Ed Balls: knew Iraq was wrong but still went along

May 21st, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Ellie Gellard

V insightful @edballsmp interview in Telegraph tomorrow – Iraq “war was wrong”. http://bit.ly/cg4bCW

What Ed actually says about it is…

“People always felt as if the decision had been made and they were being informed after the fact.” Though not yet elected as an MP, Mr Balls – as Mr Brown’s adviser – was party to top level discussions after attempts to get a second UN Security Council resolution failed.

“I was in the room when a decision was taken that we would say it was that dastardly Frenchman, Jacques Chirac, who had scuppered it. It wasn’t really true, you know. I said to Gordon: ‘I know why you’re doing this, but you’ll regret it’. France is a very important relationship for us.”

Ed was only an advisor to Gordon Brown and could only give advice but admits that at the time he knew that what the government was doing, or at least how it was going about it, was wrong. He gave his advice and that was all he could do. Fair enough, I suppose.

But wait. What’s this (click to enlarge)…?

Edward Balls, the MP *strongly* didn’t want an investigation into the Iraq war that he knew to either be wrong in itself or had been sold to the public by lies and subterfuge.

So. What’s more important to Mr Balls? The truth or his career? Innocent people dying or climbing the greasy poll?

Ed Balls says that his mentor, Gordon Brown, retiring has been a “a liberation” because…

For the first time I’m free to be myself

Mr Balls has always been able to be himself. What himself chose was to be part of a lie that has killed thousands of people and to try and keep that lie covered.

Only now owning up because he is far enough up the career ladder and the lie is far enough in the past that it won’t do too much damage.

The most moral army in the world.

February 1st, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

… it turns out once again we are correct when we say the IDF is the most moral army in the world, from the chief of staff to the last soldier.


A female soldier in Sachlav Military Police unit, stationed in Hebron, recalled a Palestinian child that would systematically provoke the soldiers by hurling stones at them and other such actions. One time he even managed to scare a soldier who fell from his post and broke his leg.

Retaliation came soon after: “I don’t know who or how, but I know that two of our soldiers put him in a jeep, and that two weeks later the kid was walking around with casts on both arms and legs…they talked about it in the unit quite a lot – about how they sat him down and put his hand on the chair and simply broke it right there on the chair.”

Even small children did not escape arbitrary acts of violence, said a Border Guard female officer serving near the separation fence: “We caught a five-year-old…can’t remember what he did…we were taking him back to the territories or something, and the officers just picked him up, slapped him around and put him in the jeep. The kid was crying and the officer next to me said ‘don’t cry’ and started laughing at him. Finally the kid cracked a smile – and suddenly the officer gave him a punch in the stomach. Why? ‘Don’t laugh in my face’ he said.”


and, of course, the use of white phosphorous.

Some people have a strange sense of morality, don’t they?

Blair War Crimes Foundation

November 26th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve just been reminded about this.

Apparently it was sent to the United Nations 22nd October, about three weeks ago, with 3,500 signatures.

I don’t know if it’s too late now or not, but you might as well get your signature on it as well, if you haven’t already.

On making sure condolences go to the right person

November 9th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Gordon Brown has written a note of condolence to the family of soldier killed in Afghanistan.

It is full of spelling mistakes and other errors including getting the dead mans’ surname wrong.

People have been defending the PM about this…

Lest we forget, the man is all but blind, and the idea that he – even he – would deliberately set out to insult a grieving mother is just stupid. If he really didn’t give a shit, he’d get his secretary to type the letters and then sign them at the bottom, and none of this would ever have been a story in the first place.

but FFS

I completely agree but it’s a note of condolence not a shopping list. You get these things right not go ‘fuck it that’ll do’.

The arguement that Gordon is nearly blind and that if someone else had written it or he’d knocked it up on a computer means he doesn’t care just doesn’t stand up.

  1. As Justin says, It’s a letter of condolence, even if your writing is scruffy, you at least get the name correct. Nothing says you don’t care more than getting the name wrong, especially when you’re the prime minister with all those people around that are supposed to help and advise you.
  2. If Gordons’ eye sight is that bad, why are we expecting him to hand write letters? Did Blunkett get it in the neck every time someone else wrote a letter for him?

What’s worse? A load of unintelligable scrawl or a typed letter with a real signature at the bottom?

At least Gordon doesn’t have rubber stamp to sign with.

The Sun on Afghanistan and Gordon Brown

August 28th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

As an Editor of the Sun Lies blog I get to bask in the reflected glory of this post from Scepticisle

it [The Sun] seems a little hazy on history as well, as this passage from the editorial makes plain:

Mr Brown has taken the country to war but is ducking responsibility for the conduct of it. The tradition of our country is that in wartime, the Prime Minister takes charge.

Lloyd George led us in World War One and Winston Churchill in World War Two.

Margaret Thatcher led from the front in the triumphant Falklands War in 1982.

John Major took charge in the first Gulf War of 1991. Tony Blair assumed full responsibility when we invaded Iraq to topple Saddam. And he did the same over the liberation of Kosovo.

Except Gordon Brown hasn’t taken the country in Afghanistan; Tony Blair did, in 2001. We’ve been there ever since. Brown as chancellor provided the funds for the war, it’s quite true, but was not personally responsible for taking us there. He also wasn’t prime minister when we entered Helmand in 2006: the defence secretary then was John Reid, who famously said he hoped that we would leave without firing a single shot. Then there’s the fact that we’re there in the country, not just on our own, but as part of the ISAF NATO coalition. Additionally, if we’re going to split hairs, Winston Churchill didn’t lead us into WW2; Neville Chamberlain did. The war in Afghanistan is also not, in any meaningful sense, a war with specific aims like all of those the Sun lists. It’s far more comparable to what we were doing in Iraq from the fall of Saddam up until our exit this year: peacekeeping, reconstruction and providing security. Missions, like Operation Panther’s Claw, which had the specific aim of clearing out Taliban so that people could vote in the presidential election, have been few and far between. As also argued above, we are quite clearly not in “wartime”.

I would like to post the lot, but that would be a little too much, I think. So, go and read the rest

Compassion? Do we have any?

August 19th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Al-Magrahi, the chap that has been convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has dropped his appeal against his conviction so he can be considered for early release on compassionate grounds as he has terminal cancer or could be transfered to a Libyan prison.

The Americans are up in arms about this and reckon he should be left to rot and most of the Scottish victims families don’t think he actualy did it. What a strange one.

Putting aside all the fuss about whether al-Magrahi is guilty or not and all the inter-nation dealings (Mandelson recently visited Gaddafis’ son), I think al-Magrahi should be released on compassionate grounds.

i) He is dying. He is not a danger to anyone.

ii) Ever heard of ‘taking the moral high-ground’? If al-Magrahi is released, especially on compassionate grounds, how does that make us look? Like a bunch of pussies or ‘Good People’?

ii) I don’t think we should be taking lectures on incarceration from a country that wants to lock someone up for up to 60 years for an offence that i) wasn’t about money, ii) wasn’t about power, iii) didn’t blow anything up or iv) didn’t kill anyone.

the right thing

July 10th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Jan Moir is comparing the way people reacted to the death of Michael Jackson and the hysteria, the luvvies and all the glitz of his memorial to the quiet dignity of people stopping in the street whilst two recent British casualties of the the war in Afghanistan as they passed through Wootton Bassett.

These very different types of remembrance tell us much about society and celebrity.

But most of all, they tell us about the quiet, steadfast decency of ordinary British people who, left to their own devices, will almost always do the right thing.

I’m not a sociologist or a psychologist or any other ‘-ologist’, but is talking complete bollox.

I’m sure the Americans don’t have MJ style concerts for their war dead. They probably have quiet diginfied affairs as well.

As for ‘left to our own devices, will almost always do the right thing’, I have one word:


The BNP Defence ‘policy’

June 5th, 2009 § 6 comments § permalink

The BNP Defence Policy…

British soldiers’ lives are one of the most valuable assets this nation has, and should only be risked in conflicts in which British interests are directly affected.

This simple and logical core belief is paramount to the British National Party’s defence policy, which demands self-sufficiency for our island nation in all aspects.

‘Self-sufficiency’ in all aspects? How do you propose to go about that then? No country can be self sufficient in everything. In their ‘How the BNP will Rebuild Britains Economy’ they say…

the BNP calls for the selective exclusion of foreign-made goods from British markets and the reduction of foreign imports. We will ensure that our manufactured goods are, wherever possible, produced in British factories, employing British workers.

That’s not quite the same as being self sufficient in all respects, is it? Again, back to the defence policy..

Britain can only be safe if it is able to defend itself without being dependent on any other country. Britain therefore needs to have a credible and independent defence against all threats – and the ability to use this wisely.

How safe do these guys really think we will be if we told other countries ‘Y’know what? We’ll be fine on our own now, thank you very much.’ No more being chumly with the US and their proper big nukes. No more sharing information, having to work it all out for ourselves.
I know that at the moment and every now and again the Americans shoot us down or screw us with or for intel, and that does need to be sorted out I don’t disagree, but wouldn’t it be better to have a flow of information about what ‘the enemy’ is doing and sharing of the burden of flying the aircraft and moving tanks about than to take it all on by yourself? The problem we have at the moment isn’t the sharing and co-operation between countries, it is what those countries are doing and why they are doing it that sticks in the throat.

The policy is…
-Strengthen our conventional forces;
More soldiers. Well, that sorts out the unemployment figures then.

– Retain a genuinely independent nuclear deterrent and produce all our weaponry in Britain;
We haven’t had a genuinely independent nuclear weapon since the sixties. That is going to cost a shit load of money and put us outside a few treaties concerning nuclear weapons which would help us on our way truly self-sufficient. Trident would have to go. All that money we would have to spend developing a nuke that could be spent on hospitals or education…

– Only commit British forces when British national interests are at stake;
What is our interests? Was Iraq in our interest? It could be argued tat it was.

– Preserve and restore our historic County Regiments;
Why? Would it be purely for tradition? Sometimes, with operational requirements traditions have to be given a lower priority. It would be silly, especially when lives are at stake, to just keep doing something the same way just because it’s always been done that way.

– Bring our troops back from Germany and withdraw from NATO, since political developments make both commitments obsolete;
Becoming a pariah state by persuing our own nukes will help with that one.

– Close all foreign military bases on British soil;
Again, that will probably happen anyway when the BNP government stop co-operating and helping all our ex-international buddies.

– Refuse to risk British lives in meddling ‘peacekeeping’ missions in parts of the world where no British interests are at stake;
Again, what constitutes a British interest? Isn’t that attitude a bit, well, shouldn’t we go and help civilians that genuinely need our help?

– Restore national service for our young with the option of civil or military service.
Along with a compulsory citizenship organisation for young people?

And lastly. Independent or not, would you like these people to have their finger on the big red button?

Bloggerheads has a collection of links to the rest of the policies

Jon Stewart: Moral Kombat

May 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Dan Choi is one if 54 Arabic translators dismissed due to their sexual preference
So it was okay to waterboard a guy over 80 times, but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Moral Kombat
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor

via Stop the War

Arse. I forgot to add a link to Mr Power who has those photos.

12 months. Nothing less.

May 4th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


My life is destroyed. I’m still living in hiding. I’ve asked to be taken anywhere in the world – away from here. There’s no justice in the world.

Ali (his name has been changed to protect him) had worked for British troops in Basra for almost 12 months. To be precise, for six days short of 12 months.

Miliband statement on Iraq 30th October 2007…

Staff who are currently serving in these categories, or who were doing so on or after 8 August 2007, will be eligible to apply for assistance provided that:

* they have attained 12 months’ or more continuous service. (In this context, continuous does not refer to service in a single job or capacity. Iraqi staff who have moved between the different categories outlined above will be eligible provided that there was no break in service between moving between different categories and total length of service is 12 months or more); and
* that they are (or were) redundant by their employer OR that they are (or were) forced to resign their positions because of what we judge to be exceptional circumstances. Decisions on whether a resignation has taken place in exceptional circumstances will be made by representatives of employing Departments on the ground. Staff who are dismissed for misconduct will not be eligible for assistance.

I suppose when death threats happen as often as they do in Iraq, they stop being exceptional and if you’ve only got a week or fortnight before you hit 12 months then you can tough it out. It’s only a few more days.

The employees are still being shat on and now the Brits are out, that’ll be then end of any help any Iraqi interpreters would’ve got.

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