Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Only a fool would idolise Blix'

Blix put Iraq in a no-win situation. Before setting off to inspect it in 2002/early 2003, he told a reporter that 'not seeing something, not seeing an indication of something, does not lead automatically to the conclusion that there is nothing'. So if he found weapons there would be war, and if he didn’t find weapons, well, there might still be war. The pro-war lobby saw what it wanted to see in Blix's suspicions-filled final report to the UN in January 2003, with one account rightly arguing that it 'greatly strengthened the American and British case for war'. Far from trying to prevent war, the weapons inspectors -- with their demented scaremongering between 1998 and 2003 -- provided Washington and London with the perfect justification for their military venture.
Only a fool would idolise Blix. The spat between him and the US and the UK is no principled stand-off between anti-war and pro-war camps. Rather it is a struggle amongst clashing invading forces, with Blix defending the right of his people to occupy and blackmail the 'moral lepers' of Iraq for the rest of time, while Bush and Blair preferred to launch all-out war against those 'moral lepers'.

The above is from Brendan O'Neill's "Hans Blix's Stalinist rewriting of history" (Spiked). Former UN weapons inspector Blix testified Tuesday to the Iraq Inquiry -- here for a critique of it -- and offered a bunch of self-grandizing statements, a bunch of inconsistent remarks and a lot of justifications for the illegal war. O'Neill is correct, "Only a fool would idolise Blix." Blix has made a semi-name for himself by basically coming over to Margie's house and trashing everyone and then going over to Sally's house and when people object to his remarks at Margie's, Blix immediately disowns them -- even going so far as to claim he was misquoted. He has offered conflicting tales over and over for the last seven years. His testimony was in keeping with his desire to reinvent 'reality' and aided no one. Meanwhile Chris Ames (Iraq Inquiry Digest) takes issue with recent coverage from the Independent of London which he feels misreads the testimonies and the documents, "Again, this is to confuse what the Inquiry has done in its public hearings with what it has found out behind the scenes. Given that the Independent has done so much to highlight the unpublished documents, this is surprising. If the Inquiry is not able to publish any further information and thus confront witnesses with the contradictions, it may as well draw its public hearings to a close. But Chilcot’s options are not constrained by the lack of decisive new evidence, just limits on what he is able and willing to make public."

Meanwhile in Iraq, AFP reports, an Al-Sharqat car bombing resulted in the deaths of 3 Iraqi soldiers with twelve left injured and in Falluja a motorcycle bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left five people (three were Iraqi soldiers) injured. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports on it here. Reuters notes 2 more Iraqi soldiers died in the Falluja bombing, that a Falluja roadside bombing left five Iraqi soldiers injured and, dropping back to yesterday, that a Falluja car bombing claimed the lives of 2 Imams (and left four people injured) while a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left his wife injured.

In legal news, Emma Ross-Thomas (Bloomberg News) reports that Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz has issued arrest warrants for US service members Sgt Thomas Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp over the April 8, 2003 death of journalist Jose Couso who was killed in an US assault on the Palestine Hotel.

And we'll close with this from Susan Handle Terbay's "A Mother's Tears" (Military Families Speak Out):

That day my son changed. He had three deployments – two in Iraq and the last in Afghanistan. It was in Afghanistan that my son experienced the horror of war at its peak. He almost died twice and he also experienced more the deep destruction of his soul as he killed others, as he watched children become pawns in a war of adults, and as he picked up body parts of his buddies and held a soldier as life seeped and exhaled out of his body. Along with all of this, his wife completely fell apart and he asked the family to have her come live near us until he came home. We had no idea of the extent of her breakdown and within a couple of months of moving near us, she took the children and ran away to meet with a man she met on-line. The youngest in our family were lost to us for 10 weeks and my son in warzone was thrown into the pit of despair, unable to come home to find his family. A young man, who took the oath to defend his country, was helpless in defending his family. My son was hurting and I lay helpless every night in tears unable to take away his pain as I did when he was little. Eventually we did find the children, and we were able to bring them back and keep them safe with us.
My son finished his time in Afghanistan and requested and received an honorable discharge. He came home to take care of his children. I was relieved that my son was home from the war and he could no longer be sent back into the throws of hell. Little did I realize that while my son left the war behind him, the war has not left him. When he first got home, he was his old self – crazy, funny and wanting so much to find normalcy in his life and being with his family again. His marriage had ended but he had his children and that seemed to be all that he needed. He got a good job and decided to go back to school to get a degree – looking into possibly EMT work or working at a VA center. However after awhile the dark remnants of the war started to immerge and he became argumentative, explosive, angry, and even hateful.
He no longer laughed or joked. Family gatherings became events for arguing and hateful rhetoric. He had rage against anyone he felt were whiners or complainers; commenting at times with phrases of ‘they think they have it tough, try looking into the fact of someone you killed.’ Or, ‘they think they have it tough, try holding a friend’s body together.’ He was angry at the world and rightly so but his anger became misdirected. He and I went to a social worker at the VA because the family kept telling my son that he has issues and he could not see what we were talking about. It was a good session as I talked about how it was like walking on egg shells around my son – never know what would trigger his outbursts. I cried as I stated how I missed ‘my son.’ Tears filled my son’s eyes when he listened.

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