Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lies, damn lies and ballistics

Originally posted by The Realist

Sitting here in the City, rain bouncing off Liverpool Street Station, I’m feeling introspective today. I know that the London bombs affected the country and, to a degree, the world, but I was personally involved – being at Kings Cross when the bomb went off there. My reaction at the time was the classic ‘swallowing emotion’ tactic of The British and I’ve tried not to dwell on it, but those original, raw emotions came home to roost yesterday, on the occasion of the memorial service, which took place about a mile away from where I’m sitting now. It’s strange, I’ve not really thought too much about what happened that day, but I realise that it has really affected me.

So was Iraq a causal factor in the bombings? Would they have happened otherwise? We’ll never know.

But knowing, as we do now, that we went to war based on lies (by a man called Colin! Using a PowerPoint presentation!) makes me ashamed to be, by proxy, part of that ‘alliance’ and the terrible, terrible abyss it has thrown the world into.

15 comments:

Hobbzee said...

When you say you're 'part of the alliance' do you mean it because you're British (therefore it's by proxy) or because you supported the war at the beginning?

The Realist said...

Hello Hobbzee, I meant because I'm British.

ph said...

Yes we did go to war based on lies - which in my book is one of the worst things a government can do. But it seems as though this is very much a minority view amongst the British people.

mAc Chaos said...

We went to war based on faulty information, not lies. A lie would involve the intentional and malicious misleading of another party. In this case, the parties involved themselves thought the information was accurate.

The Realist said...

That may well be the case, however incompetence on such a grand scale must be punished. You would agree to that, surely? If the Democrats had done it, you'd be out on the streets rioting.

Also, how does the 'incompetence theory' tie in with the White House staffers *desperately* rooting around in the intelligence department for ANY whiff of a reason to go to war? The 'African Nuclear Material' issue is not incompetence, it's absolutely pre-meditated. Then outing the wife of a whistleblower as a CIA agent?

In what way is that behaviour incompetent rather than malicious?!?!?!

Shame on you.

ph said...

mac chaos
Your definition of a lie is correct- and we went to war based on lies. I do not know whether the US government lied and do not really care as they are not my government, but I do care that the British government maliciously and deliberatley mislead the country.

The Realist said...

Ah, hello ph - nice to hear from you again. Any chance of that guest blog? Open choice of topic....

Anonymous said...

They lied - but I'm sure it's not the first time a government has. Doesn't make it right, but it is much easier for governments to be scrutinsed in 2005.

More importantly though, who's going to come out top on Question Time tonight?

DA

Anonymous said...

Labour.

ph said...

Of course goverments lie, but it is a long time since a government has lied in order to take the country to war. Once you do that you are in a totally different league of immorality

Anonymous said...

OK, different league - but who remembers the Belgrano? If that happened today, the evidence against the government would have been much easier to collate.

DA

mAc Chaos said...

Also, how does the 'incompetence theory' tie in with the White House staffers *desperately* rooting around in the intelligence department for ANY whiff of a reason to go to war? The 'African Nuclear Material' issue is not incompetence, it's absolutely pre-meditated.
The intelligence was accurate; the British themselves still contend to this day that is. In what way was it wrong? Are you basing this on Joseph Wilson's words?

Then outing the wife of a whistleblower as a CIA agent?
That's just a partisan circus played up by the media. It's kind of hard to out someone if they haven't been undercover for the last five years or when they were on their purported "undercover" assignment.

ph said...

The evidence for the Belgrano has been collated and the sinking was perfectly justified- even the captain of the Belgrano agrees. Anyway, nobody lied about it. I don't remember Mrs T. saying "Actually its still bobbing around on the ocean wave"

Citizen Sane said...

Mac - I didn't oppose the war on the basis that, when there is an opportunity to overthrow a vicious murdering despot and his hideous junta, it should be seized. I also, against all odds, believe that the establishment of a democracy in the Middle East will be a fantastic achievement and, in the long, long, long run (at least a decade I'd say), we will see the benefits.

With regards to the intelligence available, I can also see the logic of not giving the Iraqi regime any benefit of the doubt, given that they had wilfully evaded UN inspections for 12 years. The notion, however slight, of such a state having WMDs would be horrifying and it was always going to be a case of when, not if. So the choice became: invade now or wait until they have a nuclear weapon. That's not much of a choice.

But I have a question for you: regime change was official policy before Bush came to power, but 9/11 and the resultant global change accelerated the process. If this had taken place under the Clinton administration, with all the same faulty intelligence and mistakes made, would you still have been supportive of it?

I suspect not, as you are fiercely ideological and partisan. But I'd be interested to hear your answer.

Nigel said...

Was Iraq a causal factor in the bombings? Yes, we'll never know. I would, however, go with the theory that something like the bombings would have happened eventually. Iraq was a grievance that could be exploited by terrorist recruiters. If the London bombers really wanted to avange the killers of Iraqi civilians they would have been better off targetting the 'insurgents' who have been responsible for the majority of deaths.

Any rational person should, however, feel some shame about this issue regardless of their stance. Many supporters of the war will be revolted by the Coalition's failure to rebuild the civilian infrastructure, thus creating an ideal breeding ground for fundamentalist opposition to fester. Opponents of the war should be ashamed that whether it was their intention or not, had the war indeed not gone ahead, a brutal despot would still be in power.

I do hope that we have a functioning democracy there quite soon or else the whole operation will have been, as I'd feared it could become, a dreadful mistake.