Brown Stains Pt 1
It sends a shiver of disgust down one’s spine listening to the sad clown, Gordon Brown’s, apologetics at the Iraq inquiry, especially the moral distance he is attempting to put between himself (his decisions and his actions), and the million or so Iraqis who have been killed as a result of the invasion of 2003 which, he admitted yesterday, he so enthusiastically supported.
And perhaps the most sickening thing of all was his wanting:
“… er … to pay my respects to all the soldiers and members of our armed forces who served with great courage and distinction … in Iraq … er … for the loss of … life and the sacrifices they have made … and my thoughts are with the families … er … Next week … er …we will dedicate … at the National Aboretum a memorial to the 179 servicemen who died … in Iraq … and I think the thoughts and prayers of …er … us are with all the families today.
We have previously devoted an outraged post to the these vomitous and vacuous sentiments and sentimentalities. “At a time like this,” we said,
“thoughts, prayers, condolences and sympathies are thick in the air like a flock of pigeons on crystal meth … When someone’s “heart goes out” to us, do we have to have a special jar to keep it in? What actually are these things? What do they mean? What actual value are they to us? How much did they cost? The answer to the last four questions are: nothing, nothing, fuckall and fucking nothing. Talk is cheap and mealy-mouthed words and pompous forms of words are empty and meaningless. So, for a politician, the price is right. They serve the speaker, not the supposed recipient who gets precisely nothing in fact. But at least the PM looks and sounds good and, who knows, might be a slightly better chance for re-election one day.”
This is even more pertinent to Brown’s carefully-prepared, carefully-worded, carefully-timed, probably focus-group-tested, utterly empty, utterly tactical hand-wringing, which has the stench of his political advisers all over it, than it was to Rudd when we wrote it. Brown was merely trying to take the sting out of the hostility he faces over his role in the Iraq invasion. He was attempting to take some sort of moral high ground by appearing to care and using supposedly high-sounding language.
Here, have a tree. I mean, shit, who wouldn’t rather have a tree than their son or daughter?
According to the BBC:
His own intelligence briefings had convinced him that Iraq was a threat that “had to be dealt with,” he said.
But the main issue for him was that Iraq was in breach of UN resolutions – and that “rogue states” could not be allowed to flout international law.
If the international community could not act together over Iraq, Mr Brown said he feared the “new world order we were trying to create would be put at risk”.
Gordon Brown’s “New World Order”? When did “we” vote on that? Who designed this “New World Order”? With what and whose authority? When was he elected The One, the most righteous, the most intelligent, the chooser of other people’s choices, the pilot of other people’s life destinations? And by whom was this honour conferred on him? Of course, he arrogates to himself this right, imagining himself somehow superior. Superior? He’s a fucking politician, for christ’s sake! That puts him a long way down the pile and actually nowhere near the short list. The best that can be said about his belief that his intellect is god’s gift to the world is that he’s incredibly ignorant and he mustn’t get out much.
But here is the awful admission that the old dragon, the imperial colonial arrogance which Britain (England, really) has long claimed to have abjured, has merely lain dormant and is resurrected at the slightest provocation. Here is the disdainful assertion that the British (and Americans) own the world or at least are its rightful rulers and that it is they who own the prerogative to decide to chastise disobedient and unruly child nations.
So … “Rogue States” …
There is, of course, no such thing in international law, or in formal international dialogue, as a “rogue state”. It’s propaganda. It is a debating conceit synthesised by (mainly American) political apparatchiks and theorists to create an emotional trigger in a polemical argument to justify possibly contentious state policy (like killing hundreds of thousands of innocent foreigners).
Rogue state is a term applied by some international theorists to states considered threatening to the world’s peace. This means meeting certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism, and seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. The term is used most by the United States
[ ... ]
Critics charge that “rogue state” merely means any state that is generally hostile to the U.S., or even one that opposes the U.S. without necessarily posing a wider threat. Some others, such as author William Blum, have written that the term is applicable to the U.S. and Israel. Both the concepts of rogue states and the “Axis of Evil” have been criticized by certain scholars, including philosopher Jacques Derrida and linguist Noam Chomsky, who considered it more or less a justification of imperialism and a useful word for propaganda.
Political scientists Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, from Harvard University and the University of Chicago, respectively, consider Israel to be a rogue state in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
But let’s go back to eat more of the vomit of Gordon Brown.
“I met the intelligence services on a number of occasions during the course of 2002 and early 2003,” he said. “I was given information by the intelligence services which led me to believe that Iraq was a threat that had to be dealt with by the actions of the international community.”
Or in other words, “I am not responsible for my own actions. I was led to believe…” Blameshifting is the other excuse of the murderous guilty, after “I was only following orders”.
And it is a simple lie to suggest that the threat was dealt with by “the international community”. It was just George and Tony and a little bit of John but hardly the “international community”. Most of “the international community”, especially as represented by the UN, was strongly opposed to it and didn’t agree that such a “threat” had to be “dealt with”. But then, in their narcissistic arrogance the US and the UK must assume themselves to be the only important members of “the international community”.
But, he added: “What we wanted was a diplomatic route to succeed. Right up to the last minute, right up to the last weekend, I think many of us were hopeful that the diplomatic route would succeed.”
What a slimy load of horseshit. Here’s what Erich Fromm had to say in the 50s, in The Sane Society, about politicians who “try to avoid war”:
Everybody is looking with a mixture of confidence and apprehension to the “statesmen” of the various peoples, ready to heap all praise on them if they “succeed in avoiding a war,” and ignoring the fact that it is only these very statesmen who ever cause a war¹, usually not even through their bad intentions, but by their unreasonable mismanagement of the affairs entrusted to them.
¹ One’s emphases
It is always possible to avoid a war, especially a war of your own choosing.
What you do is not start it.
What Brown is saying has all the moral force of
“I was hoping that I could avoid having to bugger the child but he refused to say “yes” and my already-erect cock was so juiced-up and insistent on satisfaction that it overwhelmed all actual moral judgment. It’s his own fault. If only he’d just sucked me off like a good boy … “
Because you know that Blair, Brown and others, and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others, Howard, Costello, Downer, Sinodinos and others all had their little stiffies out, and their lust for war and death required satisfaction. If only Saddam Hussein had just bent over…
So Brown says that “right up to the last minute” he’d hoped that diplomacy would succeed. And what is the truth of that assertion? Well, we’ll never know for sure but the known facts are against him. What is pretty certain is that “right up to the last minute” Saddam Hussein was trying to reach a diplomatic solution and that the US and Britain refused to engage in diplomacy.
In December 2002, a representative of the head of Iraqi Intelligence, General Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, contacted former Central Intelligence Agency Counterterrorism Department head Vincent Cannistraro stating that Hussein “knew there was a campaign to link him to September 11 and prove he had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).” Cannistraro further added that “the Iraqis were prepared to satisfy these concerns. I reported the conversation to senior levels of the state department and I was told to stand aside and they would handle it.” Cannistraro stated that the offers made were all “killed” by the George W. Bush administration because they allowed Hussein to remain in power – an outcome viewed as unacceptable. It has been suggested that Saddam Hussein was prepared to go into exile if allowed to keep $1 billion USD.
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s national security advisor, Osama El-Baz, sent a message to the US State Department that the Iraqis wanted to discuss the accusations that the country had weapons of mass destruction and ties with al-Qaeda. Iraq also attempted to reach the US through the Syrian, French, German, and Russian intelligence services. Nothing came of the attempts.
In January 2003, Lebanese-American Imad Hage met with Michael Maloof of the US Department of Defense’s Office of Special Plans. Hage, a resident of Beirut, had been recruited by the department to assist in the “War on Terrorism”. He reported that Mohammed Nassif, a close aide to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, had expressed frustrations about the difficulties of Syria contacting the United States, and had attempted to use him as an intermediary. Maloof arranged for Hage to meet with civilian Richard Perle, then head of the Defense Policy Board.
In January 2003, Hage met with the chief of Iraqi intelligence’s foreign operations, Hassan al-Obeidi. Obeidi told Hage that Baghdad didn’t understand why they were being targeted, and that they had no WMDs; he then made the offer for Washington to send in 2000 FBI agents to confirm this. He additionally offered petroleum concessions, but stopped short of having Hussein give up power, instead suggesting that elections could be held in two years. Later, Obeidi suggested that Hage travel to Baghdad for talks; he accepted.
Later that month, Hage met with General Habbush and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. He was offered top priority to US firms in oil and mining rights, UN-supervised elections, US inspections (with up to 5,000 inspectors), to have al-Qaeda agent Abdul Rahman Yasin (in Iraqi custody since 1994) handed over as a sign of good faith, and to give “full support for any US plan” in the Arab-Israeli peace process. They also wished to meet with high-ranking US officials.
On February 19, Hage faxed Maloof his report of the trip. Maloof reports having brought the proposal to Jamie Duran. The Pentagon denies that either Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld, Duran’s bosses, were aware of the plan.
On February 21, Maloof informed Duran in an email that Richard Perle wished to meet with Hage and the Iraqis if the Pentagon would clear it. Duran responded “Mike, working this. Keep this close hold.” On March 7, Perle met with Hage in Knightsbridge, and stated that he wanted to pursue the matter further with people in Washington (both have acknowledged the meeting). A few days later, he informed Hage that Washington refused to let him meet with Habbush to discuss the offer (Hage stated that Perle’s response was “that the consensus in Washington was it was a no-go”). Perle told The Times, “The message was ‘Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad.”
Brown, in short, is a liar or really stupid. One deeply suspects he is both.
Politicians squirming under the post-facto boot of public scrutiny usually squeal and claim some sort of immunity – you know, “I was just doing my job,” “I was doing the best I could under difficult circumstances”. They also seem to assert some sense of immunity because they are somehow “special”, in a special position. One has met truly “special” people in “special schools” who are far more special in every way than Brown, Howard, Bush and all their careerist sycophants.
Politicians deserve no special treatment merely by dint of the fact that they are politicians. Prime ministers and cabinet ministers especially are due no special moral privilege because they are senior decision-makers, the political elite. Pursuing a career in politics is voluntary. The decisions that politicians make, they make 100% by their own personal choice and they therefore bear 100% of the responsibility for those choices. There is no possibility for blameshifting or diluting culpability. Brown made a very big mistake and no amount of squirming can relieve him of the burden of guilt which he now carries for the deaths and destruction which he so eagerly told Blair he could pay for.
“I think it was the right decision and made for the right reasons.”
Clearly and demonstrably – as all the evidence shows unequivocally – it was not for the right reasons. The evidence shows that the reasons were just about 100% wrong. Firstly the reason cannot be pre-emptive regime change. That is illegal in any language and any system. If that is what he is suggesting he has admitted guilt and he ought not pass Go. He should go directly to gaol.
And it’s not enough to “think” it was the right decision. It has to be rolled gold certified undeniable F-A-C-T if you’re going to go and kill people on the basis of it.
The thing is this: if you’re going to go around killing people and destroying countries and ruining people’s lives, you’d better be absolutely 100% certain you have your facts 100% right, and your legal facts 100% right and your moral rights 100% right, otherwise you are culpable and a murderer and a war criminal. It is not enough to say that you “thought” it was probably right, or that you “believed” it was the right thing to do. It’s not enough to say that you “believed” your advisers, because they don’t have to pay if they made a mistake. You pay. It’s not enough to think that you’re right “beyond a reasonable doubt”, or “on the balance of probabilities”. If you’re going to go around killing people in the name of your country, or (in the case of George W. Bush and Tony Blair) in the name of your god – or possibly, in Brown’s case, in the name of his political career – then you need to be dead-set 100% absolutely cast-iron certain without the faintest hint of the palest doubt that you are right. Otherwise you are culpable and a murderer and a war criminal. And Blair and Brown, Howard and Bush are in this writer’s opinion culpable and murderers and war criminals.
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Posted: 6 March, 2010 in Australian Politics, Australian Values, History, Iraq, legal, Life, politics and government, Religion, US Politics, values.
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