Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The LibDems and the Iraq war for or against?

I didn't expect to fin myself defending  the Liberal Democrats from a Blog that  claims to be a Progressive Left  forum.

But Left Foot Forward must surely be desperate to defend all those current and former Labour MPs who enthusiastically Blair's intervention in Iraq in a article  OWEN BENNETT

Blair is not the only one with Iraq amnesia – the Lib Dems were NOT anti-invasion, just anti-that-kind-of-invasion

He says
It is one of the great myths of recent political history – that the Liberal Democrats were opposed to Britain joining with US forces to invade Iraq in 2003.
It is quite simply not true. In the run up to the 2003 invasion, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy addressed the infamous anti-war rally in Hyde Park on February 15.
He told the million-odd people who had marched through central London (including this author as a 17-year-old student) he had “yet to be persuaded as to the case for war against Iraq”.
He also told the Stop the War coalition-led protest he was “not personally a pacifist”.
These statements show Mr Kennedy was open to the idea of military action in Iraq, and he set out four criteria for Lib Dem acquiescence in the invasion:
1. The United Nations has the moral authority and the political mandate here.
2. United Nations decisions have to be based on adequate information – which means full compliance with the weapons inspectors.
3. The British House of Commons must have the right to vote on any actions taken.
4. All other options must be exhausted before there is any recourse to force.”
He added: “Without a second UN resolution, there is no way that the Liberal Democrats could or should support war.”
So there it is: Charles Kennedy setting out the circumstances in which he and the Lib Dems would be in favour of a military invasion of Iraq.
Get the second UN resolution and we back you.
So because Kennedy makes an honest statement that he was opposed to the war because he was concerned  about it's legality he and his party are supposedly tarred with the same brush as Tony Blair.

Maybe all becomes clear when you see in a supposed left-leaning Blog that 
"Owen Bennett is a reporter for the Daily Express Online and blogs at Designed for Life"

Plaid and the SNP  may be the  party  in the House of Commons only ones without dirty hands  and the Liberal Democrats failed to support Adam prices call to impeach Tony Blair  they cannot be  condemened in the same breath as those Labour MPs  would have opposed the War  if the Tories hasd been in power




And the failure  of the Liberal Democrats to bak Adam Price campaign to Impeach Blair was a  disgrace. for a Party opposed to the intervention

For the record  Those who backed Adam were 

Conservative Party
Richard Bacon
Angela Browning
Nigel Evans
Roger Gale
Edward Garnier
John Gummer
Douglas Hogg QC
Boris Johnson
Richard Page


Labour Party
Peter Kilfoyle was the only Labour MP to support the campaign, but he withdrew his support before the selection process by his constituency office began for the upcoming 2005 election.

Liberal Democrats]
Paul Marsden
Jenny Tonge

Plaid Cymru
Elfyn Llwyd
Adam Price
Simon Thomas
Hywel Williams

Scottish National Party
Annabelle Ewing
Angus Robertson
Alex Salmond
Michael Weir
Pete Wishart

Others
George Galloway (RESPECT)
Richard Taylor (Independent) 


It is Labour and those who backed Blair  including Anne Clwyd 



As a recent article by Dan O 'Neil in the South Wales Echo  he wrote 



To her eternal credit Ann Clwyd had been an implacable opponent of Saddam’s monstrous regime for years as she championed the persecuted Kurds and Marsh Arabs. So she was right behind the (illegal) invasion and so optimistic about Iraq’s future, so condemnatory of Saddam that she was courted by one of America’s weirdest neo-con war lords, deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
Here was a guy described by one senator as a fanatic and the true architect of pre-emptive attack on any state stepping out of line. He was ready to invade Iraq two days after 9/11 for no other reason except a long-held ambition to topple Saddam. He was a hawk with Syria, Iran and even North Korea in his sights. Ann was invited to Washington to meet him.
“Super hawk? No. he was a very engaging personality and I found it very easy to talk to him.” Then along came Wolfowitz’s boss Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary behind the “shock and awe” assault. “He had a great line in self deprecation,” our Annie assured us. “Which is a great thing in a politician.”
I wonder had she forgotten that this was the bloke who supported Saddam when he used chemical weapons against Iran, the same weapons that killed thousands of Kurds, one reason for Annie’s passionate campaign against
him.


Left Foot Forward should be condemning those who cheered Blair not those expressed doubts

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