BLiar: Warmonger by his own admission

By DeusExMacintosh


It would have been right to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein even without evidence that he had weapons of mass destruction, Tony Blair has said.

The former UK prime minister said it was the “notion” of Saddam as a threat to the region which tilted him in favour of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Without the weapons claims it would have been necessary to “use and deploy different arguments”, he told the BBC.

Mr Blair is expected to face the Iraq war inquiry early next year…

But former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said Mr Blair would not have obtained the support of the cabinet or Parliament for war if he had made these views clear at the time.

Sir Menzies said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that if Mr Blair had told his cabinet what he is now saying, he’d have found it very difficult to keep all of them – he did of course lose Robin Cook and eventually Clare Short.

“But the one place he would have undoubtedly failed would have been in the House of Commons.

“He would not have obtained the endorsement of the House of Commons on 18 March 2003 if he had been as frank with the House of Commons then as he appears to be willing to be frank with the BBC now.”

BBC News

And no, I’m not just being funny. There are now grounds for thinking that the 45 minute claim – the sole direct threat posed by Saddam’s regime to British interests – featured in the dodgy dossier and heavily promoted by number 10 spin-doctors, now seems to be based on gossip from an Iraqi taxi driver that had been clearly flagged as unreliable.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has a piece over at Salon highlighting the anti-democratic aspects of the current pursuit of conflict.

It’s true that as a Constitutional Republic, the U.S. is not governed by direct democracy. Political leaders are at times expected to exercise judgment independent of public opinion. And once wars are underway, things like troop movements and battle plans are legitimately classified. But whether to fight wars — and the reasons they’re being fought — are probably the least appropriate decisions to immunize from public opinion.


  1. conrad
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    He should be up for war crimes.

  2. Posted December 13, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It would certainly seem to meet the Nuremberg Principles…

    In 1950, the Nuremberg Tribunal defined Crimes against Peace, in Principle 6, specifically Principle VI(a), submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, as:

    (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

    (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

    …though SL – who’s notoriously un-enamoured of international law – says there are grounds for a tortious prosecution but I’m not sure how that works.

  3. Posted December 13, 2009 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The best kept secret of the Saddam Hussein regime was the inept state of it’s military preparedness.

    However the invasion was long overdue.

    Saddam got no sympathy from his Arab neighbors, who in 2003 all took the view that “you asked for it feller”

    Saddam Hussein had serious form when it came to invading neighboring countries.

    Iraq was already in the crosshairs and had an invasion pending. The country received a miracle reprieve in 1991.

    Only some fast talking from Kofi Annan saved Saddam Hussein from being invaded by Bill Clinton in 1998.

    Saddam talked big, & got his block knocked off. He was refusing to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors, boted them out of the country, he had massacred the people of the southern marshes. He ain’t no innocent.

    Prosecution Schmosecution.

  4. Posted December 13, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    All good arguments Steve, but not enough to justify British involvement in Bush’s vanity war. Direct threat to Britain: nil, nada, zip, zero, the big goose egg. If America wants to pay for big imperial gestures that’s their business, but the majority of the British public will NOT wear it. They only wore it in this instance because they were lied to. (The brits prefer to fight empirical wars, not imperial ones.)

  5. Posted December 13, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I’ll go with that, up until you call it “Bush’s Vanity War”. Saddam bloody well asked for it, all he had to do was comply with the UN weapons inspectors & he could have continued butchering his population with impunity.

    (Now searching the internet & other resources for the direct threat to Britain of the 3rd of September 1939)

  6. jc
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    We shouldn’t have trusted the British government on Iraq but we should trust the British government on the way to deal with AGW.

    Yea right.

  7. Posted December 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he was trying to average out threat assessments by British PMs… Chamberlain got it wrong the OTHER way.

  8. Ken N
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that Blair is a very tortured man. He knows that Iraq was a terrible mistake but cannot publicly face that. Perhaps politicians never can.
    I wonder if Bush and Howard have similar feelings?

  9. Posted December 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Since the first Iraq war was ended by a truce, not a peace treaty, surely you are legally entitled to re-prosecute the war if the other party breaks the terms of the truce.

    As I understand it, the first Iraq war was not prosecuted to a conclusion of getting rid of Saddam because Bush Snr’s “big tent” coalition could not agree on a post-war arrangement beyond getting Saddam out of Kuwait and the Bush Snr administration was not prepared to take responsibility for managing a post-Saddam outcome.

  10. Posted December 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ll go with that, up until you call it “Bush’s Vanity War”. Saddam bloody well asked for it, all he had to do was comply with the UN weapons inspectors & he could have continued butchering his population with impunity.

    The justification offered in the US for invasion was Bush’s “war on terror”. This was just as bogus as BLiar’s WMDs.

    Iraq link to 9/11 attacks: nil
    Iraq link to Al Quaeda: nil
    Iraq link to international terrorism: nil
    (On that basis Libya would have been a more legitimate target)
    Iraq link to islamic fundamentalist movement: nil
    Iraq threat to citizens not their own: nil

    Assuming that you have the right to remove any foreign leaders of whom you do not approve SIMPLY BECAUSE you don’t like them, is quite possibly the ultimate vanity.

    Iraq is Bush’s Vanity War.

    (Now searching the internet & other resources for the direct threat to Britain of the 3rd of September 1939)

    Different mechanism, Steve. Like WWI before it, WWII was a result of mutual-protection treaty agreements. You’re on firmer ground arguing that Bosnia was also none of our business and lacked a UN mandate but in that case it had overwhelming support from the British public once it became clear that the issue wasn’t just a civil war but a systematic attempt at genocide.

    As I understand it, the first Iraq war was not prosecuted to a conclusion of getting rid of Saddam because Bush Snr’s “big tent” coalition could not agree on a post-war arrangement beyond getting Saddam out of Kuwait and the Bush Snr administration was not prepared to take responsibility for managing a post-Saddam outcome.

    Interesting point Lorenzo, and one which goes a long way to explaining the total shower that the Iraq occupation turned into. Learning from his father’s experience, Junior avoided the issue by making no post-war arrangements at all.

    Surely the first gulf war truce would have been between Iraq and Kuwait?

  11. Posted December 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    On international law, I show my positivist stripes. I don’t think it is law, and the varied reactions here show — ultimately — how it really doesn’t work very well. My irritation with Blair over this issue is domestic, not foreign. He lied to Cabinet and then Parliament, and if anyone deserves to hang him out to dry, it is the British people.

    Even international law holds to the ‘exhaustion of local remedies’ rule: when someone has done wrong, municipal measures should be undertaken against them first, long before anything international comes into play.

  12. Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    And what municipal measures are available to us in this case?

  13. davidp
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Lorenzo’s comment #10 is highly relevant. With only a truce, and with Iraq breaking the terms of that truce in many ways, the U.S. and U.K. were enforcing two no-fly zones in a shooting war (aircraft vs air defences) for a decade before 2003. There was also considerable manipulation of the gulf war sanctions (e.g. the AWB oil for food kickbacks) and much political pressure to drop the sanctions entirely, which may have contributed to the enthusiasm of the U.S. and U.K. to ‘resume’ hostilities.

    DEM, the first gulf war truce was between the U.S. led coalition and Iraq.

    DEM’s point that there were no post-war arrangements at all is the key moral issue to me. Additionally they stripped support of post-Taliban Afghanistan in order to to attack Iraq – another failure to accept a moral responsibility.

    I suspect major components of the ‘intelligence’ were confirmation bias, yes-men and rejecting advice that didn’t match what they wanted. G.W. Bush had that attitude to science as well.

  14. Posted December 15, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I used to wonder why they didn’t finish Saddam off 1st time around.

    It might be for the simple ‘realist’ reason, clearly not contemplated or jettisoned by the aggressive Neoliberals second time around, that having a huge, virtually secular, declining dictatorship that hated Iran with a passion, was a masterstroke in terms of forming an uneasy but solid balance of power above the Gulf.

  15. Posted December 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    davidp — that rings true to me.

    The tricky part would be establishing standing, but I think it would be worth a veteran of the latest fiasco to bring a claim in negligence against Blair. I mean, this really is a cock-up of mammoth proportions.

  16. jc
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I think removing the bastard wasn’t a bad decision in itself. The problem was the nation building and the trillion dollars spent on that.

    Punitive wars have been with us all through history and if there ever was a fucker that deserved it was Saddam.

    The big error was staying on.

  17. Posted December 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    While it was easy to justify Iraq I to kick Saddam out of Kuwait under international law, (and once out, it became harder to justify further action), Iraq 2 had a totally different (and occult) casus belli.

    The problem is there is no set of rules for military action against a state for things carried out inside its own borders, or at least no set of rules that has near-universal acceptance or consistent application. (Just think of extradition laws – the Malka Leifer child-abuser who high-tailed to Israel comes to mind – which don’t involve as much “messing about” with the internal affairs of states). Then consider the difficulties (and different incentives) for international agreements about tax havens.

    So, I’m wondering why the hell the world’s political leaders couldn’t write a treaty outlining the general principles involved in deciding when and how to “meddle in internal affairs”, the thresholds that would determine if there was or wasn’t a casus belli, and then stick to it, without exception, neither starting nor avoiding military action according to those rules.

    Oh, I had my cynicism turned off for a moment… I don’t have to think too hard to figure out why you’d never get agreement on such principles.

  18. Posted December 17, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Fancy calling launching the region changing bourgeois democratic revolution ‘…a cock-up of mammoth proportions.’ This is exactly what the open conservatives that have run rotten to the core realist policies in the ME since WW2 believe! Their whole life’s work is broken and in the trash.

  19. Posted December 18, 2009 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    The Realist’s of the foreign policy establishment in the US and Britain are reactionaries and they are fuming; yet here we see people that presumably think of themselves as some sort of progressive liberal / leftist / conservative (who can tell at this stage) fuming along side them and talking twaddle about trials for the leaders who lied their countries into war.
    What do you know, the US and British ruling class had to be lied to by their ruling elite in order to smash the old policies and start the strategically vital  revolutionary war to change the whole region of the ME!  Now who would have worked out that before the war?  Well as a matter of fact a few of us in Australia did and we started debating all comers at  and that substantial body of work (developed and then confirmed by events over several years as all other theories collapsed) is now on the record.
    This British inquiry has provoked a discussion but actual events in Iraq do not.   This thread demonstrates that those that were opposed to the liberation and took to the streets behind no blood for oil banners are now coherent only in thinking about the lies their ruling class were told so that the war could be funded!  As we can see people commenting are not coherent or now even make any serious attempt at an inquiry into the real reasons for this war that united the ruling elites of not only the US and Britain but Australia as well, against their own foreign policy establishments. 
    Instead we get  ‘I never really understood the second war in Iraq.’

    That is very clear because you haven’t even realised that it had to be funded by Congress etc and if they had known what was really afoot they just wouldn’t have funded it.  They had to be lied to!  These ruling class circles, like Chomsky and Pilger and the misled masses that followed them onto the streets in opposition to the liberation, all believed that it was to be business as usual! 

    But as we have seen with practice it was not.  Bremer’s ‘Order No 1’ demonstrated that business as usual was out the window and a ‘disaster’ was to be inflicted on realist policies – a revolution was going to be launched.   The realists funded their own destruction.

    I say the draining the swamp analysis is now the only argument still standing.

  20. Posted December 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh and BTW…

    We supported the now obvious war of liberation that the pseudoleft and other more open conservatives are still complaining about and calling a cock-up!  We supported and are very proud of having supported the liberation of the Iraqi masses with the COW forces launching of the region destabilising bourgeois democratic revolution. 

    Of course the war was illegal.  Of course Saddam was the lawful tyrant.  Revolutions are illegal.  Revolutions establish the new law.  

    This was not a vanity war!  This was the overthrow of realist policies that the US had followed since ww2.  The former policies had kept the ME a backward swamp run by all manner of ratbags and it was this reality (this failure to develop politically and culturally) that had bred the monstrous insects from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Jordan etc that struck on 9/11 and brought on the war in Afghanistan that while it had to be fought could not solve the strategic issues.

    This war (to smash fascism at the heart of the ME) was the strategic war required to start the process of draining the whole swamp. 

    Next cab off the rank is the ending of the failed war for greater Israel.  That defeat has been obvious since before Sharon started the long retreat and total withdrawal from Lebanon and total withdrawal from Gaza and from when GWB declared the West Bank occupied territory rather than the ‘disputed territory’ that all other US presidents since 1967 had called it. 

    Obama will eventually (probably after the election of a Livni government when the Netanyahu government falls apart / ends its term) bask in the glory of a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis while simply following the strategic path laid down by GWB.  On the other hand it was Nixon who ended the failed war to prevent democratic elections in Vietnam etc so Netanyahu may very well be the one to sign!  I’m thinking how prescient the Nobel committee will be hailed by the pseudo’s of the moribund peace movement, when ‘they’ had awarded him the prize for not being GWB! Yet Obama was compelled to keep the exact same staff in place to continue pretty well the exact end stage brought forward by the ‘Surge’ tactics that Obama had opposed and has then had to adopt the same process for the long neglected Afghanistan Pakistan war. 

    The pseudoleft are right to identify ‘The War on Terror’ as crap.  This is quite clearly a strategic war that has ZIP to do directly with terrorists produced in so called allied countries.  Yet these tyrannies had-to-be stopped from producing what they had and still are producing because quite frankly not only is it very bad for business but if not addressed could only get much worse.

    Unfortunately for the pseudoleft this war also has ZIP to do with their beloved alternative explanations centred on oil.  If you don’t install puppets then you can’t steal the oil!  No puppets have been installed in Iraq.  The leadership of the anti war movement before the war assured us they would be.  Pilger even named the general!

    Instead all the old policies had to be dumped like the garbage that the left always said they were. 

    The revolution to change the region, had to be kick started.  Why on earth should leftists not just support but require the US and Brit ruling classes to not only reverse policies of propping up the autocrats and assorted ratbags but actually start the process of cleaning up the mess that their old failed policies had made?

    The heart of the reactionary ME had to be ripped out if the revolution was to get going quickly and all the old policies dumped.  They were and Obama can do nothing to stop it now!

  21. conrad
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    when the US goes broke, thanks in part to all these silly wars and Iran subsumes control of Iraq (I’ve noticed they’ve taken an oil well back today), thanks almost entirely to the US, people are going to look back at the Iraq war and see it as one of the defining events that represented the US coming back down from the pinnacle it had reached. If the trillions spent fighting in Iraq for little purpose had been spent on infrastructure in the US (or not spent at all given it was essentially borrowed from China), the US would be a far better place now. I’m surprised there are still people under the delusional belief that even in hindsight, the Iraq war was a good idea.

  22. Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Conrad; I always believed that this required revolutionary war would essentially bankrupt the lastsuperpower as it continues its decline and goes the way of that 2nd to last superpower, but to think that Iran will subsume control of Iraq in the 21st C despite the fact that we are sixty plus years into the now undeniable era when ‘nations want liberation, countries want independence, and the people want revolution’ is quite frankly to be barking mad.

    The Iranian rulers are hated by their people and are destined for the dustbin as the influence and example of elections that actually mean something spreads exactly the other way.

    If the Iranian government have ‘taken an oil well back today’, then no doubt the Iraqi government is fully involved in dealing with the issue. A peaceful bourgeois democracy now exists where formerly a fascist regime bent on conquest and the oppression of its own people was in power, and that’s about the right way to describe the failing theocracy of Iran. With or without the odd disputed oil well the Iranian regime is going to be overthrown by its own people who want what the Iraqi people have, and that is elections that mean something.

    In the short term people may well see the Iraq war as the start of the collapse of the lastsuperpower, but they would be totally wrong. This type of thinking is based on the thought that communism rather than revisionism collapsed with the fall of the other superpower and that US capitalism won.

    The thinking that produced ‘the end of history’ foolishness when really an utterly phoney communism that was nothing but state capitalism (the weaker of the two capitalist contenders) collapsed first.

    But all the way along the US was continuing its relative decline and collapse as well. What has become of the Marcos regime, the Pinochet regime, the Suharto regime and the US approved invasion of East Timor? Has Conrad not noticed the massive changes in Korea and Taiwan, and all this since the US was booted out of Vietnam over thirty five years ago and then it was still supporting South Africa and continuing to pour vast sums into a war for greater Israel that they now have to finalise all these years later in complete defeat. What has become of the military dictatorships of Pakistan?

    Conrad has not noticed an ongoing pattern of failure and defeat because Conrad has drunk the Kool aid, offered by the old school realists of the foreign policy establishment despite the practice of their policies going down the toilet!

    Conrad is not thinking of the wasted decades when the US was actually propping up every autocratic thug from the Shah in Iran after the US coup in 1953 that resulted in the subsequent blow back of the Khomeini reaction and another wasted 25 plus years of suffering for the Iranian people. But at least Conrad has identified the greatest debtor country that used to be (at it’s actual pinnacle) the world’s biggest creditor.

    Yes the whole world would be further advanced if the policies advocated by the (genuine) left of supporting the three great trends had been followed rather than opposed. But that is like saying if my sister had balls she’d be my brother.

    I suppose Conrad still thinks the blatantly fascist Chinese regime is some form of communist system, but if I called myself Jesus Christ I don’t think he’d buy it; yet from my point of view the latter is no less realistic.

  23. conrad
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    apart from moral grounds, you might wan’t to go broke fighting in some place most people can’t point to on a map (and you can add Afghanistan to that), but I don’t. Fortunately, the Australian government realized it was a lost cause and only ever gave a token amount of troops.
    How about this: if the US won in Iraq, what would get? Iraq. If the US lost in Iraq, what would get? Iraq. Ditto for Afghanistan. Does it make a real difference to them either way?
    It’s funny that you complain about the Chinese government (I agree they’re totalitarian), but at least they’re smart enough not to bankrupt themselves fighting in places essentially worthless to them, and if you need resources, well, bribery is orders of magnitudes cheaper than fighting.

  24. Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I think it was Mark Twain that once said “How empty is theory in the presence of fact”. 

    So here is some evidence (provided by Young Marxist, Guru Jane and Arthur Dent in debate at LS) that the Americans are fighting a revolutionary war.

    1) The fact that they sacked the entire Baathist army, rather than do a deal with it.

    2) The fact that 3 national elections have been held, against the will of terrorists who threatened to kill all those who took part.

    3) The fact that an Islamist Government, part of a political movement allied to the rulers of Iran, was elected in those elections.

    4) The fact that, against all the received wisdom of 60 years of global hegemony, they have caused massive disruption and instability, unlike 1990-1, when they betrayed the Marsh Arabs and made sure that Sadaam was left in power.

    5) The hostility of old-school, stability-obsessed hegemonists like Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell to the overthrow of Sadaam. 
    6) The fact that they banned the Baath Party and immediately embarked on de-Baathication of the Iraqi education curriculum which they completed in time for the new school year in September 03 – barely 4 months after the fall of the regime. They would have needed to prepare for this before the invasion.
    7) The fact that they lied to their contacts in the Baath Party before the invasion as to their intentions, then implemented them immediately on taking control.
    8 ) The fact that they have consistently, from the beginning, facilitated a viable political place for the Sunni Arabs most notably by agreeing/imposing an EU model proportionally representative electoral system rather than a US first-past-post system open to gerrymander by the majority interests.
    9) The fact that they insisted on a unity government including Sunni Arabs after the Jan 05 election over the protests of the Shiite/Kurd majority.
    10) The fact that they have consistently given the Baath and Sunni non AlQ jihadis a face saving excuse to abandon the insurgency and join democratic process by labelling the enemy as Al Qaeda in Iraq. Which continues bearing fruit, as can be seen in Anbar, Diyala and Salahuddin provinces. 
    11) The fact that they have played off the self interests and angst of all the neighbours with result that the maintenance of the democratic Iraqi constitution protected by an indefinite US military presence has now become the “least bad” solution for all the neighbours, including Iran.
    12) The ‘fact’ that now that the PR-based democracy has taken hold in Iraq, however imperfect it is in western terms,   Arab minorities in Arab countries will demand the same.  Most notably the significant Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia who live on the oil fields and the Shiites in Bahrain who (I think) are the majority, or close to it.  That’s how “democracy” will spread.
    Re the disbanding of Iraqi Army: Bremer’s argument that it had already disbanded itself was clearly nothing more than a debating point in context of internal US domestic politics. If the US had intended to keep the army intact it would have kept the army intact and that’s what Bremer’s instructions would have been. There are obvious self-interested reasons for the US to obfuscate the origins of the decision since they were engaged in seducing the non AlQI insurgency to accept the new democratic reality: embrace the political process and make the most of it. 
    If they had not disbanded the army they would have ended up doing Sadaam’s job of fighting a Shia and Kurdish insurrection to prevent democracy in Iraq. There would have been no point in invading at all.

    If they had announced (or even let anyone outside the very tiny and isolated clique running US policy fully understand) what their intentions were they would never have got Congressional authorization.  (Most Iraqi Democrats assumed they would be betrayed again right until “Order Number 1” was issued).

    The story given out and widely believed, even among US military leadership was that they were going to establish a more “moderate” Arab autocracy, like Jordan.

    The Sunni insurrection took a long time to gestate because even many of the Baathists were glad to see the end of Sadaam’s regime and could not imagine the US actually destabilizing the whole region as it has. They expected to remain in power with the same system that had prevailed since Ottoman times.

    and BTW

    ‘It’s no use calling for the restoration of the Stuarts or of “international law” by looking up definitions of “revolution” in English dictionaries. While Continental Europe was signing the famous “Treaty of Westphalia” to entrench the sovereignty of princes and potentates, the English ruling class was inviting a Dutch Army to bring about the Glorious Revolution.

    In reaction to Cromwell’s regime the Restoration so firmly established a principle of “non-resistance” to the Crown that they could not even admit they were doing it and had to pretend the King had abdicated by fleeing.

    The transition from feudalism to bourgeois democracy was intimately associated with foreign invasion in British history.

    Likewise Lincoln could never have launched the civil war if he had admitted it was a revolutionary war for completing the bourgeois revolution and ending feudalism and slavery in the south. The official policy was restoration of the status quo before secession, including slavery in the South and modern industry in the North. A policy as absurd as that advocated by opponents of the Bushies in the US.

    There quite simply isn’t any way to continue the US policies of “stability” for the Middle East that imploded with 9/11.

    The inevitable outbreak of a far bloodier civil war when the fascist regime finally did fall would have necessitated a US invasion to protect Gulf oil from the consequences of a regional war. There were detailed plans for that (from when Zinni was CENTCOM) and they were based on using the Iraqi army to “maintain stability” by putting down the Shia and Kurds.

    The  vastly reduced bloodshed resulting from the invasion instead of following the traditional policy of propping up local regimes also makes it a “humanitarian” war as claimed by most “pro-war liberals” who supported it.

    The focus at  has always been on the strategic revolutionary grounds for supporting it since we are not liberals.’
    Finally ask yourself ‘How goes the war for greater Israel? And, how long can the autocrats of Egypt, Iran, Syria etc last as tyrannies with the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples’ living in their own fully empowered independent bourgeois democracies?

  25. conrad
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    for all your rhetoric, I’m surprised that you won’t just admit that in hindsight, Iraq 2 was and is a hopeless failure, no matter what justification — and you should really now be talking in past tense, not present tense cf. “the Americans are fighting a revolutionary war” vs. “The Americans lost a lot of money and lives in Iraq for no apparent gain — in fact almost everyone lost. Not even the best judge, the Iraqi civilians, love them for it (cf. Bosnia), and they sold out the only group that might really have benefitted, the Kurds, also”. The outcome was of course pretty obvious to start with (just ask any Frenchman or Russian), which is probably why the only two countries stupid enough to commit large amounts of lives and money were the US and the UK. If Blair got lynched tomorrow for it, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest.

  26. Kenny
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I am a little surprised that in this conversation, nobody had addressed the consequences of this war.

    As far as I can find out, deaths from violence, breakdown of law and order, public health and hygiene, water and supplies, etc, total over 1 million.

    Refugees, internal and external, total over 4 million.

    So all sophistry aside, this was a crime on an immense scale, and yet the perpetrators go unpunished.

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