Iraq War Inquiry, Day 15, Breaks for ‘Merry Christmas’

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

We lead off with the ending of the first part of the Chicot {British} Iraq War Inquiry, as we will shortly celebrate the day of the birth of the ‘Prince of Peace’ around the World, or at least that’s the now myth I was taught all these years. Myth because apparently with the birth of Jesus as well as in other religious beliefs Religious Ideology is invoked and we ask to be protected and blessed by God as we all Blow Each Other Up when ever possible and when reasons can be fixed to engage our War Machines. For modern christians?, just like those of old, the religious ideology has been turned on it’s head, Jesus son of God can’t be a ‘Prince of Peace’ not to believers of who cheer on destructive Wars and Occupations of others, for any reason, as they raise the rhetoric of Intolerance, sounds exactly like the other major religious ideologies doesn’t it, coming from the ones who are on the extremist fringes of them preaching their cherry picked religious quotes to justify their hate and intolerances, non religious, towards others they fear, so much for Peace!

A damning picture painted by the Chilcot inquiry

From politics to planning, the invasion of Iraq was a disastrous business

The mandarins have spoken. The first evidence-gathering session of the Chilcot inquiry into the disastrous Iraq war has come to an end after three weeks of testimony from senior civil servants, generals, diplomats, advisers and intelligence chiefs. Some of that testimony has been self-serving; an attempt to deflect blame for the shambles that occurred after the invasion. But valuable information has emerged too.

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Of course we need to be sceptical of attempts by British generals and diplomats to pin the blame for the disastrous fate of the Iraq occupation on American stupidity, a line that handily absolves them of responsibility for the disaster that unfolded….>>>>>

In the above we find this sentence: “Predictions that this inquiry would yield nothing of any worth” which hasn’t been the case especially if on this side of the pond and looking for the little pieces of the criminal intent puzzle, conspiracy among the players civilian and military who would give the orders for, War Crimes, never mentioned in a public forum and that fit well into what was thought and spoken by many starting before the invasion, and not only much has been proven since but none has been disproved, and over these years of the occupations of two countries not just Iraq.

Chilcot says Iraq war inquiry is not entertainment

Chairman responds to critics by says he was not out to ‘ambush witnesses or score points’

The chairman of the Iraq inquiry today defended the way he has conducted the hearings, saying he was not out to “ambush witnesses or score points”. He added: “We are not here to provide public sport or entertainment.”

In a statement issued as he and his panel held the last session before a Christmas break, Sir John Chilcot also said he would seek the publication in the new year of highly classified documents during questioning of former and serving ministers, most notably Tony Blair….>>>>>

Waging War On The Brain: Psycho Neurological Consequences Of War

War is hell, as the old saying goes – with loss of life and limb, destruction of infrastructure and the environment, and devastating costs. Recent biomedical research has shed light on another pernicious consequence of military conflict: psychological and neurological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. At the same time, researchers have worked to uncover some of the motives and meanings of war.

The 89th Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease (ARNMD), organized by the ARNMD in collaboration with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and held today at The Rockefeller University, examines the psychological and neurological aspects of war from a variety of perspectives – from the experience of a Marine colonel during wartime and a presentation on “the mind of the terrorist,” to a lecture on preventing mass violence given by Weill Cornell Medical College’s Dr. David A. Hamburg, a leading expert on genocide….>>>>>

The travails of the young war criminal

That may seem a bit harsh, for never has an alleged war criminal seemed more sincere, more open, even more innocent. As he said about his 2003 decision to involve Britain in the American invasion of Iraq in his resignation speech four years later: “Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right.” But EVERYBODY does what they think is right.

They may mean pragmatically right, or morally right, or even ideologically right, but one way or another people will find ways to justify their actions to themselves: Even Pol Pot believed that his actions were justified. When people’s choices lead to the deaths of others, they must eventually be judged by more objective criteria than mere sincerity. That is now happening to Tony Blair.

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Yet the mere existence of the Chilcot inquiry has so shaken Blair that he has made an extraordinary admission. He admitted on December 13 that he would have invaded Iraq even if he had known at the time that the “intelligence” about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq was wrong.

Now, I realize that you must be wondering why I am devoting all this space to a discredited ex-leader whose country once played a minor role in the invasion of a middle-sized Arab country. The war is mostly over now, the dead cannot be brought back to life, and we have lots of new things to worry about. The point is that there is a law, and they deliberately broke it. Since 1945, it has been a crime to invade another country: That was the main charge brought against the Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. The new rule was written into the United Nations Charter, principally at the behest of the U.S., and there are virtually no exceptions to it.

You have the right to defend yourself if another country attacks you, but you are not allowed to attack another country on the grounds that it has a wicked ruler, or follows policies you disapprove of, or even because you think it might attack you one of these days. No unilateral military action is permitted, and even joint action against a genuinely threatening country is only permissible with the authorization of the UN Security Council….>>>>>

That ‘wicked ruler’ was installed with our help and then supported for many years as he waged destruction on his own people as well as waged war on a neighbor! Those ‘policies’ held and practiced by that ‘wicked ruler’ were given a wink and a nod and excused as they were brought into the meme of helping our National Security!

More than six years later, what was the aim of invading Iraq?

Although Britain tried desperately to get some kind of authorization from the UN Security Council as a legal basis for armed action, its efforts to do so failed

Before the Iraq War was launched in March 2003 the world was given the impression by the US and Britain that the goal was to eradicate weapons of mass destruction.

Recent comments by former British prime minister Tony Blair suggest, however, that regime change was the essential aim. He would have thought it right to remove former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein even if he had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD), he said, but he would obviously have had to “deploy” different arguments.

Must we not conclude that the WMD arguments were “deployed” mainly as the best way of selling the war? Blair’s comments do not exclude a strong – but mistaken – belief in the existence of WMD even when the invasion was launched. However, given that hundreds of inspections had found no WMD and evidence had fallen apart, such a belief would have reflected a lack of critical thinking….>>>>>

Britain Under Bush: Chilcot Inquiry

In an early leading article on the Chilcot inquiry, the Guardian observed:

“What is already clear from the first week alone is that the decisions, secret or otherwise, that led to war were the product of systemic failure. Intelligence analysts, diplomats, in fact the entire machinery of the British government, proved supine against Washington’s will. Under that pressure, almost everyone buckled.” (Leading Article: Iraq inquiry: Dancing to American drums,’ The Guardian, November 28, 2009)…>>>>>

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Buckling Under Bush

Unfortunately, almost no-one had cared to study anything. Former chief UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, put the issue in perspective last month:

“As of December 1998, both the U.S. and Britain knew there was no ‘smoking gun’ in Iraq that could prove that Saddam’s government was retaining or reconstituting a WMD capability. Nothing transpired between that time and when the decision was made in 2002 to invade Iraq that fundamentally altered that basic picture.

“But having decided on war using WMD as the justification, both the US and Great Britain began the process of fabricating a case after the fact. Lacking new intelligence data on Iraqi WMD, both nations resorted to either recycling old charges that had been disproved by UN inspectors in the past, or fabricating new charges that would not withstand even the most cursory of investigations.”

He added:…>>>>>

Blair accused over WMD evidence

Tony Blair faced fresh accusations that he covered up evidence that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction before invading Iraq.

The father of a serviceman killed in the conflict alleged that the former prime minister used WMD as a “way in” to the war despite being told by former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix that the weapons did not exist.

Richard Green urged members of the Iraq Inquiry to look closely at how arguments about WMD were used in the run-up to the March 2003 invasion.

His son, Royal Navy Lieutenant Philip Green, 30, from Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, was one of seven personnel killed when two Sea King helicopters collided over the northern Arabian Gulf two days after the start of the war.

Speaking at a special session of the inquiry in central London for bereaved families, Mr Green said: “It is the weapons of mass destruction that this centres upon. I believe that Blair used this as a way in. He couldn’t do it with regime change because that would not have been allowed.”…>>>>>

Witnesses for the prosecution: how Blair is suffering trial by Chilcot

As the Iraq inquiry pauses for the Christmas break, Michael Savage reviews the growing evidence against the former PM

Yet, as its first four weeks of public hearings draws to a close, Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the decision to invade Iraq has already exposed a string of failings within the British Government during the 70 hours of testimony given by the 38 witnesses that have appeared so far. One theme has emerged above all others.

“This time, in contrast to previous inquiries, where it becomes essential, they are prepared to leave Blair in the firing line,”

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Though Mr Blair has been left exposed by his decision to back the US-led invasion, the early weeks of the inquiry have laid bare that both he and his Government were given precious little influence in return. Sir Christopher Meyer, the former ambassador in Washington, said Britain had gained almost nothing, save for the “applause factor” it garnered Mr Blair and British diplomats. “It is wonderful stuff being applauded wherever you go,” he said. “I said to London, ‘The key thing now, quite apart from Iraq, is to translate this popularity into real achievements’. We failed.”

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Five questions that Blair needs to answer

* When did he decide that he would back the US in any military action? Was it as early as his meeting with President Bush in April 2002?

* Does he accept that his foreword to the September 2002 dossier, which said that Saddam Hussein’s possession of WMD was “beyond doubt”, was overstated?

* Why did he appear to throw away the influence he had over President Bush as his main ally in the war?

* Why did he not delay the invasion after the warning from Maj Gen Tim Cross, two days before the invasion, that post-war planning wasn’t ready?

* Did he receive any intelligence that contradicted his claims in the 2002 September dossier on Iraq’s WMD? It’s alleged that he did in March 2003…>>>>>

Former PM ‘will give evidence in public’

Speaking at the end of the first session of public hearings, Sir John also said that “most witnesses” had been “open and candid”. Sir John Scarlett, the former head of MI6, has been accused of being misleading over the reliability of intelligence on Iraq.

He attempted to quash speculation that Mr Blair would be allowed to give evidence behind closed doors. “Evidence will only be heard in private in the narrow circumstances we have set out in the protocols on our website,” he said. “But I would like to be absolutely clear about this – evidence sessions with key decision-makers, including the former Prime Minister, will be in public.”

The hearings will resume in the New Year, when Mr Blair, Geoff Hoon, former Defence Secretary, and Clare Short, former International Development Secretary, will appear….>>>>>

Sir John Chilcot’s closing statement, 17 December 2009

The Inquiry has now completed its first four weeks of public hearings, examining 38 witnesses over 23 sessions. Since July we have received more than 40 thousand Government documents (more than 12,000 from No.10 alone); and have held two public seminars, six meetings with families and veterans with a further one tomorrow.

This is no more than the end of the beginning. We expect to hold five more weeks of public hearings in the New Year: a further week to complete the narrative, covering the period 2007 to 2009, and then four weeks in January and February with the most senior decision-makers. This will mark a new phase to this round of public hearings but in subject matter we will be returning to examine more closely many of the issues that have been raised in the past few weeks….>>>>>

Watch the Inquiry Live when in Session

Written Transcripts by Date

Oral: The Video’s by Date

See how the Inquiry is unfolding on the Sky News Timeline

BBC Iraq inquiry – day by day timeline of evidence given

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the Birth of The Prince of Peace, not of War, and Holiday Wishes to others who actually not only believe in but try to live their lives by the ideologies of their religious beliefs and not the fanaticism of extremist religious ideology under the recognized main religions on this planet, Peace and Tolerance to All!!

3 comments

    • jimstaro on December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm
      Author

    Of the late 20th and now 21st century, under the politically correctness of the day and season of ‘Merry Christmas’, the Crucifixion thus the Cross Have Nothing To Do With The Celebration of the ‘Birth’ of Christ!!!

  1. as quietly as Santa Claus slides down the chimney, bringing all his toys of war to the little boys. Yippy, Yippy, they got everthing they wanted. Johnny’s so happy with his new remote controlled Predator Aircraft. He just can’t wait to go outside and fly it.

     

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