No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.

Newark market place

Newark market place
Newark market place dull Saturday morning

Newark Church

Newark Church
Two residents at the weir

Snowy Dry Doddington

Snowy Dry Doddington
Snow on the road to not very Dry Doddington

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished
Look for the "before" in the blog post

Sunday, 31 December 2006

How many innocent Iraqis?

I opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. Not that I had any time or sympathy for Saddam Hussein and his vile rule but because:

  • There are plenty of unpleasant regimes around the world which the UK and US governments not only do not change but actually support and deal with.

  • There seemed to me to be no justification for sacrificing the lives of young men and women in our military services in a conflict with a country that was not immediately and directly threatening our interests.

  • It was clear that given the fire power of the USA many innocent Iraqis would be killed in the adventure.

  • There was much obvious fabrication and scullduggery in Blairs justification for joining the Americans in the war.

  • I was and still am deeply suspicious of the USA's motives for engaging in the enterprise. I still think their motive is control of the oil supply and I suspect that however ignominious their eventual pullout is they will maintain some presence or influence that enables them to control this.

I do not believe for one moment that the Bush government thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We are expected to believe that a country which can take spy satellite pictures of individual vehicles could not spot a bomb factory or the movement of munitions. If they had seen them they would have shown us them. The best they could do was set Colin Powell up at the UN trying to convince us a milk processing truck was some kind of portable weapons production platform.

Memo to any dictator. If you want to make sure the USA does not attack you must have a nuclear weapons capability. Let them see evidence of it but not enough to be sure of what you have got. You might be the subject of UN sanctions for a while but don't worry. The "International Community" will deal with you if they need you again in the future.

The whole thing has been a shambles. Coalition fighters by the hundreds and Iraqis in the thousands dying for no obvious positive outcome. A country riven by factional fighting and whatever Blair and Bush say, a situation providing a focus for terrorist activity which threatens us in the UK and others in a way that did not exist before the war.

The thing that really galls me is the sight of the Tory "Yo" Blair, who has borrowed the Labour Party, strutting the world stage attempting to convince us he has some significant role in all this. He tells us we will get our troops home when the Iraqi elected government and their security forces are able to manage their internal insurgency and conflict. Utter bullshit. Our troops will come home when the Americans say it is ok. It may well be that a new Labour Prime Minister is able to negotiate with the Americans an "early release"for the UK, but there is no way we would be staying on after the Yanks have gone.

And now Saddam Hussein has been hanged, the event reported round the world in unbelievably ghoulish detail. Will this have helped this situation? I don't think so. I have to admit some bias here in that I have always opposed the death penalty and do so in this case. However it is not just a matter of principle. It is just possible that the Iraqi governent have made a martyr of, and given some dignity to Saddam for a significant numbers of people in Iraq and the Arab world. He should have been tried for all the crimes he is alleged to have committed. I suspect the Kurds will feel cheated that he has not been brought to book for allegations of genocide against their people. If he had been imprisoned public opinion may well have focussed more on why he was incarcerated rather than as now the manner of his death.

We are told that he deserved execution because of the number of deaths of his people he was responsible for. This implies that a lesser sentence may have been given if less people had been killed on his orders. So how many innocent Iraqis can be killed on the orders of a world leader without them facing the death penalty?

Perhaps people like Bush or Blair could help us with a figure?

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