Friday 5 March 2010


In what was, I imagine, a carefully rehearsed performance Brown took over the Chilcot Inquiry as if he were chairing it and laid the blame for equipment shortages on generals who should have predicted the operational needs of their troops. Brown told the inquiry. "At every point we were asked to provide money and the resources for new equipment or for improving equipment, we made that money available." So none of it was his fault. It was anyone but Brown who was to blame....

But he has been accused by retired generals and families of servicemen killed in Iraq of having starved the Armed Forces of funding. General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, former chief of the Defence Staff, has said that the lack of funds had "undoubtedly cost the lives of soldiers".

Brown said that as prime minister he had always asked the military when they were undertaking any new operation to assure him that they had the equipment they needed. Always they had said that they did.

I think that, as a matter of great urgency, it needs to be decided who is lying through their teeth. Is it all these generals and the ex-ministers and the families of the dead soldiers, or is it Brown and Blair? I’m not a great fan of the MoD or of senior officers who fight from behind their desks with their minds on pensions, knighthoods and a seat on a red bench, but surely they aren’t ALL out and out liars?

Brown babbled about the international community’s duty to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, seeming to forget that the international community, in the form of the United Nations Security Council, had made it perfectly clear that it would not sanction military intervention; that Hans Blix had said that he doubted that there were weapons of mass destruction but begged to be given a couple of weeks more to be sure (a request denied); that there were, in fact, only a few countries led by right wing puppets who were prepared to join with the biggest joke of them all, George W Bush.

Brown would do well too, to reflect on all the other countries that have dangerous and fearful regimes, in which the populations have very limited freedom, and deaths of dissenters are normal. He might ask himself what he intends to do about them, or if it would be a good idea to remember that we are a broke little country in which thousands of pensioners die of the cold every winter and clearly we can’t afford to right all the wrongs of the world.

We are appallingly managed perhaps because our idiot “leaders” spend their time effort and what very little intellect they have, planning how people on the other side of the world should live. Of course it would be dull for such minds to concern themselves with the mundane issues of domestic matters, and there would be no opportunity to stride around like they belonged in the White House. But it might make our lives a bit better.

Nothing will bring back the people who were killed in George W Bush’s ILLEGAL war in Iraq. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the troops from the US’s allies, but we owe it to them to find out the truth, and frankly I don’t much care if they bring back the rack so that we can do that! Torture? How ironic would that be?


  1. Quite a piece of work eh? I am amazed he did not burst into tears. Acting so wooden it makes the cast of Neighbours look like the royal Shakespeare company. And once again the Chilcot enquiry did not ask the right questions, one thinks back to an episode of “yes minister” where they had an enquiry that was fixed by having the right chairman chasing a gong from the british empire. Is bubbles Brown aware that it is Oscar night tomorrow?

  2. An illegal war? I would not say so myself, immoral? Yes.

    My point is not to attempt to justify, it is to highlight the VERY VERY worrying fact that international laws are TOO VAGUE...

  3. Munguin: He went in with all guns blazing apparently, and hardly gave the inquiry a chance. They are obviously cowed by the likes of Brown and Blair, or rather by their positions, which is what is wrong here.

    When will people see that Brown, Blair, Cameron, Salmond.... whoever... are just people; they work for us because we elected them; they are nothing special.

    Oh yes, to get where they got, they are hard working, determined, clever, cunning, whatever, but they are just people. They tie their shoe laces, eat corn flakes and use the bathroom the same as everyone else.

    We should stop treating them differently.

    You're probably right. The committee for honours is a bit of a whitewash. If the PM says an honour will be given then it will. Because the committee want honours themsleves maybe. When Mr Brown compared the Olympic Athletes to soldiers in Helmand, and said that they should be recognised in the honours list.... it happened.

    It's a pity that the soldiers, to whom he compared the likes of Hoy, didn't get any honours. He seemed to forget the apparent (or unapparent to me) similarity after he handed out the baubles to people who won a race with other people cheering them on... just like in Helmand really....????

  4. Dean.

    The United Nations Security Council is flawed, no doubt, but it is what we have, indeed was part of the argument for going to war. Saddam had refused to co-operate with Security Council dictates.

    So BritAmerica decided they wanted to have a war (it's good for making you look popular when you are crap...witness Mrs Thatcher), and they are thinking of putting it to the Security Council; they send people out to Africa capitals to promise all manner of aid, airports, vanity projects, anything to get them to vote for them. If you support us Excellency, we will give you so many dollars you can build that palace, airport, buy weapons; do whatever you want.....

    Bribery....and corruption? It would be in any other legal setting.

    But there is one (or rather three) great big flies in the ointment. Namely France, China and Russia.

    As the vote in the Security Council was about to come up the weapons inspector Hans Blix asked for extra time. He was fairly sure that there were no wmds, but wanted another couple of weeks to be sure. I remember his speech; he asked for ‘not days but not a month’. President Chirac announced that given that information France would not support an invasion “at this time”. Russia and China agreed with France. The invasion, legally sanctioned by the UN, was dead in the water.

    But BushBlair weren’t going to be thwarted in their electoral strategy of being war presidents by a few cheese eating surrender monkeys (they always forgot to mention China and Russia, but then, they are a bit big to fall out with. Bullies prefer little targets). No siree. Texans and their poodles don’t tolerate garlicy interference, not when they got themselves a nice big slice of oil field to bring in...

    And so, believing themselves to be bigger than the UN, the USUK went ahead anyway, with another couple of right wing wingnuts, in the PMs of Spain (Aznar-Lopez) and Italy (nothing criminal about Berlusconi..ahem, allegedly).

    Now I call that illegal Dean. Yes, the laws are vague, and even clever men like Mr Goldfinger got it a bit wrong when he said it was “illegal, choke, choke splutter, I mean legal of course , wheeze wheeze, sorry Mr Campbell, sir”.

  5. Brown said yesterday that he wasn't too sure about the legal aspect of the war in Iraq but funded and voted for it anyway. Millions dead and £14Bn wasted with more terrorism created. And he wasn't even sure about the legality of the whole thing as he was kept out of the loop. Scary times we live in.

  6. Tris,

    I don't know if the case of the Iraq war's illegality can be made beyond all reasonable interpretations.

    To my mind there are three prongs on which legality is dependent:

    1. The right of pre-emptive actions for self defence [again due to the vague wording of the Charter, this is technically not automatically unjustifiable]

    2. The breech of resolution 1441 [again, this is dubious at best]

    3. His breech of the 1991 cease fire, as per two UN resolutions [I forget which, I think one of them was 687]

    You may not agree, but there is a technically legal case to be had there. But as I say, the question of morality is seperate, and not be conflated with questions of legal interpretation.

    But good article btw

  7. Anon: Absolutely amazing, I agree, but nothing when you want to keep in with the big Texan boss in the big White House....

  8. Dean: At the end of the day, had it gone to a vote, it would have been chucked out.

  9. PS Dean.... Thanks ... :¬)

  10. Dean,

    To my mind there are three prongs on which legality is dependent:

    1. The murder of innocent men
    2. The murder of innocent women
    3. The murder of innocent children

    By any criteria they are all illegal.

  11. I've always thought that the sophisticated 21st century "western" mind might just have thought of a better way to settle scores than do all of the above Brownlie.

    Somehow it seems inordinately primitive to bomb the hell out of people going about their ordinary lives because you don't like what their leaders are doing.... Terrorism really.

    And how we squeal when it happens to us.