Michael Ignatieff says I was wrong to support the Iraq war

This video from London, England is about 15th February 2003 – part of the largest, worldwide, peace demonstration ever, against the Iraq war.

From Lenin’s Tomb blog in Britain:

Michael Ignatieff says he was wrong to support the Iraq war: “The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president. But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion.” This is a logical move for a deputy leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, who would one day like to be leader, and Prime Minister. Perhaps the main reason he did not win a plurality of votes in the leadership convention is that he was one of the few Canadians who actually did support the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He got into such trouble over his support for torture that he was obliged to recant on that during his campaign.

Whatever objections one should have against some views which Ignatieff has not recanted so far, at least he, like Johann Hari and the ex-‘freedom fries’ US Representative Walter Jones (see also here), did recant their original support for the Iraq war.

More than can be said about other chickenhawks, like at Fox News, who, when their Iraq war went wrong for them, stopped broadcasting about it, replacing news about dead Iraqis and US soldiers etc. with ‘far more important’ news about Paris Hilton.

US pro-war vet says we invaded Iraq because we needed it as a base: here.

4 thoughts on “Michael Ignatieff says I was wrong to support the Iraq war

  1. Fifty Years of Solidarity in Defense of The Peoples of The South

    In this year 2007, Afro-Asian people’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO) enters its fiftieth year. The year 1957 witnessed the formal inauguration of AAPSO in a conference attended by high international representative gathering in Cairo. In spite that the majority of the participants in this meeting are no longer with us, but their sustainable efforts and souls are deeply-rooted in the conscience of the movement providing it with strength to go forward in the 21st century.

    The root cause for the creation of our organization was not conceived from an emergency situation which stimulated the Movement at the end of December 1957. Its historical roots extend longer by far. We will not deal here with the Afro- Asian revival at the dawn of this century; the establishment of the Indian National Congress Party in 1885; or the creation of the Muslim league parallel to it in 1906; the Boxers movement of 1900 in China that rose to struggle against foreign occupation, or other movements that are a strong manifestation of Afro-Asian revival. However, we shall deal with the fundamental roots that ushered the formation of AAPSO before and after the Second World War when national awareness reached its peak.

    At the outset, let us commence with the Asian Relations Conference held from 22 March to 3April 1947 in Delhi in which 250 representative from 25 Asian countries participated. India then, had not yet gained its independence officially. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of the interim government. In this conference, Nehru reconfirmed the substantial principles of the Non- Aligned Movement that was yet to be born fifteen years later.

    The world has taken strides from the Asian Relation Conference, to the Afro- Asian Conference held from 18-24 April 1955 in Banding then to The Conference for the founding of the Non- Aligned Movement held in Belgrade from 1-6 September 1961.

    During this period the international arena was witnessing very important changes. In Africa, the momentum of liberation movements became more powerful. The fifth PAN African Conference that was convened in Manchester, Britain in 1945 augured a new stage in the struggle for African independence. Moreover, the July revolution in Egypt 1952 was a source of inspiration for many African countries. The outbreak of the Algerian peoples armed struggle as well as the struggles in Ghana, Kenya, Guinea and others were only a few examples of the growing African rejection of imperialist domination.

    With regard to these developments and in the atmosphere of the Cold War initiated by imperialist countries: Leaders of newly independent Afro-Asian States felt the necessity for the solidarity between the peoples of the two continents.

    Following the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Burma (Myanmar), India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka now) held in Colombo from 28 April to 2 May 1954, measures were taken to convene an Afro-Asian conference. This took place in Bandung, Indonesia from 18-24 April 1955 in which 29 countries participated, 22 were from Asia, and 6 were from Africa. The ten principles endorsed by the Bandung Conference established the basis of a new form of relations among states based on the principle of peaceful coexistence regardless of the differences in social systems, as an alternatives of the Cold War policy.

    Before the convening of the Bandung Conference, a non- governmental conference held in New Delhi in 1955, by the Indian Peace Council and a number of Asian Peace Committees. Representatives from nearly all Asian countries were present .This conference decided the establishment of an Afro-Asian Committee which called for the convening of the first Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference in Cairo. The International Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee that emanated from the Delhi meeting was headed by Ramshwari Nehru, the outstanding Indian personality who came to Cairo at the head of the delegation with the support of Jawaharlal Nehru. They met President Gamal Adel Nassar and proposed to him the idea of creating an organization for the two continents with its headquarters in Cairo as an expression of Afro-Asian identity. President Nasser agreed to this request which was a symbol of Asian will.

    In continuation of Nehru’s ideas and complementation of African Revival, the Conference convened on 26 December 1957 in Cairo gave birth to the Afro- Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization in 1st January 1958.

    The choice of Cairo as the headquarters of AAPSO was but a recognition of the long heroic struggle of the Egyptian people whom contributed effectively to the downfall of colonial empires in the two continents and sparked the national struggle of Arab , African and Asian peoples.

    Since its establishment AAPSO has been inspired by the spirit and objectives of Bandung. The founding Conference in Cairo declared that the principles adopted at Bandung in April 1955 should be the basis for international relations. Furthermore, it also mobilized world public opinion to support the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) since its creation as a continuation of the Bandung’ spirit.

    AAPSO with its National Committees and in its capacity as a peoples’ organization of the third world and countries of the South has adopted the concepts of NAM and seek to disseminate its ideas and decisions. The Solidarity Movement gradually broadened and established its committees in different places of the world .Under AAPSO’ umbrella a number of Afro-Asian movements were constituted in different sectors of the society as Afro-Asian Writers Union ,Afro-Asian Youth Conference, Afro-Asian Women Conference ,Afro-Asian Lawyers conference, economic conferences and businessmen conferences…..etc.

    From the first Cairo Solidarity Conference in1957 till now, AAPSO convened more than 130 conferences, seminars, meetings and roundtables in different fields like Meeting in Solidarity with Peoples of Africa; Meetings of Arab Solidarity Committees; Meetings in support of Arab Peoples; Meetings devoted to Asia and the Pacific; Economic Problems; Problems of Afro-Asian Women; Conferences on the historical Bandung Meeting; development, human rights, South-South Cooperation and Peace and Disarmament …etc.

    AAPSO has entertains an observer status in the NAM. AAPSO shared and backed NAM in its positive role that it played in supporting liberation movements; realizing freedom and independence of the subjected peoples, achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace; setting up a fair system for international economic relation and disarmament.

    At the dawn of third millennium, the founding principles of AAPSO is valid and still valid for the peoples suffering from the imperialist policy. AAPSO aware of the realities and challenges of present day situation, had to adopt its work and activities to the new realities of our present World. One of the most important tasks is completing liberation and independence process; peaceful solution for world conflicts; combating terrorism; disarmament; achieving sustainable development; combating poverty; benefiting from scientific revolution especially the one in information and mass communications.

    Today and in spite of the difficulties that AAPSO faced, it succeeded in disseminating the positive thinking among peoples of the two continents despite the different historical situation from fifty years ago, but the issues that face the two continents are in essence the same. If the peoples of the two continents suffered from the neo –colonialism in the past, today the economic hegemony doesn’t constitute only the dangerous impact on the peoples but the most dangerous since the period of colonialism due to new and complicated operation technology. With the technological and scientific revolution, the powerful economies become capable to impose its condition on the weaker side. The only way to overcome this is to build a strong and a big solidarity movement … so we hope that our committees and friends to benefit from this situation and to unite and join together to build a strong organization for the solidarity of Afro-Asian peoples to face these new challenges.

    AAPSO under the current circumstances has to undertake additional task beside its own ordinary tasks as:

    1) Setting up an international anti-globalization front in coordination and cooperation with anti-globalization movements, social forums, and NGOs to achieve alternative globalization.

    2) Seeking to form economic blocs in the developing countries as an attempt to achieve fair and comprehensive economic development.

    3) Rejecting and resisting all forms of imperialists’ Military occupation of any country under any pretext.

    4) To put an end through international legality to wars, armed conflicts, aggression, occupation, and foreign intervention.

    5) Establishing of an international economic system based on justice and equal opportunities.

    6) Reforming our national committees to be truly popular and reflective of the peoples’ of aspiration for a better future.

    7) Restructuring NAM to be a popular movement to confront the policy of hegemony, and arrogance and world economic injustice.

    The fifth anniversary of AAPSO will be on 26 December, 2007, AAPSO secretariat intended to hold an international celebration and has taken steps towards this. AAPSO secretariat issued statements not only to recall the role of AAPSO but also to discuss the future priorities. The secretariat also held a meeting in Philippine about this occasion and discussed this matter with the Chinese Committee in June 2007.

    The Participants in the meeting of Arab Solidarity committees – held during the period of 26-27 June 2007 in Cairo – discussed the celebration, emphasizing on the importance of reviving the past in order to forge the way for the future.

    AAPSO calls upon its solidarity committees to celebrate this event and to contribute to the strengthening of the World Solidarity Movement


    Dr. Mourad Ghaleb, President of AAPSO

    issued the following Statement

    on behalf of the Permanent Secretariat



    As part of its policy of “global supremacy”, the US has intended now to speed up its long-declared idea of ruling the world affairs after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Within the mainstream of fast-changing world, strategies are set to adapt to the new developments in terms of policy to be carried out. Not incidentally, Africa happened to be one of the targets of the US diplomacy in this context.
    The creation of the “African Military Command for Africa” (AFRICOM), is part of the strategy of world domination by US dictated by self-economic interest under military strategic umbrella aimed at securing power position and to create a vast full-spectrum dominance. Running out of time to put it in function by September 2008, the Bush administration is now feverishly in search of its location in any part of Africa.
    In connection with the already existing US European Command based in Stuttgart, Germany, the “AFRICOM” as expected by its promoters, will be the result of restructuring the existing three regional commands, ie.1) the EUCOM in Europe in charge of covering Russia, the Caucasus and Turkey, plus northern Africa, the western and central-south of Africa; 2) the CENTCOM, as responsible for central Asia and the Middle-East and includes Egypt; Sudan” and the Horn of Africa; 3) the PAC OM which covers the African islands in Indian Ocean, as well as the whole of Asia and the Pacific.
    Within this context, President George W. Bush has nominated the deputy commander of the US European Command, General William Ward who will be tasked to oversee US military activities throughout Africa.
    What is behind all these manoeuvers? The US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had stated that the commando will’ supervise security, cooperation, capacity to develop partners, support of non-military missions and, if ordered, military operations on the African continent…The Democrat Russell Feingold has dared to affirm that a commando in Africa is essential for national [US] security (!). America’s former assistant Secretary of State for Africa also had declared that “Africa becomes of national strategic interest for us”. As unacceptable aberration as it is, such concepts disregard the reality on all points of view, the USA being distant of thousands kilometers away from African continent. Moreover, the US is cooperating with Israel which casts its shadow over the Horn of Africa and has military bases on the Eritrea’s islands of Dahlak and Fatma in the Red Sea.

    With the growing influence and increasing presence of China in Africa, the US has felt itself outpaced in the race to handle African affairs. The truth is that under the pretext of fighting terrorism (a product of the US global policy), the US is flexing muscles by reinforcing its presence in the continent. In addition to its military presence in Djibouti (in East Africa) with more than 1500 troops and together with other Western powers having settled in too (Germany, Britain, Canada…), the US is planning to mount a military base in Sao Tome and Principe located in the Gulf of Guinea (in West Africa), itself in the process of a US made coastal security system called the “Gulf of Guinea Guard”. What also has triggered the US strong obsession for African oil is that the region of West Africa, with its large on-shore and off-shore areas, is highly rich in oil and remains one of the world’s fastest growing source of oil.
    Today, oil producer countries and those where oil reserves have been recently discovered, comprise Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Sudan, Chad, Algeria, Egypt, Lybia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea, Congo (Brazzaville), Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe, Madagascar, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia and Tanzania, Mali is expected to produce oil in the next five years. Emboldened by their thirst for African oil, the US is expecting to push up its share from 15% to 25% of its overall import from Africa in 2015. That explains the broad-spectrum and soaring interest of the US in Africa. In its search of location for its African Military Command system, the US has already flirted some African countries. One wonders what would be the price for having accepted to be the “forward-operating-location” of the project. The Algerian government has taken a bold decision in announcing its refusal to allow the US Africa Command to be located within its territory. Egypt, Morocco and Libya have seen no role to play in this project.
    What is more to explain the US-obession for African oil is that the crude imported from Africa to the US has already outpaced that of the Middle-East (2.23 million barrels/day against 2.21 million barrels/day).
    For the US to interfere in African affairs is an insult to Africans, the US thus mocking, minimizing and disregarding the African Union which has already set up the Peace and Security Council to deal with the many African problems, including its security.
    In this context, it is worth remembering that in 1986, the XXIIth session of the Assembly of Heads of States and government members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), had discussed the issue related to security problem in Africa. The project of a Pan-African armed forces was put on the table and it was suggested the creation of a PAN-AFRICAN SUPREME MILITARY COMMAND, as well as an African collective security forces formulated upon the creation of the OAU. The proposal did not reach the necessary consensus for concretisation at that time.
    Needless to say that oil exploration and oil consumption are increasing, thus leading to the decrease of oil reserves worldwide, and while development is lagging behind. So, many countries might be sliding into abyss. This is a worrying perspective with regard Africa, although it consumes only 3% of global oil production and shares 10% and 8% of world reserves of oil and natural gas respectively, a situation which will cause it a nightmare to seek for alternative. Current estimates indicate that the world has just 41 years of known oil reserves and 65 years of natural gas supplies, this based on the amount of global demand for oil roughly 85 million barrils/day, which is expected to increase further.
    What should be done to face this challenge of threat to the African security? AAPSO is of the view that growing foreign military presence or networking imperial grand strategy across the African continent would create a dangerous precedent with unpredictable consequences and formidable repercussions. AAPSO believes, that would lead to more destabilisation and violence, create ground for mounting terrorist acts. African should hold firm to safeguard its resources, adequately distribute among populations the revenue from oil as part of its fight against poverty. Africa, by virtue of the African Union’s capacity and responsibility is capable of assuring its own security, if possible by reconsidering the idea of a Pan-African Military Command by restructuring and adapting to be more effective the Council for Peace and Security.


    AAPSO on Korean hostages in Afghanistan

    Several days have passed since the 23 Korean civilian volunteers who went to Afghanistan were kidnapped and kept has hostages in different places. Those who captured them has already killed two of them and threaten to kill others if their demands for release of their prisoners by the Kabal government is not met.

    So for the captors are adament. This is a heinous crime. The Koreans are not combatants and they have nothing to do with the on going war.

    AAPSO appeals to all the influential organisations, governments, and individuals to use their good office to get these hostages who are students and are mostly women to be released on humanitarian considerations.

    AAPSO hopes that this madness of taking hostages may end soon.


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