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« Daniel Hannan: We must quit the EU | Main | Lee Harris: Who provides the moral levees? »

Comments

Adrian Owens

A convincing piece I feel from a commentator from the left who realised that following 9/11 the West needed a fundamentally diffferent approach to the jihadists.

Our Leaders need to make forceful and repeated statements in favour of our continued presence in Iraq given the large number of appeasers in both Britain and the US.

Selsdon Man

A war to be proud of? I would expect nothing else from the house magazine of the neo-con zealots.

Infrastructure needlessly destroyed, huge rebuilding bills,innocent Iraqis tortured at Abu Graib, thousands of innocent people killed during the conflict and by insurgents and a more dangerous Iran.

If that is a war to be proud of, I'd hate to see one that we would be ashamed of.

Editor

If you want something to be ashamed of - how about the west's standing by and doing nothing whilst 400,000 people have died in Darfur, Selsdon Man?

No doubt if we'd intervened there and British soldiers had died in peacemaking that would have been unacceptable, too.

And as for Abu Graib - what went on with the US was a disgrace - but as Hitchens writes - it's so much better than what went on before at that prison under Saddam. This pattern of improvement with setbacks is consistent across liberated Iraq.

And, yes, The Weekly Standard is a neocon journal but C Hitchens is certainly no neoconservative!

Selsdon Man

Darfur was a legitimate cause for intervention.

My problems with Iraq War are the lies on WMD that were used to justify it and the American shortcomings that I set out above.

We need to find out who faked the Niger documents that were used to promote the lie that Saddam had obtained nuclear material.

The British Army has performed excellently in difficult conditions.

You are right about Chris Hitchens but I don't trust him any more than his ex-Trot brother.

Selsdon Man

I should also add that it is not Britain's role to partner the US in its self-adopted role as the world's policeman. Our core role in Iraq has undermined our reputation with our other Nato allies.

We need to win the support of our allies in Nato, and ideally have the backing of UN resolutions, before taking military action. Darfur was a classic example of where such an approach was necessary. Zimbabwe is another.

We could have taken Saddam out in 1991 but George Bush Snr bottled it. That was the ideal opportunity, justified by the Kuwait invasion.

Adrian Owens

Selsdon Man you fail to answer 2 questions:

1. In 2003 what would you have done in the face of the failure of sanctions and Saddam's continued flouting of UN resolutions?

2. More importantly, what would you do now to secure Iraq's future?

The Iraq conflict had the support of NATO members such as Spain and Italy. Your argument would seem to give a veto to any NATO country that did not favour intervention. The reality is that France will almost always choose this option.

malcolm

If the case for war was so overwhelming Adrian,why did Bush and Blair have to tell so many lies to try to justify it such as Alistair Campbells dodgy dossiers or the Niger fiasco.
It does make me smile when people get very hot under the collar about the 'flouting of UN resolutions',Israel has been doing this for years with total and absolute impunity.
The only difference is the U.S. supports one regime and hated the other.

Editor

No Malcolm.

The differences are endless.

But let's just begin by saying that Israel is a democracy under siege and Saddam's Iraq was one of the planet's most bloodthirsty regimes.

malcolm

I didn't mean to suggest Editor,that the two regimes are comparable in terms of their 'bloodthirst'.What you say about the respective regimes is correct but it is a fact that Israel has ignored UN resolutions to just as great an extent as Iraq did.

Peter

I have to agree with Tim(bloody hell) Saddam had to go as while I'm not a fan of Israel Iraq broke 18 out of 24 sancations based on its weapons. Everyone seems to forget about the Al-Samoud missiles. Outside of Saddam using them for his piles what was he going to use them for but to put pressure on countries outside.
The only problem I had with the war was that it should have been done in 1991.

Selsdon Man

To answer the above points.

I would have given the weapons inspectors more time. Remember that there were no WMDs. The Niger documents were faked (by whom?)That was a lie propagated by the neo-cons and their cronies in the Bush administration.

Remember that the claim that Iraq was supporting Al Quaeda has been proved to false too.

It was the UN's duty to take action if its resolutions were flouted.Ideally, there needs to be a combined UN and Nato force to take over from US and UK forces.

The US and UK have no mandate to be the world's police force or to take unilateral or illegal action. Even the Daily Mail agrees that Blair took Britain into an illegal war.

Bruce

Selsdon, just from the your postings on this thread, you call the Iraq war "unilateral and illegal" based on "a lie propogated by the neocons" (alternatively called "neocon zealots") based on "lies on WMD" and other things that were "false", "faked", "lie", and (again) "faked". Quite a bit of invective there--about one charge of "lying" for every sentence you write.

But you did relieve the non-stop invective with some humor, when you wrote that Britain "need[s] to win the support of our allies in NATO ... before taking military action". Are you seriously suggesting that Britain needs to get Belgium's approval prior to taking military action to protect itself?

Selsdon Man

Bruce, regime change is illegal under international law. All the supposed evidence of WMD has been shown to be false, forged or non-existent. There I go again but that is the reality. I will be happy to consider some real proof.

As for the neo-cons, I (like other Reaganites) dislike their big government, authoritarian, imperialist agenda. The Old Right tradition is for limited government, civil liberties and anti-interventionism. The Bush administration is not conservative, its policies are very similar to Brown's and Blair's.

Finally, are you advocating withdrawal from Nato? If we belong to an organisation we should abide by its rules or get out.

Adrian Owens

Selsdon Man,

As I understand your argument, you seem to suggest that armed intervention in a sovereign state is acceptable with the clear agreement of a multinational body. Therefore intervention in Kosovo was legitimate as it had NATO agreement and intervention in Iraq would have been legitimate with another UN resolution (although the legal basis for action was contained in earlier resolutions).

But this argument leaves us at the mercy of the foreign interests and foibles of other states. In the final analysis, to defend our country we can and should go it alone. However, this was not the case in Iraq. This should not be caricatured as an intervention by Uncle Sam with Britain as the 51st state. It was a "coalition of the willing" encompassing many countries.

Selsdon Man

Adrian, if we go it alone, any country could claim similar justification. That is a precription for international conflict.

Iraq posed no danger to the UK. There were no WMDs capable of reaching British territory. The supposed Saddam-Al Aqueda link has not been proved. Therefore invading it was not in our national interest. The previous resolutions did not provide the basis for unilateral UK-US action.

malcolm

Couldn't have put it better myself Selsdon!
However what is worse I suspect that Bush and particularly Blair knew this and therefore had to lie through their teeth (sorry Bruce but there really is no other way of describing it) to try to build a case.

Selsdon Man

Thank you, Malcolm.

As Ken Clarke pointed out in his speech yesterday, information used to justify the war was extracted by torture. Prisoners were taken, in some cases through Britain, to countries with experience of torturing their citizens (often former Soviet republics). This process (necessary to get round US anti-torture legislation) was called extraordinary rendition. The prisoners were then tortured using methods proven by the KGB.

Many of those subjected to the treatment were not connected to terrorism. One, a Canadian Muslim, was held for several months and then released. The US government will not compensate him.

Mr Clarke is the first senior British politician to draw attention to this appalling practice. The media seem to have missed or ignored it.

Gary Monro

I covered my own conservative reservations about the war on my blog a week or so ago. They are not, Adrian, the arguments of an appeaser.

Principally, if we respect our sovereignty we need to respect other's also - which means we don't cross their borders unless we have especially good reason to do so.

Since the case for WMDs was sufficiently weak that the government had to exaggerate and fabricate the evidence for their existence we can be reasonably assured defence of the realm wasn't its prime motivation.

So either we invaded to set an example to anybody else who thought the west was a push-over or we invaded in order to impose a system of government that we think the Iraqis, if they've got any sense, should want.

Whichever way you slice it justification for this war is coming after the fact. The original reasons given are no longer mentioned. Now, we're in Iraq because pulling out would be the worst possible thing.

I genuinely wish the coalition all the success in the world. I hope the project is a success, Iraq becomes a peaceful place and the bloodshed ends quickly. But I still have misgivings about the reasons we went in the first place...

Selsdon Man

Well put, Gary

The neo-conservatives were advocating an invasion of Iraq before Bush was elected. The neo-conservatives are militantly pro-Israel (many are Jewish. They want to use the US miltary might to over-throw all the` Islamic governments that threaten Israel - Syria, Iran and even Saudi Arabia. The US armed to Saddam to fight Iran when it threatened Israel.

The WMD threat, the nuclear threat (Niger) the Al Quaida link never existed but were used to as an excuse to invade. The real question is why the Blair government was so involved in the deception.

The current oil shortage and price rise in the US, as a result of Katrina highlights, the vulnerability of the US economy to oil supply. The Bush administration was very keen to get its hand on Iraqi oil to ensure continuity of supply to the US.

GaffaUK

A war to be proud of? The whole thing is a complete mess with hundreds of thousands of people killed over a lie. What WMDs?

But Saddam was a nasty dictator...
There are plenty of countries with nasty dictators with poor human rights records. If Saddam was so bad - how come the West sold him weapons in the early 80s?

But Saddam flounted UN resolutions...
Again - many countries have and continue to do that. Yet Iraq gets invaded and Israel gets 8 billion a year.

But surely bringing democracy is a good thing.
No - it's not the role of the US and UK to go to war and kill millions to impose democracy. Half of Africa is undemocratic - are we going to invade all those countries?

Finally how come we don't invade China under these stupid fake justification for war? It has WMDs, it invaded Tibet many years ago, it's undemocratic and has an appalling human rights record??? Yet the West goes over and makes massive deals with China and shamefully claims that this 'dialogue' is helping China become more democratic as if the main reason wasn't money and greed.

Because like any bully we like to make our own special rules up and apply them only when and where we see fit. At the end of the day - it isn't good versus evil - but getting what resources (e.g. oil) and contining to justify your huge (in US case) defence and contract budget to justify killing fellow human beings.

Yet you point this out - and those with appalling logic try to make out that those who are anti-war are therefore pro-Saddam.

malcolm

Agree with every word Gaffa,well put!

Tired and emotional

Bush took an enormously courageous decision in going to war with Iraq - and Blair's support for it was the only achievement of his entire premiership. If you want to know if planting the seeds of democracy in Iraq was the right thing to do simply look at the ferocity with which the spread of that democracy - and the economic growth and self-determination that comes with it - are being opposed. And also by whom. The monsters that are killing hundreds each month in Iraq are not American, nor are they British.

Challenge specific examples of failure and incompetance by coalition forces and governments if you must - but don't lose sight of the big picture which is of a stunning success in freeing Iraqis from dictatorship. A true liberation.

Samara

I think he did, Adrian, but then having used his piaatcl to pay off the mortgage it seems he took another one out and lumped the interest on the taxpayers. I suspect it is definitely at the lower end of the sort of stuff that has been reported so far, but I thought it was interesting that the first response from the Tories was It was within the rules when Cameron is telling us that is an inadequate excuse.I was more surprised that he didn't appear to know how many homes he had actually got.

Cristian

mullah cimoc say blogman him just slave for satmer in tel aviv.so obedient slave boy. how many israeli sympanthy movies watching in him life this dumb and foolish boy gay.here the question for ameriki brainwashing victim;1. How long israeli survive without usa triubte payment each year? A: maybe one year, maybe one months.2. Am usa public opinion important for get congress pay the tribute? A: yes, not so important him bribe but still important.3. am intel malpractice for him israeli spy and agent not controlling usa media for make ameriki sympathy? A: yes, him israeli intel work for israeli not like usa intel which also work for israeli.4. How israeli agent him controlling usa public opinion this question of slave of satmer in tel aviv? A: read, inside the company, a cia diary by phillip agee for learn basic.for all this reason neocon spy him trickameriki for kill and torture him muslim and the mass murder iraki. faking the wmd intel and controlling the executive of ameriki.for true and good info contacting now:

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