Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Chilcot and Brexit

by Frank Schnittger Fri Jul 8th, 2016 at 02:03:52 PM EST

Tony Blair and the Chilcot report

Sir, - The Chilcot report has found that the public were misled, expert warnings were ignored, and that there was inadequate planning.

Too bad its publication was delayed until after the Brexit debacle, another historic mistake that could have been avoided had warnings been heeded. - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER,

Discuss...


Display:
I couldn't bring myself to read the Chilcot report, so this is my lame attempt to set up an open thread on the topic.  Has anyone read even the 150 page executive summary?  Does it tell us anything we didn't know already?  Would things have been done differently had a Tory PM been in power?  (Ok so in practice Tony was a Tory PM...) How does it's publication now impact on the Corbyn coup attempt? Will in increase his stature?  Or does anybody really care, and will the British body politic develop a collective amnesia on the topic in a couple of weeks time?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 8th, 2016 at 02:44:48 PM EST
I couldn't bring myself to read the Chilcot report
I have had the same problem with similar reports in the USA, though the Chilcot report seems more forthcoming than the report of the 911 Commission, etc. That is what good reporters should do. Then check the outliers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 8th, 2016 at 02:59:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've really only read bits and pieces. I think it is clear that it is demolishing the lies that built the casus belli, and I hope something comes from that down the line.

I'm thinking about re-reading Blix book and look up the relevant parts in Chilcot. What Blix thought versus how the UK acted. Blix is not naïve, but he has a hopefulness that leads him to hope for the best and aim for that.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 at 09:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have done some virtual thumbing- very little given that there are twelve volumes. My curiosity was more directed to the WMD hoaxes. I simply note that as far as the Niger farrago is concerned, the present inquiry relies on the formal tripe concocted to give some wiggle room to the Blair government and faithfully adhered to in the Butler Report.There was plenty of contrary evidence before the invasion but it was outright ignored or dismissed. In the final analysis, it was to be war at all costs, something like the collective folly that led to WWI.
 
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 at 01:19:48 AM EST
Given the evidence presented in the Chilcot report, is there sufficient prima facie evidence to initiate a war crimes prosecution?  Is it just Blair who should be in the Dock (apart from Bush/Cheney et al), or can the UK be held to account for the war, and in what forum? The UN?

In other words, what if anything are the consequences for the UK - beyond the obvious costs in blood and treasury?  The EU is now bearing some of the brunt of the disintegration of states in the middle east consequent on the Iraq war - in the shape of the refugee crisis.  Britain is conveniently trying to escape all consequences for same and expects France to hold the refugees at the Calais border.

So if UK wasn't leaving in any case, is this grounds for expelling or suspending the UK from EU membership - even if no provision for such actions exist in the Treaties?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 at 09:51:33 AM EST
So if UK wasn't leaving in any case, is this grounds for expelling or suspending the UK from EU membership - even if no provision for such actions exist in the Treaties?

I don't think so. Indeed, the Copenhagen criteria include a reference to the  European_Convention on Human Rights, which could apply:

In Loizidou v Turkey,[11] the European Court of Human Rights ruled that jurisdiction of member states to the convention extended to areas under that state's effective control as a result of military action.

But I doubt the EU would try to expel the UK on this basis...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 at 10:13:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that the real politik determines that no action will probably be taken against the UK (OR Bliar) in any forum - partly because of the complicity of other key elites.  But what does it say about the state of out international institutions - including the UN, ICJ and the EU when a blatantly illegal war carried out on false pretenses results in horrific consequences for many countries other than the main protagonists?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 at 10:24:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that the evidence in here mainly covers the arguable claim that this wasn't a justifiable war, rather it was a War of aggression. and unfortunately when the Rome statute was enacted that established the ICC it gave it jurisdiction over War crimes and Genocide, but not unfortunately over wars of aggression. This was changed in 2010 and the appropriate article that gives the court the requisite powers comes into force on 1st January 2017. Any activity before that point is unfortunately not triable in the international court, but only by national courts.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jul 11th, 2016 at 07:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Overall I'm happy that it doesn't seem to be a whitewash. Also the delays worked out all right. At no point could it have done more good than in face of the chicken coup.

by generic on Sun Jul 10th, 2016 at 11:02:36 AM EST
It simply officially stated what most of the more cynical commentators have been saying since the enitire thing happened.

Blair said he was with Bush "whatever". He was determined not to allow daylight between himself and the US President cos he was terrified that, if he was anything less than enthusaistic, it would give the tories and the Daily Mail reasons to attack him as being weak. TBH that was a realistic analysis of the situation.

That was probably an acceptable position with regard to Afghanistan. The US had a good reason for war and, even if the legality for much of what was done was quite dubious, few were going to criticise.

But Iraq was always a dodgy proposition. I think his reasoning was that following the Americans on their adventures would bolster his "middle ground" appeal while being relatively cost free with regard to a left which had nowhere else to go.

But if he thought that the UK would get anything out of the aftermath in terms of re-construction contrcts, he wa delusional. While he was friends with Bush, he had no clout with Rumsfeldt, Cheney etc who were the people deciding policy. Which meant that Blair's idea that he could influence the Americans was just baloney, he and the UK were always ust the American's "useful idiots".

However, once he made the commitment, the "facts" were chosen to fit the policy, The much vaunted "dodgy dossier" that Alaister Campbell still claims was nothing but the unvarnished truth is now revealed as a partial compendium of all the intelligence that could be used to boost their project with none of the caveats which revealed the entire adventure was a doomed enterpise based on lies.

Will there be any consequences for Blair? No, of course not, the elites don't take responsibility.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 10th, 2016 at 03:29:18 PM EST
John Prescott: UK broke international law by invading Iraq in 2003 | Politics | The Guardian

Britain broke international law when it invaded Iraq in 2003, its deputy prime minister at the time, John Prescott, said on Sunday in the wake of the Chilcot report's criticism of the decision.

A seven-year inquiry concluded on Wednesday that former British prime minister Tony Blair's justification, planning and handling of the Iraq war involved a catalogue of failures, but did not rule whether the war was legal.

Eight months before the 2003 invasion, Blair told US president George W Bush: "I will be with you, whatever."

Blair eventually sent 45,000 British troops into battle when peace options had not been exhausted, the long-awaited report said.

Prescott, writing in the Sunday Mirror newspaper, said he had now changed his view on the legality of the war and criticised Blair for stopping his ministers from fully discussing in advance whether it would be legal.

"In 2004, the UN secretary general Kofi Annan said that as regime change was the prime aim of the Iraq war, it was illegal. With great sadness and anger, I now believe him to be right," Prescott wrote.

by Bernard on Sun Jul 10th, 2016 at 03:32:30 PM EST
glad he's noticed, there were a lot of people who Prescot was sneering at back in 2003 who thought it was  bleedin' obvious that it was a crime.

Day late and a dollar short mate. But, still you kept your job and got a lordship out of it, so why should you worry?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 10th, 2016 at 06:02:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]