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04-07-2016, 09:30 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2013
When our Political systems go wrong.
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
And while that is a partial quote from a man whose main excellent quality was a huge dislike for Fascism and the Nazis, it is one well worth keeping in mind at all times in our politically turbulent times.
So on that note, and not wanting to keep muddying the water in the EU Brexit vote thread, i needed to air this little thing for consideration, and it is a thing:
'Tony Blair faces calls for impeachment on release of Chilcot report':
Senior figures from Labour and the Scottish National party are considering calls for legal action against Tony Blair if the former prime minister faces severe criticisms from the long-awaited inquiry into the war in Iraq.
A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.
The law, last used in 1806 when the Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment that could ensure Blair never holds office again.
Triggering the process simply requires an MP to propose a motion and provide supporting evidence as part of a document called the article of impeachment which has no time limit placed upon it. If the impeachment attempt is approved by MPs, the defendant is delivered to Black Rod before a trial.
A simple majority is required to convict, at which point a sentence can be passed which could, in theory, involve Blair being sent to prison.
However, MPs have said the attempt will be symbolic and is unlikely to result in imprisonment.Salmond, the former Scottish first minister, said there “has to be a judicial or political reckoning” for Blair’s role in the Iraq conflict.
“He seemed puzzled as to why Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is a war criminal, why people don’t like him,” he told Sky News.“The reason is 179 British war dead, 150,000 immediate dead from the Iraq conflict, the Middle East in flames, the world faced with an existential crisis on terrorism – these are just some of the reasons perhaps he should understand why people don’t hold him in the highest regard.
I also knew that it was pretty much 100% certain Saddam and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. I was less sure on the whole 'Weapons of mass destruction' thing, he had been given chemical weapons by us in the past and used them on the Kurds, so he may have had or been working on improving that capability.
But as we now know, all those claims made by Tony Blair in our Parliment about this capability were 'sexed up' via the infamous 'Dodgy Dossier'.
It is also pretty evident giving the rise of ISIS/ISIL and global terrorism in general, that the whole basis for this was this Iraq invasion and subsequent action in places like Afghanistan. All because our Prime Minister of the day more or less lied to his Parliament and his country.
I hope the Chilcot report is as thorough as it can be, reflecting the information that is now public record, and i hope this will indeed lead to Tony Blair facing some consequences for his actions, actions where a defence of 'I believed i was doing the right thing' is frankly not enough when weighed up with the global chaos those frankly disingenuous reasons have proven to be.
We shall see, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for real justice, if for no other reason than to warn future political opportunists that yes indeed their actions may well come back to haunt them when proven to be the wrong actions.
Last edited by ZakG; 04-07-2016 at 09:35 AM.
04-07-2016, 12:07 PM #2
Hmm an entirely symbolic gesture like this won't really do much, we already in this country kind of know this. Tony Blair's reputation has been shattered because of it, and yet he still profits from things and still goes on talk shows and stuff. And eve nif this happens these things wil lremain the same so Meh.
On a genral note it really is kind of depressing that even now I can see Tony Blair as a really good politician and probab;ly the best one we have had in awhile. It makes you shiudder really.
04-07-2016, 07:31 PM #3
I'm not endorsing the Iraq war, but I don't think it would be sunshine and roses without it either, as a lot of what we see today has been developing for a long time and was already in motion.
04-07-2016, 08:07 PM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
Bush was an idiot and Blair was a foolish follower but blaming them for all the islamic/mideast woes greatly overestimates the Western influence on the islamic world.
04-07-2016, 08:25 PM #5
It seems like Blair committed treason against his nation, in my mind, he is a war criminal, he should be treated as such if such is proven.I am once again writing a blog, vaguely about playing games the wrong way
04-07-2016, 08:36 PM #6
Iranian coup had not happened.
04-07-2016, 08:48 PM #7
Iraq was a petty play for oil and to avenge the black eye Saddam gave GWB's daddy during that administration. GWB was literally our worst president ever and please don't try to argue otherwise because I'm sure we've had nobody else who decided to bring chaos to an entire region of the world on just a whim. Not to mention all the xenophobia it stirred up, now with the US wondering what do about the "Muslim problem" constantly when nobody gave the Muslim community a second thought before Afghanistan and Iraq.
Cherry on top is that Osama Bin Laden was a CIA-trained operative. Whether he was active in a larger conspiracy or not I have no idea, but the fact remains that the US had far more to do with turning him into what he was than the Muslim community did. Shit, they blamed the assassination of Malcolm X on Muslims as well, and that was probably the CIA then, too. The US is horrible at introspection and quick to anger, and those two things in tandem have allowed some truly evil people to manipulate the country's actions over the years.
As for Tony Blair, I remember thinking at the time that he was stupid for signing on to that whole quagmire, but all he did was agree with the US, which was to be expected given the strong alliance between the two countries. And yet he might face some form of actual punishment, unlike all our leaders of the time who committed a massive number of war crimes and now surely sit retired in some mansion with 24-hour servants.
Last edited by Xzi; 04-07-2016 at 09:03 PM.~Ć
05-07-2016, 07:13 AM #8
- Join Date
- May 2013
I certainly will not be going into any part of the debate that is along the lines of 'Muslims are evil because Islam is an evil religion', just in case the section of the forum (there always is a small vocal section in all forums these days) that get all hot under the collar for that kind of thing are hoping for more of that?
Not only do i find that simply offensive and overly simplistic (hey welcome to Brexit Britain’s mentality!), it is not a truth anymore than saying all Germans are Evil because of Hitler, or British people are Evil because of Tony Blair, or that Christianity is Evil because of institutional child rape and that old historic Crusades badness. It's a truly stupid line of thinking with zero rationality. I think there is another thread better suited for Islam hate around here? If not please go make your own :)
So with that specific issue (hopefully) dealt with, i have a few links to some news stuff building up to the Chilcot report being released, and as the first main topic in this thread being about how our Democracy can become hijacked when we do not pay enough attention to the details, these links have some good reading to think on:
'Iraq Chilcot inquiry: Bitterness in Baghdad':
Almost 24 hours after the massacre of civilians in Baghdad by so-called Islamic State, young men were digging frantically through the basement of one of the shopping centres that was destroyed.
They were looking for human remains. But all they found were some shoes and a pile of black ash. It was hot in the basement. The fire was still smouldering. Warm, scummy water dripped from the ceiling.
Outside, hundreds of people had gathered. Being there was a form of defiance. In the Iraqi capital, any crowded, dark street is a potential target for a suicide bomber.
Perhaps sharing infinite sadness makes it easier to bear. Many people cried, or prayed. I saw a Christian clergyman lighting candles and making the sign of the cross as well as young people chanting a Shia Muslim anthem for the dead.
Just because so many Iraqi civilians have been massacred does not make senseless killing any easier to bear for the survivors.
It is doubtful whether Iraqis who are so caught up in the pain of daily life will take much interest in the long-delayed publication of the UK's official inquiry into its part in the invasion of 2003.
Kadhim, like many Iraqis, blames the invaders for starting a chain of events that destroyed the country. He longs for the certainties and stability of Saddam's time.
First, he says, he realised it was not going to be liberation, but occupation. Then he hated the corruption, mismanagement and violence in the new Iraq. Most of all he despises Iraq's new leaders.
"Saddam has gone, and we have one thousand Saddams now," he says. "It wasn't like this under Saddam. There was a system. There were ways. We didn't like him, but he was better than those people."
"Saddam never executed people without a reason. He was as solid as a wall. There was no corruption or looting, it was safe. You could be safe."
All of this was made possible by a group of political elites in Washington, the neo-conservatives, acting as 'enablers' in particular for American oil and arms interests, and of course having Bush as an easy to direct President (with Tony Blair along for the ride).
A truly excellent film series to get a better understanding of the role of those neo-conservatives (and their ideological enemies) in creating our current world situation (ie one of rampant Terrorism, both state-sponsored and of the more traditional kind) is the one by Adam Curtis called The Power of Nightmares:
It is possible to find full links to it, just in case you have not watched it, and probably they are the most politically relevant films to have been made is this post-9/11 world. Highly Recommended.
05-07-2016, 08:07 AM #9Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. G3rt
Guild Wars 2 characters: Norgothus (Norn Necromancer), Maggrivo (Charr Warrior)
05-07-2016, 08:26 AM #10~Ć
05-07-2016, 01:45 PM #11
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
- London, UK
It's smack-talk of an unhelpful kind, however emotionally satisfying. I say this having been guilty of it myself.
That said for sure it would be different, but would it look any better? I guess that's the question I'm increasingly asking. I mean, we assume the democratically elected socialist leader of Iran stays in control for a while, but for how long? Do Islamists appear anyway? The example of Turkey seems to suggest that they might - it's steadily transforming into a sort of dictator-for-life scenario and pushing rightwards and religious-wards at some speed. It could be reversed but... I expect what we'd have instead of the current middle east is a lot more in the way of stable dictatorships - not democracies. And they'd fight with each other. A lot. Several of them would have gone harder and better for nuclear weapons than they did in reality.
I mean, we'd probably have less terrorism, but as much as it's a shitty thing to say, terrorism doesn't really kill that many people or cause THAT much of a problem.
Would Israel have been able to survive that situation, with more organised and unfriendly leadership? Maybe. They might even have done better. They might have made friends and manipulated the situation. I could actually easily see Iran and Israel being friends, bizarre as it might be - even according to the ADL, Iran is one of the least anti-Semitic Muslim countries and indeed less anti-Semitic than many non-Muslim countries.
It's an interesting scenario to consider, and I used to think it would definitely have been better, but whilst I think it would definitely have been better for some nations, I'm not sure we wouldn't have just a different shit show. Also even if the West and Soviets hadn't messed with the ME directly at all, the political influences due to power would have been there. Hmmm.
PS Fuck Blair in case anyone is wondering. That scumbag!
05-07-2016, 02:13 PM #12
Playing in what ifs is a dangerous business. Especially dangerous if you're trying to assign criminal blame on someone. Though in the balance it seems like the Middle East would be a bit more stable if the place hadn't been bombed to shit. Purely in terms of people who had running water now not having running water tend to be "tetchy" at best and murderously angry at worst. Though the sanctions regime throughout the 90s had a lot to do with that as well.
Can Blair be impeached though? I know it's a weird old law of Parliament but he's not holding office currently so it'd be odd, unless it's position on the Privy Council.
People on the left demanding war crimes charges seem to be going a bit OTT, it would be a weird precedent legally speaking. I'm fairly sure no state has actually renounced the legal capability to declare war (even Japan retains it despite their constitution). A charge of misleading Parliament or some formulation of perverting the course of justice/democracy would seem to actually be the thing, if those charges can even be brought as I'm not sure lying to Parliament is entirely a crime.
05-07-2016, 08:37 PM #13
05-07-2016, 09:17 PM #14
05-07-2016, 10:05 PM #15
I wrote a fantasy novel, called Lavender! Perhaps you'd like to read it.
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
06-07-2016, 05:58 AM #16
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
But then, we know that the political elite and the rich aren't beholden to the same laws as we plebes are. And it's just been reinforced very recently with the FBI essentially saying "We found over 100 classified documents where they shouldn't have been, and evidence of multiple laws being broken, but we don't think anyone should be prosecuted for the crimes" when they finished their investigation into Clinton's emails. Some animals are more equal than others, it seems.
06-07-2016, 08:59 AM #17
- Join Date
- May 2013
But i just wanted to put a warning for anyone about to wade in with something like 'Well the reason the middle east is in chaos is because of Islam'. or something like that? If so i suggest their own thread as this is specifically about when our democratic political systems can get 'misused', and we currently have the classic and interesting example of the Iraq War and the pending Chilcot Report that was tasked with looking into the issue. No Muslim hate required in this thread thank you. It's about other more important stuff :)
Last edited by ZakG; 06-07-2016 at 09:03 AM.
06-07-2016, 11:03 PM #18
06-07-2016, 11:11 PM #19
The main reason I recall W. having a grudge against Saddam was that Saddam supposedly tried to have Bush Sr. assassinated. I'm not really sure whether the plot was real - maybe someone better informed can shed some light on that. I know 11 Iraqis and 3 Kuwaitis were convicted of trying.
07-07-2016, 04:50 AM #20
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
A large part of the reason he wasn't deposed the first time, at least as far as I've heard, is that many of the other Middle Eastern nations in the coalition wouldn't allow it. The coalition was formed to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait and to prevent invasions of further countries, so it's primary purpose was to just return the status quo. If the US had removed Saddam at the time, it would have been diplomatically disastrous because it would have been a betrayal of that coalition and would have probably lost the US every Middle Eastern ally other than Israel.
That's something I've heard from veterans of the Gulf War, including my dad who was an officer and had to field the "why didn't we take him out?" question at the time.