Second-Guessing Chilcot, Eagle Eye

Second-Guessing Chilcot

The Independent today publishes an eight-page pull-out called The Iraq Report by my good colleague Andy McSmith, which is billed as an attempt to tell the story that the Chilcot report will tell when it is eventually published.
It is conveniently shorter than the actual Chilcot report, which is a million words with a large number [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 24 January 2015 at 6:34 pm

Iraq’s WMD and the Test of Reasonableness, Eagle Eye

Iraq’s WMD and the Test of Reasonableness

Cross-post by Mugwump.
This 9,000-word article looks at why intelligence services around the world were so sure that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003. I re-post it here because it is an impressive piece of work, bringing together evidence from a wide range of sources.
Photo of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 July 2014 at 1:48 pm

Iraq, in 560 characters, Eagle Eye

Iraq, in 560 characters

For all the people on Twitter, including George Monbiot, Mehdi Hasan and their followers, who bombard me with what they think are embarrassing questions about Iraq:
1. No, I do not accept that the decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein was a mistake, because no one can know what would have happened had the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 19 June 2014 at 1:04 pm

Impeachment, Eagle Eye


I was going to explain why Sir Peter Tapsell, the longest-serving MP, had shown that neither length of service nor a grand manner is a guarantee of good sense. He asked David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions:
Is he aware of the growing sentiment that, as the publication of the Chilcot report is being so long [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 18 June 2014 at 8:57 pm

RIP the Iraq dossier distinction, Eagle Eye

RIP the Iraq dossier distinction

All right, I’ll admit defeat. In debating the Iraq war I can no longer hold the line. I shall have to give up trying to maintain the distinction between the main dossier of September 2002 and the “dodgy” dossier of February 2003.
Some of us who were paying attention at the time and who think that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 1:54 pm

“Hindsight makes hypocrites of us all”, Eagle Eye

“Hindsight makes hypocrites of us all”

Hugo Rifkind is very, very good in The Times today (pay wall). He was against the use of force in Iraq in 2003, and went on marches, but he is honest about it:
Most of all, though, I remember the powerful sense, the knowledge, really, that none of it would make any difference. It wasn’t a [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 10:41 am

Clare Short and the language of the Iraq debate, Eagle Eye

Clare Short and the language of the Iraq debate

Just caught up with Clare Short and John McTernan on BBC2 Newsnight on Friday (starts at 24 minutes in).
Unfortunately, Laura Kuenssberg introduces Short as a Cabinet minister who “resigned in protest at the decision to invade Iraq”. She was a member of the government and voted for military action against Saddam Hussein. She resigned after [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 15 June 2014 at 8:00 pm

Notes on Iraq, Eagle Eye

Notes on Iraq

Quite hard to keep up with the strangeness of views about Iraq, but let me note three things.
1. The advance of Islamist militia from Syria to Mosul is a disaster. To the extent that it was made possible by the US-led invasion of Iraq 11 years ago, it counts against that decision. But anyone who [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 13 June 2014 at 12:42 pm

Chilcot always said he would publish edited documents, Eagle Eye

Chilcot always said he would publish edited documents

I have not yet seen the derangement that will afflict the press tomorrow, but have now found the source for my third point about the Chilcot inquiry. Far from today’s announcement being a change imposed on the Committee, Sir John made it clear that he would be publishing “gists” in his update of July 2012:
The [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 29 May 2014 at 10:36 pm

Idiot Wind, Eagle Eye

Idiot Wind

I see that Norman Lamont, a once serious politician, has joined the idiot cry of “Blair to The Hague”.
He has written an article for the Daily Mail, most of which rehearses his arguments against the International Criminal Court and how this week’s announcement of a preliminary examination of British abuses in Iraq confirms that he [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 7:04 pm

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