Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The war was illegal, Iraq Inquiry told

Friday, one-time prime minister and forever poodle Tony Blair will appear before the Iraq Inquiry in London. A major protest is expected to take place outside as War Criminal Tony testifies. From Stop The War Coalition's "Protest on Tony Blair's Judgement Day: 29 January from 8am:"

Peoples Dossier
New Stop the War pamphlet

Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Broad
Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE

On Friday 29 January, Tony Blair will try to explain to the Iraq Inquiry the lies he used to take Britain into an illegal war.

Writers, musicians, relatives of the dead, Iraqi refugees, poets, human rights lawyers, comedians, actors, MPs and ordinary citizens will join a day of protest outside the Inquiry to demand that this should be Tony Blair's judgement day.

There will be naming the dead ceremonies for the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in Blair's war. Military families who lost loved ones in Iraq will read the names of the 179 British soldiers killed.

Join us from 8.0am onwards.

The Inquiry's public hearings continue today and that's probably too bad for War Criminal Tony Blair. Today's scheduled witnesses are Michael Wood (Legal Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2001 - 2006), David Brummel (Legal Secretary to the Law Officers, 2001 -2004), Elizabeth Wilmshurts (Deputy Legal Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2001 - 2003) and Margaret Beckett (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, May 2006 - June 2007). Helen Pidd (Guardian) reports on the testimony of the first witness:

The invasion of Iraq was illegal, a senior government lawyer told the Chilcot inquiry into the war today.
Sir Michael Wood, legal adviser to the Foreign Office in the run-up to the invasion, said he "considered that the use of force against Iraq in 2003 was contrary to international law".
"In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorised by the [United Nations] security council, and had no other legal basis in international law," he said in a witness statement to the inquiry.

David Brown and Philippe Naughton (Times of London) emphasize, "In potentially explosive testimony to the Iraq Inquiry, Sir Michael Wood also told how Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, had told the Americans he was 'entirely comfortable' to be making the case for military action a year before the invasion eventually took place. " The Telegraph of London adds:

Sir Michael said Mr Straw held a meeting with him after this but did not accept his advice.
He told the inquiry: "He took the view that I was being very dogmatic and that international law was pretty vague and that he wasn't used to people taking such a firm position.
"When he had been at the Home Office, he had often been advised things were unlawful but he had gone ahead anyway and won in the courts."

War Criminal Tony Blair. You can't have a Hitler without an Eva Braun and Michael White auditions for that role. Yes, Michael White, when Blair and Bush started the illegal war and when Brown and Barack continued it, they became responsible for all the violence.

Andrew Sparrow live blogs today's hearings for the Guardian. Channel 4 News' Iraq Inquiry Blogger live blogs at Twitter. Chris Ames is fact checking at Iraq Inquiry Digest.

Where's the Panhandle Media coverage of the Iraq Inquiry? Goody's taken her tired ass to Haiti and now Sundance. But she can't get to London? The Iraq Inquiry has held over 30 days of public hearings. Where's Panhandle Media? You need to be asking that question.

You also need to grasp what a moron and fabricator Juan Cole is. You should have grasped it long, long ago. He's been allowed to be a war cheerleader and someone calling for an end to the war -- back and forth, over and over. Last week's decision to declare the war over? It should never be forgotten. "Damn Liar" is what his political tombstone should read. Michael Schwartz interviews Ashley Smith about the so-called 'withdrawal' due to come some day in "The Obama doctrine in Iraq" (US Socialist Worker):

SO IS it fair to say that you think that the "withdrawal" is really a redesign of an ongoing occupation, both for American consumption and Iraqi consumption?

YES, I think it is. What's interesting about your comment is you say "both for American consumption and Iraqi consumption."

Obviously, Obama wants Americans to think that the occupation is coming to end. In Iraq, the U.S. also wants--as much as it can--to lessen its profile. Military commanders are trying to do more operations at night so the Iraqis won't see the Americans in their cities. It is very important for them to make it appear to the Iraqis that the American presence will be drastically lowered.

As I said, the U.S. wants the Iraqis to take up as much of the dirty work as possible. I don't think it will work. Very frequently, Iraqi units refuse to break down doors. They're not as nasty, and they let people go. They're just not as rigorous as the Americans are at being vicious to the Iraqi people. The American commanders are going to be demanding that the Iraqi units should be this vicious, and the question is whether or not they'll get them to do it.

Even if the U.S. does manage to get the Iraqi military to repress the resistance, the U.S. military will continue to impact Iraqis in innumerable ways. American soldiers will continue driving down Iraqi streets in big convoys, forcing Iraqis to scatter out of the way or get shot. American soldiers will continue to maintain checkpoints where Iraqis can easily get killed or--if not killed--arrested.

And if the U.S. is unable to get the Iraqi military to do the dirty work, American units will have to invade communities where there is any resistance and break down doors, arrest and kill suspected insurgents or sympathizers.

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