Miliband admits Blair’s Iraq war was wrong

This video from London, England, says about itself:

A short film capturing the mood and the people of the London march against the war in Iraq back in 2003. Over 1 million people were there, joined as one.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ed Miliband: Blair ‘wrong’ on Iraq war

By Alan Jones, PA

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Labour leader Ed Miliband today conceded the conflict in Iraq had divided the country and said Tony Blair‘s government was “wrong” to go to war.

In a frank admission to the party’s annual conference in Manchester, Mr Miliband said the Labour government had “undermined” the United Nations.

Iraq was an issue that divided our party and our country. Many sincerely believed that the world faced a real threat.

“I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest of decisions

Unfortunately, this is a sort of apology for Tony Blair … who, of course, knew very well there was no “real threat” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” causing havoc in Britain. And then, Blair lied to his own cabinet about the war.

and I honour our troops who fought and died there. But I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war and we need to be honest about that.

“Wrong because that war was not a last resort, because we did not build sufficient alliances and because we undermined the United Nations.

“America has drawn a line under Iraq and so must we,” said Mr Miliband, drawing applause from delegates.

I wish it were true that the United States government had really “drawn a line under Iraq” in the sense that all troops had left Iraq. However, they are still there; killing Iraqi civilians; and sometimes killing each other. Really “drawing a line under Iraq” also presupposes that the war criminals who made the Iraq bloodbath, like Tony Blair, George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld will have to defend themselves in a court of law.

In spite of all its weak points, this speech by Miliband seems to indicate that this new Labour leader is not a completely “new Labour” leader.

Compare also the admission by British Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that Blair‘s Iraq war was illegal.

Though Miliband’s statement marks a definite improvement, one cannot help but ask oneself somewhat cynically whether Miliband would have had the courage to say this on the bloody Iraq war, if Labour would still be in government, instead of being in opposition, as it is now.

The account of Miliband’s speech continues with definitely worse sentences on Afghanistan:

He added that British troops were in Afghanistan to stabilise the country and enable a political settlement to be reached.

“I will work in a bipartisan way with the Government to both support our mission and ensure Afghanistan is not a war without end.”

Mr Blair has been dogged by his decision to take the UK to war in Iraq but has never apologised or said he made a mistake.

Mr Miliband said “old thinking” on foreign policy should be challenged, adding: “We are the generation that came of age at the end of the Cold War.

“We are the generation that recognises that we belong to a global community – we can’t insulate ourselves from the world’s problems.”

The Labour leader was warmly applauded when he said: “Our alliance with America is incredibly important to us but we must always remember that our values must shape the alliances that we form and any military action that we take.”

Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, said Mr Miliband had addressed the “illegal” war in Iraq, adding: “At long last, we have an acknowledgement that the Iraq war was a stain on the character of our party.”

Extensive comments on Miliband’s speech here.

HE pledged to ditch Blairism when elected as the new Labour Party leader, but Ed Miliband made it clear on Monday that he intends to continue the New Labour partnership with business for years ahead: here.

David Miliband should have said Iraq was wrong: here.

FOLLOWING their previous threat of proceedings against the government, 34 Iraqi victims of hooding today issued judicial review proceedings against the government to challenge the ‘Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel’ announced by David Cameron in Parliament on 6 July 2010: here.

Deportation of Iraqi, other refugees: here.

Sen. Graham: U.S. Forces In Iraq Should Be Labeled ‘Combat Troops’: here.

Iraq: The Age of Darkness: here.

In Syria, Iraqi Refugee Daughters Risk Being Sold: here.

Dick Cheney Defends Torture Because of Terrorist Nuke Threat: here.

44 thoughts on “Miliband admits Blair’s Iraq war was wrong

  1. Soldier death Iraqis go free

    Iraq: Two Iraqi men accused of taking part in the 2003 killing of six British soldiers in the south were cleared by a Baghdad court on Sunday because there were no eyewitnesses to link the men to the mob attack.

    Charges were dropped against Moussa Ismael Haider, 39, and Hamza Hutaer Mohammed, 33, after no first-hand testimony on the deaths was presented in Baghdad’s Central Criminal Court.


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