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Saturday, March 02, 2013

Tony Blair, pathetic and becoming more so.




There is no official estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a consequence of the invasion a decade ago, but the death-toll is thought to be at least 100,000.





Iraq war 10th anniversary: Tony Blair says Saddam Hussein 20 times worse than Bashar al-Assad

Tuesday 26 Feb 2013 4:29 pm METRO-UK
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Tony Blair has issued another defence of his decision to go to war in Iraq ten years ago, claiming deposed dictator Saddam Hussein was ’20 times as bad’ as his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, who is in the midst of a two-year civil war.

In an interview marking the tenth anniversary of UK armed forces joining a US-led coalition in Iraq, the former prime minister said it would have been a ‘profound mistake’ to stay out of the region.
He admitted to BBC2′s Newsnight life in Iraq was ‘not nearly what it should be’, and that Iraqis faced a ‘long, hard struggle’ to overcome terrorism.Up to 100,000 civilians are thought to have died as a result of the Iraq war. 
Britain joined the largest military operation of then US president George Bush’s war on terror in Iraq on the basis of preventing Saddam’s regime from using the weapons of mass destruction it supposedly possessed.
But when no such weapons were found, the casus belli was changed to merely removing a volatile and deadly regime.
‘Just think what would be happening if these Arab revolutions were continuing now and Saddam, who was probably 20 times as bad as Assad in Syria, was trying to suppress an uprising in Iraq,’ Mr Blair told Newsnight.
In an interview marking the tenth anniversary of UK armed forces joining a US-led coalition in Iraq, the former prime minister said it would have been a ‘profound mistake’ to stay out of the region.
He admitted to BBC2′s Newsnight life in Iraq was ‘not nearly what it should be’, and that Iraqis faced a ‘long, hard struggle’ to overcome terrorism.Up to 100,000 civilians are thought to have died as a result of the Iraq war. 
Britain joined the largest military operation of then US president George Bush’s war on terror in Iraq on the basis of preventing Saddam’s regime from using the weapons of mass destruction it supposedly possessed.
But when no such weapons were found, the casus belli was changed to merely removing a volatile and deadly regime.
‘Just think what would be happening if these Arab revolutions were continuing now and Saddam, who was probably 20 times as bad as Assad in Syria, was trying to suppress an uprising in Iraq,’ Mr Blair told Newsnight.
‘So when you say “do you think of the loss of life and the trouble there’s been since 2003?” of course I do and you would be inhumane not to.
‘But think what would have happened if he’d been left there.’
He explained that he had ‘long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision’, instead presenting the decision to go to war as a ‘complex and difficult’ one.
‘Because I think if we don’t understand that, we won’t take the right decision about what I think will be a series of these types of problems which will arise now over the next few years,’ he continued.
‘You’ve got one in Syria right now, you’ve got one in Iran to come. The issue is: how do you make the word a safer place?
‘We are in the middle of this struggle, it is going to take a generation, it is going to be very arduous and difficult. But I think we are making a mistake, a profound error, if we think we can stay out of that struggle.
We are affected by it whether we like it or not.’
The military operations in Iraq began on March 20, 2003. The last British troop withdrew from the country in April 2009, after the deaths of 179 UK servicemen and women.
There is no official estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a consequence of the invasion a decade ago, but the death-toll is thought to be at least 100,000.

‘So when you say “do you think of the loss of life and the trouble there’s been since 2003?” of course I do and you would be inhumane not to.
‘But think what would have happened if he’d been left there.’
He explained that he had ‘long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision’, instead presenting the decision to go to war as a ‘complex and difficult’ one.
‘Because I think if we don’t understand that, we won’t take the right decision about what I think will be a series of these types of problems which will arise now over the next few years,’ he continued.
‘You’ve got one in Syria right now, you’ve got one in Iran to come. The issue is: how do you make the word a safer place?
‘We are in the middle of this struggle, it is going to take a generation, it is going to be very arduous and difficult. But I think we are making a mistake, a profound error, if we think we can stay out of that struggle.
We are affected by it whether we like it or not.’
The military operations in Iraq began on March 20, 2003. The last British troop withdrew from the country in April 2009, after the deaths of 179 UK servicemen and women.
There is no official estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a consequence of the invasion a decade ago, but the death-toll is thought to be at least 100,000.

38 comments:

  1. Maybe the revolutions would not have blossomed had we not screwed the pooch in Iraq and Afghanistan, then elected this kick us please Joker.

    "Only" 179 kia, wish we could say that.
    How big a force did they have there?

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    1. 8500, but they were mainly in the South. More importantly, UK support gave legitimacy to a war that should never have been. Personally, I fell for the British 50 page “dossier”, hook, line and sinker. It turned out to be fabrication and bullshit.

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    2. I still wonder how it woulda worked out tho, had they stuck with the Garner Plan that Ash gave us the pointer to, that is, turning it over to the Iraqi Army Quick-Like like 'Rat always called for, as did I after seeing Ash's movie trailer.

      Sunnis and Shias together, with weapons, w/o all the "friendly" fire our troops now experience in Afghanistan.

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    3. .

      The liars lament, it could/would have been worse.

      Saddam Hussein is accused of killing up to 500,000 people; however, most of these deaths occurred during wars he led as president of Iraq. In the largest of these wars, the Iran/Iraq war, he was supported by and supplied by the U.S.

      Did he kill his own people? Yes. The estimates run from 40,000 up to 100,000 the bulk of which occurred after Gulf War I when the U.S. encouraged the Kurds and Shia to revolt. What Hussein was eventually convicted of and given the death sentence for was the slaughter of 148 individual people.

      Saddam was a dick.

      Yet, the claim that things would have been worse had we not invaded falls short based on the evidence. The article on Blair mentions 'no official estimates' of the dead caused by the Iraq War under Bush and Blair. What the heck is the definition of an 'official estimate'? We get a sense from the Libya War. There, as reports of deaths by bombing among non-combatants kept coming in from civilian and human rights groups as well as some of the MSM, NATO kept saying that they could not confirm any of those deaths. But the reason was that NATO wouldn't accept any estimates except the 'official' estimate and as it turned out the only estimate they considered 'official' was their own. And why would they bother to give an estimate and admit what they were doing to the civilian population they had used as justification for invading.

      We have seen what Hussein was accused of doing over the 23 years he ruled Iraq.

      What did the U.S. accomplish there in less than 10 years?

      Its estimated the war killed 'at least' 100,000; however, estimates continue upward to as high as 800,000, more than SH could accomplish in 23 years. These estimates come from Iraqis, the UN, doctors groups involved in trying to piece people together there, human rights groups, but of course none of these estimates is 'official'.

      Then there were the refugees created, estimated at between 1 and 3 million.

      Then there were the relocations forced at the time of the surge where entire populations of the various sectarian groups were moved to minimize the ongoing sectarian violence.

      And this doesn't even mention the costs in blood and treasure to this country and our allies.

      However, neither does it mention the offsetting benefits to the Iraqi people.

      They now have democracy, one that is slowly being stripped away by the consolidation of power under the current elected leaders.

      The new meme of the neocons is that the Iraq experience provided a catalyst for the Arab Spring. Questionable on its face, yet if true, we are forced to ask what has the Arab Spring provided? It appears to be one-time democracy, the democratic election of leaders who once in power soon become a new boss same as the old boss. Egypt is a good example. From tryanny to democracy to tyranny in a single democratic vote. Ooorah.

      And do the people of Iraq feel better because of US intervention? Ask those who still suffer from lack of water or who in certain areas still suffer through scheduled electrical brownouts. Ask those family members of the now dead or departed.

      If Sadaam was a dick, what does our performance there say about us?

      .



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    4. Also the Elimnation of Christians, and many of the women's rights that they had under Saddam.

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  2. The Lost Boys

    The situation facing Europe’s old and young illustrate the difficulties of a welfare state in collapse. First the old. Britain’s establishment has been wracked not only by the pedophilia scandal at the BBC but by scandalous performance of the the National Health Service. The NHS, which its creators boasted would be the ‘envy of the world’, has been found to have been responsible for up to 40,000 preventable deaths under the helm of Sir David Nicholson, a former member of the Communist Party of Britain. “He was no ordinary revolutionary. He was on the hardline, so-called ‘Tankie’ wing of the party which backed the Kremlin using military action to crush dissident uprisings” — before he acquired a taste for young wives, first class travel and honors.

    The stories of the pathetic deaths of the elderly under his care — 1,200 in one hospital alone — have scandalized the British public, especially when it emerged he spent 15 million pounds in taxpayer money to gag and prosecute whistleblowers — often doctors and administrators who could not stomach his policies.

    The public money spent on stopping NHS staff from speaking out is almost equivalent to the salaries of around 750 nurses.

    The figures were revealed after a two year battle by Conservative MP Steve Barclay, who eventually obtained them after tabling a number of Parliamentary Questions.

    The figures show a total of £14.7m of taxpayers’ money was spent on almost 600 compromise agreements, most of which included gagging clauses to silence whistleblowers.

    In reality it is the NHS, not James Bond, who has the real government license to kill. Cruelty to the old has become the new normal. It is now as acceptable as that other once unthinkable thing: infanticide. Now it is nothing, just move along. The highest priority of the system is to keep up appearances.

    When incompetent doctors amputate limbs unnecessarily or kill patients in horrifying numbers the critics are simply silenced and the Doctor Deaths left to practice their trade — to this day — unmolested. The taxpayer pays for his own noose.

    Yet even after the damning reports described a mayhem that would put a major Great War battle to shame, the British political establishment, including the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the Labor party continued to support “Sir” David, presumably because he knew where the bodies were buried, both figuratively and literally. Sir David Nicholson is unconcerned; he’s not even remorseful. Both the Guardian and the Telegraph — on opposite sides of the political spectrum — registered their disgust. But it is to no avail: the former Communist who boasts of his “passion” for the job will Bury You.

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  3. Tony Blair had a huge influence in providing cover for George Bush and his Neocons in defending that which should have been indefensible, the 10 year war against Iraq.

    Think about what Blair is saying when he states, ‘Just think what would be happening if these Arab revolutions were continuing now and Saddam, who was probably 20 times as bad as Assad in Syria, was trying to suppress an uprising in Iraq,’

    Blair is supporting intervention in Syria and according to him there would be 20x or 2,000,000 people being killed in Iraq today had Bush and Blair not attacked Iraq and spent the lives of 4000 Americans and $1 trillion.

    Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell MP recently said: “Tony Blair's defensiveness over Iraq is easily understood.

    "But the fact remains that he made two cardinal errors. First by allying himself too closely to the policies of George W Bush and second by ignoring the fact that Bush's objective of regime change was contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and illegal.

    "Ten years on, it is almost impossible to find anyone in this country or even in the United States who is willing to support the military action against Saddam Hussein."

    Blair is both delusional and pathetic.

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    Replies
    1. Damn Brits are such great speakers, they can sell us anything.

      I liked the Conservative Guy back when 41 was in office, too.

      Blair's wife was an early tell:

      Full on Whack Job.

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    2. .

      It's the accent.

      Girls (and 5 percent of the military) swoon.

      .

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    3. "..contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and illegal."

      AH, Where the real "War for oil" was. The oil deals that Saddam was cutting in order to keep his castle building on goal.
      Did you ever wonder why he was building all of those?

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    4. .

      Words.

      The U.S. picks and chooses which UN resolutions it will support, which it will act on, which it will ignore.

      .

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  4. TeamBush did not want to "Waste a Crisis"

    The Saudi were nervous.
    The "West" had to act.

    It could have been so much worse.

    Now the lessons have been learned.
    While Q objects to even the new No Footprint tactics being used across the Islamic Arc.



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    1. .

      While Q objects to even the new No Footprint tactics being used across the Islamic Arc.

      More humor from the Anonymi.

      You conflate the acts of Bush and Obama and then argue the efficiency of tactics while ignoring the basic moral question of what authorized or justified the actions of either.

      These are not defensive wars we are talking about. What justifies any of these guys killing one innocent child because 'the Saudis were nervous' or even in order to save the life of some other innocent child. Are they omnipotent, gods, even Solomon's that they have the wisdom to pick which innocents live or die?

      It could have been so much worse.

      How? And more importantly, is this what our culture has devolved to that we now judge our killing on a relative scale, on how much each death costs us. No doubt we are getting more efficient.

      Oooorah.

      .



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    2. These are not defensive wars we are talking about.

      Saddam, and sons, were dicks.
      The Bushes were our dicks.

      So, IMO, I'll defend our dicks in any war that threatens my dicks.
      That's just the Nationalist, Patriotic part of me :)

      Defending the Kurds, and the Iraq's of the south was worth military conflict and enforcement of over a decade of toothless sanctions the UN was wimpering in front of Saddam.

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    3. .

      So, IMO, I'll defend our dicks in any war that threatens my dicks.
      That's just the Nationalist, Patriotic part of me :)


      No, it is the illogical whine of a jingoistic sheeple.

      The rationale for attack was manufactured. Your reasoning is ex post facto and false. Iraq was not a defensive war. To assume what you call WMD, the non-functional detritus of a disbanded weapons program, was some sort of operational weapons regime is simplistic or even irrational. The depleted uranium we leave scattered in our wake around the world is much more of a threat to populations that the end of Saddam's WMD program.

      Had we not attacked Iraq there would have been none of your dicks to be 'threatened', 4500 less of our dicks killed, 45,000 less injured mentally and physically.

      Defending the Kurds, and the Iraq's of the south was worth military conflict and enforcement of over a decade of toothless sanctions the UN was wimpering in front of Saddam.

      Why? What makes them any better than the Baathists and the Sunni? Were our guys able to distinguish between a Sunni and a Shia IED? After all, we now have democratically elected Shia leadership there that is gradully working towards the same dictatorship Saddam offered, arrest and persecution of political opponents, continuing sectarian violence.

      Remember that most of the killing of the Kurds and Sunni occurred when they rose in resistance to Saddam, a revolt we encouraged after Gulf War I, a revolt we abandoned after starting the flame.

      No doubt god was on our side. My country right or wrong.

      Lordy.

      .


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    4. .

      In my response to Anonymous above, I was primarily attacking the 'story' we were offered to justify the attack on Libya, the moral justification, their best case prefabrication. Of course, only the intellectually lazy or the criminally credulous could accept the excuse that our attack on Libya was motivated by 'humanitarian' concerns.


      the club descends,

      a seal cub stares thru sightless eys,

      the coat costs what?


      .

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  5. I was going to put up a post about the testimony by the Joint Chiefs regarding how the sequester cuts were going to hollow out our military war machine. It was torture listening to the hyperbole and the propaganda. I was thinking about how great it would be to have a real President direct each of the Joint Chiefs and every general and flag grade officer to sign an undated letter of resignation along with their recommendations on how the military could be trimmed and still provide the mission it is charged with.

    Direct them to take a week or two and come back and do lunch. I am sure, all those great tacticians would have figured it out sometime between the gym and the club.

    OOrah.

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  6. Maybe I will torture you and post it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Torture doesn't work:

      Quirk crammed it down my gullet.

      Delete
  7. Wow, Breitbart's mom died a couple of days ago.

    Orson Bean (father in law) says she just didn't want to live to see the one year anniversery, which is a lot more understandable to me these days than it once was.

    Now Dad has to deal with a double loss anniversary every year.

    At least he has the Great Bean, who says he's gotten even closer since Andrew's passing.

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  8. But when no such weapons were found,..

    But Deuce, such weapons were found.
    Just not stockpiles of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ".. the casus belli was changed to merely removing a volatile and deadly regime."

      The casus belli should have been to finally enforce what the UN had failed to.

      Delete
  9. Dougman, we all know, by common practice, that UN sanctions are optional.

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    1. .

      The US uses the UN as a tool, an excuse or justification to do or not do exactly as we want.

      If the UN happens to disagree with our actions or passes resolutions we oppose, they are mere nits to be ignored.

      It is often hardest to see the obvious.

      .

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    2. I guess I'm taking the UN more serious than they take themselves.

      Delete
  10. .

    Reagan said the scariest words in the English language are "We're from the govenment and we are here to help."

    In the same vein, I would offer "Trust us, this is for your own good."

    Elitist group-think from the powers that be.

    .

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  11. Of course, Reagan also said that ketchup is a vegetable.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's "Close the Washington Monument Day."

    (also known as "sequester day")

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    1. .

      The Washington Monument is still there to see. It's just not now an amusement ride or 'scenic view'.

      .

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  13. When it comes to installing democracy, the forces for freedom, the USA & the UK have got one hell of a record, Kinda fills you with national pride & a sense of national achivement! .......... Now who's next ..........................???

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  14. In 2003, Tony Blair was looking at The UK going from an Oil "Exporting" nation (approx. 800,000 bbl/day) to, within a few years, becoming an Oil "Importing" nation (approx. 600,000 bbl/day) at present.

    EIA Import Data

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    Replies
    1. Note: These are "Import" numbers. Negative numbers signify "Exports."

      Delete
  15. Quirk said, "No doubt god was on our side. My country right or wrong."
    Lordy.

    So, you see it too?

    Rev.9:14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."

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    Replies
    1. .

      We had to burn the village to save it.


      From today's Guardian,

      US general Joseph Dunford offered personal condolences over deaths of two Afghan boys.

      Nato said on Saturday its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys, in the latest of a series of reports of civilian deaths at the hands of international troops.

      The shooting, in the southern province of Uruzgan, could further strain the relationship between the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) and Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who has demanded US special forces leave another province over allegations of torture. The two boys were shot dead when they were mistaken for insurgents during an operation in northwest Uruzgan on 28 February, Isaf commander US General Joseph Dunford said in a statement.

      "I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed," Dunford said. "The boys were killed when Coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces." Dunford added that a team of Afghan and Isaf investigators visited the village on Saturday and met local leaders.

      The area, Lowar-e-Dowahom, was often patrolled by international troops, a spokesman for provincial governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada said. "They saw two young children who were apparently listening to a radio and they shot them – it is not yet clear why," the spokesman said.

      Australian forces deployed in Uruzgan said earlier there had been an "operational incident" in the province's northwest but gave no details except that no soldiers were harmed.

      On 13 February a Nato air strike requested by Afghan forces killed 10 people – including five children and four women – in the eastern province of Kunar, prompting Karzai to ban his troops from requesting foreign air strikes. Two weeks later he halted all special forces operations in the central province of Wardak after a series of allegations involving US special forces soldiers and Afghan men said to be working with them.



      Obviously the boys fault. Listening to a radio. What were they thinking?

      .

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  16. Hey Quirk,

    Are you a Catholic? Lapsed maybe? Anyway, given your previously expressed thoughts on homosexual/pedo priests you might want to take a read of Dowd's op-ed today.

    ReplyDelete
  17. An amazing statistic:

    In October of 2005 we Imported 13,354,000 bbls of oil, and petroleum products, Daily.

    In October of 2012 we imported 6,833,000 bbls of oil, and petroleum products, Daily.

    That is a reduction of 49%. At $100.00/bbl that would be about $237 Billion/Yr, but if we were still trying to Import that Six and a half Million bbl/day of oil products there is no telling what the Global price of oil would be.

    EIA Data

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    1. We increased our own crude + Condensate production by a little over 2.3 Million bbls/day, and ethanol production by almost 1 Million bbls/day.

      Production

      The other 2.2 Million bbls/day reduction had to come from fewer trips, and more efficient vehicles.

      And, we did this during a fiscal crisis, And Still didn't go into a full-fledged depression. Actually, pretty astonishing, I think.

      Delete
  18. The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' recent drastic reorganization of the national security is one sign to this effect. It familiarizes us with the world and people who are making history. Hindi Samachar is entertaining millions of people with incredible reports, events, information and gossips. Thus, by putting the price, you get targeted customers who are very interested in what you are offering; in other words, you get hot leads. This is why various newspapers are now helping to find unclaimed property owners by listing their names.

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    ReplyDelete