So lets hear your views on 'The Trouble'. 30 years of military occupation or a succesful COIN operation....?

Rigger1
2nd May 2009, 09:27
"He was not a dictator who invaded another country for gain. He invaded a country in the belief that he would make the world a better place"

Sorry for the late entry into this debate but this comment is unbelievable.

So any leader can just invade another country if they feel it will make the world a better place... God help us if anyone in power thinks like that, o bugger .... they do!

This must not be allowed to happen again and Blair et al' should be on trial for the lies they haev told.

collbar
2nd May 2009, 09:32
One of the main reasons our troops moved from berets in the street, to being holed up in Basra was because the British Government refused to cough up the cash for a sucessfull conclusion to the whole affair.
Within weeks of the invasion/occupation, a huge proportion of the troops required to enforce some kind of law and order were retured to the UK. Simply we didnt have the troops for the job that Blair had voluntered us for.
Broone then thought the job was done!! he wouldnt pay for the uk forces, policing and reconstruction required once the headlines had pronounced "Mission Acoplished".
Result: Not enough Troops on the ground. Not enough money and no policy.
The British approach would have worked had the MOD had the same support from No 10 to get out of IRAQ that got us in there to begin with.:ugh:

For Helmand read above!

nigegilb
2nd May 2009, 10:06
Couldn't agree more collbar. Again Brown has scuppered the Op in Afg by refusing to go along with requests from Sec Def and Chiefs of Staff. The unbelievable efforts/sacrficices on the ground by Brit Mil will largely be forgotten by the time US Forces move in to Helmand and "sort out" the mess left behind by the Brits.

Big lesson. Don't fight wars you can't afford to see through to the end.

Don't fight a war on two fronts.

Pretty obvious really.

MoD has been left with no cash, huge pressure to chop A400M, FRES, Third tranche Typhoon. Manning issues and Lord knows how many damaged people.

British moral authority lost forever in large parts of the world.

One glimmer of hope, is Iraq itself. It has a real chance now. Not sure if it was worth the huge death toll, but something good might still come of all this.

BEagle
2nd May 2009, 10:47
Just a question,

Did we win?

brickhistory
2nd May 2009, 10:58
Just a question,

Did we win?


Interesting that you ask this.

As I was contributing carbon to the environment last evening cutting the lawn at Rancho Brick, I was asking the same question: Will history call the Iraq War a win for the Coalition?

Finally, I came to the conclusion that if you leave the field on your terms with the concurrence of the newly elected government in the country thus fought in, then, yes, it's a win.

Whether it was worth it or not is an entirely separate question.

Yeoman_dai
2nd May 2009, 11:17
Collbar, nigegilb spot on!

Inquisitor, the same!

There is no such thing as international LAW, as there is no organisation higher than a states government with the capability of controlling and forcing their views on any given state. Therefore, it is not Law.

The Nation State is the most powerful institution on earth, and are therefore not tied to a particular set of rules - following UN Resolutions, or Treaties, are merely courtesy - as, for example we see with the Chinese, Russians, French et al flouting the restrictions on trade with Iraq, or the myriad of other actiosn states have taken. SO how on earth is a war 'illegal' - seems like someone has read too many copies of the Guardian? :}


As a second point, how can anyone possibly say that desposing a cruel and vicious government is a bad thing - it's that sort of thinking that resulted in allowing the 100 days in Rwanda, or the Kosovars to die in the 90's.... sometimes, it is our moral obligation as humans to stand in for the weak and the helpless, and defend those that cannot defend themselves - surely that is what being in the military s all about, and personally, as a soldier, I would have no problems doing that, regardless of who the sufferers were...even the French!! ;)


Disclaimer: I actually quite like the French.

TEEEJ
2nd May 2009, 15:08
Olive oil wrote

Apart from keeping out of the way of the US air arms while they go about their business, what have the Op Telic Tornados been doing during the past five years?

Close air support and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance duties.

RAF Operational Update - Tornado GR4 Detachment (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafoperationalupdate/insiderreport/tornadogr4detachment.cfm)

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Military Operations | 'Dambusters' complete Op Telic tour of duty (http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/defencenews/militaryoperations/dambusterscompleteoptelictourofduty.htm)

RAF - News by Date (http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive.cfm?storyid=1CDE16D3-1143-EC82-2E7D6CF26823945C)

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Military Operations | RAF jets save life of top Iraqi Police Commander (http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/RafJetsSaveLifeOfTopIraqiPoliceCommander.htm)

RAF Marham - IX (B) Squadron Op TELIC Update - January 2009 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafmarham/aboutus/9sqntelicjan09update.cfm)

TJ

nigegilb
2nd May 2009, 15:11
Interesting post about whether there really is such a thing as an illegal war.

I believe there is such a thing. UK Chiefs of Staff on the eve of the Iraqi Invasion sought legal advice on this very point. Hence the page and a half of thumbs up from the Attorney General based on the dodgy 45 minute WMD threat.

In the desperate search for international legal justification, Blair sowed the seeds for his own destruction. If he had used the moral argument to remove Saddam, I doubt the Attorney General COULD have given the legal thumbs up. UK Chiefs were worried about a subsequent appearance in front of the war crimes tribunal. Not something Bush was concerned with. Might explain the different emphasis given in the US and UK for the invasion.

Blair will forever be associated with an "illegal" war. He might have received more sympathy with the British people if he had been more honest. But more honesty might have ended up with him being dragged before the Hague.

That said, when did a "victor" ever appear before a war crimes tribunal?

Probably the biggest hurdle of all is the deliberate blurring and opacity of wording in international conventions. I suspect the victor will continue to evade ANY legal pursuit. I suggest Blair moves permanently to the States, because I doubt the British people will ever forgive him.

I have the utmost respect for anyone who served in Iraq. Very few people supported the invasion/occupation, must have been difficult at times to risk one's life for a cause that no-one at home really cared about.

Time for a Guardian quote :}

"On the eve of war, Tony Blair told parliament that, while there would be civilian casualties, Saddam Hussein would be "responsible for many more deaths even in one year than we will be in any conflict". Amnesty International estimated annual deaths linked to political repression in Iraq at that time to be in the low hundreds - many more were dying from the impact of western-sponsored sanctions. In the five years since, civilian deaths are estimated at anywhere between 150,000 (the figure accepted by the Iraqi government) and a million-plus, with the Lancet's estimate of 600,000 violent deaths in the first three years alone having held up as the most rigorous. After five years of occupation, Iraq is ranked as the most violent and dangerous place in the world by an Economist Intelligence Unit index. Two million refugees have fled the country as a result, while a further 2 million have been driven from their homes inside Iraq. This has become the greatest humanitarian crisis on the planet.
In the western world, far from the scene of the unfolding catastrophe, such suffering has been somehow normalised as a kind of background noise. But the impact on the aggressor states, both at home and abroad, has only begun to be felt: not only in the predicted terrorist blowback finally acknowledged by Tony Blair last year, but in a profound domestic political alienation, as well as a loss of standing and credibility across the globe. How can anyone take seriously, for example, US or British leaders lecturing China about Tibet, Russia about Chechnya, or Sudan about Darfur, when they have triggered and presided over such an orgy of killing, collective punishment, prisoner abuse and ethnic cleansing?

Given that the invasion of Iraq was regarded as illegal by the majority of the UN security council, its secretary general, and the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion, it must by the same token be seen as a war crime: what the Nuremberg tribunal deemed the "supreme international crime" of aggression. If it weren't for the fact that there is not the remotest prospect of any mechanism to apply international law to powerful states, Bush and Blair would be in the dock at the Hague. As it is, the only Briton to be found guilty of a war crime in Iraq has been corporal Donald Payne, convicted of inhumane treatment of detainees in Basra - while the man who sent him there is preposterously touted as a future president of the European Union.

Those who insist that the immolation of Iraq was the consequence of errors in the execution of an otherwise defensible policy are simply evading their own responsibility and culpability. The likelihood of a bloody quagmire was widely foreseen before the attack. The failure to do so by those who launched the aggression reflects a blindly arrogant refusal to accept that people are bound to resist foreign occupation, however much they detest their own government - particularly in a region that has already been subject to decades of destructive western intervention and exploitation."

soddim
2nd May 2009, 16:51
You are entitled to your opinion, Wrathmonk, but to describe posting the Arab News editorial as distasteful is an offensive comment. If you or anybody else is so disinterested in the perception of the most powerful neighbouring Arab state and one of our major military customers, I suggest you do what the rest of the ostriches do in the desert.

AllTrimDoubt- Thankyou, I have a life already and I am interested in living it in a country that does not rush into an uneccessary and pointless war ever again. I know lots of Tudors but none of them has anything to do with Iraq.

If anybody else wants a pop at me, just remember that the perception of others is an important consideration and that our British opinion might be just as biased as anybody else.

OFSO
2nd May 2009, 17:39
Will history call the Iraq War a win for the Coalition?

In Blair's memoirs, yes.

In Bush's memoirs, yes.

So that's two....................

TheInquisitor
2nd May 2009, 17:50
Nige, whilst I don't doubt the sincerity of your convictions on this (or anything else), I have to respectfully disagree. All the 'legal' opinion in the world cannot erase the fact that a mandate, agreed to by the UNSC, already existed for military action against Iraq.

It is usually the case with international matters that so-called 'legal' opinions are nothing more than 'political' opinions...in any case, they are simply that, opinions - especially when there exists a resolution in writing that says exactly the opposite.

I'm not sure which is worse; the Arab news article or that god-awful Guardian diatribe!

Roger Sofarover
2nd May 2009, 18:01
I fail to see why people are having a go at Soddim for posting a published article.

For all of you going on about UN resolutions not being law and there is no such thing as International law.............YOU ARE WRONG!

There is such a thing as International Law. UN Resolutions can be binding or non binding. Resolution issued under Ch VII are binding and enforceable and are law. Other resolutions issued outside Ch VII are considered non binding. That will be those resolutions being flaunted by the Chinese and French Yeoman_dai.


For those questioning the legality of the war I suggest you read this. This was the advice given by Goldsmith before he was coerced into giving a thumbs up.

British Attorney General's Advice to Blair on Legality of Iraq War - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum (http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/document/2003/0307advice.htm)

A (now released) secret document from the British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. In his legal advice to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the legality of the Iraq war, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith describes regime change in Iraq as a disproportionate response to Saddam Hussein's alleged failure to disarm, illegal in the eyes of international law. Goldsmith stresses that in terms of legality, "regime change cannot be the objective of military action."

Mr Fish

are the population still being tortured with power drills and mains voltage
just for opening their mouths to the wrong people?
is there still a risk of being gassed if you belong to a "minority"?
sure, no fanfare and tickertape parade,
maybe in a few years, a strong and stable iraq will take her place in the
"civilized" world.
that seems like a victory to me.Read this

MP Says Iraq Holds Thousands in Secret Prisons - Iraq - Global Policy Forum (http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/law/2008/1031iraqholdsthousands.htm)
Excerpt

Al-Dainy believes 26,000 people are currently detained in Iraq by US forces. On top of this, 40,000 people are being held in 37 official government-controlled prisons, but the MP believes this is only "one quarter of the total number being held" in Iraq (That will be a quarter of a million then). "In one secret prison I visited, hundreds of prisoners were crammed into each of the six rooms," he recounted. "There are all kinds of people, men, women and children – in one prison there was 23 minors." In Al-Dainy's disturbing video footage, several detainees recount their torture at the hands of police commandos: nails ripped out, burns, beatings and rape. "They forced us to talk by raping us," said one man, who claimed to be an imam. "The reason he confessed was to save his family who were brought before him. He was told to choose between either confessing to murder or seeing his family raped. Despite the fact he confessed, he himself was raped twice," said Al-Dainy.Have we made it a better place?

Futhermore, some people on this thread have written crass statements that are ill-thought out and then try and justify them and deflect flak with comments like i'm sure i'm not alone when i say "TO THE FALLEN, WE SALUTE YOU"http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/thumbs.gif. I particularly like the use of the jolly old thumbs up character..NOT!

Everybody lets try and get one thing straight. The jobs that our military have been sent to do have been conducted by the armed forces personnel with total loyalty. Arguing over the legality and sense of the war is nothing to do with being non-supportive of the military personnel doing their jobs and dying in the process. Those soldiers who have died and been badly injured were put in harms way by lying, corrupt politicians, who saw the opportunity for war in Iraq to suit their own personal private goals, absolutely nothing else. 99.99% of the people on this forum support our military personnel. I do not think that quite the same percentage would support the politicians who made the decision. You are all trying to qualify for your PhD in hindsight, "oh but he was a terrible dictator', well so is Mugabe. The reason for going to war was WMDs, Bush and Blair changed their tune a couple of years later when it was evident they were lying.

Inquisitor

fact that a mandate, agreed to by the UNSC, already existed for military action against Iraq. That mandate was based on the FACT that Iraq must not pursue the production of WMD.

Wrathmonk
2nd May 2009, 19:36
Soddim

Point noted and I guess we'll have to agree to differ. Nothing personal just thought posting the article in the mil forum was a deliberate attempt to be provocative - if nothing else the thread title did that on its own. I would feel the same if someone posted a pro-IRA newspaper leader saying that the military intervention there had left Northern Ireland a worse place (again, everyone will hold a view and I don't wish to start down that line!). Its opinion and if we all agreed and found everything tasteful the internet would be rather dull.

Right place for it now though. Again IMHO.:ok:

W

Brewster Buffalo
2nd May 2009, 19:51
Will history call the Iraq War a win for the Coalition?

In Blair's memoirs, yes.

In Bush's memoirs, yes.

So that's two....................so just like Winston Churchill who said -

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

glad rag
2nd May 2009, 20:34
British moral authority lost forever in large parts of the world.

Think you'll find the Arabs learnt the hard way in Aden just how much the British Governments word was worth.............:(

TheInquisitor
2nd May 2009, 21:10
Roger,

That mandate was based on the FACT that Iraq must not pursue the production of WMD.

That mandate (From UNSC Resolution 687) was based on ALOT of things - not least of which was:

8. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:

(a) All chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;

(b) All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities;
(my bold)

Iraq failed to comply with that, by refusing to allow inspectors to go where they wished and finally ejecting them from the country, and many other stipulations in 687. The ceasefire allowed for by 687 was therefore null and void, and "all necessary means", authorised by UNSC Resolution 678 could "legally" be resumed at any time. Wording of 678:
2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;
(again, my bold)

Bottom line: The authorisation of force was open-ended; Iraq did not comply with 687; The ceasfire was contingent on Iraq's compliance, not just with 687 but also with "all subsequent relevant resolutions". It's there, in black and white. No lawyer's 'opinion', not even Kofi Annan's, can change what is set out clearly in writing! THE WAR WAS "LEGAL" - GET OVER IT.

Don't just take my word for it - read for yourself: Resolution 687 (http://www.fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/sres0687.htm) and Resolution 678 (http://www.fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/sres0678.htm)

Resolution issued under Ch VII are binding and enforceable and are law. Other resolutions issued outside Ch VII are considered non binding. That will be those resolutions being flaunted by the Chinese and French Yeoman_dai.
Point of order, me old - 687 ALSO contained prohibitions on ALL member states selling arms etc to Iraq. 687 was made under ChVII. So no get-outs for your communist friends, I'm afraid.

Resolution issued under Ch VII are binding and enforceable
They are not binding and enforceable when you can simply withdraw from the treaty - therefore they are NOT 'law'.

Thelma Viaduct
2nd May 2009, 22:58
There is no such thing as international LAW, as there is no organisation higher than a states government with the capability of controlling and forcing their views on any given state. Therefore, it is not Law.Not true.

European law takes precedent over British law for starters.

The rest of your ideology is just plain wrong too, IMHO.

Lawyers squirming in & out of loopholes doesn't make the action any less legal/illegal.

Pedantic to$$ers:

The fecker blair lied about the reasons for sending the troops to war, whether that fits the definition of legal/illegal is immaterial and i couldn't actually give a flying as a term is irrelevant.
It's the worst possible crime a PM can make, therefore it's plainly wrong and the smug [email protected] should rot in jail for it.

brickhistory
2nd May 2009, 23:01
European law takes precedent over British law for starters.



And you guys agreed to this arrangement?

UFB.

CR2
2nd May 2009, 23:36
I should clarify... it takes precedence on certain issues. Unless we disagree, then they get told to shove it.

A classic instance was British market traders wanting to continue to sell their apples and oranges in Lbs, dozens etc. L'Europe said NON, you must sell zem in ze KILO. Years of protests and lawsuit threats, and finally L'Europe said "ok, do what you want, damned Brits"

So in essence, European law is as valid as international law... a waste of time. Europe is an agreement and that should never be forgotten. It is not the US of E, and as it fragments more, it never will be.

That said, it is nice to see the new French playing along more or less nicely :ok:

Thelma Viaduct
2nd May 2009, 23:56
I should clarify... it takes precedence on certain issues. Unless we disagree, then they get told to shove it. More misinformation.

80% of our laws (certain issues, yeah right o :})are now made in Brussels, and Parliament has no power to reject or amend them.

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 00:01
And you guys agreed to this arrangement?

UFB.

I wouldn't be so smug fella.

Each newborn in the US&A will owe the state $2million.

Where's your famous freedom gone?

non iron
3rd May 2009, 00:04
BEagle. fecked if l know.

The Sunday Times best seller " The Circuit " by Bob Shepherd is the only nonpartisan report l`ve come across. ( l got my copy in Tesco with change from four quid ).

Did we win the last time in the twenties ? Well, .... no.
Or the time before ? Well,... no.

Would l be right in thinking that 120,000 Russians hightailed it out with their arses on fire ? Well, .... yes.

Blair should be up on criminal charges. Will it happen ? .......... er no.

CR2
3rd May 2009, 00:11
Brussels just needs a good handbagging again.... Ooops, sorry, socialists in charge of the USSUK these days :hmm:

flash8
3rd May 2009, 00:16
Did we win?

Actually just asking the question implies the answer does it not?

Once all the Coalition troops leave the country, will be ravaged in Civil War for decades to come, it will remain, imho, one of the worlds most dangerous countries for a long time. It may be the Puppet Government falls pretty quickly after local Coalition military support disappears. These people stab each other in the back as a way of life.

Millions will die through malnutrition, violence and lack of medical care. Any "help" (in monetary terms) from the West will be siphoned off into the pockets of whatever clan is in power at that particular moment.

Its a mess. And pretending its anything else is delusional. Period.

We f*ck*d up. Not our lads and lassies (who undoubtedly did their best in what I imagine were pretty dire circumstances - having operated in theatre myself I had to change my underpants pretty often) but the NuLabor Government who still are in total denial. About the only people in the UK that are.

con-pilot
3rd May 2009, 00:16
Each newborn in the US&A will owe the state $2million.

Where's your famous freedom gone?

Err, just which state would that be? :E

Where's your famous freedom gone?

And this comes from someone who lives in a country that has more CCTVs than any other on earth, including North Korea. :p

CR2
3rd May 2009, 00:25
The State with a capital S being the rough equivalent of the Federal Govt. You need to read the socialist dictionary; you'll find Communism as an explanation for Democracy (and before anyone starts, CR2 has been to both the USSR and today's Russia) Doesn't really matter, 'coz Gordon Stalin has already taxed the next 10 unborn generations.

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 00:30
Brussels just needs a good handbagging again.... Ooops, sorry, socialists in charge of the USSUK these daysnulabour are the cons in drag, they wouldn't know socialism if it hit them in the face.

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 00:37
Err, just which state would that be? http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif

And this comes from someone who lives in a country that has more CCTVs than any other on earth, including North Korea. http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/tongue.gif

Who's in charge of your federal reserve ?

I'll give you 3 clues:

1) Q
2) E
3) 2

Your country's on loan fella. :ok:

I'm not sure there's much need for CCTV in the forests of North Korea, but I may be wrong. :}

con-pilot
3rd May 2009, 00:40
Doesn't really matter, 'coz Gordon Stalin has already taxed the next 10 unborn generations.


Yeah, sadly it looks like both the UK and the US Governments are doing their best to send us both into national bankruptcy. Welcome to the new liberal world. :uhoh:

Of course there some people here that are happy about this.

con-pilot
3rd May 2009, 00:45
Your country's on loan fella.

Using your logic, one could say you have already sold out your country, to the EU. :}

CR2
3rd May 2009, 00:47
PP, you may be right. I was 6 years old when my parents decided to get out of Dodge (Ok Newcastle :-) ), it was 1974.. 3 day week, Heath, Calaghan, unions in charge of everything, garbage lying around the streets, everyone including the dog on strike, thinking they were French. I went back 78-80 to school, thought Mrs T was the greatest, and damnit I still do, miners strike, steel strike et al. Britain and the Brits needed a damned good dose of reality and we got it.

Spent most of the rest of my time on "the continent" with brief trips back to the UK, spent about a year there aged 16-17 and another aged 19. I got more and more disillusioned with the place. Throughout my career, I only flew to the UK if there was no other option (I was assigning the Loadmasters to flights :-) ) As my profile says, I am now 40, soon 41, living in the US for close on 3 years. Is it perfect here? No. Nowhere is. But... I like it. Its different, but it is not bad. It never entered my head to return to England; the last time I was up in Newcastle was 1989 and since then I've been over perhaps 4-5 times, for not longer than 2 nights each time, day trips when possible.

I once heard that the UK is a great place to come from but a sh*t place to be. Pretty much sums it up for me. I'll have the option to change my nationality to Rebel.. I might just do that :E

Sorry, rambling again, been doing it all evening :suspect:

brickhistory
3rd May 2009, 00:49
Who's in charge of your federal reserve ?

I'll give you 3 clues:

1) Q
2) E
3) 2



Like so many things, you missed this as well.

The 3 clues are:

1) P
2) R
3) C

Our tune will have a decided Mao-ist twang to it.

con-pilot
3rd May 2009, 00:54
Sorry, rambling again, been doing it all evening

Now don't apologize, rambling is a qualification for US citizenship. :ok:


If you want US citizenship that is. :\

CR2
3rd May 2009, 01:00
In all probability ConP, yeah... I'm tired of having a pink passport, the dark blue looks much better :}

Seriously debating heading down to Alabama though, the NE is starting to really displease me. (Can't say piss me off, Flappy'll spank me).

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 01:05
brick,

Will you make me a numbered list of the things I've supposedly missed?

You can even colour it like the srennaps fella did for me earlier if you like.

Thanks

btw, I & K were missing :ok:

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 01:14
CR2,

The UK is 'run' by robbing knobbers for gullible knobbers, you're missing nothing, apart from good beer.

I don't blame you and fancy it myself, Canada or Oz........I think I'd rather live in Blackpool than move to the US&A though. :}:}:}

CR2
3rd May 2009, 01:23
Um... beer. Hmm. I'm vastly experienced in that department. So lets get it straight. Anglo-Saxons (ie both sides of the pond) have NO FCUKING clue about beer. Neither do the French or Italians, but at least they make decent wine, so they're excused. Brit beer is disgusting piss. So is the majority of US beer. These are non-negotiable facts. If you want proper beer, Germany is the only place to get it, specifically the Munich area. Now, believe it or not, the Mexicans for some reason know how to make beer too, and I'm not talking about the Corona that springs to everyone's mind... Dos Equis (Two XX) is great stuff.

I love Guinness too, but thats a slightly different kettle of fish.

Don't anyone bother telling me how good Sam Adams is... It's better than Budpiss, but still crap.

:}

Hope I've insulted everyone now.

non iron
3rd May 2009, 01:26
Cr2,
the problem is the heavy glass ashtrays are not available now for handbag weighting, is that why they did it ?

Also, given that the Germans can manage lager it is left to the Brits to produce beer. Mmmmbeermmmh.

Despite the lefties efforts;

6x,Pedigree,anything from Theakstones - mmmmrigweltermmm - and Blacksheep, no surprise why the poles hung around in the forties there one suspects.
Off thread and apologies :)

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 01:29
Bishops Finger real ale, the best thing to come from the south since erm........................some southern pr1ck in a suit that can't pronounce castle.

brickhistory
3rd May 2009, 01:34
PP:

Will you make me a numbered list of the things I've supposedly missed?


Let's start with #1:

The fecker blair lied about the reasons for sending the troops to war, whether that fits the definition of legal/illegal is immaterial and i couldn't actually give a flying as a term is irrelevant.
It's the worst possible crime a PM can make, therefore it's plainly wrong and the smug [email protected] should rot in jail for it.

I would submit that it is highly relevant if an action or decision is legal or not. You may disagree with the policy of your then PM, but throwing him in jail because of that disagreement would seem a mistake.

As a subset, I would submit that the worst possible crime a PM can 'make' would be child abuse. Or treason. Or any number of other specific actions that an individual makes. But as it was your government that made the decision, did he 'make' the decision on his own? Is a decision a crime?

TheInquisitor
3rd May 2009, 01:54
80% of our laws (certain issues, yeah right o )are now made in Brussels, and Parliament has no power to reject or amend them.
Pious, you are, once again, dead wrong. Brussels can only make laws that apply to the UK because we allow them to. Nation States still retain ALL sovereignty, even in the almighty EU (one of the reasons the proposed EU constitution was still-born was that it proposed PERMANENTLY removing this sovereignty from nation states). Like so-called 'International Law', we can withdraw from it at any time we choose. Hence the statement:
There is no such thing as international LAW, as there is no organisation higher than a states government with the capability of controlling and forcing their views on any given state. Therefore, it is not Law.
...is logically correct, if a little clumsily worded.

Consider this example: Country A and B are both members of the UN. Country A wants to invade Country B to, basically, depose the Govt, run Country B itself and benefit from it's resources. Country B has made no threats or aggressive moves towards A. Country A therefore has, as a UN member, no 'legal' basis to invade B. However, before taking ANY action, Country A unilaterally withdraws from membership of the UN, and rescinds all international treaties it has ever signed up to. Country A then invades B.

Now, explain to me EXACTLY what 'international law' country A has broken here? The answer....NONE, because as a non-member, none of the UN's charters or treaties apply to it anymore. That is not to say that the international community cannot choose to act against Country A - but it must CHOOSE to act, by agreement.

Pious, if you are going to make such bold statements, old chap, it's probably best you educate yourself first and get your facts correct. It's all very well expressing an opinion, but an opinion supported by untrue 'facts' is worthless.

Read this

MP Says Iraq Holds Thousands in Secret Prisons - Iraq - Global Policy Forum
Excerpt
Roger, I have read Goldsmith's letter thoroughly, and NOWHERE does he express the opinion that military action against Iraq would be 'illegal'. In fact, he states quite the opposite. His advice concludes, however, that the SAFEST course of action would be to obtain a second resolution expressly authorising resumption of hostilities. This is impossible to argue against, since that would ALWAYS be the safest course of action - a bit like saying never getting in a car would be the safest way to avoid a car crash!

He puts forward both sides of the argument, then chooses the safest side to come down on - that's hardly saying that military action would be 'illegal', is it? More like career-minded, woolly-thinking, arse covering!

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 02:07
The Inquisitor, I suggest you get the facts before you make more untruths old chap.

The statement was made that "no organisation higher than a states government with the capability of controlling and forcing their views on any given state. Therefore, it is not Law."

Untrue.

EU law takes precedence over English law, FACT.

It was stated that the EU makes few laws.

Untrue again, they make the vast majority of law that affects UK citizens, FACT.

non iron
3rd May 2009, 02:07
lf it leads a whole nation into a war that wasn`t justified, yes.

What l don`t see lamented is the mother of modern democracy being reduced to the status of a banana republic and a target for wrongs.

Blair did that as well.

The body bags are a sore on our conscience, the street corner louts running Britain should be in the dock.

Out of sequence after looking up "conscience" for spelling.

Sorry guys.

TheInquisitor
3rd May 2009, 02:19
The statement was made that "no organisation higher than a states government with the capability of controlling and forcing their views on any given state. Therefore, it is not Law."

Untrue.
You are expressing an opinion. Try backing it up with some referenced facts, as I have with my opinions.

EU law takes precedence over English law, FACT.
Yes it does - but only because the UK Govt allows it to, by treaty signature, a treaty we can withdraw from at any time. And if we chose to completely ignore EU 'law', there is absolutely NOTHING the EU could do about it, which IMO, means it is not 'law'. What part of that do you have difficulty understanding?

It was stated that the EU makes few laws.
Not by me it wasn't.

Untrue again, they make the vast majority of law that affects UK citizens, FACT.
I did not contest this statement - I genuinely don't know if this is true or not, I haven't researched this in any great detail. I contested your assertion that there is nothing that the UK parliament can do about it, which is untrue - see above.

CR2
3rd May 2009, 02:40
PP, if there ever would be a US of Europe, you'd be right. In the meantime, Euro law prevails BECAUSE various NATIONS ALLOW it. They can just as easily revoke that. It makes sense for certain things; no nation allows us to piss in our neighbor's beer glass, so we could have a pan-european law on all statue books reflecting that. I know that is simplistic, but not everything has to be complicated.
Not even US laws are homoglneous. Different States have different driving /marriage ages. Keep telling daughters to go to Louisiana, apparently can be shot of 'em at 14 :-)

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 02:49
I've shown you on 2 occasions where your opinion is wrong, I can't make it any simpler for you son.

Referenced facts??? where??

If anyone thinks that sending troops to war on the basis of a lie is fine, they need ten bales kicking out of them, you obviously think it's fine.

Those same people are in contempt of all who have died and serve in the armed forces. Anyone defending blair should be ashamed of themselves, his apologists are as low that piece of scum.

No man/woman should have to die for a 'man's' ego driven legacy.

When you sign on the dotted line, it's on the logical assumption you'll be sent to battle for sound reasons, not blatant lies.

Britain has a 'duty of care' to its armed forces, be it legal or otherwise.

You're a case in point as to why I'd not sign that dotted line again.
I wouldn't lay down my life for your beliefs, I'd rather see them taken away from you.

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 03:02
PP, if there ever would be a US of Europe, you'd be right. In the meantime, Euro law prevails BECAUSE various NATIONS ALLOW it. They can just as easily revoke that. It makes sense for certain things; no nation allows us to piss in our neighbor's beer glass, so we could have a pan-european law on all statue books reflecting that. I know that is simplistic, but not everything has to be complicated.
Not even US laws are homoglneous. Different States have different driving /marriage ages. Keep telling daughters to go to Louisiana, apparently can be shot of 'em at 14 :-)How can you base decisions on flaky what ifs?

The fact remains the country is under those conditions, whether it's allowed or not is irrelevant and another red herring from the fella who can't/wont follow a simple thread. The country can't be untangled from the EU, it's now too far engrained in the whole way our, I mean their country is run. Something simple like how often our bins are emptied is from an EU directive, we live by EU law on a day to day basis.


You can't jump in & out to suit a point of view, we're in it, end of.

CR2
3rd May 2009, 03:36
PP I respectfully disagree with you. Except for calling Bliar names, where I find you were far too kind.

There are no "what if's" in my post. The EU is a political alliance. We were all once Allied with the Soviets... that didn't last forever either. We did it because it suited all parties at the time.

Sending troops to war on a basis of a lie. You know: you're right, that disgusts me to this day. I would have rather Bliar and G Junior would have said: Right, Saddam has to go, and we're going to throw him out, now. I think most reasonable people would have gone along with that.

Thelma Viaduct
3rd May 2009, 03:57
We'll have to agree to disagree on the EU, I've actually got more faith in johnny foreigner than the self serving clowns in parliament.

pt.2

Even your 'real' scenario would be a lie.

The US & UK don't care about their own citizens, why would they suddenly become all concerned about the welfare of Iraqi's after selling the regime the means to manufacture WMD's in the first place. They don't give a flying about their own troops, shoddy reasons for war, shoddy pay for troops, shoddy healthcare for troops, shoddy equipment for troops, shoddy excuses from govt etc etc

So it was for the benefit of the iraqi people............with all due respect, that's also BS fella.

Same story in afghan, who paid for & trained the mudjahadeen?

What were they fighting for, who were they fighting?

They suddenly became 'terrorists' when they decided to tell the US to **** off. Same story with Saddam Hussein, he was no longer co-operating with his oil "pi$$ off spams, I don't want to dance to your tune anymore - high five sexy time".

All that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz are interested in is money. They're scum of the earth.

Iraq's oil is now privatised (no longer belongs to iraq, I wonder why?), who's benefitting, haliburton maybe?

Who's rebuilding Iraq, who's rearming Iraq, where are the contracts being laid?

The same people that decided to destroy it in the first place, Cheney's called Dick for a reason.

Once the war became expensive and novelty with 'terrorists' started to wear off, it was sold to the US public as 'the iraqi oil will pay for the war effort'.

What difference is that from Hitler funding his war effort with Jew gold?

The only thing that surprises me is how more people can't see it, it's blatant.

non iron
3rd May 2009, 04:09
At the last count, l believe, 38 servicemen where lost outside the Soviet borders on ops. Never to be heard of again. The RAF did most.

During the fifties.

Thank God for the power of free speech. How does this grab you ?
Let`s have `em by the throat and check later. Maybe call it Guantanamo ?

If you`re not sure come for a couple of days as a guest in my spare room. lt`s difficult to move my car for young lads on prayer mats.

Now that is pushing it !

l hope l`m not banned again. But it`s absolutely right.

Roger Sofarover
3rd May 2009, 04:10
Inquisitor

Lord Goldsmith to the PM
Finally, I must stress that the lawfulness of military action depends not only on the existence of a legal basis, but also on the question of proportionality. Any force used pursuant to the authorisation in resolution 678 (whether or not there is a second resolution):
must have as its objective the enforcement the terms of the cease-fire contained in resolution 687 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions;
be limited to what is necessary to achieve that objective; and
must be a proportionate response to that objective, ie securing compliance with Iraq's disarmament obligations.That is not to say that action may not be taken to remove Saddam Hussein from power if it can be demonstrated that such action is a necessary and proportionate measure to secure the disarmament of Iraq. But regime change cannot be the objective of military action. This should be borne in mind in considering the list of military targets and in making public statements about any campaign.
My bold

From you
That mandate (From UNSC Resolution 687) was based on ALOT of things - not least of which was:

Quote:
8. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:

(a) All chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;

(b) All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities;
(my bold)

Iraq failed to comply with that, by refusing to allow inspectors to go where they wished and finally ejecting them from the country, and many other stipulations in 687. The ceasefire allowed for by 687 was therefore null and void, and "all necessary means", authorised by UNSC Resolution 678 could "legally" be resumed at any time. Wording of 678:
Quote:
2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;
(again, my bold)

Bottom line: The authorisation of force was open-ended; Iraq did not comply with 687

Goldsmith demonstrated that it had to be the security council that determined if Iraq was in breech of the resolution, not individual members.

In order for the authorisation to use force in resolution 678 to be revived, there needs to be a determination by the Security Council that there is a violation of the conditions of the ceasefire and that the Security Council considers it sufficiently serious to destroy the basis of the ceasefire.As to your other point at the para 2 above, Goldsmith also stated that the legality of such action was determined by the proportionality of military response.

Bottom line: The authorisation of force was open-ended; Iraq did not comply with 687 Force had to be authorised by the security council, and the force used could only be that required to ensure that the conditions of resolution 687 were applied/reinstated. Open ended resolution did not mean unlimited military response.

Point of order, me old - 687 ALSO contained prohibitions on ALL member states selling arms etc to Iraq. 687 was made under ChVII. So no get-outs for your communist friends, I'm afraid.My bold.

Where have I said I have communist friends? I do not have any communist friends that I am aware of. If that is an unintelligent way of being personally abusive then please stop. If you cannot resort to debate without getting personally offensive then I am afraid it reduces the credibility of you and your inputs to zero.

non iron
3rd May 2009, 04:38
l have to ask, are you an Actuary ?

Roger Sofarover
3rd May 2009, 04:51
non iron

Do you have any jobs going;)' Much to my bank managers dismay, I'm afraid not.

non iron
3rd May 2009, 05:02
Maybe another month before RBS pulls the rug.

Last week produced 6 and a half hours.

Hope you are ok, :) :)

Roger Sofarover
3rd May 2009, 05:08
Keep up the good work. I think it was voted the best or 2nd best job in the world by everyone that worked on Wall Street.

phil gollin
3rd May 2009, 08:48
Please stop listening to the re-writers of both history and law.

Re. "no internatiuonal law" - that is both factually wrong and, more importantly, ignores both international treaties and the UN charter (which as I said before both the US and UK helped write and signed up to).

There are people who basically do not believe in these things and whose basic point of view is "might is right" - i.e. similar to criminals who basically think it is o.k. to break the law because there are no police strong enough to arrest them. That does not make what they do legal.

Also, the argument over whether one small part of a UN resolution gives enough grounds for action falls on two points. First, action would have to be sanctioned by the UN and secondly the test under "Common Law" (common to both UK and US) of "reasonableness". Any action would have to be "reasonable" (and hence proportional") to the breach of the contract (UN resolution).

Don't get carried away by the people who just spout the propaganda they've been listening to uncomprehendingly for 6 years.

-----------------

As far as UK "beer" goes, it depends as to whether you mean "ale" - of which there are many good ones, or "lagers" of which most are awful (much as many German mass produced lagers are not very good.

Guiness is actually a specis of beer called a "London Porter" and hence is not strictly Irish.

.

TheInquisitor
3rd May 2009, 10:21
PP,

I've shown you on 2 occasions where your opinion is wrong, I can't make it any simpler for you son.

No, you haven't, "son". You have simply made contrary statements without referencing any facts or evidence to back them up. As some others have also pointed out to you, many of these statements are incorrect. Come up with a reasoned argument, containing some referenced facts, as to why you believe my opinions are wrong, and I'll listen to you. Here's an example for you, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The founding treaties state that all member states are indivisibly sovereign and of equal value. However the EU does follow a supranational system (similar to federalism) in European Community matters, in that combined sovereignty is delegated by each member to the institutions in return for representation within those institutions. Those institutions are then empowered to make laws and execute them at a European level. If a state fails to comply with the law of the European Union, it may be fined or have funds withdrawn. In extreme cases, there are provisions for the voting rights or membership of a state to be suspended. On issues outside the European Community (foreign policy, police and courts) less sovereignty is transferred, with issues being dealt with by consensus and cooperation.

However, as sovereignty still originates from the national level, it may be withdrawn by a member state who wishes to leave. Hence, if a law is agreed that is not to the liking of a state, it may withdraw from the EU to avoid it. This however has not happened as the benefits of membership are often seen to outweigh any negative impact of certain laws. Furthermore, in realpolitik, concessions and political pressure may lead to a state accepting something not in their interests in order to improve relations and hence strengthen their position on other issues.
(my bold)

Referenced facts??? where??
In my original arguments I referenced the relevant UNSC resolutions, and argued the way in which they have been interpreted by some.

In short, I am attempting to debate; you merely seem to be shouting.

Roger Sofarover,

That is not to say that action may not be taken to remove Saddam Hussein from power if it can be demonstrated that such action is a necessary and proportionate measure to secure the disarmament of Iraq. But regime change cannot be the objective of military action. This should be borne in mind in considering the list of military targets and in making public statements about any campaign.
This statement appears to me to be contradictory - Goldsmith states that Saddam can be removed from power, then in the same breath seems to imply that he can't. IMO the issues of whether military action against Iraq can proceed in the first place (governed by the UNSC reolutions), and the conduct of any such campaign (governed by LOAC) are two separate issues. It seems Goldsmith here, and in a not very transparent way, transitions from providing a legal opinion on the interpretation of the Resolutions, to providing legal counsel on the provisions of LOAC, without pausing for breath. I feel it's indicative of the tone of his entire document - somewhat woolly and befuddled.

The US position was that 'Regime Change' was a legitimate goal of a military campaign, since the 'military objective' was the disarmament of Iraq, and an analysis of SH's past behaviour suggested that this was unlikely to happen with him still in power. I believe this could quite successfully have been argued in any subsequent tribunal, as the weight of evidence, contained in the myriad of UNSC resolutions critical of Iraq, that could support such a view was overwhelming. Clearly, Goldsmith considers this a viable possibility too, hence the first sentence quoted above.

Goldsmith demonstrated that it had to be the security council that determined if Iraq was in breech of the resolution, not individual members
This is entirely logical, since it was the whole council that passed the resolutions in the first place. But they had already done so, as stated explicitly in Resolution 1441:
1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its
obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular
through Iraq’s failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA,
and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687
(1991);
Many member states's representatives made public statements afterwards, and many others also added their views, that the resolution did not contain an 'automatic trigger' for military action; this is only partially true - 1441, taken in isolation, did not contain an explicitly expressed 'trigger'; however, by stating Iraq was in 'material breach' of 687, 1441 cannot really be taken in isolation in that way; in effect, the 'trigger was implicit by references to 687. Using the logic above that no one member state can decide of their own volition that Iraq was in 'material breach', neither can they unilaterally (or even multilaterally, outside of the resolution process itself) decide that the authority for miltary action, still valid under the terms of 678 and 687, was now null and void. 1441 required the council to reconvene to debate 'any further material breaches', but did not explicitly proscribe military action already authorised.

Force had to be authorised by the security council..
As outlined above, force was already authorised, and that authority was never rescinded.

..and the force used could only be that required to ensure that the conditions of resolution 687 were applied/reinstated. Open ended resolution did not mean unlimited military response.
I didn't I suggest that it did, and 'unlimited military response' was not what occurred. Iraqi forces were neutralised, and the country occupied, so that the ISG could do it's work. SH fled, was eventually captured, and handed over to the Interim Iraqi Authority, who decided his ultimate fate. It was Iraqis themselves that effected 'Regime Change'. The Coalition simply gave them the opportunity to do so.

There are two distinct interpretations of the implications of 1441, both of which Goldsmith did a fairly good job of outlining. What he failed to do, quite comprehensively, is to come down on either side of the argument in any definitive way, save for advising that the 'second resolution' was the 'safe' option. He seems to be saying "Well, it probably is legal, but then again there's a possibility it might not be, but if you do do it, don't forget your obligations under LOAC, ok?" The Blair administration then simply reverted to type and sought to 'spin' a 'sexier' justification for public consumption, a wholly unnecessary move IMO that would ultimately come back to bite them on the arse.

Putting aside my own politics and looking at it objectively, I can see that BOTH interpretations of 1441 have merit; it is for this reason that I feel the debate will continue long into the future, and may never be fully resolved. Thus far, it appears that almost all opinions, on both sides, appear to be driven as much by personal political beliefs as anything else; one of the reasons why I believe this notion of all-pervading 'International Law' to be a fallacy.

So no get-outs for your communist friends, I'm afraid.
I was, rather clumsily, referencing the Chinese here. I interpreted your earlier statements, regarding binding and non-binding resolutions, as an attempt to absolve those nations caught flouting the sanctions. If my interpretation was incorrect, then I offer an apology for any offence caused - that was not my intention!

brickhistory
3rd May 2009, 13:24
PP:

Iraq's oil is now privatised (no longer belongs to iraq, I wonder why?), who's benefitting, haliburton maybe?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)


The Iraqi oil industry (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iraqi_oil_industry&action=edit&redlink=1) had been completely nationalized (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalized) by 1972.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Falola-5)[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Janabi-1) The government in the 1990s, under the presidency of Saddam Hussein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein), gave production share agreements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Production_share_agreement) (PSAs) to Russian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia) and Chinese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Republic_of_China) companies which gave a profit percentage of less than 10 percent.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Janabi-1)

The central government would distribute remaining oil revenues throughout the nation on a per capita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_capita) basis.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Juhasz-0) The draft law would allow Iraq's provinces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq%27s_provinces) freedom from the central government in giving exploration and production contracts.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Janabi-1) Iraq's constitution allows governorates to form a semi-independent regions, fully controlling their own natural resources.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)#cite_note-Janabi-1)

Iraq and China Sign $3 Billion Oil Contract - washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/28/AR2008082802200.html)


BAGHDAD, Aug. 28 -- Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/iraq.html?nav=el) and China (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/china.html?nav=el) signed a $3 billion deal this week to develop a large Iraqi oil field, the first major commercial oil contract here with a foreign company since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
The 20-year agreement calls for the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. to begin producing 25,000 barrels of oil a day and gradually increase the output to 125,000 a day, said Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry.





By the way, Halliburton is an oil industry services company. They don't buy, sell, refine, or transport oil.

They sell pipeline material, food services, etc, etc.

Don't let facts get in the way of a good hate.

phil gollin
3rd May 2009, 21:20
As far as the "dodgy dossier" goes - this from today's (Sunday's) Daily Telegraph website :

Former MI6 chief says Britain was 'dragged' into Iraq war - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/5267555/Former-MI6-chief-says-Britain-was-dragged-into-Iraq-war.html)


Former MI6 chief says Britain was 'dragged' into Iraq war

Britain was "dragged into a war in Iraq which was always against out better judgment" the former deputy head of MI6 has claimed, in a remark that will reignite the debate over political interference in the war.



By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:34PM BST 03 May 2009




The comments, made by Nigel Inkster, who was deputy director of MI6 at the time, make clear there were reservations over the war at a very senior level within the Secret Intelligence Service.

MI6 was blamed for the failure of intelligence that took Britain to war after helping produce a dossier in which Tony Blair claimed that Iraq was ready to use weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

The dossier, said to have been "sexed up" by Downing Street, also mentioned controversial intelligence that Saddam Hussain was seeking uranium from Niger.

In a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Mr Inkster blamed weakness at the Foreign Office for allowing Britain to get dragged into a war over which officials had serious doubts.

"The Foreign Office no longer does foreign policy," Mr Inkster said. "It acts as a platform for a multiplicity of UK departments and the lack of a clearly articulated sense of our strategic location in the world explains how we got dragged into a war with Iraq which was always against our better judgment."

His views on Iraq, expressed for the first time in public, may also explain why he was passed over as the head of MI6 in favour of Sir John Scarlett, who took responsibility for the dossier during the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly.

Sir John, the current director of MI6, was head of the Joint Intelligence Committee at the start of the war and was criticised for being too close to Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, and Alastair Campbell, his spin doctor.

The Butler Report into the intelligence that took Britain to war, concluded that "more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear", and that judgements had stretched available intelligence "to the outer limits".
The comments by Mr Inkster come in the week that the six-year British mission to Iraq ended after the death of 179 British servicemen and thousands of Iraqis.

In his speech, he also criticised the current mission to Afghanistan, saying Britain has been attempting to implement an agenda that is "ludicrously at variants with the resources allocated to that task."
Professor Paul Collier of Oxford University, who has advised the government on failing states, said there had been a "massive mistake" in Afghanistan where Britain had believed there could be a "magical flip from the middle ages to Scandanavia in one go."

Mr Inkster said the world was moving from "being policed by America to be policed by nobody" and the danger of an increasingly unstable world meant populations were likely to fall back on the "snake oil and voodoo" of religious and nationalistic movements.

When it came to the conflict between Russia and Georgia last summer, he added, Britain was caught "completely flat footed" and used a strategy that "amounted to little more than moral indignation, which is not a strategy."

Mr Inkster, who now works for the International Institute of Strategic Studies, worked for MI6 from 1975 until 2006 in posts including Asia, Latin America and Europe.

He spent seven years on the board of the intelligence service, the last two as assistant chief and director for operations and intelligence under Sir Richard Dearlove, who had originally groomed him as his successor.

.

brickhistory
3rd May 2009, 21:42
Hmmm, one asks if there is a personal agenda for the former deputy head of MI6?

He was passed over for the top spot and blames another department when his own was criticized for failures.

I'm not knowledgable about the UK's internal machinations so I don't offer an opinion on that, but I do recognize CYA which seems to be a universal characteristic.

It's certainly a point to consider when reading this news article.

BenThere
3rd May 2009, 21:49
Mr Inkster said the world was moving from "being policed by America to be policed by nobody"

Bingo, Mr. Inkster. And I'm sure we'll all be grateful for the transition.

But I do take some issue with Inkster's implication that the UK was "dragged" into the Iraq war when he offers no evidence of coercion. Don't forget Bush and Blair at the time were polar opposites politically, but came together in recognition of what needed to be done for reasons transcending left-right politics.

No, Britain, under Blair's leadership, entered the coalition cognizant of its stake in an ordered world where rogue regimes such as Iraq, with a demonstrated vicious nature, dangerous to regional peace, and in violation of the truce of a previous war it instigated, had to be stopped from abrogating its obligations with impunity. Whatever "dragging" occurred was not under any threat whatsoever, but as a result of extensive consultation, negotiation, and recognition of common cause. To say or believe otherwise fails to take into account the history of the conflict in favor of scoring political points or simple attention seeking.

Flying Lawyer
3rd May 2009, 21:51
The Inquisitor

You say that the tone of Goldsmith’s entire document was “somewhat woolly and befuddled”, that he did a “fairly good” job of outlining the distinct interpretations of the implications of 1441, but that he failed quite comprehensively to come down on either side of the argument in any definitive way - save for advising that the 'second resolution' was the 'safe' option. I see the force of your criticism.

I worked with Goldsmith on the Bar Council. We were both members of the Executive Committee; he eventually became Chairman. I remember his impressive intellectual abilities and analytical mind. I also remember his opinions (written and oral) on various difficult points; they were never woolly or befuddled, always outstandingly good rather than fairly good and always lucid never ambiguous.

This was some years before Blair made him a Labour Peer, and then Attorney-General.

Why do you think someone with the skills I’ve described might produce such a ‘woolly’ document?

(BTW, most international law specialists considered the invasion to be illegal.)

BarbiesBoyfriend
3rd May 2009, 22:52
Some posters have stated that the second Gulf war was simply a continuation of the first episode.

Therefore there was no need of a fresh UN resolution. Hostilities were merely on hold during the cease-fire.

If so, what were Bush and Blair doing at the UN? They were desperate for a second UN resolution and if they had secured it they could have claimed GW II to have the backing of the UN.

They failed to get that second resolution. QED whatever legality the hoped for resolution would have provided, was absent.

Why so desperate to start a war?

Davaar
3rd May 2009, 23:58
All this rubbish about law and the UN taradiddle:

Gold is for the mistress,
Silver for the maid;
Copper for the coppersmith,
Cunning at his trade.
"Good!", said the baron,
Sitting in his hall;
But iron, cold iron,
Is master of men all"

Rudyard Kipling

BenThere
4th May 2009, 00:12
The implication is that informed, objective and intelligent people would necessarily agree with your opinions. That's just plain silly.


The statement was attached in a paragraph regarding Britain being dragged into the conflict, if you'll read it more closely, not to agreeing with my opinions in general. To presume I insist on that is plain silly, too.

The lead up to hostilities, Barbie, took about six months. No one was desperate to start a war, but Saddam was given a choice to comply with the demands or face serious consequence, and he chose the latter option.

Was the Kosovo intervention "legal" in your opinion? In that case, the UN was totally bypassed, eh?

Roger Sofarover
4th May 2009, 02:02
Benthere

Why have we never intervened in Zimbabwe? A country that was once the bread basket of the African nation, where ruthless ethnic/tribal cleansing has taken place. Why do we not do something in Dharfur? If our leaders are so keen to rid the world of evil dictators, (rather than plunder a country for its resource's as many suspect) why don't they display a little consistency?

BenThere
4th May 2009, 02:21
Maybe because the situations there didn't pose a strategic threat. I don't know.

Why hasn't the UN done anything about Darfur (or South Sudan), or Zimbabwe, or Myanmar, or N. Korea (lately), or Iran, or a host of governments who abuse their people. What kind of a world are you?

In our (US) defense, we were tied up elsewhere when Darfur and Zimbabwe emerged as desperate.

Roger Sofarover
4th May 2009, 02:53
Ben

Maybe because the situations there didn't pose a strategic threatI think more appropriately because the situations don't offer a strategic gain.

The UK government (my government) were negligent in failing to stop Mugabe destroying the 'white' farms and therefore the source of staple crops for tens of millions of people. We (and the US) were not that busy at the time.

Why hasn't the UN done anything aboutI am not really aiming the comments at the UN. It is aimed at the UK and the US, whose respective leaders set themselves up, in that they justified the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent loss of perhaps a million lives, including thousands of our own troops on regime change. Ridding the world of an evil dictator appeared an acceptable excuse. So why not Zimbabwe, we could have been in and out 'mission accomplished' before Iraq even kicked off. North Korea has always been a far more pressing issue in terms of US security than Iraq ever was,so why not there? Korea has no desired resources (oil) perhaps, and the fact that losses of troops would make Iraq look like a playground scuffle. Not that I believe the politicians care about the troop losses in terms of the tragedy, but simply because it loses them political popularity with the people.

The failure to have responded to the crises in Zimbabwe, Darfur, Myanmar, or the security threat posed by N Korea simply reduce the credibility of Bush and Blair's justification for the Iraq invasion to zero. It makes it all the more clear that it was about Oil, nothing else.

TheInquisitor
4th May 2009, 03:28
FL,

Why do you think someone with the skills I’ve described might produce such a ‘woolly’ document?
Because he's a very clever man. Blair realised that a second Resolution would almost certainly be vetoed by China, France and Russia (because of their own self-interests more than anything else) so, in a spectacular display of lack of moral courage, he attempted to slope responsibility onto Goldsmith's shoulders. Goldsmith obviously realised this and sloped it right back to him - notwithstanding his eventual succumbment to political pressure.

For what it's worth I believe Goldsmith, personally, favoured the 'illegal' side of the argument - but mindful of what he owed Blair, could not express that outright...I guess that's what they call realpolitik.

My point in discussion of his advice was to dispel a myth - seized upon by the 'anti' camp - that his inital advice was that the war was 'illegal'. My assessment of his personal feelings (pure conjecture on my part) aside, that document said no such thing. Rather, he states that the 'anti' camp have an argument that a court 'might' find plausible. In his second draft, the core argument of his advice does not appear to change significantly; instead alot of the negative 'mights', 'maybes' and 'remote possibilities' have been dispensed with.

(BTW, most international law specialists considered the invasion to be illegal.)
Indeed, but as I stated earlier, most learned opinion in the 'international' arena, IMHO, appears to be driven more by personal politics than anything else. One could even make the case that International 'Law' itself is fundamentally left-wing...certainly, most of it's most vocal proponents appear to belong to the left side of the house (I think it's fair to say that Goldsmith does).

Which begs the question....where was the outcry from the international 'legal' community over Russia's invasion of South Ossetia / Georgia (almost certainly 'illegal' according to the UN charter, and also contrary to LOAC - Russian forces were deliberately targetting civilian infrastructure)? Notwithstanding the fact that the matter has been referred to the ICJ, public protests were, at best, muted. Much of this 'legal' opinion seems also to be driven by who the alleged 'aggressor' is, and whether shared political views are involved.

I know that my (layman's!) opinions on the legality of the Iraq invasion are, by my own earlier admission, tainted by my own political leanings, but given the nature of the wording of 1441, and of Goldsmith's carefully-phrased advice, I do not feel that that is an indefensible position - rather the opposite, in fact. And there is some learned opinion out there that shares my view.

....although, given your current position (belated congrats, btw - I haven't ventured into JB for some time!) I wouldn't ask or expect you to comment too deeply.

TheInquisitor
4th May 2009, 04:11
Roger Sofarover,

The failure to have responded to the crises in Zimbabwe, Darfur, Myanmar, or the security threat posed by N Korea simply reduce the credibility of Bush and Blair's justification for the Iraq invasion to zero.

Zimbabwe, Darfur and Myanmar are different situations, with different history. They do not present a wider regional threat beyond their own borders. There is also the sticky issue of 'race' involved (invoked by Mugabe) and the spectre of Africa's colonial past, all of which complicate the situation. That is not to trivialise those crises at all - they are truly bad situations. But at present, they are contained, and as such may not warrant such robust action from the International Community.

North Korea, on the other hand, is a Nuclear Power, and as such that raises the stakes considerably. We wouldn't want to go there, unless we really, really had to. Unlike Iraq, they have, thus far, not made any moves on the South, nor any of their neighbours, nor demonstrated any credible intention to do so.

It makes it all the more clear that it was about Oil, nothing else.

It would be naive to suggest that the 'O'-factor did not play a part in this. But there were several, wider issues at stake. Iraq, under SH, had a demonstrated history of aggression towards two of its neighbours, and to Israel. And, more important than anything else, it was the very credibility of the UNSC that was at stake.

The UNSC had demanded, repeatedly, that Iraq comply with it's numerous resolutions - eventually under threat, and use, of military force. If it were to allow Iraq off the hook, because of the narrow self-interests of some members who didn't wish to be found out busting sanctions, where then would it's credibility be? Would it have been a good thing, sending out a message that rogue states could effectively give the UNSC a big "F--k You!" and get off scott-free? Were that allowed to happen, I think it would have been 'curtains' for the UNSC - certainly in its current form.

In effect, what the US and UK have done here, is to save the UNSC from itself. I think that most people can see that that can only be a good thing.

Roger Sofarover
4th May 2009, 09:57
Inquisitor

I really didn't want to get further in to this, so I will keep it brief.

For what it's worth I believe Goldsmith, personally, favoured the 'illegal' side of the argumentWhat makes you say that? If that is a good enough conclusion for Lord Goldsmith why does it not satisfy you? In the document referred to he presents both sides of the argument, and in my opinion the weight of argument leans towards the illegal side, I am not sure you will persuade me otherwise. Blair and Bush made 'ground fit map' to suit their own purposes.

Flying Lawer said

(BTW, most international law specialists considered the invasion to be illegal.) Now there is a big hint there.

you reply
Indeed, but as I stated earlier, most learned opinion in the 'international' arena, IMHO, appears to be driven more by personal politics than anything elsevery brave:hmm:

You To FL
And there is some learned opinion out there that shares my view.

....although, given your current position (belated congrats, btw - I haven't ventured into JB for some time!) I wouldn't ask or expect you to comment too deeplyWell I would. Please shut us all up FL and give it to us how those in the know consider this issue.

Inquisitor, you continue.
It would be naive to suggest that the 'O'-factor did not play a part in this. But there were several, wider issues at stake. ? What Issues. Iraq, under SH, had a demonstrated history of aggression towards two of its neighbours, and to Israel That was 'a history' 12 years previously!.. And, more important than anything else, it was the very credibility of the UNSC that was at stake.
My underline and Italics
Aaah so this is why we went to war!


The UNSC had demanded, repeatedly, that Iraq comply with it's numerous resolutions - eventually under threat, and use, of military force. If it were to allow Iraq off the hook, because of the narrow self-interests of some members who didn't wish to be found out busting sanctions, where then would it's credibility be? Would it have been a good thing, sending out a message that rogue states could effectively give the UNSC a big "F--k You!" and get off scott-free? Were that allowed to happen, I think it would have been 'curtains' for the UNSC - certainly in its current form. Well maybe it needed to change format as part of it's evolution.

In effect, what the US and UK have done here, is to save the UNSC from itself. I think that most people can see that that can only be a good thing.Good thing or not, the unlawful killing of up to 1 million civilians and the deaths of more than 5000 soldiers was the price, and was it worth that human sacrifice just so that the UNSC didn't lose credibility? I would suggest not in a thousand years. You have tied yourself up in Logic Inquisitor and you have got all tangled up. Do you really think that Blair and Bush were endevouring to be the saviours of the UNSC when they eventually decided to invade? Bush would have been happy to see the UN crumble in front of his eyes.

Captain Stable
4th May 2009, 10:17
Inquisitor, I concur with Roger's analysis of your position - all tangled up. You seem really very confused and trying to make the facts fit with your political viewpoint really doesn't work, as Tony Blair found out with the "dodgy dossier".

You sayBlair realised that a second Resolution would almost certainly be vetoed by China, France and Russia (because of their own self-interests more than anything else)I don't know about "more than anything else". They certainly had interests in Iraq - as did we. But for whatever reason, when three out of five permanent members of the UNSC threaten to veto a resolution, the remainder really should listen.

As BarbiesBoyfriend points out, Blair and Bush were desperate to get a second resolution. When it became clear that they were not going to get one that specifically authorised military force (which no earlier resolution permitted), they decided to bypass the UN entirely and call their action legal under 1441.

My opinion is that Goldsmith leaned, like most international lawyers, towards the side of illegality. Blair and one or two others then leaned on him very hard.

You further say...most learned opinion in the 'international' arena, IMHO, appears to be driven more by personal politics than anything else.This is a quite extraordinary thing to say. What basis could you have for such an outrageous statement?

corsair
4th May 2009, 11:59
While you're all getting tied up in what happened and whether it's illegal or not and all your other high minded idealised arguments against the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps you would like to consider what the current situation would be like if the invasion hadn't taken place?

Let's consider, Saddam still in power, empowered by the fact that the only countries with the potential to eliminate his dictatorship are tied up by moral and legal arguments against intervention and the veto of countries with a vested and ammoral interest in his continuing well being. There were no WMD's in Iraq at the time of the invasion. But it's abundantly clear to everyone that he intended to have them. So we are bound to have a vicious dicatorship dominating the region either possessing or close to having nuclear or chemical weapons, without any moral compunction about using them.

The only real question about the war in Iraq is when it was going to happen. It was inevitable. The fact that they went in too early based on bad intelligence is unfortunate. But it had to happen eventually. To have gone to war with Iraq having WMDs might have been a lot tougher than it was. Saddam would have used them. The war itself might have been initiated because of an attack on Israel or even Iran, possibly nuclear. Is that a better scenario for you hand wringing moralists?

Perhaps the only way to avoid war would be for Saddam and the Ba'ath party to fall, however unlikely that was going to be. Even then that would probably have led to exactly the same internal strife we saw after the 2003 invasion.

From my point of view, the original aims of the invasion were laudable. Saddam was a threat to the region and beyond. The fact that the basic premise of his holding WMDs was wrong is unfortunate and remember this was the essential basis of the invasion not the fact that he was an evil dictator. Using the Zimbabwe argument is spurious and mere sophistry. Using he Darfur argument is simply idiotic. There is no comparison. Saddam was a threat, Mugabe a mere despot. The side effect of removing an evil dictator was a bonus not the actual motivation. In fact it would be more in the interests of the US and Britain to make friends with Saddam to preserve their interests. Something morally and politically impossible for both countries. But not a problem, I suspect for China or Russia and in some ways France.

The truth is that the invasion went quite well as invasions go. The dictator was deposed and in general Iraqis welcomed their 'liberation'. It was the follow up that was shameful. Neither the Americans or the British or indeed the UN or anyone else seemed to have a clue what they were doing. In that they made a complete shambles of it. On top of that there are plenty of examples of profiteering on the part of western companies. Only now is some order returning.

When oil is discussed in this context it's usually introduced as the 'real' reason for the invasion as if this was some kind some secret motivation. It was a major motivation. Oil was and still is a major factor in the continuing well being of our society. Rightly or wrongly that's the reality. Saddam and Iraq mattered because Iraq has oil in an oil rich region. It is of major strategic importance to all of us. So was it a motivation? Of course it was.

One of the problem I have with discussions like this about Iraq and sometimes other topics like is that in fact despite the fact Iraq is supposedly the topic. In fact for the most part people initiating the discussion could honestly care less about Iraq or the Iraqis or the people who died. In reality it's merely a convenient vehicle to use as a battering ram against the US and Britain and western capitalism and globalism, ad nauseum. In the UK, it's all about internal politics. If you don't like Blair, you pick up the Iraqi stick and batter him with it. Even though he's moved on, his critics apparently haven't. Almost invariably when you look at the most vehement critics, there is this consistent left wing agenda.

I think it's worth pointing out that it's likely that if nothing had been done about Saddam by there would have been consistent criticism of the US and the west in general for washing their hands of the problem. I guarantee their would be a thread here in Jetblast demanding to know why somethign isn't been done about Iraq.

My opinion, to sum up is that war against Saddam was inevitable. It was more of a question of when rather than if. In the end the messed up badly, not so much with the war but with the follow up. If there's shame and blame to be dished out it's for that.

BarbiesBoyfriend
4th May 2009, 12:42
The main problem with understanding 'what went on' with the UK and GW 2, is that ones own pre-formed point of view, sometimes gets in the way.

People find it hard to believe that the UK Gov could behave in a way that undermines the very nuts and bolts, the very base democratic, civil and tolerant way of life in the UK that has been cherished here for centuries.

To accept that the above is true is to accept that you have been wrong about too much for too long.

Therefore "there must be a good reason" why the UK behaved as it did.

The truth is simpler though.

1. Our involvement in Iraq, simply put, is the Foreign Policy blunder of our time.

2. A million in the UK could see it coming but Blair could not. As they sometimes say in the CRM lectures, 'There is no single one of us that's smarter than all of us'.

3. It's ugly but true that Iraq posed no threat to us. So there is zero prospect of claiming we were threatened. Our actions were clearly aggressive war. We pretended that they were a threat. We hoped they were a threat. We made out they were a threat. Some other Countries joined with us in these delusions. Even if they had had WMD, there was no way to deliver them to us and as far as I can tell, no intention either. If they were going to start something there were infinitely more tempting targets much nearer to hand.

4. The US had it's reasons-whatever you think of them-for the invasion.

Whatever those reasons were, in NO WAY could they require the UK to join in without 100% valid reasons of its own. A clear precedent existed here with a previous governments' quite wise decision not to join with the US in Vietnam.
If the UN, on the other hand, had backed military intervention with a second resolution,then we could have joined in under a much wider remit, quite legally.
The UN did not see fit to do so.

I'm sure Blair thought he could 'pull it off'. He calculated that later, when the dust settled, that the end would justify the means. After all, it had worked out that way in the past.

All he had to do was somehow, by ANY means and by saying ANY thing, get the ball rolling. There would be a short sharp war, SH would be overthrown, the Iraqis would be delighted. Result.

This was utter hubris. Blair was overstepping his authority in a massive way. He was gambling way over his limit. But he was told.

There were the mass protests. Resignations and speeches in the House of Commons. Criticisms from well respected friends in Europe and more.

All of which he ignored-trusting- in his own judgement (and his faith?) over everything.

Shameful. Spineless. Stupid.

Roger Sofarover
4th May 2009, 12:48
Corsair

You can always be relied upon for calling other peoples ideas Idiotic, when they differ from yours.

There were no WMD's in Iraq at the time of the invasion. But it's abundantly clear to everyone that he intended to have them

Where is it abundantly clear? where was the evidence that he had the resources, the money, the delivery method or even the inkling?


Saddam was a threat to the region and beyond

Saddam was a threat, Mugabe a mere despot. The side effect of removing an evil dictator was a bonus not the actual motivation. In fact it would be more in the interests of the US and Britain to make friends with Saddam to preserve their interests. Something morally and politically impossible for both countries


The WMDs are a complete red herring. Whom was Saddam a threat to? He was certainly no threat to anybody outside his own border. The milotary was effectively taken apart in GW1, It would have been impossible for them to stage any offensive outside Iraq.

Bush has openly admitted that the purpose of entering Iraq was regime change. In Bush's own words,SH was an evil dictator. Mugabe may be a despot or more likely a tosspot, but he has also been responsible to the direct and indirect suffering of millions far more than SH. As for being morally and politically impossible to 'make friends', I have never thought you naieve Corsair, but come on. When in recent history have either UK or US government been models of moral and political behaviour. We seemed to have no problem being best of buddies with SH (and O B L for that matter) in the 80's when it suited our needs.

From my point of view, the original aims of the invasion were laudable. Saddam was a threat to the region and beyond. The fact that the basic premise of his holding WMDs was wrong is unfortunate and remember this was the essential basis of the invasion not

Unfortunate is a bit of an understatement Corsair. If the basic premise was wrong how can the original aims have been laudable? You were sucked in to a lie, and you fell for it. Bush and Blair were searching for any evidence that would allow them to terrorize our respective populations with the threat of WMD's in order that they could get the green light to go ahead. When they didn't get the green light, they just went anyway.


Perhaps you would like to consider what the current situation would be like if the invasion hadn't taken place?

Maybe 30 000 Iraqis persecuted and murdered, up to 75 000 held in detention centres, many of whom would suffer torture. 5000+ soldiers alive

Versus Up to 1000 000 Iraqi civilians dead, currently up to 250 000 in detention centres many of whom are subject to brutal torture and rape, including males. Thousands of women and many minors are also being detained. 5000+ soldiers dead.




perhaps the most tardy thing you have written in a long time. I for one don't give a flying f**k about the politics and the battering rams. I care enourmously about the loss of Human life and the fact that as a consequence of the actions of a few at the top, the world is not as safe a place as it was, which has a direct impact on my family. Whether you put any value on the loss of life in Iraq I don't know, but please don't speak for me, as I do.

brickhistory
4th May 2009, 13:42
So why were there substantial US and UK in particular military forces keeping Saddam in his playpen from 1991-2003?

Something to do with ensuring he complied with the UN Resolutions of the first Gulf War?

Wasn't there some embargo designed to keep him in his playpen except it was violated by everyone except the US and the UK?

How well did any of that work?

Roger Sofarover
4th May 2009, 14:00
Brick
A fair point but I am not sure that by the end of the 90's he had the strength or will to climb out of his play pen, and neither the UK or US was willing to give up the foothold out there that we had earned during GW1

corsair
4th May 2009, 14:59
I hate quote and rebuttal type argument but am forced to use it in this case, Roger. You have introduced several straw man arguments using my post. Incidentally the only time I used the term idiotic was in relation to Darfur.

In relation to WMDs:Where is it abundantly clear? where was the evidence that he had the resources, the money, the delivery method or even the inkling? I'm sorry he had missiles, was developing missiles, had previously attempted to produce WMDs which the UN was inspecting. He had a history of it. Iraq was under sanctions because of it. There is absolutely no reason to believe he wouldn't have tried to re-introduce WMDs, particularly since his regional rivals, notably Israel and Iran have them or want them.

You call me naive, but you sayWhom was Saddam a threat to? Pretty much everyone in the vicinity as evidenced by Kuwait previously. As for his army being taken apart in GW1. Well there seemed to be plenty of targets for the Coalition forces in GW2. Just because they couldn't stand up to the most powerful country militarily in the world today doesn't mean they weren't capable of being a threat to their neighbours.

When in recent history have either UK or US government been models of moral and political behaviour. We seemed to have no problem being best of buddies with SH (and O B L for that matter) in the 80's when it suited our needs. This is the classic argument used. I'm surprised you didn't mention the old favourite of how the 'west' supported Saddam militarily against Iran when in fact his equipment was mostly Soviet with a sprinkling of French equipment. In any case, I'm not accusing the US or UK of being models of moral and political behaviour. I'm referring to the specific case of Iraq post GW1. That should have been clear to you. If not, it is now, OK?

As for Bush's regime change ambition, you seem to decry it but would appear to support it for Mugabe? So which is it. Are you for or against regime change when it comes to despots? You cannot have it both ways.

If the basic premise was wrong how can the original aims have been laudable? You were sucked in to a lie, and you fell for it. Bush and Blair were searching for any evidence that would allow them to terrorize our respective populations with the threat of WMD's in order that they could get the green light to go ahead. Whose lie? You cheerfully accuse both Bush and Blair of lying on this issue. You could almost convince me that Bush was lying but Blair had no real reason to lie on this issue. Everyone believed there were WMDs. It's clear both leaders believed it too. Even those against the war by and large believed it. Even the way Saddam behaved seemed to indicate he had something to hide. Have you forgotten that already? If it was a lie, what on earth was the motivation for the lie? Regime change, apparently you would have supported that. Securing oil supplies? There are easier ways. Perhaps it was just because they were warmongers and wanted a war on their respective CVs.

Maybe 30 000 Iraqis persecuted and murdered, up to 75 000 held in detention centres, many of whom would suffer torture. 5000+ soldiers alive

Versus Up to 1000 000 Iraqi civilians dead, currently up to 250 000 in detention centres many of whom are subject to brutal torture and rape, including males. Thousands of women and many minors are also being detained. 5000+ soldiers dead. So take your pick, you quote figures one of which is speculative and the other exaggerated. You also introduce key words like 'rape', 'women', 'minors', 'brutal'. In effect you're implying that Saddam's repression was less awful than the result of removing Saddam. He was, it appears the lesser of two evils. You also apparently ignore the salient fact that most of the killings were perpetrated by Iraqis on Iraqis after years of pent up hatreds generated by the Saddam regime. Was Saddam the lesser of two evils? Remember too, I didn't say the results of the invasion was a good thing. In fact I specifically stated In the end they messed up badly, not so much with the war but with the follow up. If there's shame and blame to be dished out it's for that. The second set of figures were not inevitable. They were caused because Bush and his cronies in particular hadn't a clue what they were getting into. Nevertheless the first set of figures you use were probably inevitable, maybe even underestimated.

Maybe you do care for the loss of human life in Iraq or maybe you just say you do. I can't speak for you and incidently wasn't attempting to. I would request you avoid implying I don't care either. But I was directly addressing the motivation of people like you, but not neccessarily you, when they speak of the Iraq situation.

There is a lot of smug, 'I told you so' going on here. Far too much of it with the benefit of hindsight. Very few people got it right beforehand but have carefully modified their viewpoint with the benefit of hindsight, so as to appear prophetical.

But always, it's not about Iraq really it's about local politics and global politics. At least be honest about the motivation.

soddim
4th May 2009, 15:30
Maybe I was a little naive but I believed my government knew best about Iraqi WMDs and, in any case, they could not reveal to me the full int picture for security reasons. I was more than a little angry when I learned they had exaggerated that threat.

I spent most of my life working in the cold war ready to participate in defence of my country when the Soviets invaded Europe. My government exaggerated that threat too and I learned when the cold war ended that the Russians were more worried that we would invade them.

More recently they have watched our economy boom fuelled by unsustainable borrowing and practically ruined my retirement by their mishandling of my economy.

I now live in a society that is under heavy surveillance by the government for 'security reasons'. This same government wants to make me carry an ID card, find out what websites I visit and monitor all my e-mails.

If this is what passes as western style democracy maybe Saddam was not so bad after all.

RJM
4th May 2009, 18:29
Seeing pious pilot's post #25 was an example of Godwin's Law

Godwin's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law)

that should have been that.

However, since the debate went on, and having read the (non-repetitive) threads, I feel entitled to my say.

WMD's.

It's easy for the left to crow with hindsight about the lack of Saddam's current, complete WMD capacity.

The leaders of the west could only act on the facts they had before them and the risks those facts indicated.

In evicting the weapons inspectors then refusing to deny WMD's, Saddam was playing an effective but very dangerous game of regional politics. Effective because it maintained the threat of WMD's to his neighbours and thus his power in the region. Dangerous because he risked invasion by the US and its allies. Imho Saddam thought the risk of that invasion was low, so he continued to his refusal to deny for the reasons given. Unfortunately his risk assessment was incorrect, and the US and allies invaded.

Remember that the existence or not of WMD's was not the sole reason for the invasion.

Consider, too, that if the US and allies had left Saddam alone, and he had had WMD's and used them... would pious pilot and friends think that a better outcome than the invasion?

As to the UN: proponents of the UN as the all-knowing arbiter of the foreign policies of all nations should look again before invoking their be-all and end-all. The UN is inherently a flawed body due to its anachronistic post WWII structure - no security council seat for China for example while France gets a chair at the table - and has a far from perfect record particularly in the ME where its dealings with Israel have been particularly ineffective. If the US is guilty of ignoring the UN then what of the attitude of Saddam and Israel, to name just two?

A real world requires real actions.

BarbiesBoyfriend
4th May 2009, 19:09
I thought Saddam provided an inventory of his arms as the deadline approached? It was mainly on CDs or similar.

Anyway, how the heck was he ever going to prove he DIDN'T have something (WMD in this case)?

How could any Country prove it didn't have somrthing?

Also, the term WMD is ofter bandied about quite thoughtlessly.

Nukes. Chemicals and Biological. Even if you have all three AND a means of delivering them, you are still not a threat unless you have intent to use.

So, from the top....and at the time

Nukes. Nope.

Chemicals. Certainly in the past, but now, probably not.

Biological. Nope.

A means of delivery? Nope. Scud is a tactical rocket, so sure he could lob some around the ME for example but with what warhead? The obvious biggy would be a chemical warhead on Tel Aviv. Even Saddam could see that that could turn out quite badly.

Now, If he HAD nukes, this would be different. One nuke can make a big mess. To make the same mess with either or both of the other two is well nigh impossible without large scale means of delivery. A few chemical sheels or bombs are frankly a great deal less destructive than conventional weapons used on the scale that the allies used them.

Intent? Nope again.
Despite Bush's disgraceful attempts to tie 9/11 to Saddam, no such tie existed.
Intent against the UK? No evidence that I can recall.

soddim
4th May 2009, 19:27
And don't forget, one of Tony's main reasons for invading was the perception that Saddam was within 45 minutes of deploying WMDs and our forces in Cyprus could be within range.

Now that was specious on two counts. Firstly the effectiveness of the delivery system against Cyprus was zero. Secondly, and tellingly in terms of the integrity of the whole case, any idiot in the int world would know that we would we know if the weapons had been dispersed for delivery within 45 minutes because a number of humint resources would be able to verify. If you take WMDs out of secure storage and distribute for delivery a lot of people become aware of this and verification is relatively simple.

The int guys must have known the 45 minutes threat was rubbish. Why did they not stand up and say so.

The dossier was not dodgy, it was full of lies.

frostbite
4th May 2009, 20:08
As if the so-called justification wasn't flaky enough, didn't both Bush and Blair fall back on "My god told me to go ahead" ?

con-pilot
4th May 2009, 22:23
As if the so-called justification wasn't flaky enough, didn't both Bush and Blair fall back on "My god told me to go ahead" ?

I cannot answer for Blair, but President Bush did not make any such statement. There was/is a video clip that took a quote out of context and edited the video to make it look like he said that.

This so-called justification has been shown to be false even by NBC and ABC News, let alone Fox.

And now, time for someone to post another urban legend. :p

parabellum
5th May 2009, 01:06
The Allies had an accurate inventory of Iraq's chemical holdings, they amounted to enough lethal chemicals to wipe out half the world and could be contained, in drums, in two forty foot containers.

Israeli intelligence has suggested that the drums were shipped over the border to Syria just before hostilities were resumed in March 2003.

CR2
5th May 2009, 02:06
ConP, Bliar did stand up in Parliament and tell what turned us a great story about the 45mins. Who was I to decide, nah that can't be true. I may be many things, but an intelligence expert I'm not.

I mentioned earlier that I, and perhaps many others, would have been perfectly ok with him standing in front of Parliament and telling the nation something like "Saddam's regime is now unacceptable; regime change, he's got to go, etc etc". He didn't have the guts; he told us a yarn...

Most Brits see Bliar as being GWB's poodle; given that he lied to us for our "special relationship" they usually get lumped together. What he managed to do is caused incalcuable damage to that relationship; look at the (sometimes justified) grievances of my fellow Brits on this thread; So its Bliar bad; Bliar is GWB's friend, therefore GWB is bad... and taking it to the logical conclusion, America is too.

That is not to say that America shouldn't be grateful to Blair. He stood by this nation in its hour(s) of need... when the rest of Europe forgot 9/11 after a couple of weeks on the news. We're allies, and that counts for something.

Some people who write here should never forget who helped us in our hours of greatest need during the last century. On more than one occasion.

An Englishman in NY :ok:

Roger Sofarover
5th May 2009, 04:32
The Allies had an accurate inventory of Iraq's chemical holdings, they amounted to enough lethal chemicals to wipe out half the world and could be contained, in drums, in two forty foot containers.

Israeli intelligence has suggested that the drums were shipped over the border to Syria just before hostilities were resumed in March 2003.

That was handy then!

TheInquisitor
5th May 2009, 04:52
I mentioned earlier that I, and perhaps many others, would have been perfectly ok with him standing in front of Parliament and telling the nation something like "Saddam's regime is now unacceptable; regime change, he's got to go, etc etc". He didn't have the guts; he told us a yarn...

Agree wholeheartedly with this concept, except the part about 'Regime Change' - using that as a justification would have complicated the legal argument further (but not necessarily have been a non-starter, as Goldsmith explained). He should have argued the legal case as it stood, using the UNSC's own resolutions - instead he chose the Left's favoured tactic of 'spinning' and 'sexing up'.

Roger Sofarover,

Reading back, perhaps my arguments did get a little tangled there - but bear in mind you have commented on 2 seperate posts of mine together, which were aimed at 2 separate questions / statements made by 2 seperate posters. 'Saving the UNSC from itself' was not an aim of the conflict - it was a handy side effect. For all its faults, I believe the world would be a much more dangerous place without it.

With reference to Goldsmith - I stated I believe he personally favoured the 'illegal' argument, but his professional advice, in that document, did not reflect that IMHO.

For what it's worth, I'll sum up my views:

1. BOTH sides of the argument have a viable case to plead.

2. Learned opinion on the matter is not unanimous.

3. Opinions, learned or otherwise, seem to divide neatly along political lines.

4. After having studied all the relevant documents, I favour the 'legal' side of the argument, for the reasons I have put forward in earlier posts.

5. The 'dodgy dossier' was an unmitigated, and IMO, unnecessary disaster, and an indication of Blair's poor leadership.

...most learned opinion in the 'international' arena, IMHO, appears to be driven more by personal politics than anything else.
Brave? Perhaps. Outrageous? Why? The field of International 'Law' does appear to be dominated by those with left-leaning views. One's personal views are capable of influencing every area of one's life - it is human nature, and (shock, horror!)....Lawyers are human too. I have freely admitted that, with a case like this that is nowhere near clear-cut, my views may be being influenced by my own political beliefs. Is it not possible that the same may be happening on the other side of the aisle?

A case in point, Captain Stable - you and I are both (presumably) educated, intelligent people. It seems obvious that we differ in our political beliefs. We have studied the same document, and drawn different conclusions. Is it possible that what I admitted to above may apply across the political spectrum?

con-pilot
5th May 2009, 17:50
Well stated CR2, thank you.

Will Fraser
5th May 2009, 18:19
International misunderstanding. In any argument, it is periodically helpful to "unwind" the rhetoric and look at fundamentals. Given that Foreign Policy is shaped and implemented by people other than the People, isn't it then logical to assume a basic "disconnect" one from the other? If Foreign Policy reflected the beliefs and Hearts of the Nation's people, there would most likely be no more than a benign and gentle acknowledgment from time to time, as travelers are wont in their global meanderings. Who has time to get involved in another Nation's business. Making pretend that it is crucial is the first Lie. "Beware foreign entanglements" he said. How unfair it is to judge a Nation's People by their "hired help", who in fact don't give a toss for the folks they represent. There is essentially never a foreign adventure in the best interest of a free and sovereign people. Vietnam included, but to fault the soldier? How dare you.

Heliport
5th May 2009, 19:21
"Beware foreign entanglements" he said.

Are you quoting from the 1st President's farewell address or the 44th President's inaugural address. ;)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v140/Rotorheads/Bewareforeignentanglements.jpg


(Although the first President didn't actually use those words.
He wasn't a man to use 4 words when 44 would do.)

con-pilot
5th May 2009, 19:31
Hum, I notice that the above cartoon left out World War II, the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War. But did point out Beirut and Viet Nam, very curious.

Heliport
5th May 2009, 19:41
I didn't draw the cartoon so can't answer your curiosity.
Maybe the cartoonist was limited by size so had to restrict it to a few examples to make his point.

I suppose Palestine (ongoing) and Lebanon (2006)should be added to the list if we include indirect entanglement.

Muffin Themule
5th May 2009, 22:36
Also missed Somalia, Con. :(

con-pilot
6th May 2009, 00:23
Bosnia as well. :(

Course a good cartoonist could have included all of those wars. :p

I was just wondering what message the cartoonist was trying to portray. But then I'm a bit dense sometimes. :\









(Alright you lot, don't agree too fast. :p)

Captain Stable
6th May 2009, 07:52
Also missed out Nicaragua, Colombia, Grenada, Chile, Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia...

non iron
16th May 2009, 06:03
The moderate Arab states before Bliar sold us down the river.
l will never forgive him for converting the mother of all democracy ( yes, l did have to check the dictionary on that one ) to the status of a banana republic.
Which exposed us to terrorism. We don`t have a Bill of Rights, free speech, free anything really, and even less than the commies would have offered, with cop`s running riot, literally anonomously. The Stasi would have been hard put to get away with this shit.
And then ?
The powers that insisted that Saddam`s weapons of mass destruction were 45 min away from devastating London gave the go-ahead for our armed forces - obviously without the kit to do the job safely, jeez they may have had to cough up the cost of cleaning their own moat otherwise - to impose our values on a totally different culture.
Bliars hormones got the better of him.

Two flats in Bristol - the dirt on the rug is too thick to remember the details for most - for the boy away at Uni.

We have dead servicemen and pigs in the trough in Parliament.

Go figure.

Sorry, l did mean the mother of parliaments and not democracy.

non iron
23rd May 2009, 01:08
Would l be right in thinking that Tony Blairs ex`s got lost, indeed shredded, the moment he walked out of Number 10 to his £ 6.7 million pound home in central London ?

Probably misread that.

How much is 5% deposit ?

Best left alone.