Sunday, June 17, 2007

Iraq: Blair knew there was no plan

According to this article on the front page of the Observer and to a channel 4 documentary next week, Tony Blair knew that there was no plan for post victory Iraq, yet carried on.

I have to say that does not surprise me. It is not hard to tell the neo cons in the White House had not got a clue, which is why I wrote this listing why we are in the mess. Then one of them, Ken Adelman had the chutzpah to blame us for not being hard enough with them!


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with you that State does not have a plan for Iraq and I don't know why the British take such silly pleasure in trashing the United States. Except sheer, bilious envy.

The American Joint Chiefs of Staff are very clever people. Perhaps much cleverer than you realise.

Has it occurred to you that they did not choose to share their plans with Tony Blair? There are some very astute people floating around in the American government and it doesn't take much to deduce that Blair is an untrustworthy charlatan.

If we fail in Iraq, it will be due to the Left, who are insisting that the US withdraw its troops much too soon. I hope to God Hillary Clinton and the truly ghastly Obama fall flat on their uppity, controlling faces and lose the next election. Such an unappetising choice will guarantee a fairly low democratic turnout.

Benedict White said...

Verity, there is no doubt that the Pentagon has some very clever and wise people in it. The problem was that Donald Rumsfeld was also there and whilst very clever was also very stupid and unwise.

If you read the two links to older blog articles you may see why I think there was no sensible plan, that Donald Rumsfeld's juniors now agree.

You may also like to note that many Conservatives (as opposed to neo cons) in the US feel the same way.

Now Donald is no longer there, there is some hope but we will have to see how it works out.

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced that Mr Rumsfeld was A Bad Thing, but for sure he is water under the bridge.

America has the wealth, the military and the technology to win any war in which it engages. Viet Nam was, in some terms, a failure because of the student left who,for the first time, used television, which loves visual images, to promote their cause ("please don't draft me; I'm having too much fun doing dope and girls") and the ever-loyal army of poisonous lefties in the media.

But America still persisted in Viet Nam long enough for that country now to be independent, peaceful and capitalist.

The war in Iraq is ill-defined in a lot of minds, and I think the US has not been forthcoming about the endgame, which is to bring democracy to the region and hack the theocracies and their agendas to tiny bits.

I fear for the region if the self-righteous, controlling (when was a lefty anything else?) Hillary Clinton gets in or, or the self-righteous, "aren't I absolutely wonderful?" Obama gets in.

If the Reps concentrate on choosing a strong horse, they can win the next election. People hate Hillary almost as much as the Brits hate Blair, and Obama's experience is so weak it's laughable. Also, even with a strong team running him, he is going to make a lot of very public misjudgements.

Lord Nazh said...

"there was no sensible plan"

Which exactly is your argument again? No plan or no sensible plan? You can't have both at the same time, it defies law.

I'd say there wasn't a good plan, but there never is a good plan until after the fighting starts, look back in history at the plans made, used and then scrapped during every war that was recorded.

Benedict White said...

Verity, on Donald Rumsfeld I suspect you would be in a very small minority amongst Republicans, or UK based Conservatives.

Lord Nazh, I can have it both ways, it's my blog! ;)

I take your point about a plan not surviving contact with the enemy, however if there is a sensible plan it can be adjusted to meet the new needs particularly if the resources are around to fill gaps.

Rumsfeld decided it was going to be a cakewalk and to be fair the war fighting bit was. There was it seems no forward thinking about what to do after the war, hence the chaos post invasion, looting and so on.

I still can't believe how long it took for someone to work out the borders might need looking after!

Lord Nazh said...

I stand corrected on the defying logic :)

People didn't have a good plan for after the war because this is the first 'smart' war they've fought.

No destroying cities, no carpet bombing, no etc. When you 'do war' to someone, it is usually relatively easy to administer the conquered region afterward because most of the people are dead.

Since the US (and allies) did not want to conquer the Iraqi people, they didn't do these things. They avoided civilian casualties as much as possible, they left various infastructures in-tact for the populace and so on.

These decisions to make 'humane' war are the root cause of the problems now, if they had made total war, as in the old days; there would have been a vast outcry from the world at large, for a little time and then peace (to an extent).

My plan (which they never asked me) was to take Iraq and treat it like a conquered Germany was. Divide it up and parcel it out to the surrounding countries. But luckily for the Iraqi people (whom I personally have nothing against, to me it was country vs country) they went another way.

There have been thousands of pundits (from all walks of life) who have derided the way the war was handled (is being handled) and thousands more that said it should have been different. None of those have stepped up to attempt to change anything though.

Benedict White said...

Lord Nazh, You only need use as much force as is necessary to conquer a place. There are plenty of places we (the British) conquered without destroying a great deal.

However there were simple mistakes made, (see here) like for example failing to guard the infrastructure or guard the borders, impose military law or do anything else that an conquering power ought to do from minute one of taking over.

The problem was that Rumsfeld sacked or sidelined any of his own staff who disagreed with him.

He simply did not bring enough troops to the war to do the initial job. Then sacking half a million armed men? Bonkers.

Anonymous said...

Benedict - when you say "Blair knew there was no plan", you are giving entirely too much credit to Blair's intelligence and knowledge of the world.

Like a lot of cunning and manipulative people, he is actually quite stupid outside his own area, which is conning people. Don't forget, he didn't know that Britain had a Bill of Rights. He said he was going to give us one. He didn't understand - and wasn't interested in - the grave ramifications of interfering with the structure of our legal system, as in abolishing the Lord Chancellor's role.

The people surrounding the most powerful man on earth have pretty sharp antennae. They will have figured Blair out by the second meeting and they will have figured out that he can't keep his yap shut. So I doubt that they shared too much with him.

I am not saying we did not have a critical role to play. We did. And do. But our military directed that role, not Tony Moron. I don't think Tony knew what the long term goal is, because he wouldn't have understood it. He doesn't think in geopolitical terms. He thinks in terms of what is good for Tony. (We know now that Blair was running an alternate MoD in Downing St, so that tells us everything we need to know, right there.)

I think the White House will have sussed out early on that Tony Blair is not the brightest light in the harbour.

Lord Nazh said...

Ben, it's extremely easy to say simple mistakes were made after the fact.

I can almost bet you, I can plan out Hitler's successful take-over of Russia today, and point out a thousand little things that should have been done. It doesn't help to keep thinking about what you can fix yesterday.

Again, what place did Britain take with very little force when there were IED's and suicide bombers, chlorine trucks and modern weaponry available to the 'resistance'?

Anonymous said...

"Ben, it's extremely easy to say simple mistakes were made after the fact."
I think you'll find that people were trying to point out mistakes before they happened. Now that it IS after the fact, it may smack to you of crying over spilt milk, but, the point is, as the result of no plan or a shit plan or a failing-to-adapt-to-changing-circumstances plan, the people who failed to listen (DonRum, Bush Jnr, President Blair) have blood on their hands. And by association, the governments of US & UK have blood on their hands. And by association, the people of the US & the UK have blood on their hands. That is what the potential suicide bombers will think: guilt by association makes my family and me a target. The fact that American rhetoric does nothing to dampen suspicion that the invasion was anti-Islamic doesn’t help. And before someone opens their mouth (via their keyboard) and bangs on about the evils of Islam, what about the evils of righteous-evangelism and Scientology? Shall we bomb Middle America and subject celebrities to rendition? Don’t get me started on Poverty and the Nanny State or officially sanctioned corruption.

But what really gets on my goat: the UK government pissed my hard-earned-tax money up against a wall on an adventure that was a necessary as consultation on consultation…

Anonymous said...

Or was the lack of a sensible plan just a leftie plot? LOL
Yeah, DonRum as a socialist plant!

No: some right wingers fucked up big time and now unborn babies hope the stork doesn't deliver them to a family in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Scientologists secretly run the United States. Tom Cruise came down in a space capsule. Flash Gordon suggests bombing "Middle America" because he doesn't approve of Scientologists.

If you knew anything about the United States, about which you are spine-chillingly ignorant, you'd know that there may be up to 20 Scientologists in the whole of "Middle America". Scientology is West Coast and some Manhattan. Story. End of.

Lord Nazh said...

Another point ben: You state only use as much force as necessary to conquer a place. As I said, conquer was NOT the objective.

Flash: Run around in circles till you become undizzy please.

Anonymous said...

Iron(y). Magnet. For the detection of.

The reference to MidAmer was in relation to the evilangelists.

The reference to cerebral(free)ties was the one in relation to the SciFry’s.

Now...breathe in, and ... exhale.