Brown at Chilcot 147

I can’t be bothered watching Brown at Chilcot any more. Mildly interesting but unsurprising that Blair kept him out of the loop on dealings with Bush,

Brown’s primary concern is to deny that Treasury constraints cost British soldiers’ lives. He has therefore said six times in the first half hour that, as far as the Treasury were concerned, cost was never an issue.

It bloody well should have been. To all those unemployed and steeped in debt, does this feel like a country that had £100 billion to throw away on a totally needless aggressive war?

Gordon Brown. Unquestioning writer of cheques for a psychotic warmongerer.

What a tosser.

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147 thoughts on “Brown at Chilcot

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  • KingofWelshNoir


    You need to talk to the people working the other shifts on the ‘Larry from St Louis’ avatar, stylistically you seem to be singing from different hymn sheets. The earlier guys weren’t so in-your-face with the profanities, and were generally a touch more urbane. I think that approach is more successful. Maybe you could discuss it with your supervisor.

    Hope that helps.

  • john

    Richard Robinson

    “Wasn’t the question of whether or not the people were prepared to pay for the leaders’ wars one of the issues that sparked the Civil War(s?) of the mid-1600s ?”

    Such a pertinent point to follow Craig’s post.

    The British people should be made more aware of the choice and cost, between these wars to enrich a ruling elite–or supply the domestic needs of the nation. However, everything in the British Establishment, seems to militate against the truth and consequences of government actions and we seem less able to register our opposition to these adventures.

    Is the Fourth Estate a fifth columnist?

  • technicolour

    “we seem less able to register our opposition”

    As a friend of mine was saying yesterday, we need a figure for a minimum voter turnout (15 percent?), under which figure an election is declared null and void, as with UN elections. Then all politicians would have to go away and rethink, and come back to the country with revised plans and some humility.

    Otherwise the low voter turnout and general apathy merely bankrolls the unscrupulous.

    John: William Nordhaus (professor of economics, Yale) sketched out before the invasion the potential, almost unimaginable, costs. His analysis was ignored, by the British press too. Very few newspapers wanted to hear anything but the drum rolls. Perhaps it’s as simple as the fact that journalists mostly get excited about war; and so do editors, because it sells newspapers. I almost hope not.

  • mary

    Off topic here but relevant to the main thrust on this blog.

    From medialens

    Dismore: ‘We need more of an answer’ on torture allegations

    Posted by pete f on March 6, 2010, 10:29 am

    and links to Clive Stafford Smith article on latest allegations.


    Reminder that Dismore is Labour Friend of Israel and chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.

    He is holding the ring here.

  • anno

    ‘Unquestioning writer of cheques for a psychotic warmonger.’

    Two weeks ago I was asking whether the general UK public were unquestioning and complicit in the illegal invasions. The reply came back that most people did not feel empowered to protest however much they disagreed with UK foreign policy. If you make the assumption, as I do, that Gordon Brown, as Prime Minister, does not feel empowered to protest about it, you end up asking who and why exercises so much influence over us that our hands are tied.

    If we are not allowed to name the people who we believe are responsible for tying our hands, it is easy to fall back into the default position that the whole UK population is tacitly complicit with the evil of these invasions. I don’t accept that conclusion.

    Nor does the blame for the invasions rest with the global enterprises who have raised living standards astronomically in many parts of the world. Gordon Brown supports the world-wide program of English teaching as a way of exporting our varlues. One example of these is the British concept that laws defining quality control, although raising costs, benefit society as a whole. If you buy the same model of car in Iraq as in the UK, the quality is much inferior to what we drive here.

    It is not Racism to export values. It is Racism, to exterminate other peoples with different values by means of overwhelming power. I simply do not buy the economic argument that big business wants to bulldoze its trade into the whole globe by means of excruciating personal and social pain. I believe that enemies of Islam, Racists against Islam, have power, through banking, to manipulate UK foreign policy through economic blackmail. The fact that banking individuals are receiving bonuses in the teeth of this severe recession reinforces my opinion that the banks are controlling government.

    So. No, I don’t agree with Craig’s statement that Gordon Brown is unquestioning or that Tony Blair was a psychotic warmonger. I believe that are forces running our country, which are Racist against Islam and beyond our present power to control.

  • Ian McNee

    Anno and others have the cart before the horse. The rise of racism and Islamaphobia is a consequence of the US/British imperialist adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, not the other way around.

    The tide of intolerance and paranoia directed at Muslims at home and abroad has been whipped-up by politicians and their willing cronies in the media as part of an ideological offensive to justify the crimes that are their foreign wars. It was ever thus.

    Let’s not forget that our glorious leaders are not at all shy about being very friendly with quite a lot of countries that are overwhelmingly Muslim, to the point that they will turn a blind eye to, say, corruption involving Western defence contractors or appalling human rights abuses. I believe the owner of this blog may have written a book about one such example.

    Imperialism will use whichever form of prejudice is convenient in the given circumstances: it just so happens that their current hate campaign poster boy is Muslim.

  • Ian McNee

    Larry: when you concentrate on the froth rather than a deep currents that lie beneath all you get is…erm…frothy.

    I suggest you read Lenin’s “Imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism” – as fresh and pertinent today as when he wrote it during World War I

  • mary

    The tea party with the four knights and the baroness on Friday and then a long flight to beat the war drum on Saturday.

    Is he on some sort of melanotropic drug?


    Brown visits soldiers in Afghanistan amid defence row

    Gordon Brown: “I’ve planned this visit for some time”

    Gordon Brown has visited British troops in Afghanistan amid a growing row over his evidence to the Iraq war inquiry.

    Downing Street told the BBC Mr Brown had rejected criticism from two ex-Army chiefs that as chancellor, he spurned requests for more equipment in Iraq.

    No 10 also denied Conservative claims the PM was using the visit to divert attention away from the row.

    During his trip the PM promised 2,000 more metal detectors and announced plans for a new light patrol vehicle.


  • angrysoba

    “I suggest you read Lenin’s “Imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism” – as fresh and pertinent today as when he wrote it during World War I”

    Hmmm…Lenin had some good ideas, didn’t he. Him and good ole Felix Dzerzhinsky. No Guantanamo Bays for them, they just rounded everyone up and shot them in the basements.

  • angrysoba

    “Former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency Hamid Gol says the United States is seeking to create and train terrorist groups in the region.”

    Yes, but I’d take Hamid Gul’s words with an extremely large pinch of salt.

    Not only that but I think Hamid Gul’s got a bit of a cheek to accuse others of raising terrorist organizations (can we use that word “terrorist”?) given the ISI and his own personal record on that.

  • technicolour

    Mmm. I would take anything Gul said without the need for an emetic, necessarily. He’s not mentioning what ISI are up to either. And yet, this is what the CIA actually do, and have done. Very stupid

  • Nomad


    at least ISI or Gol are not organizing an assassination of freedom fighters in sovereign countries’ territories.

  • Richard Robinson

    John – “Such a pertinent point to follow Craig’s post”

    Thanks, but … in a more ideal world it would be startling that this was even worth mentioning. I’m here because I’m interested in what Craig has to say, the points he raises.

    And he says he’s deleted 30-some disruptive comments ? This is not an easy place to look for coherent conversation. Some of the spin-offs are interesting, granted, and I’ve been known to diverge, myself, but still …

    “The British people should be made more aware of the choice and cost, between these wars to enrich a ruling elite–or supply the domestic needs of the nation.”

    Are you familiar with the saying “We look forward to the day when schools get all the equipment they need, and the Air Force holds jumble sales to fund its next bomber” ? (I think it originated with the US Quakers. The Civil War connection, again).

    To go back to the original point, we should note that “the peoples’ willingness to pay” was mediated by Parliament (one of its main functions ? I Am Not A Historian), and in a formal sense, was done that way over Iraq. It may even have been that if ‘we, the people’ had been asked directly & straightforwardly (referendum, or something ?), ‘we’ would have agreed, given the information being made available. Decision-making can, at best, only be as good as what we think we know. (I thought I knew damn well it was a spurious crisis, invented to excuse a done deal, but maybe not everyone’s that cynical).

    But, ‘we’ didn’t like it once ‘we’ saw what it actually meant. And, nor is it over, God knows what we’re paying for in Afghanistan. (For me, that’s a rhetorical gesture. If the religious people want to take it more seriously that’ll work too, no quarrel). And I do fear it’s not the last time …

    I’m in my late ’50s. I somehow grew up under some kind of assumption that ‘we’ just don’t go round inventing wars any more. And now I see it happening with increasing frequency, it seems to be becoming easier and easier. Regression, indeed. (Europe’s “wars of religion” were between Christian sects, and quite horrible enough. I _hate_ to see this approach becoming globalised.)

  • anno

    The CIA create and train terrorist groups to blame for their own false-flag operations. They do that here as well, but in Pakistan he is listened to by his domestic audience, while here you get tarred and feathered by mardy Lardy from St US.

  • Richard Robinson

    “John: William Nordhaus (professor of economics, Yale) sketched out before the invasion the potential, almost unimaginable, costs”

    I remember someone (Syria’s Assad ? I could be wrong) warning “It will open the gates of Hell”. It always seemed a prety fair summary. (side note on “humanitarian intervention” – the road there is famous for being paved with good intentions).

    Book recommendations ? I’ll offer Barbara Tuchman’s “the March of Folly”.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Ian McNee, I thought you might be one of the rare rational people on this blog. The Looming Tower is an incredibly researched, well-argued book about the roots of al-Qaeda in the United States. (If that makes you feel better). Damn American women dared to talk back to Sayyid Qutb, so he knew what was on the horizon back home.

    What makes you real silly is that you send me straight to Lenin.

    So … for agricultural practices, should we read up on Trofim Lysenko?

    And is Mein Kampf next on your suggested reading list?

  • Larry from St. Louis


    You’re probably the most racist person I’ve met on any thread, yet I have to read a lecture by you on racism.

    But you do seem to have an audience here – Craig Murray and his band of clueless liberal morons need to be flogged more and more. Keep it up.

  • angrysoba

    “at least ISI or Gol are not organizing an assassination of freedom fighters in sovereign countries’ territories.”

    Who would these freedom fighters be?

    ISI are certainly known to have had close dealings with Lashkar-e-Taiba who are suspected of going on a killing spree in Mumbai as well as in Kashmir.

  • technicolour

    Richard, thanks. This book review is badly written but I found it interesting

    Until the sentence: “The Laocoons of this book are destined to be ignored, providing a key reminder of the value of dissent.”

    Am off to find example of dissent being listened to.

    Re cynicism: polls on the ground (local radio, media) were showing around 70 percent of respondents against the invasion at the time. This was, in my experience of a wide range of people, something of an underestimate.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Ian, you write: “The rise of racism and Islamaphobia is a consequence of the US/British imperialist adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, not the other way around.”

    Now how do you explain the 2005 Bali bombings?

  • mary

    @Anno….does Gordon Brown have part-time morals which he suspends …..?

    NO He is as psychopathic as the one he succeeded. And he won no election.

    PS He looks almost pregnant on this trip to Bomb Alley. Should stick to wearing a jacket.

  • anno


    Don’t you think it’s rather nasty of judges to send people to jail?

    Rather racist against criminals, really.

  • anno


    Or a straight-jacket?

    Isn’t it a question of the ONES he succeeded, considering that we have a long history of colonial barbarism in the UK?

    We thought that WW2 had brought our leaders to their senses, but it turns out it was only a blip, a pause for breath and dab something on the bruises before the next round.

    At least with the Baldrys you know where you stand.

  • anno

    Larry, it suits you, the role of the frustrated cop in the car chase movie, with piles of broken police cars on all sides. And keep making me laugh. The hero of the movie is Islam, and will carry on being so long as the US and its Racist symbiotic fleas, continue to persecute innocent Muslims in countries far from the bankrupt US on the pretence of being the world’s superhero… stop it, stop it, my sides are bursting. I haven’t laughed and cried so much for years.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    No, Larry how do *you* explain the Bali bombings?

    Please don’t tell me you think it was Al Qaeda – attacking three nations of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (Bali/Oz, Spain & UK) to punish us for invading their enemy.

  • Richard Robinson

    Anno – I like your comments about exporting values, yes – if only we could actually believe in them enough to be confident they would find their own way on their own merits, instead of the wish to enforce them.

    And on Gordon Brown, as hapless. I find it hard to accept that the Prime Minister of the UK is totally without power, but the picture of him as trying to ride the tiger, balance on top of bigger and less visible forces, yes, it seems to make a lot of sense. Hard to avoid, even.

    But – you think that these forces are entirely deliberate, in complete control of what they want and what comes of it, and that their main intention is to attack Islam ? I agree there are a lot of voices pushing some “conflict of beliefs” “war of civilisations” agendas (“Our God is bigger than theirs”, did you hear that ? Some US general, allegedly. Madness. Primary-school playground madness).

    But I can’t see that that’s what those forces are really after, if they are in such control. It seems to me that people having power and using it to expand their power and to simply enrich themselves (materially), regardless of the consequences to others, has much more power than all the conscious plots in the world.

    They know not what they do, and they aren’t bothered so long as it shows a profit. In money, in ‘security’, in ‘strategic advantage’, whatever

    Also, of course, if they ever succeeded in destroying Islam, you think that would be the end of it ? 25 years ago, communism was the bogeyman, but it didn’t stop when that was broken. You don’t think they’d suddenly discover that something else was utterly incompatible with some-noise-or-other ? Like, ooh, I dunno, China, maybe ?

    Always, the ‘need’ to subdue the incompatible idea just beyond the border.

    which leads me to another book recommendation – Ursula leGuin’s “the Lathe of Heaven”. A world at peace with itself, no human fighting another, anywhere … aliens have invaded the moon.

  • Ian McNee

    Larry: sorry for being a little dismissive of “The Looming Tower” but life is short and while this kind of tract may be interesting (and possibly even accurate on some of the detail) it is not rocket science to figure out that the “Islamic Terror Threat” is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy resulting from US foreign policy.

    Likewise the horrific Bali bombing was borne out of a heady cocktail of: (i) a repressive Indonesian government that has alternately flirted with Islamism and repressed it; (ii) resentment of conspicuously wealthy white foreigners having a good time inn a relatively poor country, and (iii) a small clique of fundamentalist Islamists (not happy with this term but struggling to think of something better right now – anyone?) inspired by injustices against Muslims in other parts of the world.

    anno & mary: It serves no useful purpose (and it is simply inaccurate) to label Brown as psychotic or solely and anti-Islamic racist. Yes he does have part-time morals, good point, but the ruling class he is beholden to are not narrowly-focussed on the destruction of Islam and he will sell a broad range (if not all) of his morals to them if it is politically necessary at any given juncture.

    Richard Robinson makes good points on this. I would expect that in the next 20-30 years there will quite a lot of anti-Chinese hysteria whipped-up in the West due to their increasing economic and military power and foreign policy initiatives to secure critical natural resources.

  • anno


    If the ruling class are not narrowly focussed on the destruction of Islam, that implies that vast, unseen resources are at their disposal. Craig’s concern about the cost of the War on Terror is unjustified, and the recession is a myth, to make us idiots run around in circles trying to stay alive instead of thinking about criticising them. The ruling class are completely shielded from the national debt of nations, while they pile on ever increasing amounts of debt.

    The ruling class is welcome to the entire wealth of the world but they, and their Racist fleas, will go to hell for their crimes. Why would Gordon Brown want to associate with them, as son of the manse, when he could be winning paradise by opposing their crimes. Of all people a corrupt leader will be punished the most in the hereafter, because they had an opportunity to change the system. A leader who does not sell his principles is worth his weight in gold.

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