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Tony Blair- Chilcot Part 3- the ‘partnership’ with the US.

January 31, 2010

We left the evidence, at the point where Tony Blair had lied, and dismissed the idea that the meeting at Crawford, was to discuss Iraq-claiming that he offered only public support for tackling Saddam using military action as a last resort- after being very clear- that it was a time in which he was planning militarily, and where every meeting in preparation for Crawford was about that planning.

We move onto the issue, of the nature of our relationship with the US.

Blair told many of his advisors, that our support for the US was conditional-which would make sense. He also told many of his advisors that it wasn’t. I can see problems with offering unconditional support, to a country, who are dead set on a military intervention they know is illegal, to achieve regime change- which they you are aware, and have in writing, has no current legal justification. HOwever, he was apparently lying when he said the support of the US had conditions, and now clarifies that actually, our support of the US was absolutely unconditional.

The fact that he was willing to lie to people regarding the nature of our relationship with the US, is almost as worrying as the idea that we should offer unwavering support to a nation in those circumstances. And there are questions about why.

Christopher Meyers evidence raised a possibility. He stated that Tony Blair had in fact been trying to say ‘yes-BUT’- but the US were roundly ignoring ANY pleas he had for changes in approach. If one partner is refusing to listen to the other, and the other has offered unwavering unconditional support- is that a partnership?

We have TB saying- ‘if it came to military action because there was no way of dealing with this diplomatically, we would be with him, and that was absolutely clear, because, as I had set out publicly, not privately, we had to confront this issue, it could be confronted by a sanctions framework that was effective.’ If the ex- Prime Minster has openly during evidence, stated that he didn’t believe that sanctions would work, if he is completely, and unquestioningly in support of the US policy of regime change, through whatever means necessary, and Tony Blairs advisors are saying that the US was not listening to the UK, then I find it highly unlikely, that in private with Shrub, he was discussing effective sanctions? Or am I just cynical.

Blair soon returns to the choice he felt he ‘had’ to face.(Again no explanation of why now?) You know- the ‘logical’ choice- where they could go ahead with sanctions, support the UN or ALTERNATIVELY use force? The plan that HAD to happen, as a result of a terrorist attack that wasn’t connected to Iraq in any way. Yup-That sounds like saying that Saddam could be confronted by an effective sanctions framework.

Then we come back to*YAWN- ‘What changed after September 11 was that, if necessary, and there was no other way of dealing with this threat, we were going to remove him.” Again, apparently an act not within the control of the Iraqi people, or Saddam HUssein- meant that we had absolutely no other choice but to refuse to give sanctions the chance to work, or the UN inspctions….Shall I just write ‘YAWN’ instead of repeating that illogical justification, to save typing time?

At this point I get quite excited. Because this is the point where Tony Blair tries not to look like Bush’s lapdog. Baroness Prasha refers back to the evidence of Jonathon Powell(he was Chief of Staff at the time) who said that actually, the assumption that we were unconditionally on board with the US, meant that any leverage we had had in discussions, had been reduced.

Then Tony Blair skips back to talking about terrorism. Again, he clearly isn’t aware he is talking about a sovereign state, and not a group of individuals.  He says that his strategic thinking, on Iraq, was that 9/11(yeah, yeah, I know) had brought  about a whole new threat- not of political ideaology, but religious fanatacism, and that he felt the middle east peace process was central to this whole issue.

Iraq were a nation state, and actually one of the states in the middle east, who allowed religious freedom. Saddam was psychotic-but actually, not really signed up to the religious fanaticism of Al Qaeda- although it was clear that attacking Iraq illegally was not exactly going to do anything to tackle a fanaticism, that was arguably not just religious, but a political standpoint, which was justified by the appearance of the US and the UK to be declaring ‘war’ on Islam. Since the invasion, extremism has flourished in Iraq, and worryingly for women, so has Sharia Law.

If you are seeking to tackle extremism, is the best way of going about it, legitimising it, by actually declaring ‘war’,  in the very literal sense of the word-with armies and fucking everything? Terrorists are criminals, not nations. Terrorism doesn’t rely on armies, you don’t tackle terrorism by dropping bombs on markets with civilians-in the same way the terrorists don’t win, by walking into markets wearing their bombs. You declare war on an enemy you won’t define- then you are waging possible war on everyone- and forcing a response. Doesn’t seem like the best basis for tackling ‘extremism’.

If you ‘strategic thinking’ on the issue of a war with one country, is an entirely unrelated event- then I think there is a problem.

I also find, given this statement about his view of radical Islam, his openness about the fact that he spoke to the Israelis, at this meeting in Crawford, to be concerning. Especially given George W Bush’s views on Israel and Palestine.

At this point, this does not get explored- because Roderick Lyne wants to ask Mr.Blair about his statement that the ends, and the means of the US were the same- given that the US had a stated aim of regime change through military actions.

Well duh? About time Sir Roderick. Tony Blair says yes that is true, but that the UK was pushing the UN route. HOw does one achieve the end of regime change through military action, and ‘push’ the UN route? Sir Roderick, then astoundingly, almost congratulates Mr.Blair on going for the second UN resolution-even though he has it in a document, that the pursuance of alternative routes, is merely US strategy for garnering international support for military action.

If I could just refer you back to the UK policy section of the Iraq Options 2 document-

Within our objectives of preserving peace and stability in the Gulf and ensuring energy security, our current objectives towards Iraq are:
* the reintegration of a law-abiding Iraq which does not possess WMD or threaten its neighbours, into the international community. Implicitly this cannot occur with Saddam in power; and
* hence, as the least worst option, we have(
Past tense) supported containment of Iraq, by constraining Saddam’s ability to re-arm or build up WMD and to threaten his neighbours.”

Under Sir Rodericks guidance- Blair then tells us that the unwavering support, the unconditional support for US aims, he had, was actually him persuading very hard, that they should go to the UN. Now, given that he has by Jonathon Powells evidence, reduced his leverage with the US- and they didn’t want to go down the UN route, and we have the same Iraq Options document saying-

”A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers advice, non currently exists. This makes moving quickly to invade legally very difficult. We should therefore consider a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam and developing military plans. There is a lead time of about 6 months to a ground offensive.”

Then I think I can hazard a guess at why the US agreed to go down the UN route, at least once….. even if they would be ignored later. THere follows much discussion about why Blair didn’t push Bush on the Middle East peace process, or make it a condition. BUt I don’t think there is much merit, given that Blair has already shown that he was little more than a lapdog, agreeing US bidding, without condition.

Although he helpfully tells us that most arab leaders were well glad to be rid of Saddam-= and this strikes me as odd. If you were in a region like the Middle East, and the US had just declared that a terrorist attack on them, gave them carte blanche to do what they liked, to whichever country- I don’t see how you would be massively happy about an illegal war which deposed a leader the US didn’t like. I would probably be watching my back in those circumstances, not congratulating the UK/US. ALthough I might want to keep them on side…

I am not a middle east expert. I do have a friend who originates from Bahrain, she is from a very wealthy family. When she started dating an american, her mother called her a collaborator, and the absolute horror of her wider family, led her to abandon the relationship fairly quickly. THis is not a traditional family, where any boyfriend would be dissaproved of, and is not in one of the countrys named as part of the axis of evil.

The discussion about whether our support of the US was conditional or not, or whether they listened to us- it is going round in circles to say one thing. The US had an objective- regime change through military intervention. We knew what that plan was. We either agreed with it entirely, or at least agreed that it was the plan we were following. We considered it a ‘joint aim’. The US neither knew, nor cared, whetherour opinions were outside that, and by Tony Blairs own admission were not willing to enter into negotiation over their role in the Middle East Peace Process, nor did they see this as a partnership-unless a partnership is a pairing where one side does what they please, and the other party supports it. Fortunately, Tony Blair ‘believed’ in their position.

The pursuit of  a 2nd resolution, which Sir Rodney all but congratulated Mr.Blair on, does not appear to me, to be an attempt to exhaust diplomatic solutions, the pursual of the 2nd resolution fit entirely  with the UK foreign policy objectives, laid out in the Iraq options 2 document. Just a way of garnering international support, and buying time, before the inevitable military action, which was planned even before either party attended Crawford.

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2 comments

  1. You know you would really feel better if you got a job and didn’t depend on handouts. Trust me – I’ve been there. There’s always a stigma on single mothers, the authorities treat you like crap. Do try harder.

    best regards
    Sava


    • You mean, like the job I have. Or the other job, that of being a mother?

      Am wondering which part of my tax return you read, that allowed you to decide what my income source was? Would you like to clarify for me, what my income is, and where it comes from? Could you also tell me where I have said the ‘authorities’ treat me like crap? WHich authorities? And is it my relationship status, or the fact that I am a mother, which would entitle them to do so? Sorry, was it my relationship status, the fact that I am a parent, or the fact that for a 5 month period I better served my daughter by being a mother, rather than farming her out to childcare-that led you to believe I would want ‘advice’ from you?

      Am also struggling to understand how my income for 5 months is relevant to an illegal war?

      I think maybe you should find a better use for your time, than taking out your inadequacies on me. What is it that you do that contributes to our society? I will leave you comments up, because I think it is important people see that people like you exist, and how you treat the world around you-and what you try to do to women who are bearing responsibility for their children, alone.

      One of the problems with single parenthood (not so much for me, I have a lovely time if am honest, great family, great friends, great place to live, great ex-husband, and great daughter)- but for others- is that for women who are at their most vulnerable, taking on the giant responsibility of caring for their children alone- they have to face cunts like you. Inadequate little people, who feel that the only thing that they have achieved that they can be proud of is er…not being a single mother and holding on to a job.

      I know, I will be as skint whether I work or not, because I am a household headed by a single parent, and I get that is a fact of life- am just wondering what precisely it is that I did, that means that twats like you feel like you get to spout your shit, whenever you feel like it?

      No offence- I have a wicked career, a long career behind me, and a long one in front of me. Not only that, but I get to live in a society where motherhood is so valued, that I get to make sure my daughter gets a mother, not a childminder. I live in a beautiful town, have a gorgeous and talented boyfriend, great stepkids=When you add that to a promising academic career- and am barely trying at all. Am not really sure I need advice from someone like you. Maybe you could consider getting an education? Or some common decency? Instead of channelling the Daily Mail and the Jezza Kyle show.

      And if by handouts, you mean the tax credit system that allowed me to stay at home with my daughter, in a way that I couldn’t when I returned to work when she was 3 months old- I can actually say that living on ‘handouts’ as you call it, felt more like the state allowing me, for a very short period in my life, to put my daughter first, and really enjoy being a mother= and actually, I am damn grateful for every second that I have had at home- and think it benefitted me, my daughter, and society, a damn sight more than when I was leaving her to be raised in a nursery for no return, and working myself to the point of exhaustion, and when the state were paying twice as much, to enable me to do so.

      And finally, the idea that a woman doing the hardest job I have ever done, being supported for the time she does it- is taking a handout? Are you serious? Motherhood, is a job which benefits both children, and wider society, and the idea that society ensuring that women doing this job, are not destitute, is women taking handouts, if they are not married, disgusted me, long before I became a mother.

      Like I say, I will leave your comment up, I get them every now and again, people like you feel the need. People should see. The only difference between me now, and me two years ago, is that two years ago I was married. You wouldn’t have bothered with your shit then, so what precisely is it now? I am lucky, I see people like you for what you are – unfortunately, for some of my friends, the ones who are really on their own, and where the fact of them being on their own, means they can’t work while they parent babies and children= is that even though they are doing this massive job alone- is people like you, not ‘the authorities’- have decided there should be a stigma, and describe them as living on handouts.

      I get that it makes people like you feel good to stigmatise women you think are poor and vulnerable- fortunately, I am not one of those women, and I can tell you to fuck off, and see that the type of person who could read this blog, and think that= really is someone who should be taking advice and not giving it. Still, I am flattered you want my attention= here ya go!



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