Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Every one calls out Gordon Brown

Fewer British soldiers would have been killed in Iraq if Gordon Brown had paid for proper equipment when he was Chancellor, a former defence chief said yesterday.
General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank cast doubt on the credibility of the Iraq war inquiry because it was unlikely to examine Mr Brown’s role in the failure to supply the Armed Forces properly.
The former Chief of the Defence Staff told The Times that Mr Brown had been "unsympathetic" to appeals for more money for the troops when the campaign began in 2003.
"Although the equipment is excellent now, initially and subsequently in Iraq, it was very poor, and if Gordon Brown as Chancellor had been more sympathetic, it would have kept people alive," Lord Guthrie said.

The above is from Michael Evans' "Lord Guthrie dismisses Gordon Brown's new inquiry on Iraq war" (Times of London). UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown barely saved his own ass two weeks ago. His first public act upon promising to have changed and transformed was to offer on Monday an inquiry into the Iraq War . . . a non-public inquiry. Rebecca's been following Brown's problems for weeks now and she offered last night:

and, as i pointed out when he managed to skate by, his 'saved' job is not 'good news' for him. he now has to deliver.
right out of the gate, gordon's already demonstrated he can't deliver and that there's been no change. which means the next time they try to oust him, he won't have a card left to play.
he can't say, 'i'll be transparent this time!' he promised that before. he promised every thing to hold on to his job.
and he got to hold on to his job.
and he went back to doing exactly what he'd always done.
gordon doesn't grasp it but that 'saving' was actually the beginning of the end.

Doubt Rebecca? Check out this page of letters to the Guardian. Pay attention to David Pamment's letter which includes:

What has happened to his promises, made little more than a week ago, to begin to listen to the people and would make parliament more transparent, open and accountable? Gordon is unable to change the way he does politics. We should stop colluding with a prime minister who is deep in denial, and clearly unable to deal with his addiction to secrecy and government by cabal. It's time for a change - let's have someone less schooled in the dark arts.

Chris Irvine's "General Sir Mike Jackson criticises Gordon Brown's decision to hold secret Iraq inquiry" (Telegraph of London) offers yet more complaints against Gordon Brown's for-show 'inquiry':

General Jackson, the then Chief of the General Staff, said he "would have no problem at all in giving my evidence in public".
In a newspaper interview, he said holding the inquiry behind closed doors would help feed "the climate of suspicion and scepticism about government" and suggest the government had something to hide.
Adding that he felt the Prime Minister should consider requiring witnesses to give evidence on oath, he said: "I do not see why it could not have gone for a halfway house with sessions in public and then having private hearings when it comes to intelligence.
"And they do have to look at the intelligence that Blair used in the run-up to the way... which at the end turned out to be fool's gold."

Joey Jones (SKY TV -- link has text and video) notes that Brown's Children's Secretary Ed Balls ended up being put on the spot when he showed up for an interview on a different topic and he did say "he hoped the inquiry team would hold some hearings in public".

Kim Sengupta and Michael Savage offer "Generals go to war over Iraq inquiry" (Independent of London):

Senior military and intelligence officers have condemned Gordon Brown's decision to hold the Iraq war inquiry in secret, warning that it looks like a cover-up.
Military leaders, who have lost 179 personnel in Iraq, want their actions judged by the public, and intelligence officials say that politicians' manipulation of intelligence should be thoroughly examined.
The pressure on No 10 mounted yesterday as the shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, tabled a Commons debate for next week demanding that inquiry evidence be heard in public. The Conservatives will be supported by rebelling Labour backbenchers and by Liberal Democrats, who could force another embarrassing parliamentary defeat on Mr Brown.

This is a huge story and you won't read one word about it in this morning's New York Times. That's not just because John F. Burns is a joke. It's also because the paper is geared up to sell the US war on Iran. Flip through the five articles on Iran and grasp that the Iranian elections aren't the US' business. Then grasp a byline: Bill Keller.

Bill Keller filing from Tehren.

Bill Keller who whored it for the Iraq War is now filing from Tehren?

He's managing the paper from Tehren?

You're being sold a war again and you're a damn idiot if you fall for it. Whatever happens in Iran will happen in Iran. It's really not the US business. But notice how many idiots are making this week all about Iran. It's "Grab the popcorn! Treat it like a sporting event!" With a lot of people 'weighing in' who don't know the first damn thing about Iran, let alone international relations. Kat's rightly been skeptical of that crap all week.

You're being sold outrage. You're not being sold history, you're not being offered perspective. You're not being encouraged to remember this is a country's election. You're being told to take sides. On a country that the US press has done little other than demonize repeatedly. On a country that the US has little historical knowledge of. But it's an appeal to emotions and a rush to judgment.

In England, an inquiry is being offered. It is being decried as a fake and a fraud. Generals are calling it out, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party, the Scottish National Party is calling it out. Even some Labour MPs are making noises. This is a major story. And we're missing it and we're missing other things that matter because there's a hope that if you stay on Twitter or CNN long enough, your blood lust will be satisfied for a few minutes if someone gets their face bashed in or shot.

The Independent of London's letter page on Gordon Brown's joke of an 'inquiry' is here and we'll note this letter:

In setting up an investigation into an alleged crime it would seem unwise to create an investigating panel composed of employees, ex-employees and friends of the alleged criminal. If the investigating panel is then told to work in secret and not find anyone guilty there is a chance that suspicions might be aroused with respect to the authenticity of the exercise. Groans of disbelief and despair echo round the country as Mr Brown's inquiry into the Iraq war is compared with his promise of more open government. As your columnist Adrian Hamilton says (16 June) this is an insult to the citizens and to Parliament.
The response must be for the citizens, against whom the alleged crime of entering into an illegal and unjust war was committed, to set up their own parallel inquiry.
Jim McCluskey
Twickenham, Middlesex

The inquiry has direct implications on the US and on a war the US is still involved in but notice how little attention it receives. Notice how little it matters. It's a shell game and a lot of people are getting played but, point of fact, con artists only succeed because so many beg to taken for a ride. This is from Jonathan Steele's "Skewed and in secret, this Iraq inquiry is a scandal" (Guardian):

Gordon Brown's ­announcement of a secret inquiry into the runup to and conduct of Britain's invasion and occupation of Iraq (not the nouns he used, of course) is scandalous.
First, the manner of his decision. Just last week the prime minister committed himself to a new spirit of public accountability, cross-party consultation on electoral and parliamentary reform, as well as a greater and more independent role for backbenchers and select committees. Now he promptly goes against all that when it comes to looking into the most important foreign policy decision of the last decade.
Does he seriously imagine he can ­dictate its mandate and procedure on his own? At the very least, he should have discussed these issues with the leaders of the other parties first. Better still, he should allow a day's debate in parliament on it. It is not too late to do so, provided he makes clear he is ready to listen to MPs and adjust his decision.
Second, there is Brown's ­rejection of a public inquiry. This runs full square against the mood of the times. How can crucial issues of past public policy be investigated in private? The inquiry is not looking into future policy, or even current policy. It is examining ­history. Had Brown or his cabinet ­secretary consulted Lords Butler and Hutton, chairmen of the last two ­inquiries into aspects of the Iraq war, he would almost certainly find that they too believe any new inquiry should take public evidence on all points except a small number where intelligence could be compromised.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends