Report proves Blair and Bush have blood on their hands
Published 08/07/2016 | 02:30
The 2.6 million-word report following the Chilcot inquiry into Britain's decision to go to war with Iraq is bound to make life difficult for Tony Blair. It is a pity that the same thing is not happening in the USA with regard to George W Bush.
It does not take a degree in rocket science to conclude, in the light of the complete political and social destabilisation of Iraq and neighbouring countries, that the 2003 war that resulted in the deposition of Saddam Hussein was ill-advised to say the least, motivated by a near-fabricated existence of weapons of mass destruction and the assumption that Saddam Hussein was about to unleash them against the West.
The report, commissioned seven years ago, will surely confirm that the Iraq war was grossly unjustified and that it caused the deaths of thousands of soldiers and civilian Iraqis.
For a time, the so-called Western powers, namely the USA and Britain, have been toying with the idea that they are the 'world police', entitled to depose governments at all costs and interfere with Middle Eastern countries, with hidden oil and domestic weapon industry interests lurking in the background.
Let's start by saying that if the British had not left the Middle East in a mess in the late 1950s, and if the Americans had seriously engaged in convincing Israel to concede to the creation of a Palestinian state, we would probably not have had an Osama bin Laden, a 9/11 or the rest.
On top of that, the two Western powers went to war in Iraq, which had the effect of awakening a sleeping dog as it were, galvanising a brewing Islamic radicalism against the West and sending young British and American soldiers to a war without a justifiable cause in which many perished. Moreover, the resulting destabilisation of Iraq has been massive and has also had a domino effect in recent times, leading to the dreaded Isil phenomenon which is holding the world to ransom.
Following the Iraq report, some mothers of young British soldiers who met their death in Iraq are now calling Blair a "terrorist".
Perhaps this a too strong word, but seeing the consequences of the Iraq war in terms of bloodshed following the creation of splinter sects warring with each other, the growing radicalisation against the West, and the unrelenting slaughter of innocent civilians by suicide bombers, one could say that George W Bush and Tony Blair have blood on their hands.
Concetto La Malfa
Ireland should not sneer
David McWilliams (Irish Independent, July 6) writes that, in France, "even a strong second-place showing by the National Front in the presidential election will cause the EU to think again about the political feasibility of free, unfettered immigration from eastern Europe".
This is quite possible, even though the hitherto most detailed document on immigration in France (published in 2012 by the French National Institute of Statistics and called 'Les immigrés récemment arrivés en France') shows that the biggest group of immigrants from eastern Europe to France - the Poles - constitute only 2pc of all immigrants in France, compared to 8pc Portuguese, 5pc Britons and 30pc from Africa, while British Department of Health data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that treating UK tourists in Europe costs five times more than the equivalent cost to the NHS.
There was something else, though, that I wanted to add to Mr McWilliams's remark that we should not "sneer at the British for going it alone" - when the weakest man in Europe, Italy, goes bust, the Irish Government should not repeat the mistake of sneering at Italy like it sneered at Greece.
After all, as Mr McWilliams correctly points out, "Germany shouted loudly about Vladimir Putin's annexation of bits of Ukraine but still took Russia's oil and gas". (And, I should add, it forced Poland to subsidise its cheap gas by building Nord Stream 2, which bypassed Poland and forced it to re-import Russia's gas from Germany - for the highest price in Europe.)
If the next target of a German diktat happens to be Ireland (with now almost insolvent Deutsche Bank owning 13pc of the total outstanding global derivatives, Germany will not allow Ireland to be cost-competitive in her efforts to take over London's financial services), who will the Irish Government turn to?
Bray, Co. Wicklow
The initials TD stand for Teachta Dála, which roughly translated means messenger to the Dáil. This is known as indirect democracy and is the system we have in Ireland. In other words, we vote for TDs to bring the wishes into the Dáil.
But this principle is ignored by a large proportion of our elected representatives. Once elected, they will follow their own agenda, or that of their party. We, the electorate, are therefore powerless until the next election. Should there not be some system in place to vote those TDs who do not perform out of the Dáil?
Templeogue, Dublin 6W
History repeats itself
The Chilcot report has found that the public were misled, expert warnings were ignored, and there was inadequate planning for the Iraq war and its aftermath. Too bad its publication was delayed until after the Brexit debacle; another historic mistake that could have been avoided had those warnings been heeded.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
We need an Ikea in the Dáil
Just when we need a strong Government, Cabinet collegiality is smashed to bits. We should have gone to Ikea!
Brady hit the Bale on the head
There was a wonderful guess from Liam Brady on the panel the other night, as to what Ronaldo might have said to Bale as the two hugged after the Wales-Portugal match, taken from the great movie 'The Cincinnati Kid'.
Edward G Robinson says to Steve McQueen, after he wins the big poker game: "You're good, kid, but as long as I'm around, you're only second best".
Glenties, Co Donegal
Wales are the real winners
Weren't Wales a revelation? It's good to see a proud nation showing real character in matters of sport.
Portugal won the match but the honest endeavour of the Welsh will be my memory of the tournament.