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Iraq Invasion A Disaster: Blair  
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1469 times:

I can't recall many occasions in modern history when a serving politician has stuffed up an interview quite as badly as this:-

"During the interview, Sir David suggested that the West's intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster".

"Blair replied: "It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq? It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al-Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war."

"Reacting to his comments, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the Prime Minister should now apologise for his actions.

"He said: "At long last the enormity of the decision to take military action against Iraq is being accepted by the Prime Minister."


http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...lair/2006/11/18/1163266825991.html

So there you have it - 3,111 Coalition troops dead up to today, including 121 British - well over 40,000 wounded or sick - Iraqi deaths arguably in the hundreds of thousands, the true number in doubt only because the Coalition hasn't even bothered to count them.......a 'disaster' by any standards.

At least, unlike President Bush, Blair has finally admitted it. I don't somehow think his tenure as British Prime Minister will last long after this.


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
At least, unlike President Bush, Blair has finally admitted it.

Incorrect.

Bush, this last week, admitted as much as well.

Furthermore - it wasn't the Invasion that was a disaster. Therefore the thread title isn't exactly correct. Perhaps it correctly reflects Frost's question, but it is inaccurate journalism. The occupation and followon operations have been bad news, but the invasion was textbook.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1440 times:

I quoted the 'Age' headline, ANCFlyer.

The actual word used in the question was 'intervention.' Blair, in his reply, said, "It's not difficult because of some accident in planning........"

My impression is that it was EXACTLY that. You didn't have to be another Clausewitz - not even a professional soldier - to work out that a fully-equipped professional 'all-arms' force, with 100% air superiority, could be relied upon to overwhelm the half-trained, ill-equipped Iraqi army. Particularly in view of the fact that their leaders left them out in the open, with no prepared positions, no fortifications, no plans - with, in a word, absolutely nothing...........

There should have been a plan for the entire operation - including the occupation phase. There wasn't. That, more than anything else, is why it turned out to be a 'disaster.'



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1437 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
I quoted the 'Age' headline, ANCFlyer.

I acknowledged that.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
There should have been a plan for the entire operation - including the occupation phase. There wasn't. That, more than anything else, is why it turned out to be a 'disaster.'

Yup, I've said that before as well.

I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm pointing out exactly what you did, save ONE detail: The invasion was exceptionally well executed.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
I don't somehow think his tenure as British Prime Minister will last long after this.

He's going in less than a year anyway. And it he goes earlier, it won;t be because of Iraq (see honours inquiry thread).

It seems hard for people overseas to grasp this simple truth, but Iraq, whilst a running sore for the government here, is not, and will not be the reason for a Prime Minister's downfall. It is not central to British politics, domestic issues are.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1400 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
The invasion was exceptionally well executed.

Agree, ANCFlyer. But one thing I learned in my brief association with the army - whatever else happens, once you start something, some people die......

I'm not easily shocked - but Blair's comments shock me.

I reckon we're entitled to expect our politicians to think things through. It's becoming clear that Blair, and Bush, and our own John Howard didn't do that - they just spent lives - our own people's, and also many Iraqi ones - on what was basically a political 'stunt,' with essentially no real purpose, and no planned future.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineOU812 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1366 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 5):
I'm not easily shocked - but Blair's comments shock me.

Iraq & most of the mid-east was a disaster long before the war .The mid-east is a place where terrorism flourishes & their people eliminated for doing what we are doing now [debating] . You may not agree with this . However , at lease now there is a possibility for the weak & repressed to be freed & the world less threated [somewhere down the line?] ! After 911 , it was obvious that the mid-east & extreme fundamentalism was spinning out of control in that region . Allowing this equation to continue unabated , will equate to far more problems down the road & far more deaths left in its wake . I question the 100's of 1000's of deaths ?


User currently offlineCometII From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1355 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
So there you have it - 3,111 Coalition troops dead up to today, including 121 British

This hardly sounds as a disaster to me. Americans need only to remember Vietnam and compare the number of dead there compared to Iraq.

And the British need only to remember the Falklands: More than twice the number of British soldiers were killed by the Argentine Air Force in a war over a bunch of wave-eroded rocks, in just a few weeks (including a number of sunken British Navy ships), than have been killed occuping an insurgent uprising-infested foreign nation for almost four years.

Has the post-war been run horribly by Rumsfeld and Cheney? Absolutely, and history will judge them harshly for their blind arrogance, with other nations and within their own departments. But in terms of this whole media frenzy over the number of casualties, it is still much lower than in other conflicts.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1293 times:

Quoting OU812 (Reply 6):
After 911 , it was obvious that the mid-east & extreme fundamentalism was spinning out of control in that region .

What possible connection do you see between 9/11 (which appears to have been carried out by civilians - and mainly Saudi-Arabian civilians at that) and a military invasion of Iraq?

Quoting OU812 (Reply 6):
I question the 100's of 1000's of deaths ?



Quoting CometII (Reply 7):
This hardly sounds as a disaster to me. Americans need only to remember Vietnam and compare the number of dead there compared to Iraq.

I find it difficult to understand that way of thinking, where casualties are concerned. First of all, every death (of whatever nationality) is an unqualified tragedy to a circle of relatives and friends. Secondly, it isn't just a matter of the number of dead; advances in medical science have meant that a higher proportion of the wounded survive, but for many of them that is at the cost of living out the rest of their lives in a profoundly-disabled state.

So there is no such thing as a 'cheap' war. And UNNECESSARY wars should, in my view, be avoided at all costs.

Quoting CometII (Reply 7):
And the British need only to remember the Falklands: More than twice the number of British soldiers were killed by the Argentine Air Force in a war over a bunch of wave-eroded rocks

Absolutely the wrong angle on the Falklands, IMO, CometII. The Falklands episode was exactly the sort of thing that 'standing armies' are for; stopping an un-provoked military invasion which sought to impose foreign rule against the wishes of 100% of the population of the Islands. And it was the sort of job that only an army could do; contrary to your impression, the majority of the casualties were sustained not from air attack but in ground combat.

It's fair to say that Gulf War One was equally justifiable, on the same grounds. And, in both those conflicts, once the objective - liberation - had been secured, the wars ended.

But there was no such justification for Gulf War Two. It was essentially a war of conquest. And it was never properly planned; people are dying now, in hundreds every day, because no-one planned for the long-term occupation of Iraq; even though it was obvious from the start that that is what would be required.

[Edited 2006-11-19 01:04:24]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
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