Tony Blair admits Iraq war is ‘disaster’


Blair and Iraq war, cartoon by Steve Bell

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

Tony Blair admitted that British intervention in Iraq has been a disaster last night – sending shock waves through Westminster.

In his frankest admission about the war to date, Mr Blair admitted that Western forces have been powerless to stop the descent into violence.

So, after Blair’s (ex)-cronies admitted this, and after his boss George W Bush admitted the Iraq war was like the Vietnam war, at last Bush‘s poodle admits it.

However, this is definitely not a disaster like the eruption of a volcano.

It is man-made.

By … exactly, Bush, Blair and their gang.

It is to be hoped they will be on trial for this.

And, oh yes … remember that Bush and Blair defended the Iraq war by saying that God Himself inspired them to start it?

Will they now try to escape responsibility by blaming God?

4 thoughts on “Tony Blair admits Iraq war is ‘disaster’

  1. You make many good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

    The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

    How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be – Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

    Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

    From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

    This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

    This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

    We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

  2. Hi Ken, thanks for your interesting comment.

    Much of it is true, I’d say. However, I would not think of someone like Mr Gates as an “innocent victim” (not that you actually describe him as such).

    More on Gates: here.

  3. Embittered Insiders Turn Against Bush*

    by Peter Baker
    The Washington Post
    November 19, 2006; A01 [page one]

    The weekend after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, Kenneth Adelman
    and a couple of other promoters of the Iraq war gathered at Vice
    President Cheney’s residence to celebrate. The invasion had been the
    “cakewalk” Adelman predicted. Cheney and his guests raised their
    glasses, toasting President Bush and victory. “It was a euphoric
    moment,” Adelman recalled.

    Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march,
    and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out
    with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are
    no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that “the president is
    ultimately responsible” for what Adelman now calls “the debacle that was
    Iraq.”

    Adelman, a former Reagan administration official and onetime member of
    the Iraq war brain trust, is only the latest voice from inside the Bush
    circle to speak out against the president or his policies. Heading into
    the final chapter of his presidency, fresh from the sting of a midterm
    election defeat, Bush finds himself with fewer and fewer friends. Some
    of the strongest supporters of the war have grown disenchanted, former
    insiders are registering public dissent and Republicans on Capitol Hill
    blame him for losing Congress.

    A certain weary crankiness sets in with any administration after six
    years. By this point in Bill Clinton’s tenure, bitter Democrats were
    competing to denounce his behavior with an intern even as they were
    trying to fight off his impeachment. Ronald Reagan was deep in the
    throes of the Iran-contra scandal. But Bush’s strained relations with
    erstwhile friends and allies take on an extra edge of bitterness amid
    the dashed hopes of the Iraq venture.

    “There are a lot of lives that are lost,” Adelman said in an interview
    last week. “A country’s at stake. A region’s at stake. This is a
    gigantic situation. . . . This didn’t have to be managed this bad. It’s
    just awful.”

    The sense of Bush abandonment accelerated during the final weeks of the
    campaign with the publication of a former aide’s book accusing the White
    House of moral hypocrisy and with Vanity Fair quoting Adelman, Richard
    N. Perle and other neoconservatives assailing White House leadership of
    the war.

    Since the Nov. 7 elections, Republicans have pinned their woes on the
    president.

    “People expect a level of performance they are not getting,” former
    House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in a speech. Many were livid
    that Bush waited until after the elections to oust Rumsfeld.

    “If Rumsfeld had been out, you bet it would have made a difference,”
    Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said on television. “I’d still be chairman of
    the Judiciary Committee.”

    And so, in what some saw as a rebuke, Senate Republicans restored Trent
    Lott (Miss.) to their leadership four years after the White House helped
    orchestrate his ouster, with some saying they could no longer place
    their faith entirely in Bush.

    Some insiders said the White House invited the backlash. “Anytime anyone
    holds themselves up as holy, they’re judged by a different standard,”
    said David Kuo, a former deputy director of the Bush White House’s
    faith-based initiatives who wrote “Tempting Faith,” a book that accused
    the White House of pandering to Christian conservatives. “And at the end
    of the day, this was a White House that held itself up as holy.”

    Richard N. Haass, a former top Bush State Department official and now
    president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said a radically
    different approach to world affairs naturally generates criticism. “The
    emphasis on promotion of democracy, the emphasis on regime change, the
    war of choice in Iraq — all of these are departures from the
    traditional approach,” he said, “so it’s not surprising to me that it
    generates more reaction.”

    The willingness to break with Bush also underscores the fact that the
    president spent little time courting many natural allies in Washington,
    according to some Republicans. GOP leaders in Congress often bristled at
    what they perceived to be a do-what-we-say approach by the White House.
    Some of those who did have more personal relationships with Bush, Cheney
    or Rumsfeld came to feel the sense of disappointment more acutely
    because they believed so strongly in the goals the president laid out
    for his administration.

    The arc of Bush’s second term has shown that the most powerful criticism
    originates from the inside. The pragmatist crowd around Colin L. Powell
    began speaking out nearly two years ago after he was eased out as
    secretary of state. Powell lieutenants such as Haass, Richard L.
    Armitage, Carl W. Ford Jr. and Lawrence B. Wilkerson took public the
    policy debates they lost on the inside. Many who worked in Iraq returned
    deeply upset and wrote books such as “Squandered Victory” (Larry
    Diamond) and “Losing Iraq” (David L. Phillips). Military and CIA
    officials unloaded after leaving government, culminating in the
    “generals’ revolt” last spring when retired flag officers called for
    Rumsfeld’s dismissal.

    On the domestic side, Bush allies in Congress, interest groups and the
    conservative media broke their solidarity with the White House out of
    irritation over a number of issues, including federal spending, illegal
    immigration, the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, the response
    to Hurricane Katrina and the Dubai Ports World deal.

    Most striking lately, though, has been the criticism from
    neoconservatives who provided the intellectual framework for Bush’s
    presidency. Perle, Adelman and others advocated a robust use of U.S.
    power to advance the ideals of democracy and freedom, targeting
    Hussein’s Iraq as a threat that could be turned into an opportunity.

    In an interview last week, Perle said the administration’s big mistake
    was occupying the country rather than creating an interim Iraqi
    government led by a coalition of exile groups to take over after Hussein
    was toppled. “If I had known that the U.S. was going to essentially
    establish an occupation, then I’d say, ‘Let’s not do it,’ ” and instead
    find another way to target Hussein, Perle said. “It was a foolish thing
    to do.”

    Perle, head of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board at the time of the
    2003 invasion, said he still believes the invasion was justified. But he
    resents being called “the architect of the Iraq war,” because “my view
    was different from the administration’s view from the very beginning”
    about how to conduct it. “I am not critical now of anything about which
    I was not critical before,” he said. “I’ve said it more publicly.”

    White House officials tend to brush off each criticism by claiming it
    was over-interpreted or misguided. “I just fundamentally disagree,”
    Cheney said of the comments by Perle, Adelman and other neoconservatives
    before the midterm elections. Others close to the White House said the
    neoconservatives are dealing with their own sense of guilt over how
    events have turned out and are eager to blame Bush to avoid their own
    culpability.

    Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative at the American Enterprise
    Institute, said he is distressed “to see neocons turning on Bush” but
    said he believes they should admit mistakes and openly discuss what went
    wrong. “All of us who supported the war have to share some of the blame
    for that,” he said. “There’s a question to be sorted out: whether the
    war was a sound idea but very badly executed. And if that’s the case, it
    appears to me the person most responsible for the bad execution was
    Rumsfeld, and it means neocons should not get too angry at Bush about
    that.”

    It may also be, he said, that the mistake was the idea itself — that
    Iraq could serve as a democratic beacon for the Middle East. “That part
    of our plan is down the drain,” Muravchik said, “and we have to think
    about what we can do about keeping alive the idea of democracy.”

    Few of the original promoters of the war have grown as disenchanted as
    Adelman. The chief of Reagan’s arms control agency, Adelman has been
    close to Cheney and Rumsfeld for decades and even worked for Rumsfeld at
    one point. As a member of the Defense Policy Board, he wrote in The
    Washington Post before the Iraq war that it would be “a cakewalk.”

    But in interviews with Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and The Post, Adelman
    said he became unhappy about the conduct of the war soon after his
    ebullient night at Cheney’s residence in 2003. The failure to find
    weapons of mass destruction disturbed him. He said he was disgusted by
    the failure to stop the looting that followed Hussein’s fall and by
    Rumsfeld’s casual dismissal of it with the phrase “stuff happens.” The
    breaking point, he said, was Bush’s decision to award Medals of Freedom
    to occupation chief L. Paul Bremer, Gen. Tommy R. Franks and then-CIA
    Director George J. Tenet.

    “The three individuals who got the highest civilian medals the president
    can give were responsible for a lot of the debacle that was Iraq,”
    Adelman said. All told, he said, the Bush national security team has
    proved to be “the most incompetent” of the past half-century. But, he
    added, “Obviously, the president is ultimately responsible.”

    Adelman said he remained silent for so long out of loyalty. “I didn’t
    want to bad-mouth the administration,” he said. In private, though, he
    spoke out, resulting in a furious confrontation with Rumsfeld, who
    summoned him to the Pentagon in September and demanded his resignation
    from the defense board.

    “It seemed like nobody was getting it,” Adelman said. “It seemed like
    everything was locked in. It seemed like everything was stuck.” He
    agrees he bears blame as well. “I think that’s fair. When you advocate a
    policy that turns bad, you do have some responsibility.”

    Most troubling, he said, are his shattered ideals: “The whole philosophy
    of using American strength for good in the world, for a foreign policy
    that is really value-based instead of balanced-power-based, I don’t
    think is disproven by Iraq. But it’s certainly discredited.”

    Read this at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/18/AR2006111801076_pf.html

  4. Pingback: Britain’s Cameron’s Libya war, parody song | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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