Mission Accomplished in Iraq — No Really

So George Bush visited the Iraqi Prime Minister today. In Baghdad.

That’s right. The President of the United States went to Baghdad, Iraq. Imagine the reception!?

Iraqis lined the streets… little flags waved enthusiastically by every man, woman and child for miles around. Yes folks. The Leader of the liberators… those bringers of freedom and justice… purveyor of hope and dreams… champion of good… fighter of evil.

(can you hear the trumpets blaring?)


Oh wait.. sorry… In reality, George Bush was “supposed” to be going to Camp David.

No one except Condi and Dick knew he was headed to Baghdad.

The Iraqi Prime Minister himself only found out 5 minutes before good ‘ol Dubya walked in the door.

Air Force One had to take “standard” emergency maneuvers when landing, and leaving (under cover of night).

Do we need to hear any more rhetoric?
Do we need to listen to any more speeches?

No… actions always speak louder than words.

Hugo Chavez nips at US heels

Like a little yappy dog that just won’t go away, Hugo Chavez is barking at George Bush and the United States and it’s no doubt a real annoyance for the US Administration.

Chavez has already become a thorn in Bushs’ side with his outspoken friendship of Fidel Castro, and his oil deals with China, but now Chavez is going a step further and trumpeting a new relationship with Iran to build Nuclear reactors. He said that Venezuela and Brazil were looking to partner as well in the effort, this was quickly denied by Brazil.

It’s probably nothing more than grandstanding by Chavez to make himself look more important in the Hemisphere. He knows that if the US supported opposition in his country attempted a coup, there would be a backlash against America from the rest of Latin America. And being one of the 5 largest sources of oil for the US means that he can say pretty much whatever he wants and America simply can’t throw up much of a protest.

Chavez is also threatening to refuse entry of US Officials into Venezuela if the US continues to ban entry of Venezuelas’ top Supreme Court Judge into the United States.

And finally, Iran annouced today that they have tested a solid-fuel missile that matches their current 2000km Shahab-3. Solid fuel technology is a key stepping stone towards producing multi-stage rockets and missiles that can then of course reach even farther. How long before Hugo declares his intention to buy one?

It’s like kids in a playground isn’t it?

George Bush and Saddam Hussein

This is in response to my last thread on George Bush as a war criminal and the posts therein… I will simply post my last answer in that thread and then elaborate. I don’t usually get personal.. but since this discussion was brought onto me personally and people are taking issue with me personally then both barrels might as well come out.

I will respond to this as the rest is just the same old sarcasm and lack of actually reading what I wrote.. If you all had actually read and understood (I know that’s a stretch for some) what I had wrote you would have noticed that I consider BOTH Saddam and Bush a war criminal. That’s what happens when you commit the SAME CRIME!)

You said, The sad truth is that, to you, nothing is worth fighting for.

I’ve heard this so many times and it’s such a load of BS…

I, and many others who share my viewpoints on Iraq, am not a pacicifist. Granted there are plenty of people who are… but I am not one of them, nor, I believe, are the majority of others who are “anti-Iraq-war”. I do not believe that war is obselete. While I hope for a day where war is no longer required… I fully recognize there are situations where it must happen. Iraq could have been one of those situations. The fact that it didn’t is the reason there is so much opposition to it.

Saying something is an ultimate last resort is not the same as saying something must be banned outright.

I, along with many others, believe that had the case for the Iraq war been more convincing, that is, the case brought to the UN that was based on 2 things only , WMD programs and Links to Terrorism (the 3rd, humanitarian case was only emphasized by the US Administration much much later precisely because it was not a tenable reason to wage war) then many many more people would have supported the war.

Many surveys (Pew did the most extensive one) done before the war indicated that support for the war spiked as soon as there was UNSC approval. Without UNSC approval, the invasion was opposed by every population outside the US and UK (barely).

Indeed. Had it been found, incontrovertably, that Saddam had WMD in the quantities asserted by Bush and Co. or Saddam had refused to allow inspectors in after Resolution 1441… then the UNSC would have had no choice but to admit that Saddam was a threat. The fact is that that case simply wasn’t there. And now it has become clear that the initial WMD disarmament program after 1991 was highly successful in stripping Saddam of his capabilities.

Let me say that more clearly… the *UN MONITORED WMD INSPECTORS SUCCESSFULLY DISARMED SADDAM*. They did it so well in fact that the whole world and the UN itself thought Saddam *must* have been hiding something, which he wasn’t.

Mass graves and atrocities that happened 10 years prior are not a reason to invade a country. To put it simply, if it were, then there would be a lot more countries that we’d be compelled to invade and topple. *That* is not an option. Humanitarianism is aboutpreventing suffering and the loss of life not adding to it by waging war.

You talk about Hypocrisy when in fact what I am proposing is following a path that avoids hypocrisy completely. What is more hypocritical than punishing one leader for invading a country and not punishing the other 12 years later?


As my wife would say… this isn’t rocket surgery.

Customary International Law, George Bush and Iraq

This is in response to Lt Cmdr Smash’s comments at his blog. You can read them here. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and we have had an ongoing dialogue and discussion since 2003. Over time my position has hardened while he has stuck true to his line but our basic disagreement has always been the same and has mirrored the ongoing debate of the pro and anti Iraq-war camps.

Before I explain my overall reasoning for considering George Bush a war criminal let me address Smashs’ position that the situation on the ground in Iraq was such that any action to remove Saddam was justified no matter what the legalities. My position and the position of most anti-war activists, I think, is that the days when War are necessary are, or at the very least should be, numbered. If that is not the goal of the civilized world, then really why are we here? History tells us war only brings pain and suffering and decades of rebuilding. To avoid war is to avoid hell on earth. If war must be brought upon this world it must be done for absolutely incontrovertible reasons. We must demand the highest standard and we must demand the utmost in cooperation and support so that the war is as fast, complete and successful, during and after.

So while the anti-war movement understood the pain of Iraqis as they suffered and toiled under the Iraqi regime we also understood that war… and especially war without consensus… would do little to help common Iraqis. Yes, the Oil-for-Food program was terribly flawed… but compared to war, and the post-war situation we see now, most Iraqis were employed, had food, electricity, water, and fuel. For the past 2 years since the war… Iraqis have had none of this… and instead have had ongoing violence in their streets, kidnappings, and general disorder. Today we are again hearing that due to the security situation, progress in all sectors, even Oil, is at a near standstill.

Would it have been different with a UN sanctioned coalition? What if Saddam finally totally complied and we realised he really didn’t have any WMD? We’ll never know. All we know now is that Iraq is struggling to find itself and the US is struggling to maintain security. I hope the Iraqi government discovers its independance and sovereignty soon but without the security to deliver basic services to its’ citizens, what chance does it have. All it seems we can do is hope for the best. In the meantime, it does not change the fact that the way the war was brought to Iraq was illegal. Just as Saddams invasion of Kuwait was a breach of International Law, so to was this war…

So here goes… Continue reading “Customary International Law, George Bush and Iraq”

US Senate report exposes Iraqi – Russian bribery

The US Senate investigation of the Oil-For-Food scandal has released a report today implicating top Russian officials who possibly got bribes from Saddam.

Frankly, given the long history of economic and military ties between Russia and Iraq, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find that Saddam sent bribes to Russia for favourable treatment.

However.. I do take issue with this stance that is expressed at The Instapundit and I’m sure will be echoed by every other right-wing-blog out there in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit asks, Were there any countries that opposed the war without being bribed? I’m just, you know, asking.

He seems to be forgetting one very important fact:

Except the United States… every single country (including, of course, members of the Coalition of the Willing) polled before the Iraq war opposed the use of force without UNSC approval. What’s more, in the US, the percentage of people willing to go for military action rose significantly after UNSC approval.

Is Instapundit suggesting that the vast majority of citizens polled around the World have been bribed by Saddam Hussein?

If so… I’d love to know where that cheque went cuz I could sure use it!


Pew Research did the most extensive polling of American and International attitudes before the war.

America’s Image Further Erodes, Europeans want weaker ties

Survey of 9 nations… including UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and other Coalition countries show unanimous opposition to war.
Conducted days before US announcement of end of UN process (March 16,2003)

[US] Public wants proof of Iraqi Weapons Programme

The only possible outcome in which a clear majority backs military action is if the inspections show that Iraq is actually hiding weapons of mass destruction.

… Q4: No Weapons but inspectors can’t assure Iraq has none : 28% Favor 62% Oppose Military action


Oh, and if Instapundit is still worried that he missed out on Saddams kickbacks maybe he could talk to the US buyers that

paid more than half the $224m in total kickbacks, the report estimates.

Were any of those US businessmen linked to the same oil companies and political figures that George Bush and Co worked with in the past? I’m just, you know, asking.