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Chilcot July 6, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Even by the lights of those who promoted and prosecuted the invasion of Iraq this is the core charge against them and the one that should dog them down their days…

Blair sent troops to Iraq before peaceful options had been exhausted

The invasion was, of course, wrong from the off but the fact it wasn’t justifiable even in the context of the arguments made by its supporters underscores that doubly.

A lot coming out, none of it surprising but useful that it is bundled together.

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1. ar scáth a chéile - July 6, 2016

Hopefully that’s an end for a while to fawning interviews with Alastair Campbell on the Late Late Show.

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2. ar scáth a chéile - July 6, 2016

“Tony Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he sought to make the case for military action to MPs and the public in the buildup to the invasion in 2002 and 2003, the Chilcot inquiry has found.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/06/tony-blair-deliberately-exaggerated-threat-from-iraq-chilcot-report-war-inquiry

Deliberate exaggeration is pretty close to lying and hard to square with the “good faith” defence.

A very bad day for the Blairites – they needed Corbyn gone before this.

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3. FergusD - July 6, 2016

British Admiral on C4 news yesterday (so much better than the BBC) told John Snow that he had been told to prepare for an invasion of Iraq about 12 months BEFORE all the claims about WMD. Even Snow was gobsmacked but I haven’t heard anything about that since. Makes arguments about dodgly intelligence moot.

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4. Gewerkschaftler - July 6, 2016

Not the whitewash I’d feared.

The Fans of the War Criminal seem to have gone a bit quiet on the anti-Corbyn coup front.

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5. Liberius - July 6, 2016

Flimsy, it’s a testament to the sheer will power towards invading Iraq something like that even though noticed by the spooks was brushed under the carpet.

It is one of Michael Bay’s more tolerable films though.

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6. roddy - July 6, 2016

“Squinter” on twitter highlights what that arsehole Henry McDonald had to say at the time. To think that anyone ever gave this character any credibility on his reporting of Northern affairs.

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ar scáth a chéile - July 6, 2016

Hopefully this link to the MacDonald article works:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/13/iraq9

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WorldbyStorm - July 6, 2016

It’s a terrible terrible piece.

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ar scáth a chéile - July 6, 2016

Here’s Andrew Marr’s genuflection to the dogs of war:

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WorldbyStorm - July 6, 2016

It’d be funny if it wasn’t so desperately serious what happened.

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Ed - July 7, 2016

McDonald is a washed-up Stalinist hack who changed his politics but not his methodology. A useful reminder that this habit of stigmatizing left-wing dissenters as vicious abusive thugs is not something that began with Corbyn or the water charges movement. How brave he must have been to support the entire Western political and military establishment over Iraq. A true dissident.

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7. Jolly Red Giant - July 6, 2016

Carne Ross tore Blair’s press conference to pieces on Drivetime.

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8. Jolly Red Giant - July 6, 2016

Just heard that when the Blairites split and set up their new party bankrolled by the Hull Tiger they plan on calling it – wait for it – the Progressive Democrats

ROTFLMFAO

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9. ar scáth a chéile - July 7, 2016

I know that Chilcot in his statement yesterday says:

“…. the Inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognised Court.”

But the very sentence from the heart of the British establishment seems to envisage the possibility or propriety of such a Court in the future.

His statement also includes:

“We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

“In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the Security Council’s authority.”

“Military action in Iraq might have been necessary at some point. But in March 2003:

• There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.
• The strategy of containment could have been adapted and continued for some time.
• The majority of the Security Council supported continuing UN inspections and monitoring.”

[ http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-inquiry/sir-john-chilcots-public-statement/ ]

The inescapable conclusion is that the use of force was unlawful and that it was a war of aggression.

The chances of Blair ever being brought to trial for waging a war of aggression are very slim but the odds have shortened slightly.

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WorldbyStorm - July 7, 2016

That’s a great point, the language is clearly shifting. And as you say slim but not non existent.

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CMK - July 7, 2016

Also, any remaining scintilla of credibility of any International justice system for war crimes or crimes of aggression is at stake as well.

There seems to be a prima facie case for Blair to face some sort of international tribunal for his actions.

That he won’t re-inforces the notion that the whole concept of international law is rubbish. We’re expected to believe that Serb generals and Congolese warlords are ‘war criminals’ under international law and Blair isn’t.

Incidentally, it will also debunk much of the ‘responsibility to protect’ crap that undepinned the whole disgusting ‘Decent Left’ position fiercely articulated around the time by morons like Nick Cohen, Norman Geras, Johann Hari and others.

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Ed - July 7, 2016

A few years ago, the LRB published a very critical article about NATO’s Libyan war by Hugh Roberts. One of the letters in response came from a certain Gareth Evans, one-time Australian foreign minister who has now set himself up as a leading academic authority on the ‘responsibility to protect’ (or R2P as they like to call it). If you watch John Pilger’s documentary about the occupation of East Timor—which inspired Tom Hyland to set up the Timor solidarity campaign in Ireland—there’s footage of the same Gareth Evans clinking champagne glasses with his Indonesian counterpart in a plane flying over the Timorese sea, after they had signed a deal to carve up East Timor’s oil reserves between them. Meanwhile death squads were rampaging through the country. R2P how are you.

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ar scáth a chéile - July 7, 2016

I reckon the 1999 “humanitarian intervention” in Serbia/Kosovo – still widely perceived including by many on the left as a benign intervention – paved the way for the disaster in Iraq. Serbia/Kosovo 1999 is a leading precedent in liberal/left liberal defence of Western aggression.

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