The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [CASI Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #87 - 2 msgs

[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]

This is an automated compilation of submissions to

Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to 
Please include a full reference to the source of the article.

Today's Topics:

   1. I BELIEVED IN THIS WAR.. I WAS SO WRONG (Mark Parkinson)
   2. "Bush runs out of options as chaos deepens" - deep article from Financial Times (John Smith)


Message: 1
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 22:30:59 +0100

It takes quite a bit for supporters of the war to admit that they
were wrong or that they were fooled.

May 10 2004
dwas%2dso%2d wrong-name_page.html

Tony Parsons

STOP me if I am missing something here, but if former Serb leader
Slobodan Milosevic can end up on trial for war crimes committed under
his leadership, then why can't Tony Blair?

Former Yugoslav President Milosevic didn't personally murder anyone.
He didn't actually rape anyone. And he didn't soil his suit by
torturing anyone in a stinking prison cell.

And yet Milosevic stands accused of crimes against humanity. He faces
life imprisonment for unspeakable atrocities in Croatia, Bosnia and
Kosovo that happened when he was many miles away.

But Milosevic was dragged to The Hague because he was the man at the
top, and the indisputable architect of a mountain of misery.

"He (Milosevic) controlled events," the judges at The Hague were told
when his trial began, "because he controlled the people who
constituted the bodies that did evil."

Which is a perfect definition of Tony Blair's moral responsibility
for everything that has been done in this country's name in Iraq.

Just as Milosevic bears ultimate responsibility for the slaughter and
torture in the Balkans, so Blair must shoulder ultimate
responsibility for the carnage and - even worse - the enduring
hatreds that have been stirred up in Iraq.

Britain's involvement could not have happened without Tony Blair.
First, it was because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ready to
rain down on Croydon.

When that turned out to be tosh, the justification for war was the
moral imperative - we were bringing freedom, democracy and
enlightenment to a wretched and oppressed people.

And I am sure the Iraqis would thank us, if only someone would remove
the dog collar, the boot and the rifle butt from their throats.

Blair is guilty as sin. He will not stand trial, of course. There
will be no ritual humiliation and bringing to book for the Butcher of
Baghdad, the way there was for the Butcher of Belgrade.

Blair will not stand trial for the 16,180 Iraqis who have been
slaughtered on his watch, or the 1,195 Allied soldiers who have
wasted their lives.

The Prime Minister will eventually go, but he will spend the next two
decades or so swanning around the lucrative lecture circuit of the
United States, smiling his pious, why-hast-thou-chosen-me-oh-Lord?
grin, until he slides into the dribbling senility currently being
enjoyed by his hero, Lady Thatcher. Unlike Milosevic - who was
undoubtedly convinced of the rightness and goodness of his cause -
Blair will get off without charge, and without any blood or brain
sticking to his halo.

But that doesn't stop him being guilty as sin.

And there are plenty of others who are guilty too - especially those
of us who supported the war in Iraq.

It is time to come clean - before they release the pictures of Iraqi
women being abused in those rancid cells, before the pictures of
children being tortured come out, before a bomb goes off on the
London Underground. Time to say all of us who supported this war were

Hideously, horribly wrong. About as wrong as we could possibly be.

We should have been marching with the peaceniks, no matter how much
we secretly despise them, and all their pacifist tendencies - and
until the day I die I will believe that many in the peace camp would
have rolled over in 1939.

But it doesn't matter why we supported the war - because we truly
believed the lies our Prime Minister told us about weapons of mass
destruction, because we thought that Saddam deserved to be buried by
history, or because we have a sentimental attachment to the armed
forces of this country and could not contemplate criticising our
soldiers when they were fighting and dying - we were wrong.

Whatever the reason, we were dead wrong.

The pictures of American and British troops in all their sadistic
glory will keep on coming now, and they will store up loathing that
will last a lifetime.

And one day, possibly one day soon, there will be a bomb in a major
British city, and innocent men, women and children will be maimed and
killed, and then we will have injustices of our own to nurse, and
then we will have our own burning hatreds to cultivate, and our own
vengeance to claim.

So it goes - the never-ending enmity of the Middle East taken up
residence in this rainy little island.

Most of us are sick of the sight of Tony Blair now, but he is
ultimately irrelevant - just another lying, self-serving politician,
just one more thing we were wrong about all along.

What matters are the unimaginable forces that Blair has unleashed,
and the hatred that will last for a thousand years.

Another week, another cell, another image to haunt our dreams.

Are we really torturing the children now? Are we raping their women,
and taking a few happy snaps to gloat about with the boys back home?

Are these really the mad acts of a few rotten eggs?

To this former supporter of the war in Iraq, it looks like the whole
damn farm is rotten to the core.

Mark Parkinson


Message: 2
Reply-To: <>
From: "John Smith" <>
To: "John Smith" <>
Subject: "Bush runs out of options as chaos deepens" - deep article from Financial Times
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 23:37:51 +0100

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Below is an interesting and insightful analysis of the deepening crisis of
the US-led occupation. What makes it particularly interesting is its
speculation about what a =93Plan B=94 might look like, once the US
administration concludes that it will never succeed in stabilising a
protectorate government over the whole of Iraq.

=93=85there is increasing talk - some close to the administration call it "=
B" although it does not exist as such - of engineering Iraq's division into
three loosely-linked mini-states, perhaps a confederation. At best it will
be a controlled fragmentation, as advocated by former US ambassador Peter
Galbraith, into a system resembling the former Yugoslav model of republics.
The danger is a bloody Balkan-style break-up as Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shia
fight for disputed territory and resources.=94

Some comments: during the fighting in Falluja, Arabs recruited to the US-ru=
=93security forces=94 refused to fight their brothers and sisters. Those un=
which didn=92t mutiny and which joined in the US attack were Kurdish. This
gives us a small glimpse of the price that the Iraqi and Arab revolution
will pay for not supporting, unconditionally, the right of the Kurds to
self-determination. The Kurds, trapped in four hostile countries where
neither the governments nor populations recognise their national rights, ar=
thereby driven into the arms of imperialism, even though this people know
well that the US and UK have betrayed them on countless occasions (=93this
time it will be different,=94 two Kurds told me, without conviction, a few
nights ago).

The so-called =93Shia =96 Sunni=94 split is a figment of the imperialists=
imagination, a falsehood which forms part of popular wisdom, only dented by
the fact that there is no evidence for it exists. Since the fall of Baghdad=
there has not been a single recorded instance of Sunni vs Shia intercommuna=
violence. After the diabolical bomb attack on Kerbala pilgrims, the mass
demonstration placed responsibility at the door of the occupation, not of
Iraq=92s Sunnis.

Imperialism always, always, always attempts to divide in order to rule. The
collapse of their hopes of installing a puppet regime in Baghdad will not
lead to a decision to leave.

If you think Plan A was bad enough, wait =91til you see Plan B=85.

Bush runs out of options as chaos deepens

By Guy Dinmore

Financial Times, May 6 2004 21

Iraq's deepening crisis has left the Bush administration with few options,
and although the US has entrusted the United Nations with the task of
finding a way towards political stability and elections, officials and
analysts close to the White House admit that hopes of success are receding

Insiders describe a lack of direction and a prevailing sense of gloom and
desperation in the administration. This gloom has only been intensified by
the exposure of torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Analysts point to an absence of clearcut strategy that has seen repeated
personnel changes and policy reversals resulting from continuous battles
between the State Department and the Pentagon. The White House national
security advisers are blamed for not resolving the interagency battles.

This "dysfunctional" administration as described by Robert Kagan, a
prominent foreign policy thinker, is mirrored by an increasingly public
battle of recriminations among President George W. Bush's conservative

While Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy, may be able to put
together a weak caretaker government with limited authority by the June 30
target date set for the handover of sovereignty, many in the administration
fear violence will derail meaningful, UN-supervised elections set for
January 2005.

"They [the administration] are flying blind," comments one former official
just back from service in Baghdad. "They recognise it is a mess. There is n=
consistency in vision and when they do agree, there is no consistency in

"We are seeing a devolution of powers in an absence of clear strategy. Loca=
commanders are making local decisions that have profound implications for
the rest of the country."

Marina Ottaway, analyst with the Carnegie Endowment, says the Bush
administration has run out of options and is already lowering expectations
of what Mr Brahimi can achieve.

Anthony Cordesman, just back from Iraq for the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, says political tension has escalated and security
deteriorated to such an extent that the US no longer has a viable military
solution to fighting insurgents.

The US lacked effective options "other than to turn as much of the
political, aid, and security effort over to moderate Iraqis as soon as
possible, and pray that the United Nations can create some kind of climate
for political legitimacy," he wrote this week.

This sense of confusion was highlighted last week in the Sunni town of
Falluja, where Marines failed to dislodge insurgents and then turned for
help to local militia and former Saddam-era officers. The Arab world and
many Iraqis saw the outcome as a rebel victory.

"The insurgents want political recognition. They want to make Falluja a
Ba'athist mini-state," said Entifadh Qanbar, Iraqi National Congress

Among the Shia majority in Najaf and Karbala, there is a sense of outrage
that ex-Ba'athists are being allowed to return. For the Shia, who were
brutally suppressed under Saddam Hussein, the move reaffirms suspicions tha=
the US intends to repeat history and install a Sunni strongman.

And the US failure to disband the many militias and private tribal armies,
or integrate them into a national army, reflects how Iraq is splintering in
the absence of a strong central government.

How it will end few care to predict. But there is increasing talk - some
close to the administration call it "plan B" although it does not exist as
such - of engineering Iraq's division into three loosely-linked mini-states=
perhaps a confederation.

At best it will be a controlled fragmentation, as advocated by former US
ambassador Peter Galbraith, into a system resembling the former Yugoslav
model of republics. The danger is a bloody Balkan-style break-up as Kurds,
Sunni Arabs and Shia fight for disputed territory and resources.

Mr Galbraith, who has long been associated with the Kurdish cause and also
served in the Balkans, believes Iraq "is not salvageable as a unitary
state". Writing in the New York Review of Books, he also says a break-up is
not a realistic possibility "for the present" because of hostility from
neighbours wary of similar demands for self-rule by their own Kurdish and
Shia communities. Attempts to define the specifics of a federal Iraq were
abandoned during the writing of the interim constitution.

For many conservatives in Washington - especially the ideologues who
envisaged Iraq as a shining example of America's power to bring about chang=
- talk of lowering expectations or allowing Iraq to fall apart smacks of
"cut and run".

"I find even the administration's strongest supporters, including fervent
advocates of the war a year ago and even some who could be labelled
'neo-conservatives', now despairing and looking for an exit," Mr Kagan, a
champion of American potency, wrote in the Washington Post. "All but the
most blindly devoted Bush supporters can see that Bush administration
officials have no clue about what to do in Iraq tomorrow, much less a month
from now," he continued, asking why the president tolerated "a dysfunctiona=
policymaking apparatus".

Some neo-conservatives have called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld,
the defence secretary. Others blame the State Department and Paul Bremer,
the US civilian administrator. Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon analyst now
with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has attacked the
"racism and condescension" towards Iraqis of diplomats of the State
Department. "The State Department, Centcom and CIA argument that only a
strongman or benign autocrat can govern Iraq creates a self-fulfilling
prophecy," Mr Rubin wrote in the National Review Online. Other commentators
who backed the war are starting to blame the Iraqis instead.

Opinion polls are starting to show a small US majority losing faith in the
war, but President Bush still projects an air of steadfast and faith-based

Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, said that after the deaths of
more than 700 American soldiers in Iraq there would be "no cutting and
running", nor any lowering of the bar "which has been set as a stable and
democratic Iraq".

This gives heart to the neo-conservatives and others who fear Mr Bush's
advisers and campaign managers might hang up the "Mission Accomplished" sig=
- and then head for the door.

"Our coalition is implementing a clear strategy in Iraq," Mr Bush told the
nation in his latest weekly radio address, pledging stability and democracy=
But he also warned that more violence was likely as the handover of
sovereignty approached.

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.665 / Virus Database: 428 - Release Date: 21/04/2004

End of casi-news Digest

Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list
To unsubscribe, visit
All postings are archived on CASI's website at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]