(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
First a few commentaries as this Inquiry moves along and the information and charges drip, drip, drip…………..out.
The Iraq war was a ruinous mistake. The lessons from it have not yet been learned.
Two hundred and thirty-seven British troops have died in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001 – but the name of Lance Corporal Adam Drane should never be forgotten. The 23-year-old soldier from the 1st Battalion the Royal AnglianRegiment became the 100th UK casualty this year when he was shot dead near Nad e-Ali on 7 December. It is the first time that 100 or more British soldiers have been killed in a single year since the Falklands conflict in 1982, when 255 servicemen died and, as Sir David Richards, the British army chief, has acknowledged, it reopens the debate as to whether “the sacrifice of another British soldier is worth it”. The sacrifices are not over. The number of the British dead will continue to rise. We have argued that the Afghan conflict, though its origins may have been just and necessary in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, has since become unwinnable and counterproductive, and the government should set a date for a strategic withdrawal…>>>>>
The biggest mistake was already made as to Afghanistan by leaving to Invade Iraq and not securing and funding the needs of the Afghans as to the promises to rebuild after the fall of the Taliban! It stopped being about 9/11 at that moment in history and isn’t about now, making the keeping of the promises much more difficult and more important now as to the future security everywhere!!
The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media.
He came to mind when I saw a picture in the paper of another Foreign Office official, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Tony Blair’s ambassador to the United Nations in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was Sir Jeremy, more than anyone else, who tried every trick to find a UN cover for the bloodbath to come. Indeed, this was his boast on 27 November to the Chilcot inquiry, where he described the invasion as “legal but of questionable legitimacy”. How clever. In the picture he wore a smirk.
Under international law, “questionable legitimacy” does not exist. An attack on a sovereign state is a crime. This was made clear by Britain’s chief law officer and attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, before his arm was twisted, and by the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers, and subsequently by the UN secretary general. The invasion of Iraq is the crime of the 21st century. During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers such as “sanctions” and “no-fly zones” and “building democracy”, more people have died in Iraq than at the height of the slave trade. Set that against Sir Jeremy’s skin-saving revisionism about American “noises” that were “decidedly unhelpful to what I was trying to do [at the UN] in New York”. Moreover, “I myself warned the Foreign Office . . . that I might have to consider my own position . . .”
It wasn’t me, guv…>>>>>
A UK inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war is looking at the run-up to conflict, whether troops were properly prepared, how the war was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath. Here are the key players and a timeline of all the evidence:…>>>>>
This Sir John Sawers, who now heads the British M16, speaking as a part of Blairs team, talked about what was going on as to any Regime Change talk but not yet, supposedly, reaching any talk of taking saddam down Militarily. He mentioned the sanctions and taking with the Russians and others. But he also mentioned the reaching out to ex Iraqi pats who opposed the Saddam regime, reason they were not living in Iraq and hadn’t for many years, not once did I hear him say anything about any talks with opposition leaders or people living Inside of Iraq not only then but for the years previous.
Tony Blair’s ex-foreign policy adviser Sir John Sawers said the US was not talking about war with Iraq in early 2001. Sir John, the current head of MI6, visited Washington in January that year for informal talks with the incoming Bush administration. George W Bush and the then UK prime minister held their first meeting at Camp David in the February. There was agreement that their policy of “containment” of Iraq through sanctions and no-fly zones was “unsustainable”, Sir John said. And while there was talk of “regime change”, there was no discussion of military intervention…>>>>>
As the drip, drip, drip, of information slowly falls so does the name dropping and not so supportive descriptions of those who’s names come forth. Today, once again, Bremers name comes up often but also add now Ret. Gen Jay Garner, he like Bremer apparently didn’t make to many friends working with their counterparts, frankly this is the total opposite of what we were taught in CI/SERE before being sent into ‘Nam, but then again they weren’t working with Iraqi’s they were working with American appointee’s brought in to do the bidding of the administration and pentagon with the decisions coming from Washington and the Military in Central Command Florida.
Sir John Sawers gives evidence to the Chilcot inquiry
Tony Blair’s senior diplomat in Baghdad was ignored when he urged the Americans not to sack 25,000 Baathist officials, the Iraq inquiry was told today.
Sir John Sawers, now the head of MI6, revealed the chaos he saw in post-invasion Iraq on his arrival in the capital in early May 2003.
He said that the de-Baathification programme and the disbandment of the Iraqi Army, which many critics claim triggered the Sunni insurgency, had been agreed in Washington – apparently without prior consultation with Britain, America’s principal ally in the war against Saddam Hussein.
Sir John said that the Government had supported plans to remove the top three tiers of the Baathist regime – a total of 5,000 officials – but not the 25,000 lower-grade Iraqis on the fourth tier of the regime, many of whom were teachers.
At that stage a retired US general, Jay Garner, was in charge of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Sir Roderic described it as a “shambles”.
“I was very disappointed by the quality of the senior figures who were mainly retired Vietnam-era US generals,” Sir John said.
He found himself having to sleep in a dormitory with a lot of other people. “There were no doors to the bathrooms. There was intermittent water and electricity, it was pretty grim,” he said…>>>>>
U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry on patrol near Baghdad. Their ;Darth Vadar; kit and sunglasses have been criticised in the Iraq inquiry today
The head of MI6 today attacked the US’s use of ‘Vietnam-era generals’ and ‘Darth Vader kit’ for turning post-war Iraq into a shambles.
Sir John Sawers, who took over as spymaster ‘C’ last month, said the wraparound sunglasses and flak jackets used by rank-and-file American soldiers only served to distance themselves from the Iraqis.
Sir John also revealed he found ‘serious disorder’ when he was sent to Baghdad as the UK’s special representative in 2003.
He told the Chilcot inquiry that the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) was not well led by Jay Garner, a retired US Lieutenant General…>>>>>
The United States made key decisions about the future of Iraq without consulting Britain, the chief of MI6 has said.
Sir John Sawers, a former foreign policy adviser to Tony Blair who is now the head of Secret Intelligence Service, was drafted in as Britain’s Special Representative to Iraq with less than a week to prepare.
He said Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, had decided he wanted “someone senior” on the ground who could “impose some common sense.”
“In retrospect, it seems that principal decisions were taken in advance in Washington,” Sir John told the inquiry.
Asked if there had been a “stitch up in Washington” over the Ba’ath party he said: “When I was doing calls in London the previous week, it was not an issue that had been raised with me.”
Sir John told the inquiry that in 2001 Iraq was just one of the countries where Britain hoped to see regime change.
He said when he was Tony Blair’s private secretary for foreign affairs, discussions took place on political actions which could help undermine Saddam Hussein’s regime short of military action…>>>>>
MI6 chief says key decisions including banning Saddam’s Ba’ath party from new regime ‘were taken in advance in Washington’
Washington made the key decisions on Iraq’s new administrative and military structures in the weeks after the 2003 invasion, the Iraq inquiry was told today.
Sir John Sawers, Britain’s special representative in Baghdad in the aftermath of Saddam’s fall and now head of MI6, initially said he could not say there was a “stitch-up” over the banning of top members of the dictator’s Ba’ath party from the replacement regime.
But despite this cautious response to a question from inquiry panel member Sir Roderic Lyne, he later said: “In retrospect it seems the principal decisions were taken in advance in Washington.”
The then head of the British army, General Sir Mike Jackson, had suggested a battalion of British paratroops be sent to the capital to help. “Part of the problem was the posture of the US army in their tanks, in their Darth Vader kit with the wraparound sunglases and helmets and flak jackets and everything else. There was no real rapport between the US army and the ordinary citizens.”
Senior military advisers in London eventually vetoed the idea. “Unfortunately the idea had gained some traction with the Americans both in Washington and Baghdad … in a sense we marched them up to the top of the hill and then marched them down again.”
He had been “pretty shocked” by Britain’s small contribution of staff to running Iraq when he arrived in Baghdad…>>>>>
MI6 chief and former Blair adviser Sir John Sawers says British military commanders were furious at lack of consultation
Britain was not consulted about crucial decisions on Iraq, despite hopes that by contributing so many troops to the invasion it would be able to influence US policy, the Chilcot inquiry heard today.
Sir John Sawers, the recently appointed head of MI6 but then a close adviser to Tony Blair, made it clear that the decisions to disband the Iraqi army and dismiss thousands of members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party were taken by the US alone. Britain’s military commanders, with 46,000 troops taking part in the invasion, were furious about the decisions…>>>>>
While condemning being left out of the decision making Sir John does talk extensively on the de-Baathification and how deep down it went, teachers, doctors etc. etc., along with the Iraqi military and tries to put a good spin of the need to do so on the whole policy, carrying the Blare bucket of water like a good soldier.