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KAYLEE: ...I got pinned down and there were three guys, and I couldn't...And then River comes up. She looks out, sees 'em all. And they was spread out, you know? Had some cover. She ... she didn't only looked for a second, and took my gun, closed her eyes ... killed 'em.


SIMON: She probably didn't even know what was going on. You know, thought it was a game.

JAYNE: Later on, you can explain to me how that's a comfort.

I never had trouble believing that Tony Blair meant what he said. Never had any difficulty believing that he saw Saddam as an imminent threat that had to be dealt with. Never had a problem with the idea that, however cautious the language in the intelligence reports, he thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ready to go. When Lord Butler said, in his announcement yesterday, that it would have been idiotic for Blair to lie knowing that he would be found out by the success of that lie, he was quite correct. It would have been stupid, and I don't think Blair is stupid.

So I'm quite prepared to believe that the Prime Minster believed everything that he told the Commons - ready to believe that he was acting 'in good faith.'

But later on, I hope he explains to me how that's a comfort.
Well, clearly he won't. :) But if he were to do so, it's conceivable that he'd argue something along these lines:

Lots of our friends have weapons of mass destruction. But their governance is by way of stable liberal democracy, and they are led by elected officials who are ruled by checks, balances, and international law (and, before anyone says it, the fact that GWB and TB perhaps did not abide by international law does not make their countries rogue states). The problem with Saddam was not that he had weapons of mass destruction but that, if he did, he was likely to use them. Because he was as mad as a barrel of murdering monkeys. The justification for war was in this sense never the issue of weapons of mass destruction, but rather the continuing undesirability of Saddam. So, while weapons of mass destruction seem to have not, in fact, been in Iraq when the US and UK invaded, what was in Iraq was a leader as mad as a barrel of murdering monkeys. Which is what we were always after, really.

Oh, I'm down with the idea that a Good Thing was done, believe me. I'm glad he's gone. I think that it will take time and committment on our part, but that Iraq will be a better place. But the good thing was done in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons, and that's what really worries me; fighting just to get the other guy ain't the way to go.

And you meant a barrel of murdering space monkeys, right? :)
I think suggesting that the US is a 'liberal democracy' would be repudiated by the current regime. I've always been puzzled why some people in the US think that 'liberal' is a bad word, but visiting the US at the moment makes you feel as if liberal is the new communist. There's even a well publicised and, presumably, well selling political book whose subtitle calls for the defeat of liberalism.

I'd like to know what these people think 'liberal' means!
I believe Bush and Blair thought they knew how they could lie and get away with it:

First, they thought that there would be something they could point to and call the fabled WMDs,

And second, they thought that in the joy of the Iraqi liberation and reconstruction, they would be forgiven if their reasons for going to war were a little weak.

As for the first, while I never thought there was anything there worth attacking a sovereign nation for, I'm as shocked as they were that they found nothing. I truly thought there would be some ordinance and facilities, however pathetic, they could wave around for the cameras.

As to the second, I expect Blair wasn't prepared for how truly incompetent Bush and the neo-cons would turn out to be.

It's still a possibility for me that Blair was sincere, although on the balance of probabilities I think he lied. But either possibility warrants his resignation.

I don't think Blair is stupid either. But I do think he is a morally bankrupt, mendacious piece of shit who was dazzled by the possibility that history might remember him if he did something Good (yes, that's moral capitalisation there), and who agreed to follow George up the creek without the proverbial paddle on that offchance. I believe he should have resigned long ago and taken the personal responsibility that he acknowledges seriously (read today's Simon Hoggart sketch in the Guardian for a lovely portrait of Blairite doublethink).

He has sold out his country, his party, and his erstwhile principles, and since I absolutely do not believe in any kind of afterlife, I hope he meets an exceptionally unpleasant end (stomach cancer would do nicely). As Hoggy might say, CHOKE ON MY FUCK, BLAIR.
I don't think we disagree that much. I also think that he was dazzled by the lights of history (see my reply to Dan)...I just don't think he consciously abandoned any principles along the way. I think he still sees himself as a good guy.

I'm trying to remember something tinyjo said on this topic a while ago. I know it was something I thought was very perceptive, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was...
I can't believe he wasn't forced to resign after the Kelly fiasco. You want morally reprehensible? Let's force a non-political government scientist to take the flack for our hideous ineptitude at attempting to conduct realpolitik. When a war you "won" takes casualties at home something ain't right in the state of Denmark.
I don't think that Bush ever believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. At the time I thought (and I still do) that the US invaded because they knew he didn't have any. They knew he would be easy to take out. In that respect I think they were wholly cynical and dishonest. And this stuff about 'the CIA let us down' is creepy.

I guess that the US put economic pressure on Blair to support the invasion. Just as LBJ put economic pressure on Wilson to support the invasion of Vietnam. Blair thought (correctly) that Saddam deserved to be overthrown and (incorrectly) that the US led forces would be blatantly much, much better for the Iraqi people from day one. So he had reason to want to believe what he was told, and to think that even if he was wrong, that things would work out for the best in the long run.

Where he made a mistake - and I think it was an egregious one - was to trust the Bush administration. He trusted them to when they assured him that they knew what they were doing, that they would conduct the invasion to the highest standards, and that they would include him in high level decision making. Now he must pay the price for that misplaced trust.
Yeah, I can buy that - it's easy for me to believe that Bush was cynically motivated, that the politics came first, whereas I do think Blair is still an idealist, even if a deeply misguided one. This doesn't mean I think Blair is better than Bush; on the contrary, if Blair was in Bush's position - if he was the one with the power - I think I'd be outright scared, rather than merely very concerned.
PS - he will never explain how that's a comfort, because the whole mess is fait accompli and he doesn't need to. We let him get away with it,and it will happen again because the majority of people are either not paying attention, too slow to act, or too in hoc to someoneorother to be able to act freely.

In short, we're screwed.

Mind you, he is decidedly Conservative, and can be amusingly caustic - but he nevertheless is making observations that you may share.
No, I'm not buying that. I read today's Daily Mail, in which they gleefully tromp all over the Labour government's sins re: the Butler Report, never mentioning that their beloved Tories would have been worse.

(hard to believe, I know, for you youngsters that don't remember the evil that was Thatcher, Tebbit, and oh, look! Michael Howard)

So it is with davywavy. If this were a conservative government, he'd be defending the invasion now. He's just happy to have an opportunity to put the boot into Labour.
Certainly he enjoys putting the boot into Labour ... but he nevertheless makes observations about Blair, and his ability of self-belief, (self-deception?) and how that communicates so well to the masses.
(hard to believe, I know, for you youngsters that don't remember the evil that was Thatcher, Tebbit, and oh, look! Michael Howard)

Not that hard. Labour may be a mess in all sorts of areas, but they're doing some things right, and when there is a mess at least it's a mess I can sort-of understand. More often than not, I just find the conservatives incomprehensible.
So it is with davywavy. If this were a conservative government, he'd be defending the invasion now.

Excuse me? I've always been in favour of nailing Saddam Hussein, in much the same way that I'm favour of giving well-deserved kickings to Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-il, the Burmese junta and a whole bunch of others who make a list as long as your arm. Why? Because they're evil and have it coming.

What I object to about Blair & chuims is the institutionalised moral mendacity that socialismn engenders; it's lovely to have a bleeding heart conscience and all, but they don't work in the real world and (as the historical record demonstrates unequivocally) when people who think that the world would be a better place if we all just held hands and sang a song are put into a position of applying that philosophy in realpolitik it quickly becomes clear tothem it just ain't going to work.
So what you end up with is either (or both) a) Blair et al, who are being realpolitik to the hilt whilst lying ferociously about their moral standards, or b) a decline in civil liberties as it becomes clear that people won't hold hands and sing a song voluntarily, so they'll just have to be jolly well forced to for their own good.

Oh, and if you're gonna comment on what I've said, you might have at least come over to my Lj and say it to me, you know? I'd've been happy to defend my position.

The artist formerly known as Davywavy.