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

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!