Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml en-gb 30 Tue 30 Jun 2015 18:07:15 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml grahame mole http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=98#comment89 CrataegusBalanced or not, it deserves a bigger airing than a 5 minute slot on one radio programme. Mon 01 Feb 2010 17:16:53 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=97#comment88 Lepus, "Our renewed constitution should state that our elected leader reports to us, not the citizens of the 50 states in the US?"Have you read "The Ghost"? It contains, among much other amusing material, some interesting conspiracy thinking....Coming soon to a theatre near you. ;-) Mon 01 Feb 2010 11:06:36 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=96#comment87 Following the Chilcott Enquiry revelations of last week do we need to radically change our constitution to safeguard our democracy and ensure that we never have a President like Blair ever again?Shouldn't our MPs already be working on such a move?Our renewed constitution should state that our elected leader reports to us, not the citizens of the 50 states in the US? Mon 01 Feb 2010 06:17:35 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=95#comment86 Grahame,Is the view of the Kurdish Prime Minister 'balanced'?;-) Sun 31 Jan 2010 16:21:26 GMT+1 grahame mole http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=94#comment85 I listened to an interesting interview by Eddie Mair with the Prime Minister of the Kurdish part of Iraq on PM who praised Tony Blair for his part in the invasion of Iraq and deemed the war legal on the basis of the thousands of Kurds murdered by Saddam and his brother. When asked by Eddie how he would describe Tony Blair he said 'he is a hero.' I have not heard this reported on any other BBC programme or from any other part of the media.Is this balanced reporting? Sun 31 Jan 2010 15:57:08 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=93#comment84 Dav 84, pressing ctrl++ will give bigger type, and doing it again, even bigger... Sat 30 Jan 2010 15:33:33 GMT+1 davmcn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=92#comment83 CM 83, Not with my eyesight. Sat 30 Jan 2010 14:54:05 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=91#comment82 Joe and Dav,May I suggest that the post in question is that rare exception of a loooooong post well worth the effort to read. Sat 30 Jan 2010 13:14:11 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=90#comment81 A (77)The last para of comment no. 75 should begin "As it is....":Don't worry, I don't think anyone got that far...have you met Expecting the End perchance? ;-) Joe. Sat 30 Jan 2010 11:37:56 GMT+1 davmcn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=88#comment80 a 75, Stick around and you will discover how many posters scroll through long, boring, posts like yours. Sat 30 Jan 2010 10:22:50 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=87#comment79 75. At 6:31pm on 29 Jan 2010, adferoaffero wrote:"What? No Robespierre Moment?"Thanks for that. long, but well worth the readingPossumy, "The plodding perseverence of the interrogators has presented no opportunity for grandstanding and is unwrapping the woeful calibre of our government then and now."Well observed. Agreed.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace Sat 30 Jan 2010 01:19:19 GMT+1 Possumy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=86#comment78 Blair's voice was sweating today. Much more interesting to listen to the witnesses without visual distraction. His performance was p*** poor.Jack Straw's turn in the hot seat was as fascinating, with lots of nervous swallowing.I think the non-adversarial nature of the inquiry has revealed a lot more than would have been the case with verbal fisticuffs which all politicians would have relished and would have become the story.The plodding perseverence of the interrogators has presented no opportunity for grandstanding and is unwrapping the woeful calibre of our government then and now. Fri 29 Jan 2010 22:45:05 GMT+1 bsoni http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=85#comment77 why is moderation taking so long? this is unacceptable. it is just not sending comments if this is normal. await your response Fri 29 Jan 2010 21:21:13 GMT+1 Excog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=84#comment76 The last para of comment no. 75 should begin "As it is....":As it is he chose the weak argument ('In summary he is told by Crowley that has no choice "action with weak arguments" better than “inaction with strong arguments".') from the beginning and at least 100,000 died, with several million as permanent refugees, the Iraqi middle classes not in Iraq where they are needed.There are various typos throughout the text which I sincerely apologise for. They shouldn't obscure the meaning of the text. if you are in doubt about anything ask. Fri 29 Jan 2010 20:25:55 GMT+1 Nadia May Nashi http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=83#comment75 Saddam Hussein is no different to Hitler he also committed genocide against thousands and thousands of people. He ordered the murder of thousands of civilians. Children and women and whole families were exterminated. Would the people of England accept that Hitler would be ok and no war on Germany was the right choice? Why should it be ok to have removed Hitler from Power and not to do the same for Saddam Hussein?Why are thugs allowed to run countries and terrorise their own people? Invade countries and murder million of people? Fri 29 Jan 2010 20:19:23 GMT+1 Excog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=82#comment74 What? No Robespierre Moment?In the film "Danton", Robespierre is despited sweating in his bed with the sheet up over his face, in terror as things get out of control. I have always thought Blair has at least once in the early hours, lain there wondering how such a person as himself, an ordinary joe who just got to be P.M. of the U.K., ends up helping (the American Armed Forces being responsible for killing the greater proportion of the Iraqis who died in the initial stages of the 2003 war) in the deaths of 100,000 plus Iraqis, who would not died if we had not gone to war to remove Saddam. Well, at least not those particular ones, because an equivalnt lot might have died at Saddam's hands. I keep on file a quote from Tony Blair which I believe he might have made at the time of his media campaign to persuade the British public he was right on Iraq:`What amazes me, is how many people are happy for Saddam to stay. They ask why we don't get rid of Mugabe, why not the Burmese lot. Yes, let's get rid of them all. I don't because I can't, but when you can you should.'Tony Blair*I wrote a post on my blog, baghdadskies, on Thursday, November 20, 2003 2003,titled RETRACING OLD GROUND - THOUGHTS ON BUSH VISIT TO UK, which imagined Blair making a speech against the war:{A reduced re-posting of this can be read at:http://baghdadskies2.blogspot.com/2004_07_11_archive.htmlwhich is primarily a post about the 2004 Butler Report}Yes, we have seen, at one time or another, the earnest expressions and heard all the "look...."s expressing his conviction for war, despite pre- and post-war public disquiet. Now, imagine, instead of giving the Big Speech for War, Bliar had done the opposite: chosen to make the speech against Invasion of Iraq on strongly argued grounds. Instead of talking about WMD he would have expressed the view that 9/11 was a criminal act and was to be dealt with through the courts. And more tellingly to argue that to go to war over terrorism would be to confirm what the terrorists believe; that their murderous acts are a political prospectus. Picture : conclave of experts including He of Blessed Memory, Alistair Crowley (...er Campbell). Preparatory discussions. Where will he chose to give it? Bush will be apoplectic. We always side with the U.S. in these things. Why change now? What will Bush say in public after hearing it? Will he say, This changes nothing, or tempered by lack of support, decide to postpone? [Am reminded, for some reason, of a processes that go into media food scare: inaccurate reports of science; arguments in media based of inaccuracy; public alarm (says media); politicians and govt. officials try to calm public “fears”; scientist defend their science [free publicity for projects/worrying about research funding]; media report the scientists’ complaints; politicians/ officials shift positions; public loses interest because politicians seen manipulating to defend “position”. Vide BSE in UK]In this defining speech - somewhere significantly neutral: several late nights at No.10 deciding where - Blair impresses the Continentals with his intellectual grasp of the excuses not to intervene militarily in Iraq. Arch pieces in Le Figaro, Le Monde, La Stampa, Der Spiegal, etc., running with The Barrister Bit: admiration for the skill with the ex-barrister defends Let us make a preliminary list of excuses/reasons:(1) Saddam is a murdering nuisance, a charismatic, nasty man who has subjugated and treated many of his people badly; [ good touch this] killed 1/2 million Iranians and many thousands of his own people, but he is no immediate threat to the West. (2) 9/11 go down in history if infamy(BLAIR : Errrr…perhaps not… Pearl Harbour…CAMPBELL : Hang (g) on, hang(g)…didn’t Bush use that? BLAIR : Er…CAMPBELL : S’okay, the. (3) The U.S., he carefully explains, will naturally be very upset - we too have lost many in the Twin Towers - and it believes the world will never be the same again, but this is a first reaction. They will realise in time that it is just a big disaster which people will see for what it is: the West's inability to monitor terrorists and pre-empt terrorism large or small. (4) Support the U.S. / desire to stop terrorism. Potted history of our support for the U.S. and their's for us, including Falklands. “No country can deny the horror of 9/11. Would they like it to have happened to them? Would we like it to have happened in our capitol city? What would have been the response of our European friends if 3000 Parisians had died in a gas attack in the metro? Or of the Germans if the new Parliament building had been flattened by a suicide helicopter?" (5) However, we must look at the big picture. Stability in the Middle East. Settling the Palestinian Problem. International Law. Islamic sensibilities. Colonial past.(5) Sanctions have worked against Iraq and so have the no-fly zones, which Britain has contributed to. 9/11 is not connected to Iraq as far as we able to tell, although there are Islamist groups in the north in areas not controlled by Saddam.(6) Despite Iraq being a secular state, it's people are Islamic, divided into Sunni and Shia. We do not want to further antagonise feeling in the Middle East and throughout the Islamic world by invading a sovereign state, even if it is controlled by a vile dictator. The time for this has passed. (7) Evoke, elliptically, the debacle of Suez, 1956, in which U.S. president Eisenhower prevented Britain and France controlling the Suez canal.Mention a series of other interventions that failed. And some that were successes but lacked international legitimacy.(8) Time to support the UN mandate by peaceful means. *He knows this position will please the French and Germans. They are in no position politically, economically or militarily to wage war. Germany is anti-war through principle, France through expediency masquerading as principle. They both have large Muslim populations.He, we, knows that the U.S.is top dog and can do what it wants when it wants without reference to anyone else. So, anything he says will be posturing. But Bliar's anti-war stance will not be the final position. He will calculate that it is "a very grave step...." first, then, having pleased the Europeans, as the U.S. moves towards invasion, slowly slip in beside the U.S., arguing that the situation has changed.This first anti-war speech is a decoy, a red herring, to lull the Europeans into making soothing statements. He already knows he is going to have to side with the U.S., as they know, after all our nuclear missiles are made in USA and there is Ford, Vauxhall, IBM. It is a global economy after all. People, money, goods, services can more freely round the world. But he needs to plump up domestic opinion and molify our immediate neighbours. He knows what people in Britain are thinking focus group-wise... they don't believe in the WMD argument but don't like Saddam either and would like to see him gone.Trying to imagine the various positions Bliar would take, and the permutations of cause and effect, we soon see that Crowley (er….Campbell) decides Bliar's speech cannot be directly anti-war, making it easier to join the U.S. later). He must be seen to show he understands history: not the history of nation states, his place in history….[joke] He can show how he has been tough before (Kosovo) and that he saw the necessity to tackle Al Qeida in Afghanistan.Siding with the U.S. straight away, making persistently weak cases for war on flimsy grounds and discounting public opinion, he sees as presenting him as strong, whereas "no war with good reasons" is weak. He will appear to be on the defensive in the anti-war stance; decisive in arguing for action. Being weak and on the defensive about reasons - taking an untenable "position" and sticking to it because of his belief that the sticking rather than the position is what matters - is less weak than appearing weak with a strong case. A weak argument is a long time in politics….(...good title there.) In summary he is told by Crowley that has no choice "action with weak arguments" better than “inaction with strong arguments". To me, he is a man who decides things because of what he imagines people think, or will think, of him rather than because they are right, despite claiming endlessly the opposite is true, and is therefore a moral and ethical pygmy. But, hey, moral philosophers don’t have to make decisions like this.I wanted Saddam out, and wanted the invasion, and knew too many Iraqis would die in the war[and, as it has proven, its aftermath]. All these things evoked strong memories of my boyhood Iraq, stimulating me to start a blog. But we have to use a utilitarian balance asking, Was the death of (?) 30,000 Iraqis - "needed" to remove him - a price worth paying? Will the means (and deaths) justify the result (of which we cannot in advance be sure) ? Neither Bush nor Blair can or will think or debate the point that we think Bush seems to believe - 9/11 deaths cancel out Iraqi deaths, maimings and orphanings. That he doesn’t care because he has to mollify his domestic opinion/feeling because opinion poll and focus group indicate this.The invasion of Iraq will, of course, only confirm to Arab world that the West is happy to continue objectifying them – and anyone else who gets in their way - to achieve their aims. And encourage other Arab states to put into another gear their anti-Semitic/Jewish propaganda, while making soothing noises to the U.S. about their willingness to change.People ask why someone like Harold Pinter is so virulently anti-American. It is because he equates America and Americans with what he sees as their rampant capitalism. But of course he is being ridiculous - or deliberately rhetorical – because human beings evolved a sophisticated mechanism for analysing complex situations and are quite able, even without the full facts – to make a sensible judgements (if they happen to be people capable and interested in making such judgements) about what is right and wrong in politics or their everyday lives.Ordinary newspaper reading folk know that Iraq was a bulwark against Iran in the 1980s. We see there is no inconsistency in a US govt. invading Iraq, despite having armed Iraq against the Iranians. The chemical weapons that Rumsfeld supplied were to kill the Iranian hoards, not Kurds. But we do question the timing. To use Straw Dogs to attempt to defeat the US position is futile. (Please read my abstract of Schopenhauer’s, 38 ways to Win an Argument, below)[ed. 2010: You can find your own Schopenhauer]. To resort to the rhetoric of the anti-Vietnam war is pointless and silly. It is true that corporation chairmen and CEOs do “have more votes” than the ordinary citizen. But hey, let’s live in the real world. Rupert Murdoch, for example, has great influence. In a sense he has “one million votes” to each one our one-vote-person votes. We must to be defeated by this. If an individual has the time and inclination, no matter who he is or where he lives, he can increase the influence of his view by the time spent arguing the case he espouses. Especially with the internet. These are the ways I think things in Iraq can be improved and help remove the argument about objectification: (1) Compensate all Iraqi families – use the sophisticated systems at your disposal to find out, quickly, which families have suffered and compensate them quickly. (2) Pump money into Iraqi education and medical programmes; bring a lot of children and their mothers out of Iraq for R & R; increase bursaries to Iraqi students to study abroad.(3) Pump money into Gaza and West Bank – circumventing the Palestinian Authority.(4) Deal with Israel settler programme: stop it and send the rest back to the USA where they came from (do they have dual nationality?) (5) Keep a military presence in Iraq to maintain stability in region (6) Sponsor standing conference on Middle East: [aim to]carve out of Israel, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia two new territories for Israel and the Palestinians, giving each enough of the aquifers and Mediterranean and Red sea ports.As it he chose the weak argument ('In summary he is told by Crowley that has no choice "action with weak arguments" better than “inaction with strong arguments".' ) from the beginning and at least 100,000 died, several million as permanent refugees, the Iraqi middle classes not in Iraq where they are needed. Fri 29 Jan 2010 18:31:56 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=81#comment73 That woman on the news saying 'Lack of ability' seems spot on.Well this is the preliminary hearing. They can ajourn to do pre-sentencing reports.Saddam was psychopathic? So we couldn't locate him to assinate him, but we can get access to his medical records. Blair is a deluded sociopath? Fri 29 Jan 2010 18:11:56 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=80#comment72 @Psycho B Delic #55 Of course you're entitled to your opinion. What's your opinion of the information contained in my comment #48? Fri 29 Jan 2010 18:09:17 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=78#comment71 angry60 #57Clare Short 'out of the loop'? I don't think so...not of you read her memoirs of these times. "An Honorable Deception"? Yes, read it, and Cook's "The Point of Departure." Fri 29 Jan 2010 18:05:55 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=77#comment70 Iran next?Well that 'Year Ahead' show that replaces Any Questions and Any Answers at the beginning of the year a respondent called in to opine that Israel will leave it until the next US Election when Obama's will be anxious not to lose votes to deal with Iran.The whole justification seems very Scattergun in its approach. Throw everything at it, including the kitchen sink and hopefully something will stick. Fri 29 Jan 2010 18:04:56 GMT+1 Andy Miller http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=76#comment69 Does anyone care about the shift of goal-posts? The dodgy dossier, Tony's speeches and others at the time were all talking of a 'clear and present danger'. Now Tony is justifying the war on a theoretical long term danger of leaving Saddam in power and the absence of a current danger at the time is dismissed by him as irrelevant.The dodgy dossier can at best, and stating this as dispassionately as possible, be classed as grossly negligent. For me, the major turning point was the presentation by Colin Powell to the UN. It became evident then that the US & UK did not have the evidence of a present danger and yet were still attempting to claim there was one - nothing about a long term potential threat was mentioned. Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:51:32 GMT+1 LongFellow http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=75#comment68 Did I just hear Magaret Becket complain that the enquiry didn't ask the questions she would have liked them to in they way she would have liked? Diddums. Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:47:15 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=74#comment67 Nice one Labour! How did Tony get through the selection process? Perhaps you'll make a better fist of choosing a leader next time?Former Flt. Lt. John Nichol shot down in Gulf War 1 and paraded on TV by Saddam said on BBC2's Newsnight that the Turkish bases being used to enforce the Northern No Fly zone to protect the Kurds, were also being used by the Turkish to attack the Kurds.How does that make sense? It's OK for the Turks to attack the Kurds, but not OK for Saddam to? Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:41:20 GMT+1 pmmolly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=73#comment66 Angry 60 (21)AngryI certainly didn't support the war and neither was nor am a huge supporter of Tony Blair but I do feel incredibly alarmed to see him likened to Saddam Hussein. A ridiculous thing to say about someone we voted in who made executive decisions which happened to be wrong.Thank goodness most contributors have made their objections in a rational way . Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:33:42 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=72#comment65 Joe,;-) Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:05:59 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=71#comment64 Can you imagine the way its being reported (as if it was) in America?'Today Prime Minister Blair was subpoenaed to appear before a panel of men in something called th eye-raq enquiry....'this was done to prove that it was right to start the war in eye-raq. Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:02:34 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=70#comment63 Ellie, A few more quick short posts, and you'll clear pre-moderation. They don't have to be meaningful, and I'm sure we'd all rather see whaat you're saying as you say it.Peace Fri 29 Jan 2010 17:00:47 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=68#comment62 61 - Ahh, that's alright then.You have to admit the eel performed well today, to go back to my original post this morning.I think the only thing clarified for me was that we went in, in the full knowledge that it was questionable at the very least in the legal sense. Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:56:49 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=67#comment61 "all the relevant departments..." BUT NOT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL... Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:55:37 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=66#comment60 Of course, Ellie, everything we did was exclusively for their benefit. Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:50:36 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=65#comment59 For the Iraqi people? Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:26:17 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=64#comment58 Some history. Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:22:41 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=63#comment57 The Israelis ARE the ones who started it! Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:20:44 GMT+1 angry60 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=62#comment56 Clare Short 'out of the loop'? I don't think so...not of you read her memoirs of these times. The way that Tony Blair managed the decisions kept most of the cabinet and parliamentary party out of the loop, but he constantly called Ms Short in to private meetings to persuade her to change her stance. I suspect that Goldsmith had similar cosy chats with Blair and his cohorts. Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:10:57 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=61#comment55 "If we'd left Saddam there..."Regime change is illegal under international law! Fri 29 Jan 2010 16:01:59 GMT+1 Psycho B Delic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=60#comment54 I've been listening to Tony Blair all day and I have found it very interesting what he has had to say. I think he has explained his reasoning very well. I would have been suprised if he didn't. Unlike other people I don't think that any prime minister would go to war for trivial matters, and given the rabid nature of the press and the leak culture that we live in now, lie about it. What kind of idiots do we think we elect to run the country and what does that say about us? What kind of world do these people live in? I can only assume that people are judging the ex-prime minister by their own low standards.You might of gathered that I am in the 50% of the country who agreed with the invasion at the time. Yes - the people he listened to, for those who keep asking.He was an exceptional Prime Minister and I think history will show him to have been right in this matter. (But that's only my opinion - and I know the difference between opinion and fact and also between being mistaken and lying which is another concept people seem to have difficulty grasping but that's another rant.):O)x Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:58:37 GMT+1 angry60 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=58#comment53 First Hutton, then Butler, now Chalcott...and will any of these vastly expensive enquiries make any difference? Mr Blair is obviously a devious, conniving, and lying man who was able to take this country to war on his own whim,and that of his close cronies, and a wish to stay in with the US. Our parliamentary system has been made a mockery of, and yet we try to show other states how to manage their affairs. Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:58:15 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=57#comment52 To listen to him now, saying how much effort was put into what would happen after the invasion, one does wonder what planet both he and Bush were on, given how obvious it was to so many others that there would be chaos and long-running destabilisation. I wish he could have heard those soundbites earlier today from Iraqis when he struggles to maintain that Iraqis have benefitted by the action of the Allies.Bleah bleah bleah. Blaih blaih blaih. Blair blair blair."... having done Iraq...." - What just does he mean? Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:57:39 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=56#comment51 So the assumption was that the next door neighbours wouldn't take an interest when a bunch from another part of the world started interfering in the internal affairs of their neighbour?So it's understandable (and justifiable) for us to 'interfere' in the affairs of a sovereign state, but not for the nearest neighbour to take an interest?Piffle! Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:51:09 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=55#comment50 @CrateaegusI really don't know why MPs aren't calling for him to be referred to the ICC. It's quite clear US/UK betrayed the other members of the UNSC. Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:29:25 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=54#comment49 GDC, Game, set, and match!Where are the arrest warrants and indictments? Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:25:52 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=53#comment48 In other words, The War Against Terrorism (acronym) was surprised whern the other party turned up?Iraq was in no way a "failed state" before we destroyed it. Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:22:36 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=52#comment47 Regarding the need for a second resolution in order to take military action, Blair has said, at least twice between 2.30 and 3.00pm, about the lack of clarity in UNSC 1441, and so he argues on "...what was in the mind of the people who passed the resolution..."Lord Goldsmith tried to make a similar point a few days ago - that because UNSC 1441 wasn't totally clear, then *intention* of UNSC 1441 was significant.Let's see what each of the five permanent members of the Security Council said on the day when the resolution was passed:John Negroponte (USA)“This resolution contains no hidden triggers and no automaticity with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, ..... the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12.”Sir Jeremy Greenstock (UK)"Let me be equally clear in response... There is no automaticity in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12."Mr. Lavrov (Russia)"As a result of intensive negotiations, the resolution just adopted contains no provisions for the automatic use of force. , Mr. Wang Yingfan (China)"The text no longer includes automaticity for authorizing the use of force."Mr. Levitte (France)"France welcomes the fact that all ambiguity on this point and all elements of automaticity have disappeared from the resolution." Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:21:43 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=51#comment46 So we went to quell 'international terrorism', but when 'international terrorism' joined in, we were surprised? Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:20:31 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=50#comment45 I think the hour to three o'clock made it pretty clear that Blair was determined to go ahead legal or not. Military build up started in October 2002 he's just confirmed.We made one assumption that turned out to be wrong and then found a problem that we had not foreseen - they did not know that the civil service was broken down. That's what comes of getting your intelligence from taxi drivers ... Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:08:14 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=48#comment44 So it hasn't been a "humanitarian disaster|?" Still no reliable electricity or water, still hundreds dying, millions displaced...."Planning assumption" was for a 'functioning civil service' What fool made that assumption? Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:08:08 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=47#comment43 Squirm, witter, squirm, witter, ...... Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:05:09 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=46#comment42 "We've been through ten years of Saddam Hussein breaching UN resolutions," Although many of the so-called breaches over the last ten years were that Saddam wasn't declaring his WMD. But there weren't any as we subsequently found.And several other of the so-called breaches were that Saddam kicked the Weapons Inspectors out. Well yes, - but Saddam discovered that many of the UN weapons inspectors weren't bona fide inspectors at all, but CIA agaents, as we subsequently found out from Scott Ritter. And Saddam announced he would allow weapons inspectors back in - but without any Americans. The UN didn't send the inspectors back. Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:00:31 GMT+1 GiulioNapolitani http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=45#comment41 Just now watching this on News 24. Contrasting the sedate proceedings visible on the left with Laura Kuenssberg's "tweets" which keep appearing on the right of the screen ("Blair looks rattled", "Lyne has the bit beween his teeth"), one might almost be tempted to accuse her of "sexing up" her report of the proceedings. Fri 29 Jan 2010 15:00:28 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=44#comment40 "1441 was very deliberately consrtructed," and clearly did not authorise force, at least in the deliberately considered opinions of the other permanent members of the UNSC. Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:52:57 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=43#comment39 "We've been through ten years of Saddam Hussein breaching UN resolutions," And six decades of Israel breaching UN resolutions. Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:49:44 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=42#comment38 "Peter had made it clear what his view was" But we were determined to go ahead anyway.... Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:41:35 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=41#comment37 Blair has just said that UNSC 1441 didn't specifically say it was necessary to go back to the UN for a second resolution. However, the Russians and French insisted that this went into the UNSC 1441:"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq."Adopted 8th November 2002 Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:37:59 GMT+1 Henry Nield http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=40#comment36 It is totally disingenuous of the Prime Minister of Great Britain to firstly, claim not to have known of or made a distinction between long range and short range weapons of mass destruction (the latter threatening Israel & Big Oil - and Cyprus of course...), and secondly to use the cover of 9/11 (remember Saddam Hussein hated Al Queda) to imply the whole of the Western world was at risk from chemical weapons (in 45 minutes!) from the Iraqi tyrant. Much as Bush was the puppet of the Neo-cons, so Blair was the puppet of the puppet, unknowingly, or much worse, knowingly. Does idiocy or self-deception amount to a war crime? Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:36:23 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=38#comment35 Blair just before lunch: "What we now know is that he [Saddam] retained absolutely the intent and the intellectual know-how to restart a nuclear and a chemical weapons programme when the inspectors were out...""...the intent and the intellectual know-how..."Is that a breach of international law? Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:27:36 GMT+1 Amanda Cerasale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=37#comment34 This is going to be a great day for the police about this inquiry then isn't it? Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:25:30 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=36#comment33 Clare Short is one of the 'insignificants' for this inquiry. She was out-of-the-loop and has given so many interviews since she left government, that I very much doubt she has anything new to say. Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:18:26 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=35#comment32 He argues the most of America's client states were 'with America'Surprise! Surprise! Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:12:21 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=34#comment31 IF the UNSC writes 'international law', and the French, Russian, etc. members were against the authorisation of force:1.) They were of the opinion that 1441 did not authorise force2.) The invasion was clearlyILLEGAL in terms of International Law.3.) Those responsible must answer to the ICJ Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:09:15 GMT+1 Amanda Cerasale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=33#comment30 I think that Tony Blair's side kick from the good old USofA George,W,Bush should also be also at the trail of the Iraq war. Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:06:50 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=32#comment29 Clare Short will appear on 2nd February. All the info you need is here:http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/hearings/timetable.aspx Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:06:28 GMT+1 sarah grabham http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=31#comment28 I have just heard part of testimony on World at One. One question has always bothered me right from the beginning - if they genuinely believed there were WMD, why on earth weren't the military properly equipped to defend themselves against that threat??? Fri 29 Jan 2010 14:06:17 GMT+1 darkdesign http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=30#comment27 Per the BBC, five hundred protesters turn up to hassle Blair, thousands line streets of Wooton Bassett to pay respects to slain soldiers. Quite right: each one of them was worth ten politicians.What a day. Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:57:51 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=28#comment26 Sis (2), An interesting suggestion from Rory Bremner last night which I've heard before, was that the true strategy was to draw all the 'terrorists' into Iraq where they could be 'dealt with'....Hmmmmmm.So it worked (almost, well, a bit...) Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:54:46 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=27#comment25 Darkness,"There are many vile regimes around the world that deserve to be expunged, but do we have the right to do so? And if you think we do, are we any good at it?"We certainly haven't the "right", and our track record is abominable. And the fools still talk of taking on 'corrective measures' in Iran. Bigger than Afghanistan and Iraq put together, and with even more difficult terrain and a large, well-organised, well-motivated armed force - madness! Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:45:50 GMT+1 angry60 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=26#comment24 Did anyone expect any different from this messianic and devious man? He is almost as despotic as Saddam himself but with less violence. It would be good if Robin Cook could be brought back from the dead for questioning. Has anyone read the Clare Short book? and will she be called for questioning? It would certainly give a very different slant on things Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:45:29 GMT+1 darkdesign http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=25#comment23 I was moved by the words of the lady from Kurdistan on BBC News 24 a short time ago, and her pleasure that a tyrant had been removed. I am glad that has happened - very glad. However, we are not 'Team Britain World Police'. Our armed forces are for the defence of this realm and, on balance, I don't think that realm was in danger from pre-war Iraq.There are many vile regimes around the world that deserve to be expunged, but do we have the right to do so? And if you think we do, are we any good at it? Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:38:27 GMT+1 BradyGray http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=24#comment22 Here's my truth... I love stuff like this... I get off on it a little... Blair squirming and all that... everyone having an opinion which they defend to the end even if they are right or wrong which is all subjective anyway... what is the truth?... none us care what the truth is... only what our angle on our truth is... my truth is that Blair is irritating... not a liar... a truth inventor... inventing his own truth as we all do everyday in relation to our view on the world and who we think we are in it... Blair is innocent even though i believe he is guilty... Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:29:09 GMT+1 needsanewnickname http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=23#comment21 annasee, don't forget the frequent uses of 'er' and the 'y'knows'... oh, it all comes back. Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:27:52 GMT+1 GeeDeeSea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=22#comment20 @Crataegus Monogyna #16"And it seems contagious. Even the interrogators are doing it!"Yes - I noticed that as well, though not surprising, as the inquiry panel are hardly 'impartials.' Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:21:06 GMT+1 steelpulse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=21#comment19 "I allegedly said on such and such a date this!" and "Can I refer the Enquiry to the Hansard entry on........."At Chilcot - it has been fascinating watching several someones explain stuff with so much referral to documentation to underline points being mentioned by them. Most if not all interviewees quite rightly brushed up and researched before coming forward to give their evidence the Chilcot Enquiry. It deserved such thoroughness and I realise legal and perhaps forensically minds like that sort of corroboration but it is THAT. So legal and forensic.I think I could sit down and explain my whole boring life - the remembered stuff at least - without a single piece of paper near me. There are records of various points but I feel I wouldn't need them at that explanation stage. They (documents and records) could be accessed later and hopefully underline what I related to audience.I suspect this particular "Tweet" may come back to haunt me. lol Fri 29 Jan 2010 13:01:56 GMT+1 Nick Betts http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=20#comment18 Guantanamo Bay should be kept open for just three inmates: Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:58:44 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=18#comment17 Well. The morning session proved pretty unsurprising, sometimes it's sad to be proved right. My two questions for the afternoon session are:Given that Blair insists that he believed "beyond doubt" that WMDs were present, does he NOW believe that the intelligence was simply incompetent or deliberately misleading?Does Blair believe that the fact that Iraq holds a major portion of the world's remaining oil resources a significant factor in considering it important to change the regime at the time?Of course there will be no genuine and fulsome response to either of those questions. Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:55:02 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=17#comment16 15 and 16 This is to let you know that he really means it when hes lying. Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:51:31 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=16#comment15 And it seems contagious. Even the interrogators are doing it! Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:39:21 GMT+1 annasee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=15#comment14 Listening to his irritating verbal delivery, I'm just glad we don't have to listen to him as PM any more. That peculiar stopping every 3 words. Breaking every sentence into tiny sub clauses. Sorry: that should: be...breaking, every sentence: into tiny...sub clauses. Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:26:13 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=14#comment13 Anyone who considers attacking Iran needs his/her head examined and should be forced to read some history and look at a few topographical maps.Btw, can anyone name a country attacked by Iran in the past two centuries? Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:11:41 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=13#comment12 What a creep!Live feed (1 minute delay) at bbc.co.uk main pageUgh! Fri 29 Jan 2010 12:07:30 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=12#comment11 And now he's using his actions to justify attacking Iran? Unbelievable! Talk about displacement tactics ... Fri 29 Jan 2010 11:58:22 GMT+1 anne perks http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=11#comment10 Fri 29 Jan 2010 11:53:03 GMT+1 bsoni http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=10#comment9 re Iraq war: The current enquiry is useful but will not achieve much as the legal language is slimy and can be interprettby differently by readers and listeners. One thing we should learn for the future is that in future any UN resolution authorising war must include the word "war" before any country can attack another sovereign country. Fri 29 Jan 2010 11:49:52 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=8#comment8 The same bogus linking of 911 "religious fanaticism" as an excuse for going after Saddam, who may have been many things, but not a religious fanatic. Watch the video clipI want to see the ---- squirm! Fri 29 Jan 2010 11:23:35 GMT+1 Crataegus Monogyna http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=7#comment7 Enjoy some wish fulfillment;-) Fri 29 Jan 2010 11:13:46 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=6#comment6 Those letters Between Tony and Dubya? Was it Cheyney that was reading them and responding? 'George, it's better to keep Saddam as a bogey man, at least until we've finished the job we've started in Afghanistan'? Fri 29 Jan 2010 10:34:05 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=5#comment5 He does sound like someone at Currys trying to justify why we should take out the extended warranty on some appliance we're about to seriously foreshorten the life of the planet with. Fri 29 Jan 2010 10:15:05 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=4#comment4 Thank you Big Sister, I'll iplayer it later. At least Bellamy's People picked up lastnight. Linking Al Queda to Saddam? Again? But Tony they could be on the Internet like Gordon's missus and kid, looking for bomb making manuals instead of Tweeting. I have to wonder how many wannabe Jihadists have been saved from blowing us up because they're too engrossed in Stephen Fry's Twitter feed? But Tony what about that woman at the John Lennon Airport with over 3,000 bomb making manuals on her USB stick? Al Queda and Saddam? Surely they could get all that they need from Pakistan? Or former Soviet states? Britain could mount another criminal war therefore someone should take all of our weapons? Fri 29 Jan 2010 10:10:52 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=3#comment3 Hm, I thought I could hear Mr. Blair squirming in the extract just broadcast on the news. Can Paddy smell his fear? Has he taken off his jacket yet? Fri 29 Jan 2010 10:01:58 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=2#comment2 Let us hope that those folk get at least something of the truth they seek today.I fear we may have the verbal equivalent of several men wearing boxing gloves trying to catch an eel.Prove me wrong Mr Blair, if you dare. Fri 29 Jan 2010 09:49:29 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=1#comment1 Rory Bremner did a wonderful sketch last night on This Week (available on iPlayer). And there was a lovely Diane Abbott moment (unrelated to Blair). All worth a watch. Fri 29 Jan 2010 09:38:56 GMT+1 needsanewnickname http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/tony_blair_at_the_iraq_inquiry.shtml?page=0#comment0 Phew! Fri 29 Jan 2010 09:24:12 GMT+1