The Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Fallout of The War

The Trial of Saddam Hussein


The fallout in the Middle East from the regime change in Iraq

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Softly Softly

In adjourning for the Christmas break, Sir john Chilcot has denied the frequent criticisms levelled at him and his inquiry into the Iraq war that he and his fellow committee members are soft on witnesses.

Let us see what 2010 brings!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I see that Blair claims that he would have gone to war anyway, irrespective of WMD.

He claims that he could have presented the rationale for the war without the WMD.

Funny he didn't make that case then at the time.

Could it be that he knew full well that the excuse of WMD (whether they existed or not) would be the only way to persuade the British people to back his private war?

In other words he knew that his "rationale" for war would not stand up to scrutiny.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Darth Vader

Sir John Sawers, now head of MI6 but once a close adviser to Tony Blair, told the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war that foolish decisions to disband the Iraqi army and dismiss thousands of members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party were taken by the US alone without taking into account British advice.

These decisions, as predicted at the time by those with some understanding of Iraq, proved to be disastrous and significantly contributed to the chaos that followed the ousting of Saddam.

Sawers said that the decisions were taken by Paul Bremer, US head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, on the basis of "pre-agreed Washington policy".

Sawers was also less than complimentary about the attire of US soldiers, which he believed caused a lack of rapport with the locals:

"the posture of the US army in their tanks, in their Darth Vader kit with the wraparound sunglasses and helmets and flak jackets and everything else. There was no real rapport between the US army and the ordinary citizens."

However, whilst it may satisfy Labour party politics to blame the US, the UK had the choice not to become involved in this folly; Labour only have themselves to blame for this mess.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Blair Knew There Were No WMDs

Sir John Scarlett, head of the Joint Intelligence Committee in the run-up to the Iraq war, told the Chilcot Inquiry into the war that Tony Blair knew that last-minute intelligence revealed that Saddam Hussein had probably dismantled his chemical and biological weaponry.

Iraq and The EU

A small "pop quiz" to start the day with.

Pop quiz

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Held Together By Chicken Wire

As news comes out of Iraq that 100 people have been killed in terrorist bombings, the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq heard from Maj Gen Tim Cross, who liaised with the US on reconstruction efforts before the invasion, who said that planning for after the war was "woefully thin".

Indeed so concerned was Maj Cross about the lack of planning, that he urged Tony Blair to delay the invasion.

Blair, true to form, ignored the advice.

Gen Cross went on to say that, when he went to Iraq, the situation was far worse than he feared and that "Baghdad was held together by chicken wire and chewing gum".

Monday, December 07, 2009

Doctors Call For New Kelly Inquest

Six doctors are calling for a new inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, the UN weapons inspector hounded to death by the government for leaking the fact that evidence for the Iraq invasion had been "sexed up".

There are those who believe that Dr Kelly was in fact murdered, rather than committed suicide. His body was discovered in woodland 6 years ago, his wrist had been slashed and he had taken painkillers.

The 6 doctors (Dr Stephen Frost, Dr Michael Powers QC, Martin Birnstingl, Dr Christopher Burns-Cox, David Halpin, and Dr Andrew Rouse), in a 13-page dossier calling for a new inquest, argue that the bleeding from Dr Kelly's ulnar artery in his left wrist is "highly unlikely" to have caused his death.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Pakistan Next?

ABC News:

"Militants hurled hand grenades then fired on a mosque near Pakistan's military headquarters after Friday prayers, killing at least 39 people, rescue services said."

Looks like we may be going into Pakistan one day.

Planning Banned

The Chilcot Iraq Inquiry continues to reveal the true extent of lies and misrepresentations made to the public during the build up to the Iraq invasion, by the Labour administration.

Admiral Lord Boyce, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, told the inquiry that Geoff Hoon (the defence secretary at the time) blocked him from ordering equipment and mobilising troops for months, in order to keep the plans secret from the public.

Ministers also told him to always err on the side of optimism when giving appraisals as to what could be achieved.

Lord Boyce was not impressed with the preparations made by the US either. It seems that those in charge of US policy were of the naive and dangerous view that US forces would be greeted as liberators, and that flowers would placed in their rifles!

It saddens me to see how a country as powerful as the US never fails to misunderstand how others will react to their policies (both diplomatic and military). This lack of understanding stems from both naivety and arrogance; a very dangerous combination, that has led to countless unnecessary deaths.

When will the US learn that not everyone in the world wants to live the "American Dream", and that democracy cannot be imposed with the barrel of a gun?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yee Hah!

The Chilcot Iraq Inquiry has heard testimony from Lord Boyce (former defence chief), who stated that the US believed the UK would take part in the Iraq invasion even if there were no efforts to solve the crisis via the UN.

In fact, the US saw no need for UN approval. Given that Bush's "ambassador" (never to be formally approved) to the UN at the time was John Bolton, a man who happily stated that the top floors of the UN could be removed without any difference in function, this attitude towards the UN is hardly surprising.

Lord Boyce is quoted by the BBC:

"There was a huge reluctance by the US throughout, from July 2002 through to March 17 2003 to believe that we were not going to commit our forces unless we had been fully through the UN process and through Parliament as well.

No matter how many times you said to senior US officers... there was a complete reluctance to believe that

The US has learned from the failure in Iraq and Afghanistan that "yee hah!" is not an effective foreign policy tool.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What a Shambles!

Aside from being conned into the Iraq war, the British and American people may well be feeling more than a little "aggrieved" over the disgraceful waste of time and resources wrt "rebuilding" the wreck of that country.

The Iraq inquiry in London has heard from two senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials who said that there had been a lack of resources, and that when Blair visited Iraq two months after the invasion he found that the body set up to run Iraq was a "shambles".

Sir Peter Ricketts, the political director at the Foreign Office between 2001 and 2003, said:

"Perhaps most strikingly the Prime Minister when he visited in early June [actually May 30] came back with a forceful sense that Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) was a shambles."

Seemingly British attempts to improve the "dire" planning for the aftermath of the invasion were repeatedly ignored by the USA.

As both the US and UK struggle to fund their ballooning public sector debts, their hapless taxpayers have the right to ask some very pointed questions of their then "leaders" as to what happened to the vast sums of money expended on "rebuilding" Iraq, and why the entire enterprise has turned into such a shambles.

The ex "leaders" responsible for this disgrace should not be allowed to enjoy their well paid retirement from political office, without being made to undergo some heavy duty cross examination on this subject.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Invading Iraq Was Illegal

Lord Steyn, a crossbench peer and former Law Lord, is quoted in the FT:

"The invasion of Iraq has had, and will continue to have, grave consequences for the peace and security of the region and the world. It weakened international institutions.

It fractured the international rule of law.

It encouraged disrespect for the law by authoritarian regimes who copied the words and examples of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Torture became ever more widespread. Rendition, a fancy word for kidnapping, became institutionalised as a form of torture by proxy in odious regimes

Meanwhile the Iraq Inquiry was told by Sir David Manning, Blair's foreign policy adviser, on Monday that Blair promised George Bush at a meeting in Texas, 11 months before the Iraq invasion, that he would be prepared to join the US in toppling Saddam Hussein.

The trouble with Blair's promise is that it was illegal.

Blair was warned by Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, and other legal advisers that going to war with regime change as the objective was unlawful and breached the UN charter.

QED: The war was illegal!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Questionable Legitimacy

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK's ambassador to the UN in 2003, told the Iraq Inquiry (source BBC):

"If you do something internationally that the majority of UN member states think is wrong, illegitimate or politically unjustifiable, you are taking a risk in my view.

I regarded our participation in the military action against Iraq in March 2003 as legal but of questionable legitimacy in that it did not have the democratically observable backing of a great majority of member states or even perhaps of a majority of people inside the UK


Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Iraq Inquiry

The Iraq Inquiry, currently being held in London, is gradually peeling back the layers of obfuscation (much like an onion) put up by politicians and civil servants.

Seemingly the newly elected Bush administration was looking at plans to enforce regime change sometime before 9/11.

Additionally, some 10 days before the war started, Blair was told that Iraq had no WMD.

As the inquiry goes on it will become increasingly clear that the US and UK public were conned by their governments into this unnecessary war.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No Whitewash

Sir John Chilcot, Chairman of the Iraq war inquiry, has promised that it will result in a "full and insightful" account of event and that there will be no whitewash.

Didn't Nixon once say the same about Watergate?

Sir John was also at pains to point out that the inquiry will not deliver a verdict as to whether the war was legal or illegal.

Evidence from senior government figures will start tomorrow, Tony Blair will be called early in 2010.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Shambles

The double suicide bombing in Baghdad on Sunday that claimed more than 130 lives, and wounded hundreds more, highlights that the situation in Iraq is still far from stable.

Other news from that troubled country indicates that even the construction of the world's largest and "most secure" embassy (the US embassy) has been spectacularly botched.

Despite the US spending $700M on construction, the yet to be completed complex is riddled with serious flaws eg; "safe areas" that were not constructed according to contract specifications, walls and walkways that have begun to crack and a power distribution system that used nonstandard wiring.

There are also plumbing problems in 200 locations in the embassy compound, eg the deputy ambassador has the pleasure of airconditioning that pumps noxious sewage fumes into his residence, and deficiencies in a water treatment plant.

The cost of repairs is estimated at being a "mere" $132M.

However, the cost of running the new complex is expected to be so exorbitant that the US may well be forced to rent out part of the space.

Why on earth was such an unwieldy building commissioned in the first place?

As some local wags point out, if the Americans cannot even build their own embassy without botching it, how can they possibly expect to build a nation?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Iraq War Inquiry

Sir John Chilcot, Chairman of the official inquiry into the Iraq war, has invited submissions from members of the public who believe they have information useful to the inquiry.

The inquiry will consider the UK's involvement in Iraq, how decisions were made and will identify lessons that can be learned.

There are many who want former prime minister (and possible president of Europe), Tony Blair, to be held accountable for taking the UK into the war.

Submissions can be made in writing or via the inquiry website:


The address for written submissions is:

The Iraq Inquiry,
35 Great Smith Street,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Imperial Folly

The Telegraph reports that the soldier and former American football player Pat Tillman who was killed in Afghanistan thought George W. Bush was a "cowboy" and the Iraq an "imperial folly".

Slowly, but surely, the truth behind the hype over this invasion will come out. Bush, Cheney et al will be kept very busy trying to defend their reputations in the coming years.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aziz Jailed

Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's right hand man, was found guilty yesterday of crimes against humanity and jailed for 15 years.

Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and Sabawi Ibrahim, director of public security (half-brothers of Saddam) were sentenced to death on the same charges.

Aziz will appeal against the sentence. However, he still faces charges for the killing and arrest of hundreds of Kurds in the early 1980s.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mission Accomplished

President Bush has finally admitted that it had been a mistake to hang a banner saying "mission accomplished" on a US battleship, where he declared major combat operations in Iraq over in 2003.

"Clearly, putting a 'mission accomplished' on an aircraft carrier was a mistake."