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Doomed to failure in the Middle East
April 27, 2004 3:58 AM   Subscribe

Doomed to failure in the Middle East. 52 former senior British diplomats, probably the most experienced people on Middle East issues in Britain, sent a letter to Tony Blair, telling him he is very close to fucking up big time. Tony is trying to pass this as just «right of opinion». What next? Are we going to see foreign office people demonstrating outside Downing street?
posted by acrobat (64 comments total)

 
It's a good letter. Shame it will be ignored.
posted by twine42 at 4:15 AM on April 27, 2004


Blair is so touchy about criticism. He adopts this odd tone which manages to combine being holier-than-thou and yet slightly hurt at the same time as soon as anyone dares put forward a contrary opinion. It's best seen during Question Time, and makes me shudder like fingernails down the blackboard.
posted by humuhumu at 4:32 AM on April 27, 2004


It's not like British diplomats are world-famous for consummate skillz. Where's the Empire, with all the happy brown people cheering the Queen?
posted by jfuller at 4:36 AM on April 27, 2004


Piece of shite. Hope it's ignored.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:39 AM on April 27, 2004


Poodles must ignore any advice that doesn't come from his master.
posted by nofundy at 4:41 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony Blair is a brillian statesman, in a nation inflected by Continental short-sidedness and cowardess.

Really, hope it's not necessary for Iraq-originating, Syria-facilitated, Al Qaeda-released nerve gas to kill thousands in London for the wake-up.

Note to Europe: check out what happened at Munich in 1938.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:44 AM on April 27, 2004


Good on them, though I suspect that their ferrero roche budget is going to be slashed in revenge.
posted by Pericles at 4:45 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony Blair is a brilliant statesman, in a nation inflected by Continental short-sidedness and cowardess.

I Really hope it's not necessary for Iraq-originating, Syria-facilitated, Al Qaeda-released nerve gas to kill thousands in London for the wake-up. Or for a bomb in the
Chunnel.

Note to Europe: check out what happened at Munich in 1938. In other words, WAKE UP!
posted by ParisParamus at 4:46 AM on April 27, 2004


Why a poodle? George Bush doesn't like poodles? Why not a Springer Spaniel? Geez, get your breeds right.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:47 AM on April 27, 2004


The phrase "brown people" has never been used on this website, within a post that is not a straw man:

The people who oppose my view call them brown people because they're racist and ignorant. The people who agree with me don't because we're really informed and compassionate.

(No)
posted by ed\26h at 4:56 AM on April 27, 2004


Note to Europe: check out what happened at Munich in 1938. In other words, WAKE UP!

What happened in Munich in 1938?
  • Olaf Petersen's car broke down.
  • Samual Shmengy started an accordian business.
  • Anna Reingold decided to break up with her boyfriend.
  • ...

Was there something else?

In other words, WAKE UP! Just thought I'd add that now, instead of duping my message.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:12 AM on April 27, 2004


It's reassuring that the President's popularity rating has actually risen over the last month.

Europeans (and Brits: not the same thing, thank G-d): you owe the United States for your very freedom, and ability to be so decadent, so indifferent; I guess, after years and years of immigration (plus the murder of so many Jews and others who actually stood up objected to the ambient stupidity), there's scant few left with a spine.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:15 AM on April 27, 2004


I previously posted this as an addendum to karls' post by Peter Galbraith on how to extricate ourselves from Iraq. This letter is being reported as an attack on the Prime Minister, which i think is not totally fair. The numerous signitaries of this letter have all worked for the foreign office and feel that this is the only way in which they can voice their concerns and reservations about how we are currently interacting with the middle east.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:16 AM on April 27, 2004


Actually, in 1938, Neville Chamberlain won the war on fascism:
http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~jobrien/reference/ob66.html
posted by ParisParamus at 5:18 AM on April 27, 2004


PP this letter was drafted by former british civil servants, some of whom know a thing or two about foreign policy in general and the tinder box that is the middle east.
posted by johnnyboy at 5:19 AM on April 27, 2004


paParis paParamus
posted by acrobat at 5:33 AM on April 27, 2004


"Peace in our time."

"Mission Accomplished."

You're right! Now I see the similarities!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:37 AM on April 27, 2004


PP, it's axiomatic that 'He who ignores history is doomed to repeat it.' But he who mistakes today for yesterday is equally doomed. Invoking the specter of inaction in the face of Nazism is a favorite rhetorical device of your ilk. However, not all evils are the same, and to deal with them as though they are is emblematic of the bankrupt thinking that has led us into this mess. In 1938, we were not fighting a battle for the hearts and minds of Germans: that battle was lost, and failing to stand up to Hitler in that context was self-evidently foolhardy. But today - or, at least, prior to Bush's antics of the last two years - we have the opportunity to act with wisdom and compassion, to drain support from the enemy and to bolster those who would side with us. Unfortunately, we've done just the opposite, and radical Islam gains strength with each passing day.
posted by stonerose at 5:38 AM on April 27, 2004


I question whether anyone who doesn't think there were WMDs in Iraq on the eve of the War, or finds something fundamentally wrong with Mr. Blair's stance on liberating Iraq, knows anything worth knowing about the Middle East.

Oh yes, I forgot: it's Israel's fault that the Palestinian Arabs couldn't come up with a semi-credible authority to negotiate with; and it was Britain's fault that Hitler was a fascist lunatic.

I see a parallel: the inability of people to see how, after a decade, of chances and of ignored UN resolutions, it was time to invade Iraq; and the inability of people to see how, after decadeS of terrorism and terrorist leadership, it was time for Israel, with the US' blessing, to unilaterally leave Gaza (and, it may be, most of the West Bank).
posted by ParisParamus at 5:44 AM on April 27, 2004


I don't believe that he who ignores...repeat it; in fact, too much attention is paid to history, and two little to common sense.

Yeah, sure, we've alienated the Arabs. Bullshit. Those in power, at least, hated us before 9/11/01, and before the invasion of Iraq (which, I still think is a kind of Terrorist/Roach Motel, drawing Al Qaeda and ilk in, where we can kill them more efficiently, with less Western casualties, than in New York or London). We are hated because our very success and freedom shows what an abject failure Arab and Muslim societies are.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:50 AM on April 27, 2004


I can't wait to hear Blair's response to this.

Also: Our dismay at this backward step is heightened by the fact that you yourself seem to have endorsed it, abandoning the principles which for nearly four decades have guided international efforts to restore peace in the Holy Land and which have been the basis for such successes as those efforts have produced.

That will keep me laughing for minutes and minutes.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:51 AM on April 27, 2004


I just hope the US adopts military tactics more like those used by the IDF. You will notice that terrorist attacks have declined significantly since a trio of Hamas leaders has been sent to....Hell. That punk in Najaf needs to be treated similarly. And a firm message needs to be sent to Damascus and Tehran. Let's stop these half-measures.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:55 AM on April 27, 2004


And to think: they have so much of our money, trillions and trillions of dollars of it, and still they can't get out of poverty.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2004


Piece of shite. Hope it's ignored.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:39 AM PST on April 27


How constructive of you to post about yourself in this thread Ms. ParisParamus.

If you wish to comment about the story in a constructive manner, please do.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:20 AM on April 27, 2004


Sorry, rough, but when half the Western World is on the verge of pulling another Munich, some expletives may be called for.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:24 AM on April 27, 2004


PP this letter was drafted by former british civil servants, some of whom know a thing or two about foreign policy in general and the tinder box that is the middle east.

List of major British successes in the Middle East coming in 3... 2... 1...
posted by Krrrlson at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2004


Guys, don't worry about peepee. His battery will soon run down.
posted by acrobat at 6:30 AM on April 27, 2004


Wow, this really touched a nerve in FreedomParamus, which is always amusing.

Tony Blair is a clever politician that made a fatal mistake the day he decided to go "all-in" with George Bush. With typical, usually admirable, British stick-to-it-ness, he has refused to admit the error as the house collapses around him because he is clever enough to know that admitting this mistake at this late stage will cost him his political career, full stop.

The British diplomats certainly have a greater understanding of the history of Iraq, what with the astonishingly similar mistakes that the British made there in the last century, and I'm pretty sure that these diplomats are worried about more than mere partisan politics.

Poor Tony, poor FreedomParamus, to refuse History is to totally lose one's way...
posted by sic at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2004


Niall Ferguson

There was amazement last year when I pointed out in the journal Foreign Affairs that in 1917 a British general had occupied Baghdad and proclaimed: "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." By the same token, scarcely any American outside university history departments is aware that within just a few months of the formal British takeover of Iraq, there was a full-scale anti-British revolt.

What happened in Iraq last week so closely resembles the events of 1920 that only a historical ignoramus could be surprised. It began in May, just after the announcement that Iraq would henceforth be a League of Nations "mandate" under British trusteeship. (Nota bene, if you think a handover to the UN would solve everything.) Anti-British demonstrations began in Baghdad mosques, spread to the Shi'ite holy centre of Karbala, swept on through Rumaytha and Samawa - where British forces were besieged - and reached as far as Kirkuk.

Contrary to British expectations, Sunnis, Shi'ites and even Kurds acted together. Stories abounded of mutilated British bodies. By August the situation was so desperate that the British commander appealed to London for poison gas bombs or shells (though these turned out not to be available). By the time order had been restored in December - with a combination of aerial bombardment and punitive village-burning expeditions - British forces had sustained over 2,000 casualties and the financial cost of the operation was being denounced in Parliament. In the aftermath of the revolt, the British were forced to accelerate the transfer of power to a nominally independent Iraqi government, albeit one modelled on their own form of constitutional monarchy.

posted by sic at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2004


[closes notepad]
posted by chill at 6:43 AM on April 27, 2004


I'm tempted to just cut and paste my entire 3 page comment form the other Iraq thread...... but I think I'll just add the bit on ideology :

"There is a quality to the statements - of those on this discussion thread who claim that things in Iraq are going wonderfully and basically according to plan - which borders on the surreal.

And for two reasons - 1) it is quite irrelevant to facts on the ground in Iraq and, 2) blaming the western media for somehow botching the Iraq venture is itself symptomatic of why Iraq is fast becoming a debacle for the Bush Blair Administration :

It is not what the Americans British - and especially the American British public - say, think, or perceive about Iraq which is most significant. What is critical is what Iraqis think, feel, and perceive about the occupation.....

Iraq is turning against the occupation, and the time in which the coalition can prevent an all out catastrophe is growing short.

It's time to cut out the ideological B.S

There is a difference between ideology and propaganda, and knowledge. Knowledge is dependant on context and ever shifting - through reference to local facts and conditions. Knowledge stems from observation and is informed and updated - lest it grow stale and inaccurate - by feedback.

But Ideology is a lens through which we view the world, one which can sometimes clarify but - more often - tends to distort and obscure. Ideologies resist feedback, and so they become stale, inappropriate, and sometimes wildly out of touch with reality. And propaganda?....Propaganda simply obscures, misleads, and dulls the mind."

Napoleon invaded Iraq amidst all the same rhetoric now excreted by the Coalition spokespeople - "we are here to help you", and the British, a little later, invaded under cover of Kipling's Burden - civilizational uplift. Now, it is the Americans (and the British) who issue those words - "we come only to help".

Many in the Bush Blair Administration may be high as a kite on their ideologies but, meanwhile, facts on the ground in Iraq are moving fast.

There may yet be time to salvage this, but without swift action events in Iraq will probably cascade into a disaster which will have ramifications for the US, Britain, Europe, the Mideast, and the world - for decades.
posted by troutfishing at 6:44 AM on April 27, 2004


I hope you UK'ers don't vote for Tony Blair in the next Prime Minister election. ABTB.

Seriously, if he actually lost the support of his party, couldn't they just replace him tomorrow?
posted by smackfu at 6:46 AM on April 27, 2004


I think it's very difficult for the party to give up on Blair since he did such a masterful job of Clintonizing the Labour Party in the 90s and completely marginalizing the post-thacherite opposition. But if things keep heading in this direction, I can't believe that the Labour left, the real labour left I mean, finally jump ship, Blair will be as dead as Aznar.

Well, maybe he and Aznar can do a Sunday Fox talk show together (he he).
posted by sic at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2004


I meant to say that I can't believe the real labour left won't jump Blair's sinking ship....
posted by sic at 6:52 AM on April 27, 2004


List of major British successes in the Middle East coming in 3... 2... 1...

- the Discovery of oil in Persia, we all know what a blasted nuisance that turned out to be.
posted by johnnyboy at 6:56 AM on April 27, 2004


I wonder what kind of diplomatic solution diplomats consider "war" to be. While it may be true that prolonged negotiations could have ended the Israeli Palestinian conflict, WW2 and the Cold War weren't great examples of negotiation resolving things in the spirit of freedom and democracy, were they?
posted by ewkpates at 7:35 AM on April 27, 2004


Really, hope it's not necessary for Iraq-originating, Syria-facilitated, Al Qaeda-released nerve gas to kill thousands in London for the wake-up.

Taking glee in war-porn fantasies of the deaths of thousands, are we?
posted by y2karl at 7:50 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony is trying to pass this as just «right of opinion».

Which is true. If every kooky idea published on the
pathetic, notoriously out of touch with reality Guardian were to be taken for reasonable facts, the world would have ended about 15 years ago. Since these people probably do not moonlight as clairvoyants, it's also safe to assume that there's more than a little wishful thinking behind their supposedly pithy insights, which seemed to me like a journalistic, superficial assessment full of generalizations and destined solely to criticize Ariel Sharon.

ps: while a little bit on the left side, Tony Blair will be remembered as one of the UK's great Prime Ministers.
posted by 111 at 7:52 AM on April 27, 2004


111, RTFA. Are you claiming that 52 former senior British diplomats with experience on the area are "notoriously out of touch with reality"? Based on what?

Tony Blair will be remembered as one of the UK's great Prime Ministers.

Talking about track records in clairvoyance. Surely Tony Boy will be considered a great PM ... right after they find them WMDs.

posted by magullo at 8:08 AM on April 27, 2004


ps: while a little bit on the left side, Tony Blair will be remembered as one of the UK's great Prime Ministers.

- Do me the proverbial favour, blair is not fit to lace the shoes of the likes of Gladstone, Disraeli, Churchill and Lloyd-George for that matter.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:13 AM on April 27, 2004


Hell you may as well add Asquith to that list as you can claim that he oversaw the creation of an embryonic welfare state. Anyhoo Blair has been described as a river that, whilst wide, is not particularly deep; an excellent salesman.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:16 AM on April 27, 2004


Are you claiming that 52 former senior British diplomats with experience on the area are "notoriously out of touch with reality"? Based on what?

Much bandwidth would be saved if only people thought before writing. This is an appeal to authority. I don't care if they're senior diplomats, oil magnates or circus magicians; if the article is poor, vague and unoriginal (and it is), end of story.

Tony Blair will be remembered as one of the UK's great Prime Ministers.

Talking about track records in clairvoyance. Surely Tony Boy will be considered a great PM ... right after they find them WMDs.

Keep in mind I'm voicing 1)an individual opinion 2)as a private citizen 3)on a relatively private context. This is not an open letter to the Guardian. For the record, the UK has grown last year 2.3% (Euro zone: 0.4%).Despite the apocalyptic visions of the left, the Iraqi and palestinian questions have advanced much more during the Bush, Balir and Sharon era than ever before. Not to mention Lybia etc.
posted by 111 at 8:19 AM on April 27, 2004


Do me the proverbial favour, blair is not fit to lace the shoes of the likes of Gladstone, Disraeli, Churchill and Lloyd-George for that matter.

Some shoes. Some lace.
posted by ed\26h at 8:21 AM on April 27, 2004


Some shoes. Some lace.

Indeed, I like that particular quote as well. I wonder what the neck of a chicken-hawk looks like though ;).
posted by johnnyboy at 8:26 AM on April 27, 2004


Where's the Empire, with all the happy brown people cheering the Queen?

List of major British successes in the Middle East coming in 3... 2... 1...

An optimist might say that the British have finally taken an accounting of their historical mistakes and are beginning to learn from them, particularly since the American invasion of Iraq is so very much like the British experience there almost 100 years ago that you almost can't not make comparisons and draw conclusions.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2004


sic, though no one else has mentioned it yet, thanks for pointing out the uncanny historical similarities. I think you may have scared PP away with your fancy book learnin' -- evidently the only history he knows he got from his Encyclopedia Brown's History of the World from A-Z in the abridged, one volume set.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:31 AM on April 27, 2004


Iraqi and palestinian questions have advanced much more during the Bush, Balir and Sharon era than ever before

This is absolutely true, just not in a positive sense.


Tony would have been remembered as the greatest prime minister of the 1990s but then he allied himself with Bush, unconditionally, in 2001. No foreign leader can survive the Bush stigma for long (see. Aznar, José Maria).
posted by sic at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2004


Civil_Disobedient: let's hope that the American annexation doesn't end up as chaotic as the British "mandate", namely violent revolution where General Abdel Karim Qassem overthrows and kills British puppet King Faisel II in 1958 leading to 10 years of utter chaos where there where 5 different leaders of the country leadig to the rise of the Ba'ath party and you know who in the 1970s and the eventual Reagan-Bush-Hussein alliance during the entire 1980s that caused so much pain and suffering in Iraq, Iran and Kuwait.
posted by sic at 8:40 AM on April 27, 2004


Civil_Disobedient: Well, since you've insulted him, his views must be false. Or did you mean something else by that post?
posted by ed\26h at 8:44 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony would have been remembered as the greatest prime minister of the 1990s but then he allied himself with Bush, unconditionally, in 2001.

Not quite sure what is meant by that.

Muhammad Ali would have been remembered as the greatest boxer of the 1970s but for the fact that he's awful now.
posted by ed\26h at 8:53 AM on April 27, 2004


Much bandwidth would be saved if only people thought before writing. This is an appeal to authority. I don't care if they're senior diplomats, oil magnates or circus magicians; if the article is poor, vague and unoriginal (and it is), end of story.


I asked you what is you poor opinion of the article based on. From the above, I infer that it is wrong because you say it is, end of the story. Is this correct or am I jumping to conclusions?
posted by magullo at 9:01 AM on April 27, 2004


Y'know, reading all the right-wingers on here these days, almost makes me nostalgic for the days of Steven Den Beste. Even thought SDB's opinions were almost universally just as wrong, at least he could express them coherently.

Blair isn't going to be brought down because of his alliance with Bush. The British electoral system means that the only credible alternative is to vote Tory. Since the Tories have always wanted to suck up to America, that's not really much of a choice.

/voting LibDem next election.
posted by salmacis at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2004


If you wish to comment about the story in a constructive manner, please do.

What I was thinking after seeing the "f-word" in the post.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:06 AM on April 27, 2004


111, I take it your not a Guardian subscriber then?

I do find your attitude to this amusing. Its sort of "shoot the mesenger" for the digital age. If you can't pooh pooh the people who wrote something, pooh pooh the place you first read it.

Perhaps you're more of a Telegraph person? They printed the letter in full here.

Unlike metafilter, you'll need to give them your email address to read it. However bugmenot have a username you may find appropriate, given what you feel about the letter:

bull@shit.com
bullshit

Enjoy!
posted by davehat at 9:08 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony would have been remembered as the greatest prime minister of the 1990s but then he allied himself with Bush, unconditionally, in 2001.

Not quite sure what is meant by that.


Let me clarify. Blair never would have been seen as the "greatest PM in history", although he did a good job for his party in th 90s, much like Clinton, although both of them did so by selling out the ideals of their parties. Ha, the third way, my ass!

But by allying himself with Bush in 2001, unconditionally and in an illegal venture, he has put a big black X over his success in the 90s. Hope that helps.

Anyway, that's my opinion.

Salmacis: I don't think that Labour will lose the next election, but I do think that it may lose a large chunk of its majority, which very well may cost Blair his job.

I'm glad to hear you are voting LibDem, btw.
posted by sic at 9:16 AM on April 27, 2004


ParisParamus - if this is 1938, then the equivalent betrayal of Czechoslovakia would be a unilateral British withdrawal, right? But the letter in no way advocates such a policy or even gives the impression of such. So how is your analogy appropriate?

Your solution to the increased violence in Iraq is to utilize the tactics of Israel. 37 years of continuous conflict; almost 60 years of disagreement and violence. No end in sight. Is that a model for Iraq you find attractive?

"That punk in Najaf needs to be treated similarly" Why? Can you justify such a policy morally? What crime has he committed that requires the extreme measure of an extra-judicial killing?

But let's forget morals, because as any I/P or Iraq thread demonstrates they're subjective qualities. Instead let's focus on utility. Killing Rantisi and the wheelchair-bound Sheikh has produced a notable decrease in violence. Even if it has done nothing to promote dialogue or increase the potential for a equitable and lasting peace, it has done that one thing. To some therefore, it's a success. But would such action work in Iraq? Would killing a national religious leader in one of Shia Islam's holiest cities bolster the legitimacy of the occupation and bring peace? Maybe you think it will - the US military certainly seems to be on the verge of thinking that - but I haven't heard one argument that justifies such a perception. Everything indicates to the contrary, that any violence in the 'Shia Vatican' will be seen as a call to arms for Iraq's Shia. British military officers in the South have said that if a violent assault occurs in Najaf, the permissive environment around Basra will end. Are British commanders wrong? Why?

I supported the war in Iraq. I still think the goal of a free, independent and democratic Iraq is worthwhile. I just don't understand why the means of achieving it requires the US military to be judge, jury and occasional executioner for the entire Iraqi people. Can we leave aside the moral absolutism and simply focus on how best to achieve that aim? Where are your counter-arguments to the specific criticisms made in the letter? Do you feel better for giving your 'tough love' dogmatism free rein?

"To describe the resistance as led by terrorists, fanatics and foreigners is neither convincing nor helpful." --- Why do you think this is so wrong? I don't think the signatories are reversing the moral judgement and saying that the perpretrators of violence are freedom fighters or such; rather they suggest that the intent of the insurgency violence is less about religious fanaticism, nihilist terror or Baathist loyalty and rather more about pride, nationalism and perceived injustice. Perhaps the letter is wrong about this, I don't know. At least they are attempting to explain the violence without automatic recourse to the 'evil other'. Is there anything at all about the nature of the US occupation that you have qualms about? Are you, the US military or President Bush even capable of acknowledging the possibility of mistakes or heaven forbid culpability?

"Heavy weapons unsuited to the task in hand, inflammatory language, the current confrontations in Najaf and Falluja, all these have built up rather than isolated the opposition." I'd say that's a fair argument. Given that heavy-handed tactics have brought together political Iraq's chalk and cheese (the Sunni radicals of Falluja and the Shia extreme under Sadr) in mutual praise, aid and (allegedly) joint military action, and also prompted spontaneous blood donation and aid convoys from Baghdad's citizens I'd say it's pretty hard to argue against it. But, perhaps 'flushing out' all those who could ever under any circumstances be violently opposed to the US occupation is a necessary policy. I'd like to hear the justification though.

Come on PP. Stop acting like some martyr to the 'war on terrorism' cause, staying true to the faith despite the pervasive apostasy of MetaFilter posters. If you are so right attempt a reasoned counter-argument that might make someone agree.
posted by pots at 9:41 AM on April 27, 2004


Killing Rantisi and the wheelchair-bound Sheikh has produced a notable decrease in violence. Even if it has done nothing to promote dialogue or increase the potential for a equitable and lasting peace, it has done that one thing. To some therefore, it's a success.

I would venture that this is only a temporary dip in violence (it's only been a few weeks) and a very specious observation in the overall scheme of things in Palestine. The Isreali assassination gambit is only creating more and more terrorists.

Otherwise a very fine post.
posted by sic at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2004


Tony went to war ignoring legal advice from the Foreign Office lawyers, who said that the war was illegal.

One of the most senior legal advisors, who had many years experience studying and practicing International law resigned when her and her department's advice was ignored.
Tony took the advice of the Attorney General instead, a man who has NO experience of International Law, but was, I think, previously a corporate lawyer (and of course even he originally said that the war was illegal, and changed his opinion under pressure at the last minute when British Generals wanted a cast iron guarantee that they would not be prosecuted for war crimes, and I guess when Tony, a very good friend of his and the man who put Lord Goldsmith where he is today, asked him).

Of course Tony is going to ignore these diplomats. He's going to ignore everything he possibly can that doesn't accord with his desire to stay clinging to America's coat tails, and the bright future that he imagines will accrue by doing so.
posted by Blue Stone at 12:48 PM on April 27, 2004


Ahh, Paris. Whatever would we do without you?
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:58 PM on April 27, 2004


Well, since you've insulted him, his views must be false. Or did you mean something else by that post?

Here, let me spell it out for you.

PP decided to take one extremely well-known tidbit of completely unrelated history that was, obviously, particularly embarassing for the British, and used it to extrapolate an analogy that is specious at best. sic later offered some history that pertained to the actual parties involved (Iraq and Great Britain), and is far more useful for drawing conclusions from, since the circumstances are nearly identical.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:09 PM on April 27, 2004


Which is fine. You should have probably said that in the first place instead of posting some irrelevant distraction about how you think that the person who opposes your views must read silly books.
posted by ed\26h at 2:36 PM on April 27, 2004


pots said above re PP:

"If you are so right attempt a reasoned counter-argument that might make someone agree."

BWAHAHAHAHA... "reasoned counter argument," ROFLMAO pots. Good thing I waterproofed my keyboard last week. Bloody hilarious.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:03 PM on April 27, 2004


" I just don't understand why the means of achieving it requires the US military to be judge, jury and occasional executioner for the entire Iraqi people."

Because there is no critical mass of indigenous civilized, democractic rule in Iraq (and the UN has completely discredited itself; the "US" in the above statement...). We are, to some extent, imposing democracy on Iraq, but we did that on Japan and Germany, and it turned out fairly well (as for France, well....[just kidding]).
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 PM on April 27, 2004


If there's no native democractic movement, Paris, why do we think waving around a magic wand will create one? Perhaps some places just aren't ready for democracy, and attempts to "show them the light" will be about as well recieved as a bunch of Jehovah's Witnesses on my front door -- that is, with anger, violence and brutality?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:04 PM on April 28, 2004


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