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UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:42 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3890961.stm

Key intelligence used to justify war with Iraq is now thought to have been unreliable, the Butler Report says.
The 196 page report says MI6 did not check its sources well enough, and sometimes relied on third hand reports.

It also says the 2002 dossier should not have included the claim Iraq could use WMD within 45 minutes, without explaining what that meant.

Tony Blair told MPs he "accepted" the findings and that Iraq may not have had WMD stockpiles when the war started.

'Outer limits'

Mr Blair said he takes "full responsibility" for any mistakes made in good faith.

But Conservative leader Michael Howard said the "issue is the Prime Minister's credibility. The question he must ask himself is - does he have any credibility left?"

Lord Butler's main findings were:

The 45 minutes claim was "unsubstantiated"

No individuals were to blame for failures

Intelligence had been pushed to the "outer limits but not beyond"

There was no deliberate distortion of intelligence by politicians

Limits of intelligence not "made sufficiently clear" in September 2002 dossier
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
vafi88
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:58 pm

Who cares about British intelligence?

(if you remember the 16 words GWB said, that should be enough)

--------------------------------------------------------------
Like we all didn't know this before!
Besides a few old, rotting chemical shells that aren't worth their weight, we've come out with nothing but dirty uniforms and less soldiers...
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
Alpha 1
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:04 pm

It wasn't about the WMD, it was about making America safe (snicker), dealing with terrorism (muffles a laugh), and being the guardian against vile dictators (rotf, l).

Signed,

The Anet Conservative Members
 
Klaus
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:11 pm

Now that the house of cards has officially crumbled down and has been stomped to the ground, will we ever see one of its architects being a man (or woman) and assuming responsibility? It would be the least they could do.

I don´t think we can live with self-proclaimed "leaders" whose only response is "it´s not my fault!" when the bodybags are coming home.
 
go canada!
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:12 pm

Tony blair accepts responsbility but hasnt apologised nor has any goverment member. The real problem for the UK now is that in the future if there is a real threat from a country then no-one will believe the goverment.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
Alpha 1
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:17 pm

If he wants to be responsible, he should resign, and call for elections.
 
go canada!
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:21 pm

Yes but new labour politicans do nto do that aplha one, this is a goverment which sends out emails on sept 11 telling people it was a good day to bury bad news because of the WTC/Pentagon attacks. This is a goverment which takes no prisoners, doesnt apologise and wastes money.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:31 pm

Tony Blair is responsible no matter which way you cut it, which is a shame because in my opinion he's been a very good prime minister.

Of course he's been helped by the lack of any real opposition since 1997, though the Tories are finally coming back.

The problem with Labour is this: Blair is taking a lot of heat over Iraq, yet the only Labour alternative to Blair is Gordon Brown. I firmly believe that if Gordon Brown were to lead Labour they'd lose the next election.

Hence Labour are faced with the problem of losing an election were Blair to resign.
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JeffM
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:39 pm

It was soooo much better when Saddam was killing his own people wasn't it? Can't we just let him go?

-signed...

The Anet Liberal whine bags....
 
go canada!
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:39 pm

I am proud of Tony Blair for leading the way in Kosovo and for taking action in afghanistan. I am not proud of a Prime Minister which didnt check his facts, didnt ask questions and didnt stop to think.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:39 pm

If he wants to be responsible, he should resign, and call for elections.

Thing is, he'll accept the findings of the report but he won't admit he was wrong and made a mistake. If he were to apologise, he'd have to resign, fat chance of that happening. And i find it quite incredible that this report finds no individuals are to blame, someone quite obviously DID spice up the wording of the dossier to make it more alarming. Therefore making it sound like Iraq a was a real danger and menace. Where did the 45 minute claim originate from?, who changed the wording of the dossier to claim Iraq had NBC weapons, was in the process of producing more, and had the ability to threaten the west? Someone was clearly responsible for exaggerating the non-existent case for war, and they must be held accountable by resigning.

It's a serious matter, these miscalulations, faulty/dubious intelligence, call it what you like, led to the deaths of hundreds of British soldiers and thousands of Iraqi lives. SOMEONE has to be responsible. The buck stops with Tony Blair, it was HIS decision to commit UK resources to war, no WMD's have turned up, getting rid of Saddam is fine and dandy, but that is irrelevant when it comes to the search for WMD's, which was basis for going to war. And if the intel was wrong or sketchy, then WHY did he continue to insist on going to war on circumstantial evidence?

In Arsene we trust!!
 
go canada!
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:44 pm

WMD counts more in the UK than it does in the USA, this is because the UK didnt accept the regime change arguement and hadnt been attacked on 911(before anyone says yes I know Iraq had nothing to do with 911).

If tony Blair had made more of the human rights issue and said theres evidence of WMD but we cant 100% confirm that Saddam has them but he wont confirm if he has them or not, he has brokern the UN resolutions and we think he needs removing because if we leave him alone hes going to make weapons then Mr Blair would not have so many problems.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
Sabena 690
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:49 pm

Tony Blair is responsible no matter which way you cut it, which is a shame because in my opinion he's been a very good prime minister.

I agree on that. Although Blair lied as much as Bush, I still find him a good PM, a smart guy and a good politician, which can't be said of his US-opponent Bush.
 
Banco
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:53 pm

The key points of the report:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3892809.stm

You can download the full report here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3890961.stm

Interesting that the general thrust of the BBC's criticism of the 45 minute claim - Andrew Gilligan's rant apart - are actually backed up within the report - the implication is very much that it was indeed "sexed up". I even heard Sky News say that.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
jaysit
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:39 am

"Although Blair lied as much as Bush, I still find him a good PM, a smart guy and a good politician, which can't be said of his US-opponent Bush."

Needless to say, both are liars.
Like Bill Clinton, who lied before them, they should both go write a book, and go on a book signing tour. Bush can write a children's book.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:44 am

After reading the report, here are my conclusions.

The report is confusing in places. The public were misled, yet no one misled us. Points were exaggerated, but no one exaggerated points.

What surprised me was the similarity to Hutton, only against a different organisation. For example, Butler says there is a possibility the 45-minute claim was included in order to make the dossier appear more scary than it actually was (in effect, sexing up the dossier!) - Hutton said there was a possibility the BBC's failure to deal with the government's complaints over the Gilligan report was possibly because of anti-government feeling in the BBC.

Both are very similar, yet one led to war another tenuously led to the death of one man. One led to the resignation of high-up members of the organisation, one has already had senior government officials discounting the report.

Tony Blair's credibility has gone. No one can deny this.
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GDB
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:14 am

Blair convinced himself that he needed to stay with Bush on this, helped by the fact he's wanted Saddam out since 1997 when he became PM.
This led to a fatal error of judgment on his part.
He overestimated his clout in Europe, at the UN and in some cases, with Bush.

Brown could win for Labour, his style would be different from Blair, which after 7 years, could be an advantage, in any case, the days of huge majorities have gone.
Brown was in favour of attacking Iraq, some Labour people really delude themselves about him. As he, unlike Blair, sees the need to tickle their collective tummies when needed, he's a 'Labour Man' since his early teens, unlike Blair.

Barring a major terrorist attack on UK soil, the next election will be on more mundane issues, and if Labour win on those, who is the government member responsible? Brown.



 
Banco
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:09 am

He overestimated his clout in Europe, at the UN and in some cases, with Bush.

I'm curious. Have you read John Kampfner's book, Blair's Wars?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
dl021
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:30 am

Has no one read the part about the Iraqis actually being in Niger (vacation no doubt) and that this portion of the intel was correct? Has everyone forgotten that it is actually confirmed that Al Queda and Saddams government held meetings and talked (exchanging recipes no doubt)? Does anyone not appreciate the fact that the Libyans gave up their wmd programs as a result of their desire toavoid the same fate? NK is back talking to us again?

So, we should wait for the terrorists to attack, and we should wait for their state sponsors to find new and better ways to help them do so.

The war on terrorism is not a police action where we need to find enough evidence to convict in the most liberal court system. It is a war where we must take proactive action and strike at the terrorists again and again until they have no fight left in them. You people who cry about the politicians you hate, would have run Churchill out on a rail after the firebombing of Dresden, and Truman out after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki....

well in war one does what is necessary to win. It is not about appeasement or pacification, it is about beating the enemy and winning.
Figure out what you want to do and proceed accordingly.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
Banco
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:50 am

It's impassioned, DI021, but it's also beside the point. The issue in the inquiry has not so much been about whether or not the intelligence was correct (clearly much of it wasn't), but about whether the politicians oversold what there was to the public. The Butler report clears everyone individually of deliberately overegging the pudding, but the controversy is over the difference between the cautious, proviso-ridden data given by SIS, and the dossier put out by the government, which contained none of the qualifications the intelligence community put into their basic data. In other words, the document WAS sexed-up.

Blair's response to the report publication today contained much of what you have said above, such as should we wait until we are attacked and so on. It's a valid argument, and heaven knows taking pre-emptive action is always going to be difficult to justify even when it is correct.

It isn't that pre-emptive action was taken. It isn't even that the information was wrong. It is that the intelligence community were clearly uneasy and unsure, yet the government sold it to us on the basis of there being an abolutely clear immediate and deadly threat (the 45 minute claim) which was not only questionable in itself, but didn't even refer to anything other than battlefield weapons. The clear implication was that Iraq had ballistic missiles capable of striking British bases as far away as Cyprus - there was a deadly threat to us. The newspapers ran with it, and the government did not make any attempt whatsoever to correct the impression that they had misleadingly given.

In essence, the BBC's charge that the dossier was "sexed up" was spot on.

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
b757300
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:00 am

Has no one read the part about the Iraqis actually being in Niger (vacation no doubt) and that this portion of the intel was correct?

Goes to show that DNC hack Joe Wilson is nothing but a liar. First the Senate Intelligence report shows that everything he has been saying was a lie including the fact that his wife, CIA Analyst Valerie Plame, was the one who got him the mission to Niger. Now the British report backs up the fact that Saddam did try to buy uranium for Niger.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
jaysit
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:11 am

"First the Senate Intelligence report shows that everything he has been saying was a lie including the fact that his wife, CIA Analyst Valerie Plame, was the one who got him the mission to Niger."

You havent read the Senate report obviously. Reading a cheezy article in the National Review doesnt cut it. As usual the ultra-right wing is back to its defamatory tactics when they're kicked in the cojones.

"Has no one read the part about the Iraqis actually being in Niger (vacation no doubt) and that this portion of the intel was correct?"

And the devil lies in the details doesnt it? Even Wilson reported that Iraq had approached Niger at some point. Gosh, every country had - Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel. The report also stated that Iraq had ended its quest for Uranium from Niger, and that no uranium shipments had ever been made to Iraq. Which is precisely what Wilson and the British report stated.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
iakobos
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:33 am

The "supposed" purchase of raw material from Niger...
Even if was true, and the official conclusions are it was a fraud, the material was "yellow cake". Pay attention or to paraphrase a well know American politician: "make no mistake" !
Before the cake becomes enriched uranium there is a very long and very sophisticated process which Iraq, and the immense majority of countries on earth, do not have.

Has no one read the part about the Iraqis actually being in Niger (vacation no doubt) and that this portion of the intel was correct? Has everyone forgotten that it is actually confirmed that Al Queda and Saddams government held meetings and talked (exchanging recipes no doubt)? Does anyone not appreciate the fact that the Libyans gave up their wmd programs as a result of their desire toavoid the same fate? NK is back talking to us again?

DI021 where did you get these three brilliant inputs ?

If you think you declared the war on terrorism, I suggest to read about terrorist events in Europe in the last 30 years and how it was (successfully)tackled.
True, you waged (an undeclared) war on Iraq. 15,000 lives further down the road, you are still nowhere closer to having made a single step towards eradicating or reducing terrorism, many, even blind, believe you actually made a step back.
I will reuse the favourite sentence of your leader in Washington, make no mistake, the kind of terrorism WE are facing now cannot be policed.
Eventhough every top in the US administration, whichever it is, would prefer to loose some of his/her fingers, your foreign policy will have to be reassessed and modified. Probably easy to understand but difficult to admit, and certainly not in the capacities of the present admin.
If you think this is surrender or giving ground to terrorists, then prepare yourselves for a horrible decade, at the end of which you will anyway have to come to it.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:34 am

Just keep on talking, talking, talking....

Just keep on putting up new investigation committees, writing new reports etc.

The major fault was made by GB Sr in 1991. He stopped the Gulf War short of Baghdad, most likely because he believed that the Iraqi regime would implode by itself. Unfortunately he was wrong.

The regime which:
gassed its own people in the north
conquered Kuwait
put all Kuwaiti oil fields on fire when forced back
Fired Scud missiles against Saudi Arabia and Israel
put its own people as hostages during the UN "Oil for Food" program
etc.
that regime has not existed for well over a year by now.

So there is no reason for crying.

Instead of investigating and writing reports we should spend our efforts on supporting our people in Iraq who work hard day by day educating the Iraqis to run and control their own country in a decent way - for the first time in 4000 years.

How accurate the intelligence was on current details, how the politicians interpreted it, and how the press served it to the public, that's interesting, but not a major issue. The major issue was that the fault made by GB Sr 13 years ago did not correct itself. And GWB Jr was too shy to tell us that dad was wrong.

"I cannot honestly state that getting rid of Saddam was a mistake at all".
(T. Blair, 14th July 2004)
That's probably the understatement of the year.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:42 am

Now the British report backs up the fact that Saddam did try to buy uranium for Niger.

The reports also say that Saddam failed to buy uranium and didn't approach anything else - both of which were known before the invasion.

Notice how B757300 ignores these bits.

it is about beating the enemy and winning.

Enemies are usually a threat to you.

Has no one read the part about the Iraqis actually being in Niger (vacation no doubt) and that this portion of the intel was correct? Has everyone forgotten that it is actually confirmed that Al Queda and Saddams government held meetings and talked (exchanging recipes no doubt)?

Both of which are inconsequential.

It was known before the war that Saddam had not obtained uranium from Niger. It was known before the war that visits by Al Qaeda came to nought. Saddam had nothing to do with September 11th, nor any other Al Qaeda attack. If you think they 'exchanged recipes' or not shows just how the pro-war propaganda flowed before the war - it was known by the JIC that they did not.

The war on terrorism is not a police action where we need to find enough evidence to convict in the most liberal court system.

Incorrect. In the UK the war was legal only if all the evidence suggested Saddam had active and substancial WMD programmes, and was a threat to the UK. This is what the atorney general said, these were the terms of the war. It's clear from butler that all the evidence DIDN'T suggest Saddam had such WMD programmes, hence the war was illegal. Yet there's no one to blame.

The law was broken but no one broke the law.

(I quite like that phrase, feel free to use it as you wish  Smile)
Your bone's got a little machine
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:44 am

How accurate the intelligence was on current details, how the politicians interpreted it, and how the press served it to the public, that's interesting, but not a major issue.

Yes it is.

The UK waged war based on a Parliamentary vote where Parliament was given false information. That's about the most serious thing that could happen in thise country.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
prebennorholm
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:03 am

Okay 777236ER, I see your point.

It may be a major BRITISH issue, if you feel manipulated by your own government. If that's the case, then you should elect a government which you trust.

But that's not a US / Danish / Iraqi issue.

My major point was that for well over a year Danish and British folks down there have had a splendid cooperation and have been doing a good job in southern Iraq, for which especially the Iraqi people, but indeed also the rest of the world, should be very thankful.

I also think that they mostly are.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:05 am

My major point was that for well over a year Danish and British folks down there have had a splendid cooperation and have been doing a good job in southern Iraq, for which especially the Iraqi people, but indeed also the rest of the world, should be very thankful.

And that could have been done in countless African countries too. Why not invade (for no reason) Africa, take control and makes its citizens' lives better?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
iakobos
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:23 am

777236ER
Most cannot, that is called colonization and that period has been enshrined in history books.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:39 am

Right 777236ER, we should have done that in Rwanda, of course. Shame on us that we didn't realize until far too late.

Apart from that, especially France has over the years done some quite good jobs in Africa, especially Tchad comes into my mind. In other cases - such as Libya and South Africa, sanctions and other more peaceful pressures seem to have done some good.

But that principle doesn't work, of course, in a country where the regime holds its own people as hostages. Or in Rwanda (or Yogoslavia) when ethnic cleaning is going on.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
iakobos
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:55 am

Preben,
any action into foreign territory has to be either mandated (UN, NATO, AUO, ECOWAS,...) or requested by the local authorities (Ivory Coast, Chad,...)
 
prebennorholm
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:07 am

Iakobos, you are right. And in a (next to) perfect world that is how it has got to be.

That said, much too often that was the reason why millions of people died unnecessarily. "Peace in our time", said Chamberlain in 1938 when a neighbor country had invaded part of Czechoslovakia and prepared to eliminate the Jews and make "Lebensraum" in east Europe.

If the world had been able to agree on a reaction to fit in time, then for instance my country Denmark wouldn't have been occupied by an evil power and more or less destroyed. That means a lot to me, even if I know very well that many countries suffered much worse than that.

Too little, too late again 50 years later in former Yugoslavia.

It just ain't easy.

But this is a whole new discussion and somewhat off topic. The US, British, Danish and a few other governments decided to go with moral support from 42 other countries, but against the will of France and Russia.

This thread is about a British inquiry about own intelligence and public political statements. The UK government knew very well that had the decision to assist eliminating the former Iraqi regime been put forward to the UN Security Council again in winter 2002/2003, then it would have been vetoed by France and Russia.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
JGPH1A
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:16 pm

RE: It was soooo much better when Saddam was killing his own people wasn't it? Can't we just let him go?

-signed...

The Anet Liberal whine bags....


It was sooo much better when Kim Jong Il / Robert Mugabe / Rwanda / The DRC was killing their own people ? Oh but wait - they still are, but they ain't got no oil, so who gives a fuck, right ?

Signed

The Halliburton Cheerleader squad.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
777236ER
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:39 pm

The UK government knew very well that had the decision to assist eliminating the former Iraqi regime been put forward to the UN Security Council again in winter 2002/2003, then it would have been vetoed by France and Russia.

Hence an illegal war?

UN resolution or not, the British attorney general required that all the intelligence pointed to Saddam having an active and expanding WMD programme. The Butler report says this isn't the case, and the intelligence suggested it. So the war was illegal - yet nobody broke the law.

This is pretty important for the future of British politics. More than firefighter strikes, fuel protests, hospitals and schools and even the anti-war protests, if the corollaries of Butler are realised, this is the thing that will bring down Blair.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Banco
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:34 pm

No, it doesn't follow that it was automatically an illegal war. The legality is certainly questionable, but it is not clear cut one way or the other. The reliance on previous UN resolutions is a reasonable defence of the legality. You may not agree, and other international lawyers may not agree, but international law is not a codified set of rules. One side or another can cherry pick what suits them to a considerable degree.

As for Blair being brought down, I suspect there is some wishful thinking on your part there. Certainly, the questions over how much certain members of the government, or government spin doctors strengthened SIS intelligence in order to win public approval will continue, but there have now been four enquiries into this, and all of them have to a greater or lesser degree cleared the Prime Minister of wilful deception. Now, you can argue about the credibility of each of those enquiries - and certainly the Hutton report was so clearly a whitewash it caused even more damage than had it been mildly critical - but they do allow the government to build a fairly robust defence.

Michael Howard's critique yesterday was one of his more powerful performances in Parliament, and certainly the compare and contrast approach he adopted worked beautifully. His central allegation, in essence how can you be trusted to lead us to war again, is immensely damaging - possibly the most damaging accusation of them all - but the Tories are weakened by their support for the war itself.

Public opinion remains fairly equally split. Although people do indeed feel duped, opinion polls suggest that a majority still believe the war to have been worthwhile, regardless of whether the initial justification was correct. Indeed, one of the major criticisms of this group of voters is that we shouldn't just stop there, but also go after the likes of Mugabe. Blair himself seems to believe he would like to do so, if it were politically possible.

Ultimately, Blair's fate is going to be bound up in what happens in Iraq. If there is progress to a democratic and stable state, then he will be able to argue with justification (he argued this yesterday) that whatever mistakes were made, it was worthwhile. His problem is what happens in the future.

He isn't a lame duck Prime Minister, but he is damaged. However, the court of public opinion is not exercised by foreign affairs to the degree that many of us would like. The issue of Europe, whatever your viewpoint, is one of huge importance, but it is not one that people greatly care about. This report may or may not be more important than "firefighter strikes, fuel protests, hospitals and schools and even the anti-war protests", but it won't be what wins or loses Labour the next election. Domestic issues will do that.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Alpha 1
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RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:39 pm

The major fault was made by GB Sr in 1991. He stopped the Gulf War short of Baghdad, most likely because he believed that the Iraqi regime would implode by itself.

No, on that you're wrong, on both accounts. The major fault was NOT George41's. An agreement was made with the Arab coalition partners in late 1990, early 1991 that, if Iraq/Kuwait was to be invaded, the goal would be the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, and the liberation of that country, not the occupation of Iraq. The Arab members didn't object to Saddam being taken out in an air raid, since they understood that bombing Iraq would have to be part of the process to liberate Kuwait, but they did not want the occupation of Iraq to be a goal.

And guess what? Bush kept his word-something we don't think politicians do too often, but he kept his word, despite the fact that the rest of the world could have done NOTHING to stop us had we wanted to break our word, and march on Baghdad.

So he didn't screw up, as revisinionsts want to portry. He acted honorably, and kept his word, and he gained a lot more respect from me.

This situation is the fault of his son, and noboby else.
 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:43 am

"And guess what? Bush kept his word-something we don't think politicians do too often, but he kept his word, despite the fact that the rest of the world could have done NOTHING to stop us had we wanted to break our word, and march on Baghdad."

I believe that Bush Sr. was also advised that taking Saddam out completely would be a geopolitical nightmare, and that containing him was a viable solution instead. Needless to say, Bush Sr could have taken Saddam out back then and no one would have objected, save a few Baathists in Syria.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
go canada!
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 1:33 am

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:10 am

Tony Blair was dishonest, the country was misled. The problem is not the fact that Saddams been removed, only an idoit would think the worlds a better place with him ruling Iraq. The issue is that Tony Blair and his goverment didnt check their facts, abused intelligence and hyped up clafications and doubts into cast iron fact against the wishes of the intelligence community.

If the goverment had simply said since 911 we cannot let saddam stay in power, we feel hes an evil dictator and we are worried about him developing weapons in the future, the british people wouldnt mind as much.sure some would be anti war no matter what but the bulk now upset with Tony Blair are those which believed him when he said that Saddam could launch chemical and biological weapons in 45 minutes.

I would have still supported the war on other grounds but we were told there were weapons and there is no major stockpile.

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
777236ER
Posts: 12213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 7:10 am

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:26 am

Banco,

I don't particularly WANT Tony Blair to be brought down, I think he's been a good Prime Minister and despite the war and other hiccups has done very well for the UK.

Tony Blair would only lose his position - in any situation - with a credible opposition. As you said, Michael Howard's performance yesterday was quite impressive and (rather surprisingly, in my opinion) he is turning into effective opposition - which is great for the country as a whole.

Domestic issues are important, and I agree would usually settle any election. But there is no one issue standing out. Health and education can be spun either way, yet there is no solid, strong opinion that Labour has messed up schools and hospitals. The railways are bad, yes, but the public is always going to remember just who privatised them (which is a bit fickle in my opinion - the railways now are ten times better than the dire last days of BR). With today's announcement, the government is at least taking some active steps to tackle problems.

Consider other 'major' domestic issues. The strikes, while annoying, aren't that severe and Labour can easily claim it's got nothing to do with them. Petrol protests are long forgotten.

The EU is a hot potato, and it's always possible that the Tories would ride in on the Daily Mail-induced anti-Europe sentiment, but I have a feeling the Tories are going to be very hard pressed to maintain a moderatly anti-Europe stance while disassociating themselves from UKIP etal.

While the Tories provide good opposition and soundbites with international issues, including the war and to a lesser extent the EU, they simply don't have clear domestic policies.

The recent debates about health prove this: both parties were talking about 'choice' and the choices offered were barely distinguishable between the parties. Both are nice, but the opposition policy isn't distinct enough from government policy to make an impact.

If the next election will be won or lost on domestic policy, the Tories need to have more defined, different policies domestically.


Regarding the legality of the war:

Paragraph 374:

In the case of Iraq, the Attorney General offered initial advice to the Government prior to
the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, when consideration was
being given to the enforcement of Iraq’s compliance with its disarmament obligations
under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 and subsequent relevant
resolutions. That advice mainly concerned legal interpretation of relevant United Nations
Security Council resolutions. But the Attorney General did conclude that, on the basis of
the information he had seen, there would be no justification for the use of force against Iraq
on grounds of self-defence against an imminent threat.


That is, prior to 1441, a war based on self-defence against Iraq would be unjustified.

Paragraphs 375-376:

Following the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, there was
disagreement inside the FCO on whether a further decision of the Security Council would
be needed before the UK could lawfully use force against Iraq to secure compliance by
Iraq with its disarmament obligations. The Foreign Secretary told us that he took the view
that, particularly in the light of the negotiating history of Security Council Resolution 1441,
such a further decision was not essential but that all concerned in the FCO accepted that
the final word would belong to the Attorney General.

In the ultimate event, a Deputy Legal Adviser in the FCO, Ms Elizabeth Wilmshurst,
disagreed with the Government’s position and felt it necessary to resign. We took
evidence from Ms Wilmshurst and she told us that her view rested on a difference over
legal arguments and was not related to intelligence.


This shows clearly the split after 1441 over the justification and legality of a war.

Paragraph 379:

We have received an account from the Attorney General of that advice, and have read it.
It was based on the legal interpretation of relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions and negotiating history in the United Nations, and not on WMD-related
intelligence. It did, however, require the Prime Minister, in the absence of a further United
Nations Security Council resolution, to be satisfied that there were strong factual grounds
for concluding that Iraq had failed to take the final opportunity to comply with its
disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that it was
possible to demonstrate hard evidence of non-compliance and non-co-operation with the
requirements of Security Council Resolution 1441, so as to justify the conclusion that Iraq
was in further material breach of its obligations.


This makes it clear that the legality of the war was based upon a 1441 breach.

Paragraphs 383-384:

Following the end of negotiations in the United Nations on a further Security Council
resolution, the Legal Secretary to the Attorney General wrote to the Private Secretary to the
Prime Minister on 14 March 2003 seeking confirmation that:
. . . it is unequivocally the Prime Minister’s view that Iraq has committed further
material breaches as specified in paragraph 4 of resolution 1441.

The Prime Minister’s Private Secretary replied to the Legal Secretary on 15 March,
confirming that:
. . . it is indeed the Prime Minister’s unequivocal view that Iraq is in further material
breach of its obligations,as in OP418 of UNSCR 1441,because of ‘false statements
or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and
failure by Iraq to comply with,and co-operate fully in the implementation of, this
resolution’.


This shows that the attorney general came to the conclusion that a war was legal following a 1441 breach based on the idea that the prime minister had an 'unequivolcal view' of a breach of 1441.

Paragraphs 3-4 of UNSCR 1441:

3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programs to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programs, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material;

4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the council for assessment in accordance with paragraph 11 and 12 below;

Now, this is the crux of the issue. In order for the war to be legal, the PM had to have an 'unequivolcal view' that Saddam had holdings of WMD, had programmes and had lied to the UN over these programmes.

Three of the main conclusions of the Butler report is:

Information used to justify the certainty of claims to the public about Iraq's production of chemical weapons came from "a new source on trial"

Information from another country's intelligence agency on Iraqi production of biological and chemical agents "were seriously flawed" and the grounds for British assessments that Iraq had recently produced such stocks "no longer exist"

There was no "over-reliance" on dissident Iraqi sources


This shows that the intelligence given to the PM was false - his 'unequivocal view' hence came from incorrect intelligence.

Another major point of the Butler report is:

The claim that Iraq could use weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes was should not have been made in the government's weapons dossier without explaining what the claim referred to

Which shows that, crucially, someone had to take the decision to include the 45-minute claim without explaining what the claim referred to. This isn't expressly written in the Butler report, so is my own interpretation. Given that it was a government dossier, and MI6 intelligence included explainations that the claim refered to battle-field weapons only, someone in the government included this claim, without explaination, on purpose. (Making a mistake of this nature is simple neglience).

The PM knew (or should have known) that the 45-minute claim regarded battlefield weapons, yet did not comment when the dossier did not include this caveat. Hence he felt that the case for the war needed to be strengthened (sexed-up?!). If he felt the case needed to be strengthened then he could not have, by definition, an 'unequivocal view' that the terms laid out by the attorney general for war were met. Hence the war was illegal.


I accept that the link isn't as direct as I thought it was earlier. I admit I've waffled on a bit too  Smile Still, I think this is a crucial point regarding the war and the legitimacy of the war.

Whether this significantly effects the election we shall see!
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:41 pm

I don't have a lot to add to that 777236ER, except to apologise for misreading you thinking that you were hoping for Blair's fall. Realistically, having read a lot of your posts, I should have known better.  Big grin

Newsnight last night raised a few interesting points about the Butler report, and the September dossier, and the Independent has followed them up this morning. An interesting link here:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=541514

On the domestic agenda. We seem to be entering a period of new consensus in government. The Tories seems to be competing for who will spend money better, rather than a fundamental argument about whether we should spend the money in the first place. Nevertheless, one of the successes that Tories have had recently is to force the government to justify any extra spending. Still, it's a long way from the Thatcher ethos.

Europe is hugely important to a committed minority, but whenever opinion polls are taken, most people seem to regard it as not a major issue when compared to the usual health, crime, the railways. The government have also managed to neuter it as an election issue by committing themselves to referenda on both the EU constitution and the Euro (if it ever happens), so there isn't the need for it to be a decision on general election day.

I can't see the war making much difference either. The British zone in the south of Iraq remains relatively stable, there aren't high numbers of British casualties. But on the issue of trust, the Tories can score. Equally, the government can't crow about the BBC any longer. If there's one thing patently clear from the Butler report, it is that essentially, the BBC got it exactly right, and everyone now knows it.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
zak
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:45 pm

the good part about the countless inquiries and hearings that give clear indication that the war on iraq was based on flawed, sometimes beefed up evidence, is that on each and every occasion, our right wing pro war trolls come out with yet another "war justification of the week".
10=2
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:49 pm

Clearly at least some of the UK electorate haven't forgiven Tony Blair for the war in Iraq - last nights by-elections in Birmingham and Leicester slashed Labour's majority in one and replaced them with a Lib Dem in another, both formerly safe Labour constituencies. But the best news is that the Tories came 3rd in both  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:55 pm

JGPH1A, given that governments in mid-term generally get a kicking at by-elections, those results last night were actually fairly reasonable for Labour. Equally, the Tories coming third is not a great surprise either. By-elections are just about the worst indication of future polling intentions that there are.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:02 pm

Yes, mid-term by-elections are often hijacked by protest votes, but the BBC analysis this morning indicated that the Iraq issue will not go away before the next general election, and that is could be a considerable factor, unlike most mid-term general disatisfaction. They did highlight that the most important feature was the the Tories, as the main opposition party, did not benefit from the protest vote, and that this is very bad news for them, especially in those constituencies, which had been Tory before.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:18 pm

Well, I hear some analysis, and I don't agree with it being appalling news for the Tories (and I'm not a Tory, by the way). At by elections, the Lib Dems always do well, and tend to win because peopel cast around for the party that is least offensive. Neither Labour, nor Conservatives are going to do well, with the party the electorate think has least chance usually suffering a collapsed vote. You simply cannot extrapolate a poor Tory performance here to a general election, where the public believe they are voting for a government, not an individual seat.

Now, about the war. I think it will only have an indirect effect. The public have never voted against someone who leads us into a war, beating up foreigners being a favourite pastime of the British (OK, I'm being ever so slightly flippant there  Big grin ), but what they will vote against is someone who they feel has duped them, whether it be over this or any other subject. Labour will certainly lose votes on this basis, but those votes are likely to be fairly evenly spread. What wins and loses elections is when you have a strong regional performance one way or the other. For example, the rise of Labour in southern England took them beyond their heartlands of the industrial centres in the north, and also Scotland and Wales. It is that that Labour must hold on to, and what the Tories must win.

It seems likely that the Tories will do much better at the next election, and that Labour will do worse. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Lib Dems have made any kind of breakthrough, with their support still somewhat soft. The complete collapse of partisan alignment in the electorate means that they are everyone's second favourites, which is why their overall polling numbers are much higher than the number of seats they obtain. A Labour victory with a significantly reduced majority remains the most likely outcome.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: UK Inquiry Reveals Iraq Had No WMD

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:27 pm

I would agree that the loss of confidence in the PM will be lasting impact of the Iraq issue, not the war itself, unless British losses mount significantly or (God forbid) there is some UK-related hostage incident (I think that could do enormous damage).

I guess of all possible outcomes in the general election, a significantly reduced Labour majority is the least-worst option - the huge majority they've had has made them less susceptible to electoral pressure, and has allowed them to get away with far too much, IMHO - with a reduced majority, the pressure to actually deliver (in an unprecedented 3rd term, where they can no longer place any blame at all on the shortcomings of previous administrations), and also the pressure to emphasise differences with Tory thinking will hopefully keep them a little closer to their Labour roots (a bit less of the PFI, perhaps - would be nice !). Politics in the UK has become way too centrist in my opinion, and nobody is really listening to the voters any more (hence the appalling turnouts recently) - its the same everywhere, really.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers

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