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Thread: Yeah, but Iraq

  1. #1
    Coaching Staff Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Yeah, but Iraq

    Brilliant journalism.

    Nail on head.

    https://medium.com/@rob_francis/yeah...a6a#.xyqjb91d7
    Last edited by Hibbyradge; 19-02-2017 at 03:35 PM.


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    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Brilliant journalism.

    Nail on head.

    https://medium.com/@rob_francis/yeah...a6a#.xyqjb91d7
    There's lots of people on here who will castigate Blair about Iraq.

    They weren't saying anything years before though,and they should own their hypocrisy

    Blair publicly argued a case for military intervention against dictatorial regimes while Clinton was still in office. Long before Bush, long before 9/11.

    He had our armed forces engage in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, without a mandate in international law.

    I don't recall anyone protesting too vociferously then.

    It doesn't make Iraq right, but it does raise questions about his attackers and their motives. Some will be fair, but how many were guided by anti-Americanism and a sense of "...they got what they deserved" post-9/11?

    I think I move in fairly liberal circles. Despite the loss of thousands of lives, it's only true to say there was a barely-concealed smugness at times about the attacks, a feeling of "...you reap what you sow". I could understand it, while not accepting it, but it was striking how readily it was accepted.
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    @hibs.net private member CapitalGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    There's lots of people on here who will castigate Blair about Iraq.

    They weren't saying anything years before though,and they should own their hypocrisy

    Blair publicly argued a case for military intervention against dictatorial regimes while Clinton was still in office. Long before Bush, long before 9/11.

    He had our armed forces engage in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, without a mandate in international law.

    I don't recall anyone protesting too vociferously then.

    It doesn't make Iraq right, but it does raise questions about his attackers and their motives. Some will be fair, but how many were guided by anti-Americanism and a sense of "...they got what they deserved" post-9/11?

    I think I move in fairly liberal circles. Despite the loss of thousands of lives, it's only true to say there was a barely-concealed smugness at times about the attacks, a feeling of "...you reap what you sow". I could understand it, while not accepting it, but it was striking how readily it was accepted.
    Prove it

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapitalGreen View Post
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    Prove it
    Onus is on you I'm afraid, it's not for me to prove a negative.

    I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Blair, just making the point - he decided we would go to war in Iraq and however much any of us didn't like that, it did fit with the approach he had been pushing for several years.

    It's an inconvenient truth for the Blair-haters that he engaged in 'illegal wars' that most of us supported - did you argue against our involvement in Kosovo or Sierra Leone?
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    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    It's an interesting and thought-provoking article.

    My issue with the war in Iraq wasn't that it was entirely unjustified but that the motivations and mechanisms that led to it were wrong.

    More should have been done to gain UN backing, and we should have fought harder to have backing from the European countries, in particular France.

    Bush was almost as big an idiot as Trump, and there was a feeling that he was going in to finish his Dad's business. That would put any PM who values our "special relationship" with the USA under pressure but I have always thought that Blair gave in to Bush's desires too easily. I have (a degree of) sympathy for the difficult position Blair found himself in.

    It is also always easy to view these situations with crystal clear 20/20 hindsight. Just because the path we chose turned out to be pretty dreadful with the emergence of IS, who is to say that a continuation of the status quo would have turned out any better?

    An over-eagerness to go to war is not a good thing. Neither though is a willingness to look the other way when appalling human rights violations are taking place.
    Last edited by Smartie; 21-02-2017 at 10:19 AM.

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member CapitalGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Onus is on you I'm afraid, it's not for me to prove a negative.

    I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Blair, just making the point - he decided we would go to war in Iraq and however much any of us didn't like that, it did fit with the approach he had been pushing for several years.

    It's an inconvenient truth for the Blair-haters that he engaged in 'illegal wars' that most of us supported - did you argue against our involvement in Kosovo or Sierra Leone?
    I was 11 at the time of the Kosovo conflict and about 14 at the start of Iraqi conflict. It was the first time I really remember the UK 'going to war' so found it quite interesting. I do remember a couple of my Iranian schoolmates skipping school to go protest it up town though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Brilliant journalism.

    Nail on head.

    https://medium.com/@rob_francis/yeah...a6a#.xyqjb91d7
    for me it's not just 'yeah, but iraq', it's 'yeah, but he's a sociopathic monstrosity of a human who, even when talking sense, can only as far as i can see be doing it for his own gain, and would thus encourage the spread of any good ideas he has, just remove any reference to him in case people start thinking he's a credible source with positive motivations'.


    the man is everything that is wrong with...well...everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Brilliant journalism.

    Nail on head.


    https://medium.com/@rob_francis/yeah...a6a#.xyqjb91d7
    really?!?!?!

    this guy is talking, or implying, out of his erse. by his logic, if you really hate TB, you probably don't care about Iraqi people. This is basically the argument strategy of the alt-right, who whenever anyone says that someone is, for political reasons, a total monster, is doing so for their own narcissistic, virtue signalling interests. this is bollocks, in almost all cases. yes, there are a few loud an annoying tw@ts who take to facebook at every opportunity to share videos that prove themselves to be morally wonderful and everyone else wrong...but that in no way makes tony blair not-a-****.

    tony blair should not ever be trusted ever, ever again, and anything he says should be assumed to be an attempt by himself to save his legacy, because he does not give two hoots about anyone other than himself and his aspirations.

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Brilliant journalism.

    Nail on head.

    https://medium.com/@rob_francis/yeah...a6a#.xyqjb91d7
    Really?

    "Tony Blair re-entered the political fray today with a Brexit speech, saying it is time for those of us who believe in an open, internationalist Britain to be speak up. The speech was interesting, passionate, and was also a stark reminder of how poorly served we are by our current political leaders, of all parties".

    WTF does that mean?

    It seems the lad is writing from a perspective from outwith Scotland, if he thinks our political leaders in Scotland are serving us poorly.

    Over to you Kez.

  11. #10
    Coaching Staff Betty Boop's Avatar
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    tony blair should not ever be trusted ever, ever again, and anything he says should be assumed to be an attempt by himself to save his legacy, because he does not give two hoots about anyone other than himself and his aspirations.

    Amen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    There's lots of people on here who will castigate Blair about Iraq.

    They weren't saying anything years before though,and they should own their hypocrisy

    Blair publicly argued a case for military intervention against dictatorial regimes while Clinton was still in office. Long before Bush, long before 9/11.

    He had our armed forces engage in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, without a mandate in international law.

    I don't recall anyone protesting too vociferously then.

    It doesn't make Iraq right, but it does raise questions about his attackers and their motives. Some will be fair, but how many were guided by anti-Americanism and a sense of "...they got what they deserved" post-9/11?

    I think I move in fairly liberal circles. Despite the loss of thousands of lives, it's only true to say there was a barely-concealed smugness at times about the attacks, a feeling of "...you reap what you sow". I could understand it, while not accepting it, but it was striking how readily it was accepted.
    I was still at primary school when he invaded kosovo and sierra leone. if these were interventions without any 'national interests' at steak for britain/NATO members, i would be pretty gob-smacked.

    i would not say i am remotely smug about any attack that has ever happened. however, in the case of 9/11, that can only be described as one of the most ultimate cases of 'you reap what you sow'. the west has been arsing about in the middle east, carving it up, training lunatics to oppose the USSR/Russia, supporting utterly mental regimes like saudi arabia despite their human rights record being genuinely comparable to ISIS, i.e. utterly barbarous, actively stoking religious sectarianism, then wondering WTF has happened when all hell breaks loose.

    blair is an imperialist, and almost all of the world's current woes are a result of imperialism, so even if by some fluke of chance, or the old 'broken-clock-tells-the-right-time-twice-a-day' thing he says something that is actually sensible, he is the very last person we should be listening to, let alone giving credit to, and thus giving credibility to.
    Last edited by AgentDaleCooper; 19-02-2017 at 08:25 PM.

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    basically, Hibbyradge - just because some people are irritating in the way they put across their points of view, does not mean the actual content of what they are (irritatingly) saying is bull****, just as tony blair being an absolute hell-beast doesn't mean what he is currently saying is wrong. but equally, him saying something sensible doesn't mean he should be payed attention to, or given a platform, because he is a manipulative, evil, walking turd of a human.

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapitalGreen View Post
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    I was 11 at the time of the Kosovo conflict and about 14 at the start of Iraqi conflict. It was the first time I really remember the UK 'going to war' so found it quite interesting. I do remember a couple of my Iranian schoolmates skipping school to go protest it up town though.
    When the first Gulf War kicked off I was in S5 or S6.

    At the time it was a bit scary, there was talk of Iraq having one of the largest and well-equipped armies in the world. There was also talk of conscription notices in the general post offices, how unreal does that sound?

    It's around the same time Thatcher stepped down.
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    Coaching Staff Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentDaleCooper View Post
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    basically,
    . .because he is a manipulative, evil, walking turd of a human.
    You're who the author was talking about.

    You're obviously ok with all Sadam's torture and brutality.

    I wonder what decision you would have made.

    Anyhoo . . .
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    You're who the author was talking about.

    You're obviously ok with all Sadam's torture and brutality.

    I wonder what decision you would have made.

    Anyhoo . . .
    are you kidding?


    also - does your public expression of concern for iraqis under sadam pre-date your stance on this issue? i'm not saying you don't care - i would guess that like me you value humanity full stop, and maybe also have something of a vested interest in middle eastern affairs because of their fairly crucial role in geo-politics. i'm just saying - i think, ironically, your charge against me of moral vanity is both inaccurate and hypocritical.
    Last edited by AgentDaleCooper; 20-02-2017 at 04:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentDaleCooper View Post
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    basically, Hibbyradge - just because some people are irritating in the way they put across their points of view, does not mean the actual content of what they are (irritatingly) saying is bull****, just as tony blair being an absolute hell-beast doesn't mean what he is currently saying is wrong. but equally, him saying something sensible doesn't mean he should be payed attention to, or given a platform, because he is a manipulative, evil, walking turd of a human.
    I wish I'd thought of that line when he was taking over the Labour Party. I went with he's a self-serving Tory lightweight.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    When the first Gulf War kicked off I was in S5 or S6.

    At the time it was a bit scary, there was talk of Iraq having one of the largest and well-equipped armies in the world. There was also talk of conscription notices in the general post offices, how unreal does that sound?

    It's around the same time Thatcher stepped down.
    ot - the news that you are in fact several years younger than me is possibly the most devastating thing I've yet read on here. /ot

    There might have been such chat in the playground but serious commentary was that the general mass of the Iraqi army would be rolled over fairly quickly. There was some chat that his core "Republican Guard" would be a tough nut to crack. I think Vietnam scarred the US military big time (and rightly so).

    btw, a certain (quite possibly your favourite) cuddly nat called Kosovo "unpardonable folly". I thought at the time he'd gone a bit mad but ...

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    It's an interesting and thought-provoking article.

    My issue with the war in Iraq wasn't that it was entirely unjustified but that the motivations and mechanisms that led to it were wrong.

    More should have been done to gain UN backing, and we should have fought harder to have backing from the European countries, in particular France.

    Bush was almost as big an idiot as Trump, and there was a feeling that he was going in to finish his Dad's business. That would put any PM who values our "special relationship" with the USA under pressure but I have always thought that Blair gave in to Bush's desires too easily. I have (a degree of) sympathy for the difficult position Blair found himself in.

    It is also always easy to view these situations with crystal clear 20/220 hindsight. Just because the path we chose turned out to be pretty dreadful with the emergence of IS, who is to say that a continuation of the status quo would have turned out any better?

    An over-eagerness to go to war is not a good thing. Neither though is a willingness to look the other way when appalling human rights violations are taking place.
    Yep, with you there. And the total and utter absence of a realistic plan to put in place for the aftermath was even worse. The idea that a state constructed by France and Britain drawing neat lines on a map, consisting of a powderkeg mix of ethnicities and religions and held together by brutal dictatorship was going to magically transform itself into a flourishing democracy is and was utterly ludicrous. But that's all they had.

    That's where the true criminality lies. Irresponsible and negligent on an unprecedented scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Yep, with you there. And the total and utter absence of a realistic plan to put in place for the aftermath was even worse. The idea that a state constructed by France and Britain drawing neat lines on a map, consisting of a powderkeg mix of ethnicities and religions and held together by brutal dictatorship was going to magically transform itself into a flourishing democracy is and was utterly ludicrous. But that's all they had.

    That's where the true criminality lies. Irresponsible and negligent on an unprecedented scale.
    the fact is, with iraq, they never really gave a hoot about what would happen afterwards so long as whoever came into power sided with the NATO nations rather than with russia. sadam hussein's regime was appalling and abhorrent, but than was absolutely never the motivation behind invading, otherwise we'd be invading many more countries...like saudi arabia.

  21. #20
    Whilst working in Saudi I remember cycling down to the shops, taking the quiet route and when I turned a corner at speed I was confronted with a group of men in hospital gowns who started screaming in anguish at my appearance. I stopped, wondering what the hell was happening, and was informed by an American psychiatrist that the men were Iraqi soldiers who had been in the trenches. During this period, the western forces had worked out a plan of bombing and shelling, thereby ensuring that no one could ever sleep for a period of more than two hours - and this went on for about a month, the objective being to "soften up" the enemy forces. These poor people would stand around, just staring at the sky with the occasional murmur but certainly nothing of coherence. The psychiatrist told me that my sudden appearance was the cause of them crying and panicking, and it was unlikely that any of them would ever fully recover. I have never before seen truly broken human beings and it's not something I would ever want to witness again. This was gulf war 1 as they later called it, and every time I hear of people pontificating about the why's and wherefore's I can't help but thinking of what this little unreported group of men are doing today. Sometimes it seems, war is inevitable although on these foray's into Iraq I couldn't see the logic behind it. I don't lay the blame fully at Blair's door, although in all fairness I wouldn't trust him as far as I could spit a rat.

    As for the article, the guy might have a point but he's had years to come up with it.

  22. #21
    Coaching Staff Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyAsHellas View Post
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    Whilst working in Saudi I remember cycling down to the shops, taking the quiet route and when I turned a corner at speed I was confronted with a group of men in hospital gowns who started screaming in anguish at my appearance. I stopped, wondering what the hell was happening, and was informed by an American psychiatrist that the men were Iraqi soldiers who had been in the trenches. During this period, the western forces had worked out a plan of bombing and shelling, thereby ensuring that no one could ever sleep for a period of more than two hours - and this went on for about a month, the objective being to "soften up" the enemy forces. These poor people would stand around, just staring at the sky with the occasional murmur but certainly nothing of coherence. The psychiatrist told me that my sudden appearance was the cause of them crying and panicking, and it was unlikely that any of them would ever fully recover. I have never before seen truly broken human beings and it's not something I would ever want to witness again. This was gulf war 1 as they later called it, and every time I hear of people pontificating about the why's and wherefore's I can't help but thinking of what this little unreported group of men are doing today. Sometimes it seems, war is inevitable although on these foray's into Iraq I couldn't see the logic behind it. I don't lay the blame fully at Blair's door, although in all fairness I wouldn't trust him as far as I could spit a rat.

    As for the article, the guy might have a point but he's had years to come up with it.
    That was an interesting post, war is horrific and each side will do terrible things to try to beat their opposite numbers. What ISIS have been doing to innocent people is a different level of depravity altogether.

    I don't understand the point you're making in your last sentence. I've no idea when the author first came to those conclusions, but he wrote the article this month so what does it matter?

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    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hibrandenburg's Avatar
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    Tony Blair is just one of many in a long list of politicians who got it incredibly wrong regarding the middle east. The article in the link is mainly from an American viewpoint on the situation but it's probably the best short summary and explanation of why we are where we are.

    Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Mission Unaccomplished, 15 Years Later | TomDispatch
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/1762...rs_later/#more

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    It's an interesting and thought-provoking article.

    My issue with the war in Iraq wasn't that it was entirely unjustified but that the motivations and mechanisms that led to it were wrong.

    More should have been done to gain UN backing, and we should have fought harder to have backing from the European countries, in particular France.

    Bush was almost as big an idiot as Trump, and there was a feeling that he was going in to finish his Dad's business. That would put any PM who values our "special relationship" with the USA under pressure but I have always thought that Blair gave in to Bush's desires too easily. I have (a degree of) sympathy for the difficult position Blair found himself in.

    It is also always easy to view these situations with crystal clear 20/20 hindsight. Just because the path we chose turned out to be pretty dreadful with the emergence of IS, who is to say that a continuation of the status quo would have turned out any better?

    An over-eagerness to go to war is not a good thing. Neither though is a willingness to look the other way when appalling human rights violations are taking place.
    Hindsight is a most wonderful thing. Even if he had got in backing in hindsight the whole Arab situation is now horrendous and will lead to instability for years to come. There are horrible regimes all over the world and the way we allowed British passport holders to be slaughtered in Zimbabwe was every bit as bad as Iraq. Blair is quite correct in people having second thoughts about brexit.

  25. #24
    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    What should we have done about Saddam Hussein and Iraq? What should have been done as the UN failed serially to agree a coherent position that could be enforced?

    I don't think there are - pretty much ever - any clean answers on dealing with dictators, tyrants and rogue states. My least favorite option though is the hand wringing, virtue signalling, look the other way approach. It keeps our conscience clean (well at least in terms of sins of commission) but it leaves us covered in the same blood as it is spilled in consequence of our sins of omission.

    I think I reserve the most disdain for two groups. Those politicians who sound off on subjects like this loudly and confidently, knowing they will NEVER have to take any of these kinds of decisions themselves. Step forward many of the nonentities of the Scottish Parliament but also with a special mention for the Corbyns and Lucases of the world.

    The other group are those people who want everything left to or agreed by the United Nations - an organisation whose Security Council has to somehow get Russia, UK, USA, China and France to agree in order to authorise armed intervention. About as effective as a Hearts 1986 league and cup double campaign. Always doomed to failure and just leaves you looking like an ineffective tit in a silver Mita top.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    That was an interesting post, war is horrific and each side will do terrible things to try to beat their opposite numbers. What ISIS have been doing to innocent people is a different level of depravity altogether.

    I don't understand the point you're making in your last sentence. I've no idea when the author first came to those conclusions, but he wrote the article this month so what does it matter?
    It doesn't really matter - people have been bashing Blair with this for years now and it's perhaps surprising that it's taken this long for someone to come up with a different angle on it.

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyAsHellas View Post
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    It doesn't really matter - people have been bashing Blair with this for years now and it's perhaps surprising that it's taken this long for someone to come up with a different angle on it.
    People have been arguing in Blair's support for years, but they were ignored, belittled and demonised.
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  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    What should we have done about Saddam Hussein and Iraq? What should have been done as the UN failed serially to agree a coherent position that could be enforced?

    I don't think there are - pretty much ever - any clean answers on dealing with dictators, tyrants and rogue states. My least favorite option though is the hand wringing, virtue signalling, look the other way approach. It keeps our conscience clean (well at least in terms of sins of commission) but it leaves us covered in the same blood as it is spilled in consequence of our sins of omission.

    I think I reserve the most disdain for two groups. Those politicians who sound off on subjects like this loudly and confidently, knowing they will NEVER have to take any of these kinds of decisions themselves. Step forward many of the nonentities of the Scottish Parliament but also with a special mention for the Corbyns and Lucases of the world.

    The other group are those people who want everything left to or agreed by the United Nations - an organisation whose Security Council has to somehow get Russia, UK, USA, China and France to agree in order to authorise armed intervention. About as effective as a Hearts 1986 league and cup double campaign. Always doomed to failure and just leaves you looking like an ineffective tit in a silver Mita top.
    Well said.
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  29. #28
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    Sorry but I see it differently and cannot agree. For the record, I attended several protests against the war and I was in the Labour Party at the time. I simply vote for them again until I can see that the party recognises the Iraq War episode for what it was: a crime of aggression and against humanity.

    When you look now at the evidence we have, there was a rush to war as part of a special relationship between Blair and Bush. The UN wouldn't give a mandate because, as far as could have been established by the weapons inspectors at the time - there was no credible evidence that Iraq had the WMDs that Blair/Bush put forward as the pretext for the war. None whatsoever.

    I get that Saddam was a tyrant. However, you cannot defend the destruction of a country and hundreds of thousands dead - and still dying - on the basis that their leader at the time was a murderous dictator. It was also not the premise for the war.

    The hypocrisy is amplified when you consider some of the people the UK did business with at the time and still do business with. We are currently hiding behind the Saudis, giving them material support with weapons, military specialism and equipment to bombard Yemen. War crimes, by most independent observers are counted in their hundreds. Meanwhile in Saudi, they export Wahhabism, suppress their people - especially women -and act to subvert countries in the region, funding and pulling the strings of a range of terrorist organisations and militias...

    The US/UK axis rails against selected dictators and strongmen around the world. But it is complete and unashamed hypocrisy. Because it is "us" doesn't make it nobler.

    If we want to get into people being bullied, then perhaps we can hold on long enough to wait out the 70 years embargo to see the medical records of David Kelly.

    Take 10 minutes of your time to watch this, Robin Cook's resignation speech at the time. https://youtu.be/T9CqiiI2Irg This was from the foreign secretary at the time who knew in intricate detail, the level of threat, the measures that had been taken so far and the legality of going to war.

    Yes, Labour won elections after that but again, it does not really absolve the facts of the time. A great number of people simply cannot believe the UK is capable or should be considered as a state which embarked on a war of aggression and war crimes. A large number of people also view the colonial period favourably. They are in denial.

    We shouldn't airbrush history and say that the means retrospectively justified the ends.
    Last edited by steakbake; 23-02-2017 at 02:41 PM.

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