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Chilcot report: findings on 2003 Iraq war released

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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    It's sad that the Guardian doesn't allow comments on some of these articles, evidently Blair's lawyers are doing the rounds of the newspapers warning them about people using their columns to attack him.
    I imagine it is to make moderation easier as opposed to some conspiracy. The Guardian don't allow comments on a lot of articles. The comment section is usually found on articles posted in the opinion section. This article I found in the opinion section of the Guardian by Owen Jones can be commented on:


    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    This made me feel sad.
    :sadnod:Charles Kennedy, Robin Cook, and Dr David Kelly

    As I've said elsewhere, the Chilcot Report is a whitewash. It's right about one thing, though: the devastating consequences were entirely predictable - no hindsight is needed. At the very least, it should have discussed whether Mr. Blair knew the true reasons for going to war on the part of the Americans, whether he supported these reasons or whether he really was ignorant about how the United States has acted throughout its history.

    Firstly, nothing in the report will challenge the myth that state powers, including Britain and the United States, are humanitarian actors. This is a delusion subscribed to by the media and the general public but ironically is ridiculed by people in government.

    We illegally invaded and occupied Iraq to gain control of strategic resources such as oil. General John Abizaid, former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq said, “of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that”, while Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said this in 2007:“ People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are.” To round it off, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan added in his 2007 book: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

    We knew that already, though. All that is necessary is to go back to the State Department's post-WWII planning, in which they stated that Gulf oil is "a stupendous source of strategic power and the greatest material prize in world history.” As Rob Newman pointed out, if you think about the criminal atrocities (including genocide) that the US backed in Guatemala after they overthrew the democratically elected leader there in 1954 just so that the United Fruit Company could get a hold of a few bananas, imagine what they'll be willing to do to secure the greatest prize in world history. (On that note, anyone who hasn't watched this should do so. It's a bit ranty but that's the point: it's also funny, and sad).

    The report, no doubt, will talk about "mistakes" and "things we could have done differently". All of this ignores the fact that, because we weren't in Iraq for humanitarian reasons, things simply couldn't have gone differently.

    People often like to say that the initial invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein was good, but the aftermath - the occupation - was bad. This ignores the fact that they came as part of a package: we overthrew Saddam so that we could occupy the country, gain control of its resources, dismantle its state structure and privatise it.

    People often say the same about Libya: "it was the lack of post-war planning". As Hillary Clinton's emails have shown, Sarkozy of France spearheaded the Libyan intervention for a number of reasons, none of which were humanitarian:

    1) A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
    2) Increase French influence in North Africa,
    3) Improve his internal political situation in France,
    4) Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
    5) Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi's long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa
    In addition, the emails discuss Gadaffi's attempt to create a pan-African currency:

    This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French.franc (CFA).his quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion.

    French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.
    The report will also fail to look at the influence not only of our own interests when it came to making the decision to invade Iraq, but the interests of Israel.

    With Syria, our foreign policy has been somewhat confused because some key US and Israeli officials have been keen to sit back and allow the conflict to go on. If we had firmly wanted to support the rebels from the start, Israel could have mobilised its forces in the Golan Heights, which would have prompted no complaints from the international community, and this would have forced Assad's forces to shift, thereby helping the rebels.

    Alon Pinkas, the former Israeli Consul General in New York, put the Israeli strategy best: “This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win – we’ll settle for a tie,….Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”

    This echoes the strategy laid out in the "Clean Break" document of 1996, authored by key US neoconservatives and Israeli officials, which discusses both Syria and Iraq: “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

    This describes the "skittles theory" of the Middle East, in which overthrowing one regime can lead to others falling too - all to serve American and Israeli interests, of course. After September 11th, Bush seemed to believe that this could occur. As General Wesley Clark informed us, in November 2001, the United States' military officials were "still on track for going against Iraq", but even this was being discussed as a wider five-year campaign to effect regime change in seven countries, "beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran."

    The strategy in the "Clean Break" document, incidentally, goes back to at least 1982, in which an official at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Oded Yinon, outlined what Israel's strategy in encouraging sectarian violence would have to be in the coming decades:

    Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon….

    Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.
    All in all, the report will ignore the fact the occupation was not intended to give power back to the Iraqi people: within the first six months of it, we had called off the national elections; as well as many local and provincial elections; cancelled the expected creation of a constituent assembly; and cancelled the elections for the drafters of the constitution. As would be expected, this caused more violence and more resentment. The resistance at first took the form of peaceful demonstrations - 100,000 protesters in Baghdad and 80,000 in Basra shouted "Yes, yes elections; no, no selections".

    Why did we cancel the elections? An influential poll published by the International Republican Institute, after the first six months, found that the majority of people would support a party and a government creating more government jobs, but less than 5% of people supported the creation of more private sector jobs. The Occupiers - us - took the opposite view.

    It was a project designed to gain power for us, and was thus doomed from the start. The Chilcot Report will, almost certainly, frame it as a "mistake". It was no mistake, just as the Vietnam War was no mistake.
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)

    Blair and his former allies and ministers are finding Chilcot's (muddle-headed) assertion that there was no deliberate attempt to falsify or deceive using intelligence (which is odd, given that there is abundant evidence that Campbell set out to do precisely that, at Blair's prompting) very useful indeed and are busy preening themselves that they are all blameless.
    I guess it's the subtle difference between outrightly falsifying stuff and losing objectivity.... presenting the evidence that adheres to want you want to believe and supports what you want to do.The latter seems to be a common theme in wars conducted by the states since WWII....

    I suppose Blair is happy because he feels like he's been absolved morally, or he can argue his case in that direction.

    Cook's resignation speech.
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