‘Invading Iraq increased UK’s terrorist threat’


by Sunny
21st July, 2010 at 4:14 pm    

It was probably the most damning indictment of the Iraq war. And yet not enough has been said about it. Owen at ThirdEstate says it’s confirmation blindness and he’s right: us lefties have been saying it for so long that when it’s stated again – we just mutter something like ‘we told you so, you fucking cretins‘ and move on. But it’s worth stating again:

In straightforward, devastating testimony, Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry how she had warned about what sensible – but mostly frightened to speak out – senior Whitehall officials believed in 2003: that the invasion of Iraq would increase the terrorist threat to the UK.

More than once, the former head of MI5 emphasised to the Chilcot inquiry that the invasion exacerbated the terrorist threat to the UK and was a “highly significant” factor in how “home-grown” extremists justified their actions.

“Our involvement in Iraq radicalised a few among a generation of young people who saw [it] as an attack upon Islam,” she said.

No. Shit. Sherlock.

Why long before decent lefties like Nick Cohen try and accuse her of “moral relativism” or something? The Labour party people are silent because their main candidate is still busy trying to justify what happened, while not accepting at all the impact Iraq had in the UK. Tories are silent because they went along with this rubbish of course. Even uber-wingnut Melanie Phillips hasn’t said anything.

Now, I don’t believe the Labour leadership election should be a referendum on the Iraq war. But it’s striking that the Labour party is rushing headlong in pushing a candidate (D Miliband) who has learnt nothing from the debacle from start to finish, other than to say that ‘George Bush was the worst thing to happen to Tony Blair‘. But we’re not talking about what happened to Blair now, Mr Miliband – he is history. We want to know what you learnt from it.


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  2. Nicholas Stewart

    ‘Invading Iraq increased UK’s terrorist threat’ http://j.mp/awZNEA – well no fucking shit




  1. Shamit — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:10 pm  

    Another Swift boating tactics against D. Miliband.

    Well at least we know where he stands – at least he did what he believed to be right. Not like some others –

    “well I kept my mouth shut because my boss told me to do so. And I was not even in the government but i was getting paid by the government at the time.”

    And even his partner in crime (ED BALLS) to hoist GB over us disagrees with Ed M’s version of events.

    Going after the second preferences I take it – ensure that anti – blair crowd join together and push Ed M through. Good strategy and it just might work.

    But he ain’t gonna be PM – and the “pure left” would ensure he alienates the middle of the road voters like his ex boss.
    ***************************************

    the whole point of this post is the last few lines attacking david miliband.

    **************************************

    Iraq was the right war in the wrong time – reading Johann hari in the Indy today I was really surprised at the stupidity and arrogance of the “pure left” – Blair was a dictator. I guess Saddam was not a dictator and Taliban are angels. Whatever?

    The so called “pure left” is always so concerned about human rights – but only when it fits their agenda. I guess Iraqi Kurds and Iraqi shias did not deserve human rights -

    Bloody hell – many people said that about former yugoslavia . Yeah we should have jsut let Miliosevic kill muslims then init? I like how the so called “pure left” talk about principles when they surely have it when it suits their cause….

    *********************

    But I like it when the “pure left” continuously uses John Tower tactics and claim the moral high ground – for fucks sake – give us a break.

  2. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

    Well at least we know where he stands – at least he did what he believed to be right.

    But turned out to be wrong.

    The point is to say that everyone makes bad decisions. But unless you accept mistakes and learn from them – you’re not fit enough to be leader.

  3. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:32 pm  

    I don’t know what Labour have learnt, but the response on the left remains bitterly disappointing.

    Sunny, the point remains that states and governments cannot and should not decide foreign policy on the basis of whether a group of home-grown religious extremists will take umbrage and kill dozens on the transport network.

    By making policy in that way, governments would give a veto over policy to the most extreme and dangerous people in the country. This argument about the Iraq War being having such a massive impact would be more persuasive had it been Iraqis who carried out these terrorist attacks in London. In fact, the terrorists were British citizens of Pakistani origin.

    Why should their opinion about the Iraq War take precedence over those of other people? A great many people opposed the Iraq War but very few of them endorse or carry out terrorist attacks. The bombers weren’t not ‘forced’ or ‘driven’ to commit these acts; they made a cognisant, adult decision. There is no reason that they could not have made different decisions. Many see greater rights for gay people as an affront, would it be justifiable for them to strap bombs to themselves and attack gay-clubs? If they glibly called it a, ‘war on our way of life,’ would they get to be taken seriously and preferenced?

    What many on the left want is to justify terror as a proxy way of expressing their angst about Britain’s society, its government and its alliances. Anything to avoid discussion of Islamism’s role in Islamic terror.

  4. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:37 pm  

    Its clear from her testimony Blair et al sought deniability by NOT speaking to people who would disagree with the Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld agenda.

    Shamit, the people in the US voted for Obama in huge numbers because he too thought invading had been wrong. Only on this side of the Atlantic are there still people trying to justify a great wrong. Which is a little perverse.

    Problem is entirely political (as hinted in Sunny’s post) – what do you do if you all came and admit it was wrong. Each of the two mainstream parties would be left with a handful people without blood on their hands. And that is why we are going through this charade.

    Blair, claims history will be on his side – but he would say that wouldn’t he?

    He won the previous election by default but his supporters sought to present it as a sort of backing from the pubic for Iraq.

    And yet it is the Iraq war which has destroyed the prospects of this generation of Labour politicians. None of the potential leadership candidates will make it to No. 10. They are all William Hagues, minus the baseball cap, as far as I can see.

    Gordon Brown failed to do one thing that could have started putting the matter right, he did not distance himself or the party from that fateful decision and specifically a messianic Blair. Even when he could see Obama was winning great support for his opposition to the war.

    It will not go away, not for a long time.

  5. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:41 pm  

    Sunny, the point remains that states and governments cannot and should not decide foreign policy on the basis of whether a group of home-grown religious extremists will take umbrage and kill dozens on the transport network.

    foreign policy is ALWAYS determined by whether a course of action increases or decreases our safety and security.

    This is why people get fired for endangering national security.

    Blair endangered national security by invading Iraq. No ifs, no buts.

    Anything to avoid discussion of Islamism’s role in Islamic terror.

    This is pretty lame. I’m all for taking out terrorists. But I’m not for taking courses of action that make things worse.

    I hope you’re intelligent enough to recognise the difference.

  6. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:44 pm  

    Refresh –

    ‘He won the previous election by default but his supporters sought to present it as a sort of backing from the pubic for Iraq.’

    Really? I think it is reasonable to say that Iraq was a factor in the media. Reg Keys stood against Blair in his constituency.

    I don’t think that anyone presented it as the public backing Iraq, rather that there had been a post-Iraq election won by Blair. And they are right to say that.

    The more interesting question is whether this is more about the all-consuming dislike of George Bush. Sunny manages to hold it in to the last paragraph, but there it is. If Al Gore I suspect that this would not have been all-consuming.

  7. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:45 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    I agree with the general priniciple that the country should not be persuaded by a risk of a threat of terrorism.

    But it should be persuaded by the general will of the people which was opposed – across the board; and it should also stop and think about the impact of continuing policies where millions have died as a direct consequence. Policies which have been duplicitous and aimed at the same body of people for the last 80 to 90 years.

  8. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:48 pm  

    Sunny – So you are saying that people blowing up transport networks should get a veto on policy?

    Or just the ones that have a sense of ‘grievance’ that has the halo of leftist talkboard legitimacy?

    By your rationale we should just be isolationist – not a bad idea on paper at least.

  9. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:50 pm  

    ‘I don’t think that anyone presented it as the public backing Iraq.’

    His supporters have trotted it out, we’ve seen it here.

    ‘that there had been a post-Iraq election won by Blair. And they are right to say that.’

    Indeed. By default.

    ‘The more interesting question is whether this is more about the all-consuming dislike of George Bush.’

    Why would that be so? I don’t believe the British public are normally that familiar with political personalities from across the Atlantic, but become so through their actions.

    Even Bill Clinton wouldn’t have been spared.

  10. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:52 pm  

    Refresh –

    ‘But it should be persuaded by the general will of the people which was opposed – across the board’

    The public had a vast number of anti-war parties to choose from in 2005, they did not choose them. If you mean the protest march, I’m not sure that the general will is best served by mob rule.

    ‘it should also stop and think about the impact of continuing policies where millions have died as a direct consequence.’

    Look, if I had my way we would be out of Afghanistan and Iraq before you could say, ‘move out.’ If the locals want to kill each other that is fine by me.

    ‘Policies which have been duplicitous and aimed at the same body of people for the last 80 to 90 years.’

    Ah, so this is all about giving Islamists an exemption from the general rule of not killing people?

  11. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:54 pm  

    Refresh – ‘Indeed. By default.’

    No, I remember very clearly a hard fought campaign and vote. What do you mean default. Presumably if the election was a referendum on the war we would have had a RESPECT/SWP (Stop the War – Freedom for Palestine) government.

    Bill Clinton bombed Iraq on several occasions in the 1990s, I don’t remember the left getting pent up about it.

  12. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 6:57 pm  

    ‘Ah, so this is all about giving Islamists an exemption from the general rule of not killing people?’

    What are you trying to say? I read that to mean that any muslim opposed to muslims being killed as a consequence of foreign policy is an islamist – whatever that term is supposed to mean.

    You can be non-muslim and oppose the killing and you would be a person of principle?

    This is so completley irrational and not at all close what I would have expected from MaidMarian of old.

    As an aside perhaps you could have a stab at defining an islamist. No scrub that.

  13. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

    Sunny – So you are saying that people blowing up transport networks should get a veto on policy?

    No – but do you accept the notion that our foreign policy should also be determined by what helps and what doesn’t?

    Contrary to shamit’s point – there were no people being gassed at the time by Saddam Hussain. At the time they were – we should have gone in. Except that the Republicans were too busy cosying up to him then.

  14. joe — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:02 pm  

    Maid Marian
    “Ah, so this is all about giving Islamists an exemption from the general rule of not killing people?”

    Why not since Zionist and Hinduvata terrorists are and were excused from it , from the bombing of the King David Hotel to Israelis ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian to the pogroms in Gujurat. All because they suffered “in the past”.

  15. joe — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    “Contrary to shamit’s point – there were no people being gassed at the time by Saddam Hussain. At the time they were – we should have gone in. Except that the Republicans were too busy cosying up to him then.”

    and indeed supplying him the weapons to do it as well as gas our enemies the Iranians.

  16. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:04 pm  

    Ok Refresh, let’s put this another way.

    Out there right now there are a great many muslims who do not feel the need to bomb transport networks. It is safe to assume that these people are not, ‘terrorists,’ in any real sense of the word. I can not understand why it is that the left has seen fit to lionise those that do. You are puting words into my mouth with your talk of, ‘any muslim.’

    The people who do kill do so out of a cognisant choice. Tony Blair forced no one. Would you hold Peter Tatchell responsible for gay-bashing?

  17. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:04 pm  

    ‘What do you mean default.’

    That no one wanted the Tories back. A trick played by New Labour more than once.

    And you know full well SWP/Respect and you can include the LibDems would not have been in government no matter what. But for Labour the final nail was in the coffin this time around.

    And if I could find the quote from one of the leadership candidates, you will find he agrees with me that it was Iraq what did it. A slow burning fuse if you like.

  18. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:06 pm  

    ‘You are puting words into my mouth with your talk of, ‘any muslim.’’

    I am not. I just like to think you were being careless.

  19. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:07 pm  

    joe – ‘Why not since Zionist and Hinduvata terrorists are and were excused from it , from the bombing of the King David Hotel to Israelis ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian to the pogroms in Gujurat. All because they suffered “in the past”.’

    Well, no actually. I am capable of thinking about two different conflicts separately without indulging in whatabouttery.

    You know it’s strange, I got shouted at on CiF not all that long ago for the crime of actually thinking that Kosovo should be separate from Serbia. Or are the Muslims there not brown enough for this sort of thing?

    I’m pretty impressed that you managed to shoehorn Israel into this within two paragraphs.

  20. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:09 pm  

    BTW I agreed with your point on what are legitimate reasons for change in policy.

    Perhaps you could agree with mine, that continuing killings of people who have seen little change in policy over the last 80~90 years does not serve the national interest?

  21. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:09 pm  

    Refresh – ‘And you know full well SWP/Respect and you can include the LibDems would not have been in government no matter what.’

    Well, Kennedy was never any stronger than, ‘I am not convinced by the case for action in Iraq.’

    And yes, if Iraq was the all consuming political issue the voters would havevoted for them. Could it possibly be that Iraq is actually of less import outside of the talkboards?

  22. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

    ‘Could it possibly be that Iraq is actually of less import outside of the talkboards?’

    The public’s response comes in many different ways – and that general theme is that they lie and cheat, even to the degree of watching a million people die. And the frustration is no one has a clue on how to bring them to account.

  23. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:20 pm  

    Refresh – So from your last post, am I to take it that your concern is more about domestic political frustrations than it is about people overseas.

    With respect (and I do mean that) these attacks were about religion, not a considered analysis of Western foreign policy. These people are not going to be subscribing to the leftist-peacenik world view any time soon.

    And that is not Tony Blair’s fault.

  24. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

    Sunny – Sorry, missed your post.

    ‘No – but do you accept the notion that our foreign policy should also be determined by what helps and what doesn’t?’

    Well how far do you take that. Surrender would have spared London the blitz, that does not make the Blitz Chruchill’s fault.

    ‘Contrary to shamit’s point – there were no people being gassed at the time by Saddam Hussain. At the time they were – we should have gone in. Except that the Republicans were too busy cosying up to him then.’

    That has more do do with sanctions post Kuwait. Sunny, alliances can shift, the world is not pickled in aspic. I have no doubt that the Republicans had some unhealthy relationships, but that does not mean that they are committed to that relationship forever and a day. While we are on WW2, think the von Ribbentrop-Molotov pact for an idea of shifting alliances.

  25. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 7:28 pm  

    ‘With respect (and I do mean that) these attacks were about religion, not a considered analysis of Western foreign policy. These people are not going to be subscribing to the leftist-peacenik world view any time soon.’

    Are you manoeuvering me? You should read again what I said upthread. I agreed with you so why raise this point with me.

    Tony Blair’s fault is messianic belief that he can do anyting and get away with it. And I would also try to understand his religio-political stance – I suppose one day we will.

    ‘So from your last post, am I to take it that your concern is more about domestic political frustrations than it is about people overseas.’

    Both, like any good citizen.

  26. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 8:07 pm  

    Or are the Muslims there not brown enough for this sort of thing?

    Who’s talking about Kosovo though? I supported that. I’d have supported going into Congo or Rwanda earlier to stop that too.

    but to try and make this into a discussion about how the UK and USA went in there to stop genocide is a brilliant way to divert attention from the main point.

    We didn’t go there to stop genocide. That happened years ago. We went in there because we were told there were WMDs and because Iraq was tied with 9/11. Both are not true and there was evidence then it was bollocks.

    So either you care about what politicians say and judge them on whether they’re telling the truth or not, or you simply take positions depending on your political bias. And you’ll carry on defending Iraq by using fatuous examples and defunct excuses.

  27. Sunny — on 21st July, 2010 at 8:09 pm  

    Well how far do you take that. Surrender would have spared London the blitz, that does not make the Blitz Chruchill’s fault.

    Silly example. We committed to helping the Polish then, and we knew that unless we stopped Hitler there would be many more people, especially Jews, killed.

    I’m not arguing against intervention period, and you’re disingenuously trying to make it into that. Otherwise – why don’t we invade North Korea? Lots of people being oppressed there…?

  28. MaidMarian — on 21st July, 2010 at 9:10 pm  

    Sunny – Quite the liberal interventionist!

    I am far more worried about NK than I am about Iran. No one ever seems to want to talk about NK.

    Regardless.

    ‘We didn’t go there to stop genocide. That happened years ago. We went in there because we were told there were WMDs and because Iraq was tied with 9/11. Both are not true and there was evidence then it was bollocks.

    So either you care about what politicians say and judge them on whether they’re telling the truth or not, or you simply take positions depending on your political bias. And you’ll carry on defending Iraq by using fatuous examples and defunct excuses.’

    I thought that this started off as all about Muslim opinion and ‘radicalisation,’ not about, ‘lies.’

    I realise that you will never agree with me on this, but here we go. It’s not clear that Blair simply lied (or not in any real way) – as I have said on here before, there was a collective group think. Blair’s problem was (and I agree with an earlier comment) his sense of conviction, of moral sureity. There were no outright lies, there were lawyerly lies – spin so to speak. Evidence was used, as it should be in policy. It was just that the collective group think tended to exclude the downsides and the balancing evidence.

    Think of it this way Sunny, suppose that Blair had said he was going to war as a foreign policy decision, that the alliance with America was most important – would that have somethow made the invasion OK? No.

    Iraq was wrong because it created disorder, not because it annoyed people in the basements of Luton bookshops or because of flaws in the internal policy-making process.

    Just to say that because David Milliband or any other candidate were involved in Iraq, therefore they are beyond the pale forever is dogma of the worst sort. There are many good reasons to oppose Milliband, Iraq is not one of them.

    The best reason to oppose Milliband is that Andy Burnham is a better candidate.

  29. Brownie — on 21st July, 2010 at 10:40 pm  

    Contrary to shamit’s point – there were no people being gassed at the time by Saddam Hussain. At the time they were – we should have gone in.

    But what happened to our national interest and the need to avoid radicalisation of a minority?

    All that’s happening here is people who opposed war X are saying “look at these consequences”. When we move on to war Y that they happened to support, the consequences of that are axiomatically considered by them to be ‘worth paying’.

    People can find reasons to justify the wars they supported, and ways to condemn those they didn’t.
    Who’d a thunk it?

  30. Brownie — on 21st July, 2010 at 10:51 pm  

    Silly example. We committed to helping the Polish then, and we knew that unless we stopped Hitler there would be many more people, especially Jews, killed.

    What, “many more” than the 70 million who did die in WWII? Really? How is this different to the arguments for invasion in Iraq which make claims about what might have happened if we didn’t invade?

  31. Refresh — on 21st July, 2010 at 11:19 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    Following on from my #4:

    This item –

    ‘Coalition confusion as Nick Clegg tells Commons that the Iraq war was illegal
    The invasion of Iraq was illegal, Nick Clegg has declared throwing into confusion the Coalition Government’s policy. ‘

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/nick-clegg/7903576/Coalition-confusion-as-Nick-Clegg-tells-Commons-that-the-Iraq-war-was-illegal.html

    I recommend a read, it shows the charade at play and why.

  32. Random Guy — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:07 am  

    The truth the truth, as always is too hard to handle and will be ignored in favour of the so-called moral argument supporting the illegal invasion of a country, destruction of its infrastructure, and slaughter of its innocents by the West for (among other things) oil. Bleaters can bleat, but this will be the enduring legacy of the war in Iraq (and in Afghanistan) for generations to come. No one will forget what was perpetrated there by the lying politicians and their supporters in the media, as well as the unfortunate fools who hold on to some sort of notion of ‘noble liberation’. Sorry, just summing up some thoughts.

  33. cjcjc — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:11 am  

    But Sunny this is just as true of the Afghan war, which you supported.

    “All that’s happening here is people who opposed war X are saying “look at these consequences”. When we move on to war Y that they happened to support, the consequences of that are axiomatically considered by them to be ‘worth paying’.”

    Precisely.

  34. Refresh — on 22nd July, 2010 at 9:19 am  

    cjcjc,

    Wars are not football fixtures. Although you would wish us to treat them as such so you could move on to the next one without too much moral baggage.

  35. cjcjc — on 22nd July, 2010 at 9:46 am  

    Eh?

    What was meant was when we move on *to discuss* war Y.

  36. bananabrain — on 22nd July, 2010 at 10:38 am  

    @ refresh:

    And if I could find the quote from one of the leadership candidates, you will find he agrees with me that it was Iraq what did it. A slow burning fuse if you like.

    for the people that might elect him labour leader, perhaps – but not with the electorate at large.

    With respect (and I do mean that) these attacks were about religion, not a considered analysis of Western foreign policy. These people are not going to be subscribing to the leftist-peacenik world view any time soon.

    exactly, however much one sucks up to them. iraq war or not, these people would be offended enough to increase the uk’s terrorist threat if it simply sat inside all day in a room with all the lights on and the windows closed with its hands on the table where everyone could see them – the iraq war just gave them something to justify how they felt anyway. remember 9/11? uss cole? these things happened *before* iraq. the justification then was “us troops out of arabia” – when they were there post 1990 to protect the saudis from the iraqis, if you remember.

    We didn’t go there to stop genocide. That happened years ago. We went in there because we were told there were WMDs and because Iraq was tied with 9/11. Both are not true and there was evidence then it was bollocks.

    there might not have been wmds by the time we got there (and i personally think we just didn’t find them, due to russian training and iraqi expertise in “maskirovka”, or them having been sent over the syrian border for safekeeping) but there certainly were when saddam was using them on the kurds and shi’a. we just went in at the wrong time, when we should have removed him after 1990 but we didn’t, because the syrians and turks didn’t want it to happen – precisely BECAUSE they didn’t want the kurds declaring independence and because the saudis didn’t want the iranians taking over in shi’a iraq. saddam was seen as a better option – the price was losing the timeliness of the moral justification needed to convince people that you need a moral rather than a strategic justification for war. i think it was stupid to try and deceive and, incidentally, i also think it was stupid to make the link between iraq and al-qaeda, when in fact that was created due to our *removal* of saddam. i can understand why they thought it plausible at the time though, but i never agreed. i just thought “better late than never” and i still think that’s true, unpalatable though that is for many here.

    Silly example. We committed to helping the Polish then, and we knew that unless we stopped Hitler there would be many more people, especially Jews, killed.

    what a load of crap. the allies didn’t bomb the railways to the camps or do anything else to stop the holocaust despite considerable pressure because it wasn’t strategically necessary to do so. we didn’t fight hitler to save the jews – we did it to save britain from invasion and nazi domination of europe. the us ambassador at the time – the jew-hating, mafia-financed “old joe” kennedy, the patriarch of the kennedy clan, tried to get us to make a deal with the nazis. the jews could go hang – as indeed we did; hence our determination to sort things out for ourselves in future.

    Otherwise – why don’t we invade North Korea? Lots of people being oppressed there…?

    so, you support invading north korea? isn’t it a bit late now they’ve got nuclear weapons? presumably you don’t support invading iran, because they are on their way to getting them? lots of people being oppressed there too.

    uk grand strategy, now we have lost our global naval dominance (in exchange for us help during ww2) is based on our strategic usefulness to the americans – therefore, what they say goes. talk of realigning ourselves (with who? the european union? the russians? the chinese?) is pure nonsense. and any other option will also require you to hold your fastidious left-wing noses.

    slaughter of its innocents by the West

    oh, for feck’s sake – we didn’t go there to kill people. far more innocent iraqis have been killed by the iraqi “resistance” and continue to be – and for what?

    Wars are not football fixtures.

    strategically, i’m afraid they are. for this reason, many people in the military oppose ground engagement in afghanistan, because it’s not strategically necessary. the american military is designed to kill people and blow stuff up, not nation-building. ours is somewhat less so, but commitment of resources to a strategic theatre is based on cold calculation of the benefits versus the risks – if it isn’t, then you’re going to waste an awful lot of lives trying to uphold a questionable set of moral principles. i am not saying these aren’t important, but i question whether they are ever given more than a passing consideration as justification for military intervention. in an ideal world, of course they would be, but we don’t live in one.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  37. Random Guy — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:10 am  

    “oh, for feck’s sake – we didn’t go there to kill people.”

    And yet, thats exactly what happened.

    “far more innocent iraqis have been killed by the iraqi “resistance” and continue to be – and for what?”

    According to whose figures? Cherry pick to suit yourself, but I doubt that 600,000 to a million have been killed by internal violence caused by the West. AND FOR WHAT you say? Well, for the West and its greed for Oil, and thanks to possible false-flag information provided to the US Intelligence by agent provocateurs. Oh, and lets not forget the Israeli angle, which was highly publicised throughout (it will make Israel safer – well has it? has it f**k).

  38. Sunny — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:16 am  

    cjcjc – true, but the cost of not going into Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban would have been higher. Not so with Iraq.

  39. bananabrain — on 22nd July, 2010 at 12:49 pm  

    AND FOR WHAT you say? Well, for the West and its greed for Oil, and thanks to possible false-flag information provided to the US Intelligence by agent provocateurs.

    i meant why have the “iraqi resistance” killed so many of their fellow muslims and iraqis?

    Oh, and lets not forget the Israeli angle, which was highly publicised throughout (it will make Israel safer – well has it? has it f**k).

    actually, strategically speaking it has exposed the iranians as being the key players, as they have taken over hamas funding from saddam, as well as removing saddam’s own strategic considerations – you may not remember the scud attacks on israel in 1990. so, yes, i’d say there isn’t much of a downside to israel in anarchy in iraq – although actually what would serve the israelis better (and be far more just) would be an independent kurdistan. but that, of course, would upset all the arabs and the turks and iranians and russians and we can’t have that. besides, the UK and US should not (and largely do not) make strategic commitments for the benefit of israel. the US supports israel for its own purposes, which in this case (from a US strategic point of view) are not especially well served by being in iraq, if you ask me.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  40. bananabrain — on 22nd July, 2010 at 12:52 pm  

    but the cost of not going into Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban would have been higher. Not so with Iraq.

    yes, that’s the argument that held sway in 1990 when it shouldn’t oughta. i love this lack of moral scruples about leaving the iraqi people under a homicidal dictator who fed people into plastic shredding machines, to say nothing of halabja and the marsh arabs.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  41. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2010 at 1:13 pm  

    i love this lack of moral scruples about leaving the iraqi people under a homicidal dictator who fed people into plastic shredding machines, to say nothing of halabja and the marsh arabs.

    Yes, that would have been terrible. Still, we’re “leaving” the Zimbabwean people under the thumb of a murderous tyrant, and the North Korean people under the heel of a brutal nutbag. Why? Because the costs of war are likely to worsen their plight. Just as it’s done in Iraq. Sometimes both alternatives are awful.

  42. bananabrain — on 22nd July, 2010 at 1:36 pm  

    see, that’s what i just don’t get.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  43. me — on 22nd July, 2010 at 1:47 pm  

    BenSix
    “Why? Because the costs of war are likely to worsen their plight”

    Duh. Because there’s no oil in Zimbabwe or North Korea.

  44. Spittoon — on 22nd July, 2010 at 2:03 pm  

    “The Spittoon is a blog venue for the views and ideas of a group of writers and activists who oppose religious supremacism and clerical fascism in all its various stripes and denominations. ”

    Except when it employs Clerical Fascist followers of Judaism like bananabrain!

  45. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2010 at 2:10 pm  

    Duh. Because there’s no oil in Zimbabwe or North Korea.

    Hah! Good point. I meant “why would you and I oppose it” rather than “why wouldn’t our government do it” but, yes, should’a been clear.

  46. bananabrain — on 22nd July, 2010 at 3:01 pm  

    as little as i agree with me/munir/blah/spittoon, our frothing neighbourhood troll multi-aliased sock-puppet, i agree about the oil in zimbabwe and north korea. on the other hand, this is a person who thinks i’m a “clerical fascist”, so he’s clearly a feckwit.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  47. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

    So, all those people who supported the war in Iraq must agitate for a thermo-nuclear holocaust by supporting the invasion of North Korea, all just prove we’re not hypocrites about liberal interventionism?

    I’ll be in the loft looking for my NBC kit…

  48. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 5:42 pm  

    Brownie,

    It is a fact that you are just the sort of tit that would!

    Now fuck off.

  49. Nina — on 22nd July, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

    “What, “many more” than the 70 million who did die in WWII? Really? How is this different to the arguments for invasion in Iraq which make claims about what might have happened if we didn’t invade?”

    You mean Iraq had invaded multiple countries in the last five years and was continuously despatching citizens of those countries to torture camps while decimating the armies of other countries in the region? Wow, I really wasn’t paying attention I guess.

  50. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 5:49 pm  

    Because the costs of war are likely to worsen their plight. Just as it’s done in Iraqs.

    Have you seen the polling data from Iraq? I’m not saying there’s an ocean of love for the foreign troops in Iraq, but generally speaking when the “was it worth it?” question is put to Iraqis, they say “yes”.

    You never hear much mention of this from those who opposed the war, funnily enough.

  51. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 5:52 pm  

    Brownie,

    Fuck off with your Euston Manifesto shite. It is pretty clear that the dead don’t concern you…

  52. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

    Brownie,

    Hmm…

    You never hear much mention of this from those who opposed the war, funnily enough.

    Is that because they are dead?

    You really are an idiot.

  53. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:21 pm  

    Oh Nina, you seem to be confusing two completely different things. No-one is suggesting Iraq=Nazi Germany, and the fact that you seem to think someone is ought to automatically preclude the possiblity that you have something valuable to lend this discussion.

    But I’m a generous guy, so I’ll take the time to explain that we’re taking Sunny’s model for constructing foreign policy and applying those principles to historical events to show how such criteria would, for example, have ruled out support for war against Hitler – a war generally considerd to be just and worth supporting. It’s not that I think we shouldn’t have opposed Hitler, just that if you make this a game about numbers then you need to show how appeasement of Hitler would have led to >70 million dead in the period 1930-45. Given I think you and anyone else would struggle, I think we need a model that is a little more complex than that offered by Sunny above.

    I hope this has cleared things up for you?

    If not, consider this analogy: if you claim the way to win a world cup is to play 4-5-1 because that’s how Spain play, and person B points out that Brazil won in 1994 playing 4-4-2, there are a number of counter-arguments you can offer, most of which should centre around the way modern football has evolved into a battle for control of the middle of park and the fact that you cannot afford to be outnumbered against the top teams who can monopolise possession. But pointing out that Brazil is isn’t in Europe, or that they play in yellow not red, or any other irrelevant difference, doesn’t cut it as a rebuttal of 4-4-2 being the way to go.

    Wow, I really wasn’t paying attention I guess

    Evidently.

  54. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:25 pm  

    Me:You never hear much mention of this from those who opposed the war, funnily enough.

    Dougie:Is that because they are dead?

    Are you telling me you are dead? My heartfelt condolences; to you, your family and the guy who manages your local Threshers.

  55. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:30 pm  

    Brownie,

    Wow, I really wasn’t paying attention I guess

    Evidently.

    Well I was, and you write the so much shit…

    You say:

    t’s not that I think we shouldn’t have opposed Hitler, just that if you make this a game about numbers then you need to show how appeasement of Hitler would have led to >70 million dead in the period 1930-45. Given I think you and anyone else would struggle, I think we need a model that is a little more complex than that offered by Sunny above.

    Are you completely mad? Would the death toll not have been greater had Hitler won?

    I think it would have been and I think you are playing games. Are you really that stupid?

  56. ¬AFAR — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:36 pm  

    I think the most charitable thing one can write of Douglas Clark’s recent interventions is that he is clearly greatly challenged by reading comprehension.

    Are you completely mad? Would the death toll not have been greater had Hitler won?

    Douglas dearest, such was Brownie’s point.

    Great to see you agree – albeit completely inadvertently.

    Are *you* really that stupid?

  57. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:42 pm  

    Brownie @ 54,

    No, I’m not dead.

    Your brain is @ 50, 53 and 54.

    I nhave no idea anymore what you are trying to say.

    You said, correct me if I am wrong:

    It’s not that I think we shouldn’t have opposed Hitler, just that if you make this a game about numbers then you need to show how appeasement of Hitler would have led to >70 million dead in the period 1930-45. Given I think you and anyone else would struggle, I think we need a model that is a little more complex than that offered by Sunny above.

    Seems to me to be an apologia for your chum Adolf.

    Now, go away and stop annoying us, well me, anyway. You talk shite, you deliberately ammend reality and quite frankly you are stupid….

  58. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 6:59 pm  

    Hmm,…Afar @ 56,

    (I)t’s not that I think we shouldn’t have opposed Hitler, just that if you make this a game about numbers then you need to show how appeasement of Hitler would have led to >70 million dead in the period 1930-45. Given I think you and anyone else would struggle, I think we need a model that is a little more complex than that offered by Sunny above.

    Read it again, sunbeam…

    And you are saying that Brownie doesn’t point in two directions at once?

    The war was justified. And making the numbers bigger makes no sense.

    Cheers!

  59. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

    Please. please return us the edit function!!!

  60. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:01 pm  

    So, all those people who supported the war in Iraq must agitate for a thermo-nuclear holocaust by supporting the invasion of North Korea, all just prove we’re not hypocrites about liberal interventionism?

    No, just avoid casting aspersions at the “lack of moral scruples” in those who disagreed.

    Have you seen the polling data from Iraq?

    Not recently, no. My suspicion, however, is that a war which has left untold civilians dead; made refugees from millions more; consigned large swathes to malnutrition; crippled basic services and left the country under a state that’s still committing torture isn’t, all in all, a boon. In the long – very long – term I could be proven wrong. Speed the day.

  61. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    (Well, not “proven wrong” because unknowables are, er – just that. Perhaps a better state will arise, however, and I do hope so.)

  62. Boyo — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

    It’s depressing to hear HPrs like Brownie continue to cling to their belief that they were in the right. It doesn’t really do much for one’s faith in human nature.

    I frequently protested against the war simply because it was such a crassly stupid thing to do – there was never any evidence Saddam backed AQ or had to be dealt with when he did, so why sap troops from Afghanistan, as well as alienating global Muslim opinion, by launching an unprovoked war?

    It was so absurd, it could only have been hatched by the Oedipal collective-mind of Bush and his wannabees. And that’s the saddest thing – just as Bush was driven by a dream to out-do dad’s unfinished business, so Blair’s lack of character drove him along… and now the HP cheerleaders, despite the thousands dead, the women condemned to virtual slavery, the open wound of Afghanistan, the tremendous boost to Osama bin Laden’s War OF Terror and the dead of 7/7… despite, or perhaps because, of the overwhelming evidence cling heroically to their righteousness, like a bizzare cult worshipping turtles from outerspace.

    Iraq was never rational – it was born of mental illness and sustained by mental weakness, like all the worst, most destructive conflicts. Not man’s inhumanity to man, but his stupidity.

  63. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:50 pm  

    It’s depressing to hear HPrs like Brownie continue to cling to their belief that they were in the right.

    FFS, we are two-bit commenters on a blog. I’ve got my opinions and you’ve got yours. I’m more than happy to have a civilised conversation with anyone who wants one, but the last time I looked ‘thinking you are right’ is not the crime that some like to make it out to be.

    No, just avoid casting aspersions at the “lack of moral scruples” in those who disagreed.

    Well I am and always have been happy to concede that there were poeple who oppsoed the war for perfectly valid, logical and heartfelt reasons. My experience is that there’s been little reciprocation for those of us who supported the war, but I’ll live.

    Regardless, invoking North Korea just isn’t the killer argument that many of you seem to think it is. The idea that because we can’t achieve our goals in North Korea by invading and/or that the consequences of such action would currently outweigh the gains means any consideration of armed internvetion elsewhere is intellectually and morally proscribed, is simply preposterous. I don’t and never have advocated a ‘one-size-fits-all’ foreign policy agenda. Have you?

    Where was the oil in Kosovo, by the way? Has anyone discovered the secret pipeline yet?

  64. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2010 at 7:57 pm  

    My experience is that there’s been little reciprocation for those of us who supported the war, but I’ll live.

    Brownie – I’m sure you’re a swell guy (sure, you might club rabbits for all I know, but let’s maintain good faith!).

    The idea that because we can’t achieve our goals in North Korea by invading and/or that the consequences of such action would currently outweigh the gains means any consideration of armed internvetion elsewhere is intellectually and morally proscribed, is simply preposterous.

    True! However, that wasn’t my point. banabrain‘s comment appeared to suggest that opponents of the war hadn’t considered Saddam’s cruelty. I was trying to illustrate that one can a) accept that a state of affairs is abominable and b) realise that the alternative would only serve to further harm.

  65. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:00 pm  

    Brownie,

    ffs, you have never seen yourself as a two bit commenator. You have seen yourself as a very important and very worthwile person.

    You are not.

    Now, piss off.

  66. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:00 pm  

    It was so absurd, it could only have been hatched by the Oedipal collective-mind of Bush and his wannabees. And that’s the saddest thing – just as Bush was driven by a dream to out-do dad’s unfinished business, so Blair’s lack of character drove him along… and now the HP cheerleaders, despite the thousands dead, the women condemned to virtual slavery, the open wound of Afghanistan, the tremendous boost to Osama bin Laden’s War OF Terror and the dead of 7/7… despite, or perhaps because, of the overwhelming evidence cling heroically to their righteousness, like a bizzare cult worshipping turtles from outerspace.

    Yeah, you might wanna read that back Boyo and then return to tell us who sounds “righteous”.

    Mote in thine eye, pal.

    And why are we “cheerleaders”? Why can’t we just be people who take a different view to you? Are you trying to monopolise morality? Ben is complaining about stoppers being accused of having no moral scruples, whilst at the same time you – and thousands of others – think nothing of accusing war supporters of “cheering” death and destruction, as if by dint of our support for the war we must harbour an insatiable bloodlust. And then you tell us we’re the ones clinging to our “righteousness”?

    It’s very funny, given you sound like one of those crazy-ass preachers from the boondocks, an’ all.

  67. boyo — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:01 pm  

    i didnt see any when i went in alongside the paras brownie, but one right – or indeed two, as with sierra leone, where i also had a walk on part – does not make them all so.

  68. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:03 pm  

    True! However, that wasn’t my point. banabrain‘s comment appeared to suggest that opponents of the war hadn’t considered Saddam’s cruelty. I was trying to illustrate that one can a) accept that a state of affairs is abominable and b) realise that the alternative would only serve to further harm.

    Fair enough, I get that. Apologies. Knee-jerk reaction to seeing NK invoked, given that usually happens to highlight the “hypocrisy” of war supporters who aren’t interested in the suffering of those not living in a country swimming in oil, etc., etc., et-fecking-cetera.

  69. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:05 pm  

    Brownie,

    Because you are an idiiot:

    And why are we “cheerleaders”? Why can’t we just be people who take a different view to you? Are you trying to monopolise morality? Ben is complaining about stoppers being accused of having no moral scruples, whilst at the same time you – and thousands of others – think nothing of accusing war supporters of “cheering” death and destruction, as if by dint of our support for the war we must harbour an insatiable bloodlust. And then you tell us we’re the ones clinging to our “righteousness”?

  70. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:05 pm  

    i didnt see any

    Sorry, “any” what?

  71. boyo — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:07 pm  

    i suppose considering all those blighted lives and pointless deaths caused by precisely the arrogance and ignorance you continue to exhibit bothers me

  72. boyo — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:08 pm  

    oil!

  73. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:10 pm  

    Brownie,

    Because you are an idiot:

    And why are we “cheerleaders”? Why can’t we just be people who take a different view to you? Are you trying to monopolise morality? Ben is complaining about stoppers being accused of having no moral scruples, whilst at the same time you – and thousands of others – think nothing of accusing war supporters of “cheering” death and destruction, as if by dint of our support for the war we must harbour an insatiable bloodlust. And then you tell us we’re the ones clinging to our “righteousness”?

    Piss off.

  74. Brownie — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:16 pm  

    i suppose considering all those blighted lives and pointless deaths caused by precisely the arrogance and ignorance you continue to exhibit bothers me

    Exhibit 67496937, BenSix.

    Is Vaclav Havel “ignorant”? Is Jose Ramos Horta “arrogant”? Or is it just HPers?

    It’s great that none of you stoppers exhibit these tendencies, anyway.

    This is why 90% of of these Iraq discussions get nowhere. Your mob are singularly uwilling to countenance the possiblity that it’s possible to have supported the war in good faith, without being some sort of unscrupulous, inhumane halfwit. You’re so full of your own moral rectitude that it’s a wonder you haven’t choked on it.

    Cheerio.

  75. Bill — on 22nd July, 2010 at 8:29 pm  

    Your mob are singularly unwilling to countenance the possibility that it’s possible to have supported the war in good faith, without being some sort of unscrupulous, inhumane halfwit. You’re so full of your own moral rectitude that it’s a wonder you haven’t choked on it.

    That’s typical of the Left though, isn’t it? I mean, consider all the little sects it has spawned that hate each other despite agreeing on 99% of issues. The 1% difference trumps everything else. There’s nothing comparable to this kind of hate-filled sectarianism on the Right, where disagreements are expected, not the hallmark of infiltration by alien class tendencies, or even “twattery”.

    Consider Sunny’s original post: ‘we told you so, you fucking cretins‘ The “fucking cretins” remark tells you everything you need to know about how Lefties see themselves and anyone who disagrees with them.

  76. FlyingRodent — on 22nd July, 2010 at 9:33 pm  

    Your mob…

    Well hell, if the great crime of the anti-war lefties is “Being dicks”, then sign me up!

    I seem to recall there were supposed to be some more serious charges about racism and fascism or pro-terrorism or some such, but fuck it. I’ll take “Being overly suspicious of and inappropriately rude to people who have done much to deserve it” over “Praying for genocide” any day.

  77. Sunny — on 22nd July, 2010 at 10:00 pm  

    How is this different to the arguments for invasion in Iraq which make claims about what might have happened if we didn’t invade?

    Great reasoning! Tell me, what exactly were you advocating an invasion for? And how consistent are you in applying those rules to other countries?

  78. Sunny — on 22nd July, 2010 at 10:00 pm  

    The “fucking cretins” remark tells you everything you need to know about how Lefties see themselves and anyone who disagrees with them.

    That’s what I usually think of people who advocate actions that lead to mass slaughter. Perhaps you have different standards.

  79. Bill — on 22nd July, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

    That’s what I usually think of people who advocate actions that lead to mass slaughter. Perhaps you have different standards.

    I understand. You imagine that the more vile you are to someone, the higher your moral standards. Just like the way that Raoul Moat shooting his girlfriend proved to him the purity and depth of his love for her.

  80. Refresh — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:01 pm  

    Bill,

    I too have reservations over Sunny’s use of the ‘cretin’ adjective.

    I happen to think there are people who are easily led, there are others who are ideologues pursuing an agenda and yet another who want nothing better than pit one peoples against another for political gain.

    That’s not to mention the group who seek to make lots more money plundering someone else’s country and their twin always on the lookout for another theatre to show off their killing and torture tools.

    The first of them are just tragic.

    The rest are hideous and think the global public are cretins.

  81. Refresh — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:17 pm  

    So either you are tragic or you are hideous, take your pick.

  82. Bill — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:29 pm  

    As someone who opposed 95% of the Afghan war and 100% of the Iraq invasion, I’ll pass, thanks.

  83. Refresh — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:37 pm  

    Then you will agree with me when I say that Sunny is being unfair to cretins.

  84. MaidMarian — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:40 pm  

    Goodness, you go for a nice day out and come back to this.

    Boyo – ‘Oil.’

    Well, it’s a possibility, no question. But let me throw two things out. First, if the US wanted the oil, why not just pay for it? It would have been a lot cheaper than this endless conflict. There’s no oil in Kosovo, by the way.

    Second – people shout, ‘oil was an interest.’ I suspect that, quietly, the public are ready for the idea that if we have not fought a war over oil we may have to do so.

  85. MaidMarian — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:41 pm  

    Bill – ‘That’s typical of the Left though, isn’t it? I mean, consider all the little sects it has spawned that hate each other despite agreeing on 99% of issues.’

    I really wish I could disagree, but your words are entirely true.

  86. Refresh — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:57 pm  

    ‘Second – people shout, ‘oil was an interest.’ I suspect that, quietly, the public are ready for the idea that if we have not fought a war over oil we may have to do so.’

    Now that is a very interesting point. I have long thought that should the warmongers manage to convince the public that they will have to kill (in their millions if necessary) to sustain their way of life and pensions then we really are finished.

    Two points:

    What of those most likely to be at the receiving end of ‘shock and awe’? How should they prepare themselves for such an eventuality?

    And what of the other competing nations, how should they protect their economic interest?

    Your point reminds me of one of Nicky Campbell’s phone in shows on BBC Radio 5, where a regular guest of his who would normally talk of lighthearted subjects (of little import such as I-can’t-help-leering-at-my-best- friend’s-wife-what-shall-I-do variety), ventured to suggest that he couldn’t see a problem with invading Iraq for oil.

  87. Shamit — on 22nd July, 2010 at 11:59 pm  

    We screwed up. We managed the post invasion phase very badly and not listened to people who knew what they were talking about.

    There was serious group think – and concerns raised by the British and within the Bush administration and US congress were brushed aside. Colin Powell told then President Bush – ” you break it you own it” and challenged both Rumsfeld and Franks on the number of soldiers and so did John McCain, Brent Scowcroft etc etc.

    But that does not make the war wrong folks – and Iraq has held two general elections and regional elections – with over 70% of votes being cast. That kind of convinces me that the war and the attempt to remove a genocidal, trouble making, rather mad dictator.

    I think issues are being conflated here – don’t forget the armed forces delivered their first objective within 15 days.

    With the right amount of force size & penetration along with wider UN and other nations participation we could have had a different history. And not making the stupidest decision to disband the Iraqi army and police forces could have helped massively.

    Empowering people who are good at building states and providing them with the necessary security apparatus – we most likely could have been seen much less bloodshed and much more productive and safer Iraq.

    I have no problems accepting these failings but I cannot see any reason moral or otherwise why the war itself was wrong? The selling of the war was flawed and spun out of control – but that does not make the war wrong.

    ***********************************

    If the post’s objective was to query if David Miliband has learned his lessons about the complete mismanagement of the post invasion phase? That is a fair question

    He failed as a cabinet minister to perform his duties adequately – he should have sought more information and pressed the PM on more specific post invasion planning. He failed there and if that is the lesson to be learned – Sunny is spot on.

    But he should not have to apologise for choosing to go to war and remove a genocidal dictator?

    Right War – Wrong Time – Wrong Post invasion Management.

    *********************************

  88. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:00 am  

    ‘First, if the US wanted the oil, why not just pay for it?’

    To get your answer to that, you need to go look up what Henry Kissinger had to say. And it wasn’t, why don’t we just print a few more dollar bills?

  89. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:11 am  

    Shamit,

    Unbelievable! Everything is wrong, nobody supports it

    - apart from those coerced, remember how the US had bugged the UN prior to the vote – no minor issue. And before we all forget, recall also how the US stole the Hans Blix report before it could be seen by sovereign members, presumably for redaction -

    nobody rebuilds it, nobody wants to own it, and and and even D Milliband says it although couched in politico-speak ‘George Bush was the worst thing to happen to Tony Blair‘.

    and you say it was the Right War?

  90. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:23 am  

    That’s what I usually think of people who advocate actions that lead to mass slaughter.

    …says the guy who supported WWII which rendered a mere 70 million dead.

  91. MaidMarian — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:33 am  

    Refresh – Hello (again)

    ‘What of those most likely to be at the receiving end of ‘shock and awe’? How should they prepare themselves for such an eventuality?’

    Indeed. NK prepared with nuclear weapons (though no oil there). Peace or an arms race – I can’t see a lot in between.

    ‘And what of the other competing nations, how should they protect their economic interest?’

    Well, China seems to be pursuing a very modern form of imperialism in Africa, I think that will be the model. Brazil is doing something similar too.

    ‘Your point reminds me of one of Nicky Campbell’s phone in shows on BBC Radio 5, where a regular guest of his who would normally talk of lighthearted subjects (of little import such as I-can’t-help-leering-at-my-best- friend’s-wife-what-shall-I-do variety), ventured to suggest that he couldn’t see a problem with invading Iraq for oil.’

    I never listen to that, but frankly it does not shock me. A great many on here throw about, ‘it was about oil,’ without ever quite realising that in itself at least that is not really a strong argument.

  92. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:45 am  

    Brownie, you know full well that WWII became unavoidable due to repeated invasions and agressions.

    Which was Sunny’s point. So stop being childishness.

    Come to think of it wasn’t George Bush planning repeated invasions and agressions with Iraq as his base? To spread democracy?

  93. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:45 am  

    Sunny, where is the edit button!

  94. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:55 am  

    ‘I never listen to that, but frankly it does not shock me. A great many on here throw about, ‘it was about oil,’ without ever quite realising that in itself at least that is not really a strong argument.’

    Me neither, it was in the run up to the invasion. I don’t believe that guest featured too often after that.

    I think the opposite – I think its a huge argument unless we want to be seen warts and all no different to the brutal imperialists of old. Being able to pretend to have a moral base is a bit better than just an economic one – at least its a restraint on launching murderous campaigns every few months.

    It also determines whether we have an arms race or not. And, from a strategic point of view, it makes sense for other countries to seek a nuclear defence capability. A view often heard when Iran’s nuclear plans come up in discussion.

    So we can thank Bush and Blair for that too.

  95. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:25 am  

    Brownie, you know full well that WWII became unavoidable due to repeated invasions and agressions.

    Which was Sunny’s point. So stop being childishness.

    Good try, but we’re not all stupid. Sunny has a choice: make this numbers a game, a bodycount and nothing else (see above and his “mass slaughter” bullshit), or concede that the decision to go to war or not is a little more complex. Whether it’s WWII or Iraq.

    I’m willing to concede that – I’ve never beleived differently, but the evidence on this page is that Sunny does not. He can’t expect to get a free pass on the wars he supported and all the death that ensued from those, if the best he can do is label supporters of a war that he happened to oppose as “advocates for mass slaughter”.

    If you’re going to defend his arguments, it’s probably a good idea to acquaint yourself with them first.

    And your “oil” rhetoric is simplistic nonsense. If the US wanted Iraqi oil, it cold have bought every last drop for a tiny fraction of what it cost to fight in Iraq.

    Come to think of it wasn’t George Bush planning repeated invasions and agressions with Iraq as his base? To spread democracy?

    Wait a second – what happened to “it’s all about oil”?

  96. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:28 am  

    So we can thank Bush and Blair for that too.

    That’s right, Iran’s nuclear aspirations began with the invasion of Iraq.

    You lot will say anything, won’t you?

    BTW, have you ever considered what might be the response of a Saddam-led Iraq to its antipathetic neighbour developing a nuclear capability? I mean, really sat down and thought about it?

  97. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:41 am  

    Everything is wrong, nobody supports it

    - apart from those coerced, remember how the US had bugged the UN prior to the vote – no minor issue.

    As opposed to the French threatening eastern European states that supprot for the US would ruin their chances of EU membership.

    Those uppity Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians daring to express an opinion different to the French, eh? Goold Jacques sure put them in their place.

    BTW, Refresh, if it’s oil interests that float your boat, you may want to have a closer look at Chirac’s lobbying for Total in Saddam’s Iraq and the bribes paid to Iraqi officials in an attempt to secure oil contracts under the Oil for Food program. A story that has inexplicably passed by oil fixated stoppers.

    No blood for oil, you say? Unless it’s Kurdish blood, of course.

  98. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:42 am  

    ‘BTW, have you ever considered what might be the response of a Saddam-led Iraq to its antipathetic neighbour developing a nuclear capability? I mean, really sat down and thought about it?’

    Yes, but have you?

    Saddam would now have been our best friend – again.

  99. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:44 am  

    Invading Iraq showed the French how its done, didn’t it?

  100. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:48 am  

    ‘That’s right, Iran’s nuclear aspirations began with the invasion of Iraq.’

    I don’t know if they have aspirations beyond nuclear power, do you?

    I support a completely nuclear-free middle-east (as a starter).

  101. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 1:55 am  

    Invading Iraq showed the French how its done, didn’t it?

    I’ll settle for you conceding that there was lobbying and arm-twistig on both sides instead of pretenly ding that somehow the US was the only country trying to exert influence.

    Although if Chirac had no compunction about going public with his threats to block EU entry to any country that crossed him, you have to wonder what was being said in private. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

    Saddam would now have been our best friend – again.

    Who is the “our”? You do know who the three biggest suppliers of arms to Iraq were in the period 1973 to the imposition of the arms embargo in 1991? I’ll give you a clue: it’s the three countries that are permanent members of the UNSC and which all opposed the war.

    Got it yet?

  102. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 2:05 am  

    I don’t know if they have aspirations beyond nuclear power, do you?

    Well none of us knows for *certain*, and the reason none of us knows for certain is obvious if you read the summary of the latest IAEA report:

    37. While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

    38. More specifically, Iran is not implementing the requirements contained in the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, including implementation of the Additional Protocol, which are essential to building confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear programme and to resolving outstanding questions. In particular, Iran needs to cooperate in clarifying outstanding issues which give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.

    Or to put it another way, if Iran wanted us to know, it could ensure we knew. But Iran chooses not to.

    Sound familiar?

  103. Refresh — on 23rd July, 2010 at 2:22 am  

    You are all over the place. I’ll just put you in the hideous group, you are too knowing to be tragic.

  104. BenSix — on 23rd July, 2010 at 2:46 am  

    Fair enough, I get that. Apologies.

    No worries.

    This is why 90% of of these Iraq discussions get nowhere. Your mob are singularly uwilling to countenance the possiblity that it’s possible to have supported the war in good faith, without being some sort of unscrupulous, inhumane halfwit.

    A “mob” that includes Jacques Chirac, the Dixie Chicks and Pat Buchanan is no more homogeneous than a “mob” which takes in Wolfowitz and, er – Brownie.

    Sound familiar?

    Why, yes!

    /snark

  105. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 4:09 am  

    Brownie,

    Thanks for sharing. That is the most luducrous defence of the Euston manifesto I have ever read.

    Iraq was invaded and bombed to destruction because Iran is a threat? It is pretty plain that Iraq did not have a nuclear capability, or did you miss that bit?

    Your script doesn’t change.

    Of course there was a lot wrong with Iraq, no-one would deny that.

    It does not justify Bush the Younger attempting to rectify the failures of Bush the Elder.

    There are lots of other ways in which that ‘situation’ could have been rectified.

    Including support for internal revolution rather than pissing in the wind. Which is what you do. What you did.

    All the time.

    You appear to need a dose of ‘shock and awe’ every so often to justify your politics.

    How sad is that?

    I am fed up with the UK being the US’s favourite choice when they are picking a team. We ought to have more respect for ourselves than to be charmed into wars.

    Your favourite country, Israel, seems to have deliberately avoided the Iraq fight, did it not? And that would have included an insane Saddam Hussein dropping bombs on your pet country. Israel did not go to war. The compliant Brits did.

    Tells you something about relationships, does it not?

    We are far too submissive to the Yanks. And you, and others, exploit that.

    What a pile of shite you write!

    And I love the Dixie Chicks. That is bravery in the face of the enemy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvkbZfXK25E

  106. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 4:33 am  

    The Dixie Chicks,

    Written down lyrics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ounk0FNdY

    That, I believe in.

    Not you.

  107. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 4:44 am  

    So, piss off Brownie. You are not misunderstood. You are too clearly seen as an idiot. Least, that is where your politics lead you.

    You ought to think about that…

    And, as they say, ‘I’m not ready to make nice’.

  108. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 6:08 am  

    Argueably,

    ‘I’m as mad as hell’

    Your sort are a disgrace to debate. Or summat.

    Quite why you come here and talk rubbish is a bit beyond me Brownie. You are not going to persuade anyone, and you just look like an idiot.

    Seems to me….

  109. boyo — on 23rd July, 2010 at 7:18 am  

    I’m sure Brownie continues to lurk on this thread, so I would respond to his point –

    “Your mob are singularly uwilling to countenance the possiblity that it’s possible to have supported the war in good faith, without being some sort of unscrupulous, inhumane halfwit.”

    It’s ironic that you lump people against the Iraq war together as “stoppers” as if we had only one opinion and view. As per my comments, you will have seen that I not only participated in previous “Blairs Wars” but my opposition to this one was far from knee-jerk. Yet throughout the conflict and its aftermath you and your pals dismissed us with just the disdain you whine about receiving yourself.

    My point was not really about supporting the war at the time, it was your continued insistence that it was and is right despite the overwhelming evidence – from cause to effect. This is what I find so depressing.

    While it is true that there were and are many on the Left who were opposed to Iraq for reasons of unthinking dogma, you simply exhibit the other side of the coin. Where’s the thought?

    Between yourselves you have corroded what it means to be on the Left to little more than a joke.

  110. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 8:41 am  

    boyo,

    I didn’t think I’d agree with you much. However, your post at 109 is completely on the button

  111. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 9:58 am  

    Boyo,

    It’s ironic that you lump people against the Iraq war together as “stoppers” as if we had only one opinion and view. As per my comments, you will have seen that I not only participated in previous “Blairs Wars” but my opposition to this one was far from knee-jerk. Yet throughout the conflict and its aftermath you and your pals dismissed us with just the disdain you whine about receiving yourself.

    Re ‘stoppers’, it’s nothing more than a broadbush descriptor for those who opposed the war, but in any event I’m not sure what your objection is given you’re quite happy to talk about “us” in your final sentence. If you’re all different, who is the ‘us’?

    Regardless, I’m well aware people opposed the war for a variety of reasons, and contrary to your assertion above I’ve never done anything other than take people as I find them; the claim that me “and my pals” – (I see there’s no issue with you grouping all supporters together) – dismissed you with “disdain” is simply not true. For sure, you can find moronic war supporters who will accuse all stoppers of being “appeasers” or “supporters of Saddam”, but I’d venture they are outnumbered easily by opponents of the war willing to label “me and my pals” war-mongers, chickenhawks, Islamaphobes, imperialists, or whatever tedious label you care to mention. (“Neocon” is another favourite, although the stopper preparedness to throw around this label seems inversely proportionate to any ability to define the term.) This thread is a classic exemplar of this phenomenon; take a look at the comments directed towards me, the things I’ve been called and the assumptions made about my support for the war purely by dint of…my support for the war. The ears are closed and the minds are made up before a keystroke of mine hits the page.

    I’ve spent the best of part of the last 7 years arguing the toss about Iraq on various blogs and some of those discussions have got past first base. If I could be arsed, it wouldn’t be difficult for me to cite any number of links to threads that have gone on for days and where I’ve managed to debate a stopper who *is* prepared to accept it’s possible to have suported the war without being a fool or a knave. Those discussion rarely end with me and my interlocutor agreeing, but at least a genuine debate has been had. However, if your premise is that I’m a cheerleader for “mass slaughter”, an idiot, a western imperialist, or any combination thereof (pace Sunny, Refresh, Dougie and 90% of stoppers you’ll find here and elsewhere), I’m not sure what sort of argument you expect in return?

    While it is true that there were and are many on the Left who were opposed to Iraq for reasons of unthinking dogma, you simply exhibit the other side of the coin.

    Well then you haven’t been paying attention, Boyo. There’s an entire back catalog of posts in the HP archive where I and the other writers have tried to articulate our rationale for supporting the war. You can dsiagree with every word, but you can’t pretend we’ve failed to present a case, however flawed you might think it is.

    Iraq posts have pretty much dried up on HP recently, but the next time one does show up you are perfectly welcome to comment and try to tear down our arguments. Alternatively, you can do what you’ve done here and continue to whine about how “depressing” it is that we don’t yet agree with you.

  112. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    Bownie @ 111, Cheers for not replying. I didn’t think you could.

    Anyway, you were always on the side of battle, weren’t you?

    I seem to recall.

    Iraq posts have pretty much dried up on HP recently, but the next time one does show up you are perfectly welcome to comment and try to tear down our arguments. Alternatively, you can do what you’ve done here and continue to whine about how “depressing” it is that we don’t yet agree with you.

    Why the heck should someone go to your shitty place in order that your feaky fans can attack him? Lest you say it had nowt to do with you?

    For that is how you play it, isn’t it Brownie?

    Piss off.

  113. FlyingRodent — on 23rd July, 2010 at 10:21 am  

    Iraq posts have pretty much dried up on HP recently…

    If by “recently” you mean “since mid-2006, when it finally became impossible to deny that the whole enterprise was a hideous, Vietnamesque clusterfuck of epic proportions”, then it’s true – HP posts on Iraq have been thin on the ground “recently”.

    Actually, that’s an exaggeration – there has been the odd one here and there over the years, I suppose – that one about how Nobody Could Possibly Have Predicted That An Armed Invasion And Occupation Of a Fractious And Oil Rich Middle Eastern Nation Might Turn Into a Murderous, Godawful Bloodbath, Ergo It’s Not My Fault Governor springs to mind.

  114. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 10:37 am  

    The half brain dead Brownie, seems to spring to mind too. I wonder why that would be?

  115. boyo — on 23rd July, 2010 at 10:47 am  

    The interesting thing about blogging is that it brings the inner child out in us all. I’m sure we’d get on perfectly well were we to meet in real life, as long as we avoided the beers, which would exclude Douglas alas ;-) But the interesting thing is – what is the more truthful?

  116. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 11:24 am  

    The interesting thing about blogging is that it brings the inner child out in us all.

    I know you are, but what am I?

    But the interesting thing is – what is the more truthful?

    Oh I never write anything I don’t actually believe, but reading my posts and comments you could be forgiven for thinking this stuff is more important to me than it acutally is. I’d say that’s probably true of 99% of the people who post their thoughts on the internet which, let’s face it, is a pretty tragic thing to be doing in the first place.

  117. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    You can probably work out which bits ought not to be in italics.

  118. Brownie — on 23rd July, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    test

  119. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 11:30 am  

    Brownie,

    It is actually a worry for me that you do believe what you write. Given that what you write is utter pish, you will appreciate my concerns.

    Boyo,

    Hah bloody hah!

  120. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2010 at 11:32 am  

    So Brownie has a point about the italics? Who’d have thunk it?

  121. boyo — on 23rd July, 2010 at 12:08 pm  

    Were all Italicans now.

  122. joe90 — on 1st August, 2010 at 3:27 am  

    Eliza Manningham-Buller decides to say it now several years later in the pointless chilcot inquiry why? She also indicates foreign policy as the main reason for radicalizing people whoopee dooo and we was told it was islam that was radicalizing people all them years by blair and co!

  123. Tor Hansen — on 7th August, 2010 at 5:23 pm  

    What you lefties BELIEVE is that oil is the reason for invading Iraq. Once you all read Mearsheimer’ and Walt’s book “The Israel Lobby [...]” those of us that are neither right nor left can say “we told you so, you fucking cretins”, to phrase the author. The left is just as damaging to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as the right.
    What, you think Tony Blair was a “neo-conservative”. Yeah, right.

    You guys actually believe it’s all about oil, and it’s incredible to listen to. And there is actually a lot of this “truth” in the media. But then again; for many Western European countries it has been proven that most journalists are lefties.

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