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Thread: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    For those still unaware of the real reasons why the Iraq War happened, look up "A Clean Break".

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    For those still unaware of the real reasons why the Iraq War happened, look up "A Clean Break".
    A focus on containing Syria/Ba'ath Party through breaking the geo-political stalemate. What about Iran, Afghanistan,Pakistan, and Libya?

    Supporting nations seen as stable in the region ie. Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. That makes sense...

    I don't think this study predicted the Arab Spring or Al Qeada though?

    I'm not totally convinced, why would Israel want Islamic Fundementalists to have more power in Syria and Libya?
    Why let Iran the most vocal in it's opposition to Israel become top gun, especially with it's much greater WMD threat when compared with Iraq,Libya, and Syria?

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    IMO, given what is known today, the stronger narrative is one that the war was not necessary. Having said that, a flawed decision does not mean that the British Prime Minister, U.S. National Security Advisor, U.S. Secretary of State were "corrupt." The quality of a decision and corruption are not the same thing.

    Some ten years after the war was launched, hindsight from what was found after the war (a small number of hidden pre-Gulf War remnants of WMD), makes it easy to re-evaluate the decision. Unfortunately, the political leaders at the time did not possess the benefit of hindsight. They did not know that Saddam Hussein was engaging in deception to create ambiguity concerning his country's weapons-related activities to deter Iran, calculating that the U.S. and others would avoid war given the lack of evidence found by the inspectors to justify war.

    What he didn't know and what many of today's critics (fully armed with hindsight) don't know or appreciate is that human decision making is not purely objective. It is influenced by context and cognitive biases. The relevant context was that the U.S. was caught by surprise by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. There was public pressure to avoid such attacks in the future. The leaders at the time were determined to avoid another surprise. That context lowered the proverbial bar with respect to military action being limited situations where an attack had either occurred or was imminent.

    Even as the Intelligence data subsequently declassified beginning in fall 2003 revealed that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat, it also suggested that Iran had an active WMD program underway. The former President, among others, placed their emphasis on that latter aspect. They were determined to prevent what appeared to be a low probability, catastrophic-type event and were focused on the catastrophic element. In other words, their tolerance for risk had been markedly eroded since the 9/11 attacks.

    To appreciate how such factors played into their calculations, take two hypothetical scenarios. Scenario 1: Low Tolerance for Risk/Fear from Recent Attack; Scenario 2: Higher Degree of Tolerance for Risk. Consider a Bayesian-type probability assessment.

    Scenario 1:
    Bayesian Prior of Iraq's having a WMD program: 90% (past program +Intelligence confidence of WMD activities + 9/11 worries)
    Probability that if no evidence has been found that Iraq is cheating: 50%
    Probability that if no evidence has been found, Iraq is not cheating: 25% (other factors i.e., not enough sampling, not enough time, etc., could explain the other 25%)

    The probability that Iraq had a WMD program would be estimated at 94.7%

    Scenario 2:
    Bayesian Prior of Iraq's having a WMD program: 66.7% (past program +Intelligence confidence of WMD activities + but no 9/11 worries + confidence in sanctions regime)
    Probability that if no evidence has been found that Iraq is cheating: 25% (confidence in the role of inspections and sanctions)
    Probability that if no evidence has been found, Iraq is not cheating: 65% (other factors i.e., not enough sampling, not enough time, etc., could explain the other 10%, which is lower given the higher confidence in the inspections and sanctions)

    The probability that Iraq had a WMD program would be estimated at 43.5%

    These numbers are used to illustrate the situation. What's important is that the assumptions undertaken made a critical difference between the two scenarios. Something along the lines of scenario 1 influenced the outcome of the decision to go to war. The "surprise" element of 9/11 undermined confidence in the inspections that preceded the war and the Hussein regime's deliberate deception/lack of cooperation helped reinforce those worries.

    In sum, unless one has credible evidence that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush, among others, "knew" that Iraq did not possess WMD and did not have an active WMD program, I don't think one can make a strong case that they were "corrupt." One can today make a strong case that the decision was incorrect, but that's very different from arguing that they were "corrupt." Hence, I don't believe it is fair to accuse them of corruption.
    What you see as "relevant context"--the attacks at WTC being a surprise--I cannot accept. Though I do understand what you're saying, because I too more or less believed the official story regarding those attacks for the better part of 4 years. However with the luxury of hindsight, it is clear now that those attacks were no surprise to the federal government and its president.

    But considering that the Brits discussed that the evidence would be made to fit the narrative, Blair must have known or at least suspected that the invasion of Iraq was being brought under fraud.

    Considering the massive crowds objecting to British involvment in Iraq, it seems obvious that Blair and Bush were in cahoots. I'm quite sure that Blair had a female cousin or somekind of relative, who was a lawyer working in the US at a law firm very close to Bush & Co.

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Has that secret evidence eluded us up until now? Don't count on it. Unanimous votes in the UN security council about the weapons. Come on even our enemies thought he had them. Bill Clinton even thought so. Drop the subject because you can't win on it.
    I'm not trying to "win" anything at all. Like you, I am merely expressing my opinions on any given subject.

    As NotQuiteRight mentions in his post, the intelligence community works in strange ways. Can't remember the names because it's been too long now, but I watched a fascinating documentary on PBS about how Cheney worked the CIA sources constantly, trying to build his fraudulent case.

    The Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame affair add more support to the fraudulent schemes of the Bush administration.

    From my relatively minor military training and involvment decades ago, I knew that Bush was greatly exaggerating the threat of Iraq to the US. It was no threat.

    Blair participated in that fraud IMO.

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    A focus on containing Syria/Ba'ath Party through breaking the geo-political stalemate. What about Iran, Afghanistan,Pakistan, and Libya?
    Rolling Syria back seems to be the plan. Iran will probably be toppled, that is, if Obama continues to go along with this policy. Our drone war in Pakistan has yielded many dead terrorists. We've killed a lot of terrorists in Afghanistan. Baddies were disposed of in Libya too - as well, new ones being created with the Libyan Civil War.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    Supporting nations seen as stable in the region ie. Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. That makes sense...
    Yes, the policy called for working with neighbors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    I don't think this study predicted the Arab Spring or Al Qeada though?
    I don't know if the thinkers thought of it or not, but it seems awfully convenient that the Arab Spring occurred in a lot of the areas that were of interest to Israel and the US, particularly Syria.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    I'm not totally convinced, why would Israel want Islamic Fundementalists to have more power in Syria and Libya?
    One of the driving factors of the whole concept of "A Clean Break" is destabilizing the ME to restabilize it to Israel's national liking. The little guys that have replaced the big guys that used to run the country that has been toppled are easy to kill, and are more than likely on terrorist lists, thus, making them easier to kill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    Why let Iran the most vocal in it's opposition to Israel become top gun, especially with it's much greater WMD threat when compared with Iraq,Libya, and Syria?
    I don't know why Iraq was chosen first. But it was. Lebanon was attacked in '06. Syria has been having its problem for a while now. And I'm positive Iran will see its day in the light, one way or another. I don't have the full operational details of this plan (obviously), I just know that it was implemented and that it is on-going to this day. Similarly, like how the War on Terrorism was thought of, contextually, before 9/11 by neoconservatives. And shortly thereafter 9/11, Wesley Clark found out the US plan to take out seven countries in five years: “Seven countries in five years” - Salon.com

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    I'm not trying to "win" anything at all. Like you, I am merely expressing my opinions on any given subject.

    As NotQuiteRight mentions in his post, the intelligence community works in strange ways. Can't remember the names because it's been too long now, but I watched a fascinating documentary on PBS about how Cheney worked the CIA sources constantly, trying to build his fraudulent case.

    The Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame affair add more support to the fraudulent schemes of the Bush administration.

    From my relatively minor military training and involvment decades ago, I knew that Bush was greatly exaggerating the threat of Iraq to the US. It was no threat.

    Blair participated in that fraud IMO.
    Here are some quotes from those early days.

    We will also stand united behind our President as he and his advisors plan the necessary actions to demonstrate America's resolve and commitment. Not only to seek out and exact punishment on the perpetrators, but to make very clear that not only those who harbor terrorists, but those who in any way aid or comfort them whatsoever will now face the wrath of our country. And I hope that that message has gotten through to everywhere it needs to be heard. You are either with America in our time of need or you are not.
    Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.
    n the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security. This much is undisputed.

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Tony Blair is as corrupt as Rice or Powell or any other of Bush's henchmen.
    We know that..

    But..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z3sJKHLy0Y...

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfie View Post
    You choose a song from a pop singer to make a political point?

    Don't you have anything more substantive?

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    You choose a song from a pop singer to make a political point?

    Don't you have anything more substantive?
    What can I say apart that Bush..Blair made big bucks out of this illegal war..

    Surprisingly enough..Blair now has a top job being a ''peace maker'' in the middle East..

    Couldn't make it up..could you??

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    Re: Former MI5 chief criticises Blair's defence of the Iraq war

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfie View Post
    What can I say apart that Bush..Blair made big bucks out of this illegal war..

    Surprisingly enough..Blair now has a top job being a ''peace maker'' in the middle East..

    Couldn't make it up..could you??
    Do you have a link to another pop song to support these claims?

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