Friday, September 16, 2005

Tough Guy

Our great leader was unable to avoid talking about Iraq when he appeared on the Today programme. You can listen to the interview here (until Monday). The converstaion on Iraq starts about 11 minutes in.

There were a couple of highlights.

Blair on legitimacy
For the last two years there has been a UN backed process in Iraq... British and American troops... are there with the full backing of the United Nations.
In a way you've almost got to admire his audacity. The full backing of the United Nations? What a gloriously misleading and disingenuous statement. I'm assuming he's refering to Resolution 1483 (pdf), adopted 22nd May 2003. It is a recognition that the US and UK are occupying forces in Iraq. In essence:
The Security Council
Noting the letter of 8 May 2003 from the Permanent Representatives of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/538) and recognizing the
specific authorities, responsibilities, and obligations under applicable international law of these states as occupying powers under unified command (the “Authority”),
Appeals to Member States and concerned organizations to assist the
people of Iraq in their efforts to reform their institutions and rebuild their country, and to contribute to conditions of stability and security in Iraq in accordance with
this resolution;
Full backing? At no point has the UN given it's full backing to the invasion of Iraq. It has, quite understandably, given it's full backing to the reconstruction of Iraq. Those are two very seperate isues. Blair does an excellent job of blurring that distinction.

Blair on the current problems in Iraq
Now we didn't decide to, emm, to engage them, for example in Iraq in that way. They made the decision.
If you've listened to the interview you'll know that even the great man himself realised how idiotic this statement is. Emm, er, ... oops. Yes, they made the decision to have British troops invade Iraq to get rid of WMD which didn't exist. I didn't know that Al Qaida had such influence over Blair. I wonder if Osama's cave has a hotline to Number 10?

What really frightens me is that the more I hear him speak about terrorism, the more I think he genuinely doesn't understand what he's doing. He really doesn't see why his strategies aren't working so he's refusing to listen to other arguments. He believes the "war" can be won if we just start acting tough. This is a serious misunderstanding of a very complex situation. To pursue such an approach is very likely to make the situation significantly worse. The evidence of the last 2 years would appear to bear that out.

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