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Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:21 AM

'Blair Could Have Stopped Bush' - Kofi Annan

Source: AFP

'Blair could have stopped Bush'

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 8:12 AM

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was the only person capable of turning George Bush against the 2003 Iraq invasion, ex-United Nations chief Kofi Annan claimed in an interview published Saturday.

Annan argued in an interview published in the Times newspaper that Blair could have changed Bush's mind because of the special relationship between the two nations and the two leaders.

Annan said he often had contemplated what might have happened if "Blair had said 'George, this is where we part company. You're on your own'," following the failure to secure a second UN resolution. "I really think it could have stopped the war," added the Nobel peace laureate.

- snip -

But a second resolution proposed by the US, Britain, and Spain in 2003 that called for action to be taken against Saddam Hussain's regime was withdrawn when it became clear it would be vetoed.

Read more: http://news.iafrica.com/worldnews/818957.html

39 replies, 6721 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'Blair Could Have Stopped Bush' - Kofi Annan (Original post)
Hissyspit Sep 2012 OP
DissidentVoice Sep 2012 #1
mwooldri Sep 2012 #3
T_i_B Sep 2012 #4
ywcachieve Sep 2012 #14
mwooldri Sep 2012 #30
fun n serious Oct 2012 #39
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2012 #2
tavalon Sep 2012 #5
Ghost Dog Sep 2012 #6
JDPriestly Sep 2012 #15
daleo Sep 2012 #32
JDPriestly Sep 2012 #33
daleo Sep 2012 #34
JackRiddler Sep 2012 #27
Kolesar Sep 2012 #7
Arugula Latte Oct 2012 #38
Berlum Sep 2012 #8
tanyev Sep 2012 #9
BeyondGeography Sep 2012 #10
CRH Sep 2012 #11
lunatica Sep 2012 #16
CRH Sep 2012 #23
lunatica Sep 2012 #24
no_hypocrisy Sep 2012 #12
greenman3610 Sep 2012 #13
lunatica Sep 2012 #17
Gregorian Sep 2012 #18
craigmatic Sep 2012 #19
Peace Patriot Sep 2012 #20
LiberalLovinLug Sep 2012 #21
valerief Sep 2012 #22
awoke_in_2003 Sep 2012 #25
tularetom Sep 2012 #26
NeoConsSuck Sep 2012 #28
harun Sep 2012 #31
T_i_B Oct 2012 #35
Thinkingabout Sep 2012 #29
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #36
Bragi Oct 2012 #37

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:47 AM

1. And he lost his job

And, subsequently, Tony Blair and John Howard of Australia lost both their jobs, in no small part due to being seen as "Bush's lapdogs."

Howard even lost his seat in the Australian Parliament.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 05:35 AM

3. Mr Blair resigned.

The funny thing is that Labour in 2005 won the General Election, despite the Iraq invasion. But things in Iraq did get worse, so he did decide to step down, handing over the Prime Ministership to his #2 - Gordon Brown - in 2007.

I don't think the Iraq invasion was the #1 reason why Labour lost in 2010. The economy went downhill badly in 2008 and Gordon Brown, seen as the driving factor in the boom years was seen to be the person with the responsibility for the economic nosedive.

I don't think Mr Blair would have stopped the President at that time from going into Iraq. Mr Bush was itching to get into Iraq using whatever pretense he had. But Blair backing certainly helped Mr Bush to proceed albeit with limited international backing.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 06:17 AM

4. Tony Blair had a massive majority in 2003

Although they lost seats in 2005, they were never going to lose their majority in parliament given the size of the majority they were defending.

And their main opposition, the Conservative party was equally in favour of the Iraq war. British political parties are pretty shite in all honesty and there isn't all that much to choose between them.

Labour were very unpopular in 2010 due mainly to the state of the economy and the unpopularity of Blair's successor as PM, Gordon Boron. However, the Tories ran a poor campaign and failed to secure an overall majority in an election that I actually think they should have won outright, given the circumstances.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:25 AM

14. Post a link.

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Response to ywcachieve (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:56 PM

30. Links? I could do a Romney and say I don't need no stinkin' facts or links...

but I ain't like that.

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blair

Wiki talks somewhat about

UK General Election Results: http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/edates.htm - can go down to the seat level, or there's a nice summary on how many seats each major party got in the general.

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Response to ywcachieve (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:02 PM

39. Hello!! you got your link now I'm waiting for your resonse. nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:52 AM

2. Blare could have caused Bush to loose all support in America if he hadn't been seduced by power...

He was getting off just as much as Bush by keeping his people in a constant state of fear and claiming to be the hero protecting them.

He didn't just go along with Bush. The two of them were coordinating a campaign of lies.

The second resolution was deemed by the Bush Administration to be overkill because they considered the UN to be powerless to stop them. How many times did we hear the UN called, "A debate society"?

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 06:17 AM

5. Bush's lap poodle wasn't inclined

And so, I think, needs to be brought up on war crimes, just as many, if not most of the previous administration.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 06:19 AM

6. A European Arrest Warrant needs to be issued

against Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (b. Edinburgh 6 May 1953) on charges pertaining to serious breaches of international and domestic law.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:58 AM

15. Annan's answer to the idea of trying Bush and Blair:

. . . he dismissed Archbishop Desmond Tutu's call for Bush and Blair to be put on trial at the the International Criminal Court. Both had been democratically elected, he said, and were only acting in their national interests.

http://news.iafrica.com/worldnews/818957.html

Just being elected and acting in your national interests (or claiming to) does not mean that what you do complies with international law. What is Annan really saying? Can't be what he seems to say. That makes no senses.

Of course these men should be asked to answer for that war. You can't kill that many people or set off a situation that results in that many deaths and then just blissfully retire. Blair was at least asked to explain himself before a commission investigating the entry into the war.

Bush has been left in peace. It makes no sense. How long will our country wait to own up to the crimes committed?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:28 PM

32. Bad reasoning by Annan

1 Hitler was elected.
2 Hitler felt that he was acting in Germany's interest.

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Response to daleo (Reply #32)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 06:19 PM

33. Right. That was precisely my thought, but mentioning Hitler is unpopular on DU. Sets off

a firestorm I just didn't feel like dealing with at the moment.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #33)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:00 PM

34. In this case, it was a matter of stating a couple of simple facts that contradicted Annan's case

I just pointed out a particularly well known example of the flaw in Annan's argument.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:05 PM

27. Tony 2012



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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 06:41 AM

7. Blair was guided by Christian delusions

That's why he and Shrub were such a pair.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:53 AM

38. It's pathetic that ancient superstition still plays such a role in our policies.

And tens of thousands of people pay the ultimate price for it.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:09 AM

8. Tweedledum and Tweedledumber

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:18 AM

9. Doubt it. Blair managed to get him to hit Afghanistan before marching willy-nilly into Iraq,

but I don't think all the hawks in GWB's administration would have settled for anything less. They took office in January 2001 itching for an excuse to invade. The devastation of 9/11 could have been on a much smaller scale and they still would have gone into Iraq.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:49 AM

10. That's a fundamental misreading of our George

Nothing was going to stop him.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:50 AM

11. Blair Could Have Stopped Bush' ... but so could've We, ...

Less than 1% of the population of the US turned out, to the march against war.

And, in retrospect, remind me just who was ever prosecuted for the misinformation, disinformation, and blatant lies that wove the web of deceit in the march to war? Who was held accountable in the aftermath, for the prosecution of the wars? Was anything ever done to prevent the same thing from happening in the future?

Easy to blame Blair, then we need not look in the mirror.

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Response to CRH (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:45 AM

16. I was part of that 1% who marched against the wars

So now I'm part of the 99%, the 47%, and the 1% who marched against Bush's wars.

I'm getting confused. I wonder what percent of people are 'confused'?

My job is in the department of Statistics in UC Berkeley. Maybe I can ask one of our graduate students.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #16)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 05:10 PM

23. Go Golden Bears, ...

Well lets do the math. If you are apart of the 99% meaning normal, and the patriotic 1% that marched against the largest crime against humanity in this century. That adds up to a 100% normal patriotic citizen who is against war crimes. Now you are apart of the dissed 47% club aka, a Romney suspected deadbeat. That doesn't really count for much, because that includes a bunch of hard working lower middle class and poor folks, retired loafs like myself, and Berkeley Grad students, who you are about to appeal to for enlightenment and might have a conflict of interest. But you are at Berkeley, that makes you right enough to be left and just crazy enough to wear blue and gold at Stanford stadium during 'the game'. This definitely gives you points for valor and the nod over the lower class working republicans also somehow lumped in that 47% but are too dumb to be a democrat.

All that adds up to, is you are a little luny lefty 100% normal patriotic citizen and suspected working deadbeat, and marching activist against right wing republican atrocities. You probably fit in well at Berleley, Go Bears!

Probably saw you on Market Street, October through December of 2002.

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Response to CRH (Reply #23)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 05:38 PM

24. I was in all the anti-war marches in San Francisco too!

I love being "a little luny lefty 100% normal patriotic citizen and suspected working deadbeat, and marching activist against right wing republican atrocities."!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:53 AM

12. Blair could have stopped * as opposed to

Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the New American Century neocons? I seriously doubt it. Not to mention * had to "avenge" Sadam Hussein to best his father. It was too tempting to start in Afghanistan and move to Iraq.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:12 AM

13. well, Colin Powell could have stopped it

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:50 AM

17. Bush probably coerced Blair into the war

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:46 PM

18. I've always thought Blair was given a billion dollars. One way or another.

There's not other explanation for going along with an illegal invasion. Money. I said years ago to look closely at Blair's finances right around that time.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:56 PM

19. Blair couldn't have stopped bush. Bush's own father couldn't have stopped him.

He was just hell bent on starting another war because he wanted to show up his father on Saddam. Blair should have followed another Labour PM's example (Wilson) and found a way to stay out of Iraq but give aid and intel to the US but Blair was in some ways a zealot believer for intervention abroad. It all goes back to the war in the Balkins that's where he learned to love war.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:37 PM

20. Interesting thesis but, ultimately, no, I don't think Blair could have.

I'm thinking about Rumsfeld's resignation in late 2006, just after the Democrats won (or, more likely, were permitted to win) the House. Everybody (um, Corporate News horns) seemed to imply that Rumsfeld resigned because "the people" voted against his war. I thought about that for about 2 seconds and dismissed it. When did Rumsfeld ever give a cat's crap about what "the people" want? Nope, something else going on. (See footnote for theory.)

Similarly, when the Bushwhacks were setting things up to invade Iraq, they seemed to be anxious to cross their legal t's and dot their political i's. I stress "seemed to be." They were trying to get a war resolution out of a Democratic-controlled Senate. In that effort--and solely for that effort--they sought (or seemed to seek) a UN peacekeeping resolution or some kind of official UN endorsement to invade Iraq, couldn't get it and then strongly pressured (strongarmed, blackmailed, bullied, threatened) all allies, big and small, to join their "coalition of the willing." I remember that silly list of small, bullied, subject countries they put together, after the UN Security Council and Germany and France balked at their war (and Bush saying, "Don't forget Poland!" when Kerry called him on it in the 2004 debate). The UK was the only major ally that went along, and, while the Bushwhacks behaved as if that legitimized their war, I don't think it was essential to them. Thus, I don't think that, if the Blair had declined, they would have backed off and not invaded. The result of Blair declining would have been the UK would have been cut out of the oil deals, that's all. The U.K. has a long history of messing over Middle Eastern peoples' for their oil. So, too, of course, does the U.S. Nothing new here, except that the Bushwhacks became vicious aggressors in the punishment of U.S. allies.

Would the Bushwhacks have invaded anyway, if Blair hadn't played their "poodle"? Absolutely. Would they have invaded if the Senate Democrats hadn't played their "poodles" as well? Probably. The Democratic Senators--as much tied to war profiteers and transglobal corporations as the Republicans are--maybe would have given them less of a scrap of paper than the "Iraq War Resolution" but they would have given them something by which they could lie that they had some kind of legal basis with which to slaughter a hundred thousand innocent Iraqis and take over their oil fields.

Did they care much about that piece of paper? I don't think so. To them, it was just a formality. Lack of it might have delayed them a bit (until they could kill, dis-elect, defame/destroy or suborn a few more senators) but they were totally bent on invading Iraq by any means necessary and it took the combined power of Bush Sr., the military brass, the CIA and other powers to stop them from moving right along into Iran and using nuclear weapons to do so. (See below.)

----------------

Footnote: Rumsfeld was ousted because Poppa Bush didn't agree with Rumsfeld/Cheney's intention to nuke Iran, nor did the military brass, nor did the CIA who were also hopping mad (and probably bent on vengeance) because of Rumsfeld/Cheney's outing of their entire WMD counter-proliferation project worldwide. These forces together ousted Rumsfeld. Poppa formed his "Iraq Study Group" (but it was really about Iran) in early 2006 and delivered the report to the White House that summer. The election was in November. Rumsfeld resigned in December. And it's quite interesting that, a) Nancy Pelosi's infamous "impeachment is off the table" statement (what "table"?) was issued between those two events, and b) talk about nuking Iran soon went away (and Pelosi went off on a Mideast tour to take the word to Israel and others, amidst the British navy incident with Iran that ended peacefully). Also interesting--in fact, pivotal: Leon Panetta was a member of Bush Sr.'s "Iraq Study Group." He is Bush Sr.'s point man in the Obama administration, commissioned to end the war between the CIA and the Pentagon that Rumsfeld/Cheney started and, not unimportantly, to monitor the no-investigation, no-prosecution deal that Obama and the Democrats made in order to gain limited power within our very secretive, very undemocratic, actual government. That's my theory. A pretty good one, I think. One key part of it is that a far rightwing-connected private corporation--ES&S, which bought out Diebold--now controls the 'TRADE SECRET' programming code in about 75% of U.S. vote counting systems, with virtually no audit/recount controls. Elections are now easily--EASILY!--rigged to suit those who actually rule over us. This immense power includes, of course, the ability to put Democrats in office who play ball with these rulers and to remove them at will, while 'trending' the whole political system toward militarism, fascism, loss of civil, human and labor rights, and corporate looting.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:06 PM

21. Whether BushCo. would have stopped without Blair's support or not..

It would have made it much more difficult to proceed. Blair was, at the time, a very respected world leader with great charisma. It may have also dissuaded Australia from entering the fray.

Blair's moderate reputation and his more eloquent defense of the war during and years after helped greatly in legitimizing the attack.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:23 PM

22. I thought once PNAC decided on an Iraq War, there was no stopping them. nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:38 PM

25. masters don't listen to lap dogs. nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:41 PM

26. Bush wasn't the one he needed to stop

Since he was just a rubber stamp for Cheney, Rummy and their merry band of chicken hawks.

And I doubt if they even considered Blair's opinion in their little oil theft caper.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:10 PM

28. It had nothing to do with stopping Bush

it was Cheney and the NeoCons who had to be stopped, and Blair wasn't capable of doing that.

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Response to NeoConsSuck (Reply #28)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:02 PM

31. I would have to agree

The fix was in and it didn't matter what anybody did.

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Response to harun (Reply #31)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:46 AM

35. Even if the US government was set on invasion...

...Blair could have chosen to keep the UK out of it.

Instead, he chose to get the UK heavily involved with the Iraq invasion, which was a colossal error on his and the Labour party's part.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:18 PM

29. I doubt Iran would have rushed their path to nuclear bomb

With Saddam sitting next door. The US weakened Iraq which kept Iran in check but dumb W could nit see this, the Isreali should have told W to back off. It is would have, should have and could have.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:55 AM

36. What unadulterated crap. Bush believed everything....

...he was being told by the far-right NeoCons, and he wasn't listening to anyone else. Blair was willing to do and say whatever Bush asked, not the other way around.

For example, here's an article from the far-right NeoCon website: Project for a New American Century :

REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES, Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century
A Report of The Project for the New American Century September 2000 (one year before the events of 9/11)

If you do a search of that document for the phrase, "Pearl Harbor", you'll find the following quotes:

"Further, the process of transformation,
even if it brings revolutionary change, is
likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a
new Pearl Harbor."


...and...

"Absent a rigorous program of
experimentation to investigate the nature of
the revolution in military affairs as it applies
to war at sea, the Navy might face a future
Pearl Harbor – as unprepared for war in the
post-carrier era as it was unprepared for war
at the dawn of the carrier age."


Interesting comments, don't you think?

Additionally, go to the very last page and take a look at the contributors to the document. It's odd that Dick Cheney is no longer listed as a participant although his former Chief-of-Staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, is on the list.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:18 AM

37. I agree

Blair was the #1 global enabler of Bush.

All the polls at the time showed that few Americans would have supported the war without international backing.

Without Blair, even American media would have had to acknowledge how isolated Bush was in wanting a war.

Blair's decision to back Bush's illegal war was the most disappointing decision ever by a UK Labour PM.

I believe that is why he was forced out, and that is why he deservedly has a damaged reputation that gives him little real influence today.

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