Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

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Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on December 13th, 2009, 8:23 pm 

"Mr Blair will be appearing very much in public and will be questioned in detail on a wide range of issues surrounding Britain's involvement in Iraq. We have said right from the start he will be a key figure in the inquiry. Mr Blair has said that he is ready and willing to give evidence in public."
Chilcot inquiry says Blair evidence will be 'very much in public'

"If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?" Blair was asked. He replied: "I would still have thought it right to remove him [Saddam Hussein]".
Tony Blair admits: I would have invaded Iraq anyway
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on December 14th, 2009, 8:27 pm 

"Tony Blair used "deceit" to persuade parliament and the British people to support war in Iraq, Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, said today.

In an article in the Times, Macdonald attacked Blair for engaging in "alarming subterfuge", for displaying "sycophancy" towards George Bush and for refusing to accept that his decisions were wrong.

Macdonald's comments about Blair's decision to go to war are more critical than anything that has been said so far by any of the senior civil servants who worked in Whitehall when Blair was prime minister.
[...]
"It is now very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Tony Blair engaged in an alarming subterfuge with his partner, George Bush, and went on to mislead and cajole the British people into a deadly war they had made perfectly clear they didn't want, and on a basis that it's increasingly hard to believe even he found truly credible."

Macdonald said that Blair's fundamental flaw was his "sycophancy towards power" and that he could not resist the "glamour" he attracted in Washington."
'Sycophant' Tony Blair used deceit to justify Iraq war, says former DPP
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby kudayta on December 14th, 2009, 10:02 pm 

Should we start a betting pool on the chance that he goes to jail, seeks asylum in the US or gets off scot-free?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on December 14th, 2009, 10:31 pm 

What are the odds?

Note from that last article that "Macdonald was DPP from 2003 until 2008 and he now practises law from Matrix Chambers, where Blair's barrister wife, Cherie, is also based."

Something tells me Blair has a trick or two up his sleeve - either that or thinks he is beyond the law because his wife thinks she is the law.

What repercussions could this have for Bush, if, say, Blair is sent to jail?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Bill Davis on December 14th, 2009, 11:24 pm 

kudayta wrote:Should we start a betting pool on the chance that he goes to jail, seeks asylum in the US or gets off scot-free?


Are you suggesting the Scot Brown will let him off? (I know, bad joke.)

Here in the US we prefer to leave the legal responsibility for executive decisions to those who are ordered to carry them out.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby wolfhnd on December 14th, 2009, 11:53 pm 

Anyone who was fooled by the WMD excuse was not really following the situation in Iraq and must have wanted to believe that a UN mandate to invade was politically possible. Also as far as the illegal use of force goes it is important to remember that the US invasion would not have been possible if it was not for Sadam's own choice to us military force to invade his neighbors on multiple occasions. The UN should be studying why Sadam was not a target of international prosecution which obviously required an invasion to arrange. It is simply too easy to forget the Iran Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait and to take things out of historical perspective.

Don't get me wrong the neocon platform is criminally fascist but the Iraq war is not something they created, the seeds were sown by the more or less socialist Roosevelt administration. Here is a nice article on what I think is the bigger picture. http://www.informationclearinghouse.inf ... e20508.htm
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on December 15th, 2009, 2:22 am 

wolfhnd wrote:as far as the illegal use of force goes it is important to remember that the US invasion would not have been possible if it was not for Sadam's own choice to us military force to invade his neighbors on multiple occasions. The UN should be studying why Sadam was not a target of international prosecution which obviously required an invasion to arrange.

Yeah, great point.

It still wasn't up to the US & UK to decide international law though. Why didn't the UN act more 'appropriately' with regards to Sadam's previous invasions?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby kidjan on December 15th, 2009, 6:06 pm 

wolfhnd wrote:Anyone who was fooled by the WMD excuse was not really following the situation in Iraq and must have wanted to believe that a UN mandate to invade was politically possible. Also as far as the illegal use of force goes it is important to remember that the US invasion would not have been possible if it was not for Sadam's own choice to us military force to invade his neighbors on multiple occasions. The UN should be studying why Sadam was not a target of international prosecution which obviously required an invasion to arrange. It is simply too easy to forget the Iran Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait and to take things out of historical perspective.


I think this historical perspective is a double-edged sword. It would be trivial for America to take the moral high ground on this issue (who's going to argue against disposing of a horrible dictator?) were we not at least partly responsible for the overall political climate in the middle east. It is difficult to argue that we can have the CIA destabilize Iran, sell weapons to both sides of the Iraq/Iran conflict, bungle diplomatic relations during the first Gulf War (possibly giving Saddam the impression that we wouldn't particularly care if he invaded Kuwait in response to them slant drilling into Iraq's oilfields) and then support a decade of fruitless sanctions. It is, like Manville put it, a "history of bad intentions."

The WMD argument was so clearly fraught with peril, that it boggles my mind people still even consider it a reasonable argument. That is not to say that invading Iraq was a bad idea (although in hindsight, I think it was a disasterous idea). But if invading Iraq was so vitally important, than let the "vitally important" arguments be known. Instead, we got blustering accusatoins of mobile weapons labs, nuclear programs, chemical weapons, and so on. All of which were (more or less) completely unsubstantiated or derived from sources that were comically unreliable. So unless there's some secret argument out there that's more compelling then what we were sold in 2002, I am of the opinion that it was a horrible idea.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on January 18th, 2010, 8:04 pm 

kidjan wrote:The WMD argument was so clearly fraught with peril, that it boggles my mind people still even consider it a reasonable argument.


Chilcot inquiry: Tony Blair called to explain WMD claim next week
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/1 ... tony-blair
"Tony Blair will face pressure at the Iraq inquiry a week on Friday to explain how he was able to claim that Saddam Hussein was building a "growing" programme of weapons of mass destruction six months before the invasion in 2003.
...
The inquiry gave a taste of the questioning Blair will face next week when Powell was asked about the Downing Street dossier on Iraq's weapons programme released on 24 September 2002. Alastair Campbell, No 10's former communications chief, was last week asked about Blair's claim in the foreword to the dossier that British intelligence had "established beyond doubt" that Saddam was continuing to produce chemical and biological weapons and was continuing in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons."

I can't wait to see what happens with this!
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby kudayta on January 18th, 2010, 8:32 pm 

Me neither Mossling.

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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Natural ChemE on January 18th, 2010, 9:45 pm 

I'm a bit confused on the "Illegal" label for the war. Is this perspective assuming the UN to be the legitimate governing body of the world? Or, given the context, was it against British law?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby kidjan on January 23rd, 2010, 10:04 pm 

Natural ChemE wrote:I'm a bit confused on the "Illegal" label for the war. Is this perspective assuming the UN to be the legitimate governing body of the world? Or, given the context, was it against British law?


There's a couple of different arguments.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 23rd, 2010, 10:54 pm 

The question of whether any invasion of another country is legal or illegal requires that some body have the authority to make this kind of decision. Was Iraq's invasion of Kuwait illegal? The US and Britain decided to invade Iraq on their own, without UN support. So how is this invasion different from what Saddam did or what China did to Tibet, etc? As bad as it might be, the UN is the only international body that can act at this level. As long as single countries like the US, Britain, China, Iraq, Iran, etc., etc., act on their own without facing consequences for their actions beyond the might is right judgement,how can we ever expect any kind of world peace? Is it illegal? Only if you loose it seems. Or if you do loose, only if you can't find safe haven with a ton of cash in some other country.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on January 28th, 2010, 10:45 pm 

Wanted: Tony Blair for war crimes. Arrest him and claim your reward

"...there's a problem with official inquiries in the United Kingdom: the government appoints their members and sets their terms of reference. It's the equivalent of a criminal suspect being allowed to choose what the charges should be, who should judge his case and who should sit on the jury. As a senior judge told the Guardian in November: "Looking into the legality of the war is the last thing the government wants. And actually, it's the last thing the opposition wants either because they voted for the war. There simply is not the political pressure to explore the question of legality – they have not asked because they don't want the answer."

Others have explored it, however. Two weeks ago a Dutch inquiry, led by a former supreme court judge, found that the invasion had "no sound mandate in international law". Last month Lord Steyn, a former law lord, said that "in the absence of a second UN resolution authorising invasion, it was illegal". In November Lord Bingham, the former lord chief justice, stated that, without the blessing of the UN, the Iraq war was "a serious violation of international law and the rule of law".

Under the United Nations charter, two conditions must be met before a war can legally be waged. The parties to a dispute must first "seek a solution by negotiation" (article 33). They can take up arms without an explicit mandate from the UN security council only "if an armed attack occurs against [them]" (article 51). Neither of these conditions applied. The US and UK governments rejected Iraq's attempts to negotiate. At one point the US state department even announced that it would "go into thwart mode" to prevent the Iraqis from resuming talks on weapons inspection (all references are on my website). Iraq had launched no armed attack against either nation.

We also know that the UK government was aware that the war it intended to launch was illegal. In March 2002, the Cabinet Office explained that "a legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law officers' advice, none currently exists." In July 2002, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, told the prime minister that there were only "three possible legal bases" for launching a war – "self-defence, ­humanitarian intervention, or UNSC [security council] authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case." Bush and Blair later failed to obtain security council authorisation.

As the resignation letter on the eve of the war from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, then deputy legal adviser to the ­Foreign Office, revealed, her office had ­"consistently" advised that an ­invasion would be unlawful without a new UN resolution. She explained that "an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression". Both Wilmshurst and her former boss, Sir Michael Wood, will testify before the Chilcot inquiry tomorrow. Expect fireworks."
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby SciameriKen on January 29th, 2010, 2:06 pm 

The WMD argument was so clearly fraught with peril, that it boggles my mind people still even consider it a reasonable argument. That is not to say that invading Iraq was a bad idea (although in hindsight, I think it was a disasterous idea). But if invading Iraq was so vitally important, than let the "vitally important" arguments be known. Instead, we got blustering accusatoins of mobile weapons labs, nuclear programs, chemical weapons, and so on. All of which were (more or less) completely unsubstantiated or derived from sources that were comically unreliable. So unless there's some secret argument out there that's more compelling then what we were sold in 2002, I am of the opinion that it was a horrible idea.


The reason may be irrelevant. If a condition of the peace treaty stemming from the 1990 invasion states that Iraq must allow weapons inspectors to review whatever the feel, and Iraq does not comply, then war is justified as the peace treaty has been broken.
This would come down to what was specifically said in the peace treaty and whether Iraq was in violation of it. Kidjan you have a knack for finding out such things so I leave it to you :)
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on January 30th, 2010, 1:30 am 

AAAAAARGH!

Tony Blair at the Chilcot inquiry, part II
"By mid-afternoon the former prime minister knew he had escaped. The remaining questions about post-invasion planning were never going to trouble him. It was just like watching Blair at prime minister's questions, swatting away his inquisitors, absolutely certain he was right. He may have had some sleepless nights ahead of today's appearance but he didn't need to lose a wink."
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby kidjan on January 30th, 2010, 6:51 pm 

SciameriKen wrote:If a condition of the peace treaty stemming from the 1990 invasion states that Iraq must allow weapons inspectors to review whatever the feel, and Iraq does not comply, then war is justified as the peace treaty has been broken.


Except Iraq did let weapons inspectors in following a period of four years where there were no inspections (and it is not clear that Iraq was fully at fault for this period of inactivity). But the Bush administration's position on the issue was irreconcilable: they wanted Iraq to fully disclose all weapons programs, but also refused to believe anything the Iraqi government actually said or demonstrated to them.

The absurdity of this cannot be overstated--it's like me requesting Saddam disclose all of his stashes of potato chips, and then when he insists there are none, I claim he's lying. There is no amount of disclosure that can placate this line of reasoning. In fact, the moment I heard the Bush administration employing this exact argument in late 2002 and early 2003, it was obvious to me that the intent was not to disarm Iraq, but invade Iraq.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on January 30th, 2010, 10:16 pm 

"I wanted to shout out. 'Blair, look at me, you have brought shame on yourself.' I wish I had spoken out"
"I thought, "They're going to get him here. How is he going to wriggle out of this one?" In his reply he stated that he did believe beyond doubt the assessed intelligence. In his judgment, he believed it. So it's a bit like questioning somebody's faith. I might believe beyond doubt that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, but that doesn't make it true. But that's how he got out of it. I cannot describe my frustration that he was able to dodge his misrepresentation of the truth so easily."

It seems the true fault lies with all the people who added extra little bits to the intelligence involved along the way from the taxi driver in Iraq (for example) all the way to Tony Blair. All those people can't be locked up as a collective, so no one individual can be brought to justice over this. It seems it is the process of the intelligence arriving at the Prime Minister's office which needs to be brought to trial.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby jackson33 on February 3rd, 2010, 2:49 pm 

Mossling; I didn't realize, the UK had turned quite that far left or the general public could be so subject to a media agenda. Blair/Bush and other leaders, had many reason to intervene in Iraq other than WMD, though I do feel they felt, a future potential for use of such weapons would be used, probably by Husseins two boys. The Middle East was in a state of unrest, more so than it is today with Iran. Between three or four oil Producers, pot shots at British and US patrolling Aircraft and a world dependent on oil for their economy, they had little choice. In a short time you may be wishing Bush/Blair were back, maybe Thatcher or Churchill himself (also criticized for actions), while both you and the US, wait around for Europe to handle Iran....
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on July 24th, 2010, 9:09 pm 

Chilcot inquiry: Iraq expert Carne Ross claims civil servants are withholding vital documents
The Observer, Sunday 25 July 2010

"The paper to the PLP was instead sent by the foreign secretary to "brief" the wider cabinet. This paper was pure overstated propaganda, filled with ludicrous statements like "one teaspoon of anthrax can kill a million people". The paper was soon made public, as part of the campaign to create public hysteria.

The official's memo about the PLP paper contained nothing secret. It relates to a public document, the PLP paper. Yet, of all the references in my testimony, this was the one that the Cabinet Office most wanted removed. I refused. Strikingly, this memo has never been mentioned to the inquiry, including by its author, who testified earlier this year. Neither has the author of the PLP paper been questioned, or the paper itself discussed.

I was repeatedly warned by inquiry staff not to mention any classified material during my testimony. The only problem is that almost every document I ever wrote or read in my work was classified. It was made clear to me, and to journalists attending the hearing, that if I mentioned specific documents the broadcast of my testimony would be cut off. Other forms of retribution (Official Secrets Act prosecution?) hung in the air. It was a form of subtle intimidation.
[...]
Nick Clegg [UK Deputy Prime Minister] said a few weeks ago that almost all documents must now be released. He is right.

Carne Ross was the UK's Iraq expert at the UN from 1997 to 2002. He now heads Independent Diplomat, a non-profit diplomatic advisory group"

Is this going to move things along somewhat? We also had this 5 days ago:

Former MI5 chief delivers damning verdict on Iraq invasion
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 20 July 2010

"In her own words

Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller to the Chilcot inquiry:

"We regarded the direct threat from Iraq as low"

"Arguably we gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad"

"Substantially" – when asked to what extent the conflict in Iraq exacerbated the overall threat facing Britain's security from international terrorism

"Our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people – not a whole generation, a few among a generation – who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack on Islam"

"It is fair to say that we did not foresee the degree to which British citizens would become involved …"

"Very few would argue that the intelligence was substantial enough to make that decision [go to war]"

"There is no credible intelligence to suggest that connection [between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida]. That was the judgment of the CIA. It was not a judgment that found favour in some parts of the American machine".
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby reconsiderate on July 24th, 2010, 11:38 pm 

Forest_Dump wrote:The question of whether any invasion of another country is legal or illegal requires that some body have the authority to make this kind of decision. Was Iraq's invasion of Kuwait illegal? The US and Britain decided to invade Iraq on their own, without UN support. So how is this invasion different from what Saddam did or what China did to Tibet, etc? As bad as it might be, the UN is the only international body that can act at this level. As long as single countries like the US, Britain, China, Iraq, Iran, etc., etc., act on their own without facing consequences for their actions beyond the might is right judgement,how can we ever expect any kind of world peace? Is it illegal? Only if you loose it seems. Or if you do loose, only if you can't find safe haven with a ton of cash in some other country.


I like this post because it highlights the underlying issue of who has the power to authorize or forbid unilateral action and why. The Iraq conflict has been a pawn, imo, in a larger discourse of whether there should be some ultimate authoritarian taboo against regarding national sovereignty as less than sacred. Most of the reasoning I hear in favor of sacred national autonomy/sovereignty are self-referential and emotional. People don't seem to have any rational basis for validating their arguments against global power relations that ignore claims of national sovereignty. Nationalism seems to just be programmed into their emotional reflexivity.

If nothing else, the problem with treating national sovereignty as sacred is that it protects and enhances the ability to disrespect intranational autonomy and sovereignty. In other words, entities being invaded, exploited, or otherwise abused at the hands of intranational agents are protected by international taboos against ignoring national sovereignty/autonomy.

I believe that this issue came to light in the tragic aftermath of the Rwanda genocide in which, as I recall, UN administrative delays combined with multilateral inaction allowed a great deal of killing to occur without any intervention. I have heard similar critique that intervention in Iraq occurred at the same time violence in Darfur was going on unchecked, but I don't have sufficient knowledge of the details of any of this to evaluate any of it much. I just recognize that there are problems with elevating national sovereignty and autonomy to a level that facilitates intranational rights violations.

If the UN or any other agency is used as a stumbling block to intervention despite national sovereignty, human rights and other individual rights could lose their sovereignty without any check or balance of power in their favor. I'm not saying this logic couldn't be abused to exercise power arbitrarily. I'm just saying that the logic of it makes sense. Who would argue for national sovereignty/autonomy to protect human-rights abuses?

Further, if constituencies of democratic governments rallied to shield human-rights abuses in Iraq from intervention, would it be unethical to use an ulterior motive as a guise to justify intervention? I raise this question not because I am overwhelmingly convinced that lying is ethical in order to overcome resistance to ethical intervention, but because I honestly cannot say with certainty that it is ethical to openly state your intentions when you are reasonably certain it would enable opponents to shield abusers from justice.

As an analogical example: if you would suspect a parent of abusing their child, and you would reasonably suspect that the parent would become more fearful and aggressive when confronted with the fact that s/he is being suspected and observed for child-abuse, would it not be justified in the interest of the child's welfare to send an investigator to the house in the guise of a meter-reader or some other relatively non-threatening periodic presence? This gets into the ethics of lying and covert politics and espionage, which are very complex, but they are not completely cut and dry imo either.

Ideally, democracy and freedom would flourish among individuals to the extent that anyone would openly invite inspections because they would not feel threatened/terrorized by government intervention OR feel that their freedom and right to their own culture was insufficient. However, in cases where freedom/democracy seem to be lacking to the point that inspections and intervention is feared, what can be done except demonstrate that the thing they fear is not as bad as they fear? I.e some form of low-key inspection or intervention is needed to demonstrate that it's not as bad as people fear - and show them that they DO have the right to voice dissent and critique toward the intervening agents, because that is what democracy is supposed to facilitate.

I realize that this logic may be subject to criticism, and I am nearly hesitant to dissent from the popular insistence on national sovereignty/autonomy at any cost, but I still have faith in the possibility of voicing dissenting opinions peacefully. Once everyone loses that faith, I'm afraid it will only be a matter of time before more violence erupts to re-instate democracy and freedom. "Use it or lose it" should be the rule of thumb for democracy and freedom during moments of relative peace, I suppose.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on August 15th, 2010, 8:04 am 

Michael Howard backs calls for inquest into death of David Kelly
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 15 August 2010

'"Recent evidence by the first police officer on the scene, together with new statements by doctors, raise serious questions which should be considered.
[...]
Kelly's body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003 after he was identified as the source of a BBC story claiming the government "sexed up" its dossier on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

In the outcry that followed, Tony Blair appointed Lord Hutton to head a public inquiry into Kelly's death. Unusually, the then lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, ruled it should also act as an inquest.

Hutton concluded that Kelly had taken his own life and that the principal cause of death was "bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist which Dr Kelly had inflicted on himself with the knife found beside his body".
[...]
However in a letter to the Times last week, the eight experts insisted the conclusion was unsafe. They argued that a severed ulnar artery, the wound found to Kelly's wrist, was unlikely to be life-threatening unless an individual had a blood clotting deficiency."

Dr Kelly's death seemed so strange at the time, I am not surprised this is getting re-examined. Another crack in the 'Illegal Iraq War' dam made of lies and dictation to democratic nations?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on December 8th, 2010, 10:02 pm 

Tony Blair summoned back to Iraq inquiry to be quizzed over new evidence
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 December 2010

"Members of the Chilcot panel are believed to be concerned about the revelation in documents released in June that the former prime minister was warned by his government's chief law officer that an invasion of Iraq would be illegal the day before he privately assured George Bush he would support US-led military action.

The documents gave an unprecedented insight into how the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, repeatedly warned Blair of the consequences of invading Iraq without fresh UN authority, much to the prime minister's irritation.

They included a note from Goldsmith to Blair, marked secret and dated 30 January 2003, stating: "In view of your meeting with President Bush on Friday, I thought you might wish to know where I stand on the question of whether a further decision of the [UN] security council is legally required in order to authorise the use of force against Iraq.
[...]
Blair testified before the Chilcot inquiry for nearly six hours in January. He told the inquiry that the question of whether military action would be lawful was "always a very, very difficult, balanced judgment"

Yet the inquiry has also heard that Blair told Boyce, then head of the armed forces, that it was his "unequivocal" view that an invasion would be lawful. Blair told Goldsmith's office to pass on the message after Boyce demanded an "unequivocal" yes or no answer to whether it would be legal.''
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby henriette on December 19th, 2010, 11:25 am 

Please remember not only the few falling paid soldiers but also the 1 million civilians, elderlies, children, women, that died because some wrongly believed to fight for peace while they indeed killed and totally destroyed a whole country for Halliburton and co, because Wall Street and not the White House declared the war. The diplomacy about the alleged invasion of Kuweit had been so trivial for those you have red only a bit about the history of this "no-country no-people" called Kuweit. Alas, the worst, the civil war, has still to come in Iraq. This war, together with the so ridiculous war in Afghanistan, may have a real bad influence in the world.
It is a shame and a failure that "intellectuals" in western countries have not demonstrated against this war and the western countries may be glad that France, whatever the reasons, declined to enter this private war. We may all benefit from that position of Jacques Chirac and by chance, N. Sarkozy was not yet elected than!
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby CanadysPeak on December 19th, 2010, 3:09 pm 

henriette wrote:Please remember not only the few falling paid soldiers but also the 1 million civilians, elderlies, children, women, that died because some wrongly believed to fight for peace while they indeed killed and totally destroyed a whole country for Halliburton and co, because Wall Street and not the White House declared the war. The diplomacy about the alleged invasion of Kuweit had been so trivial for those you have red only a bit about the history of this "no-country no-people" called Kuweit. Alas, the worst, the civil war, has still to come in Iraq. This war, together with the so ridiculous war in Afghanistan, may have a real bad influence in the world.
It is a shame and a failure that "intellectuals" in western countries have not demonstrated against this war and the western countries may be glad that France, whatever the reasons, declined to enter this private war. We may all benefit from that position of Jacques Chirac and by chance, N. Sarkozy was not yet elected than!

I must disagree with part of your post and, yet, agree with the overall sentiment. Here's why.

Here in Pittsburgh, we've had many protests against the Iraq war. At least one was large; most were small. But, there are qualifiers. Many of the people protesting the war in Iraq support the war in Afghanistan. In fact, some of the protesters have been veterans of the wars. So, I refute your statement that we don't protest.

Yet, you are right about the lack of involvement by "intellectuals". Our protests tend to be largely run by social Catholics and labor, and the intellectuals stay away in droves. Part of the problem is, of course, the presence of labor leaders; men and women who have worked their way to the top of a strong local are often disdainful of intellectual dilletentes who show up one day a month and want to run things. Such labor leaders don't readily share the podium, and they've been known to throw a wicked right.

The second problem is the strong Christian presence at the protests (largely, I suppose, because of the Thomas Merton Center) and intellectuals aren't comfortable when the Little Sisters of Militant Pacifism start protests off with prayers.

I can't say if these situations are common to other US cities. But here, when we protest the Iraq war, people make sure to guard the windows of the local Recruiting Center. We're proud to serve in the military; we just think Iraq is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, we do our protesting OK without much help from the intellectuals or from the French.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby mtbturtle on January 5th, 2011, 11:34 am 

I have to wonder who counts as the "Intellectuals" either in Europe or the US?
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on February 17th, 2011, 1:51 am 

Colin Powell demands answers over Curveball's WMD lies
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 16 February 2011

"Colin Powell, the US secretary of state at the time of the Iraq invasion, has called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain why they failed to alert him to the unreliability of a key source behind claims of Saddam Hussein's bio-weapons capability.

Responding to the Guardian's revelation that the source, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi or "Curveball" as his US and German handlers called him, admitted fabricating evidence of Iraq's secret biological weapons programme, Powell said that questions should be put to the US agencies involved in compiling the case for war.
[...]
Powell has previously expressed regret about the role he unwittingly played in passing on false information to the UN, saying it had put a blot on his career. But his latest comments increase pressure on the intelligence agencies and their former chiefs to divulge what they knew at the time and why they failed to filter out such a bad source.

George Tenet, then head of the CIA, is particularly in the firing line. He failed to pass on warnings from German intelligence about Curveball's reliability."

So, what is the chances this will all fade away into nothing, just like all the other evidence for the illegal Iraq war.... :/
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on September 4th, 2012, 9:50 am 

We're one crucial step closer to seeing Tony Blair at The Hague
guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 September 2012
When Desmond Tutu wrote that Tony Blair should be treading the path to The Hague, he de-normalised what Blair has done. Tutu broke the protocol of power – the implicit accord between those who flit from one grand meeting to another – and named his crime. I expect that Blair will never recover from it.

The offence is known by two names in international law: the crime of aggression and a crime against peace. It is defined by the Nuremberg principles as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression". This means a war fought for a purpose other than self-defence: in other words outwith articles 33 and 51 of the UN Charter.

That the invasion of Iraq falls into this category looks indisputable. Blair's cabinet ministers knew it, and told him so. His attorney general warned that there were just three ways in which it could be legally justified: "self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UN security council authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case." Blair tried and failed to obtain the third.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Mossling on July 6th, 2016, 8:59 am 

The Iraq war inquiry has left the door open for Tony Blair to be prosecuted
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -prosecute
The Guardian, Wednesday 6 July 2016.
the Chilcot inquiry did find that the circumstances in which the Blair government decided that there was a legal basis for military action were “far from satisfactory”. The report said that Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, should have been asked to provide written advice to the cabinet on 17 March 2003 explaining the legal basis on which the UK could take military action and setting out the risks of legal challenge.

In fact, Goldsmith started to give ministers an oral explanation, based on a written answer to a parliamentary question which was handed round the cabinet table, and the discussion then moved on.
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Re: Illegal Iraq War: Justice Coming Soon?

Postby Lomax on July 6th, 2016, 9:20 am 

Is there any evidence of anybody's able willingness to prosecute Blair? The ICC has already told us that it won't be doing so.
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