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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Fish Heads 

Two items from tomorrow's Guardian. First, a report that Tony Blair could face impeachment proceedings for his role in Mr. Bush's war of choice:
MPs are planning to impeach Tony Blair for "high crimes and misdemeanours" in taking Britain to war against Iraq, reviving an ancient practice last used against Lord Palmerston more than 150 years ago.

Eleven MPs led by Adam Price, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, are to table a motion when parliament returns that will force the prime minister to appear before the Commons to defend his record in the run-up to the war. Nine of the MPs are Welsh and Scottish Nationalists, including the party leaders, Elfyn Llwyd, and Alex Salmond, and two are Conservative frontbenchers, Boris Johnson, MP for Henley and editor of the Spectator, and Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley.

A number of Labour backbenchers are considering whether to back the motion, though it could mean expulsion from the party . . . .

Mr Price said he believed the case was compelling. "To dust off Victorian constitutional histories and examine precedents from the time of Charles I and Chaucer may seem bizarre. But the conduct of the prime minister has left people and parliament with no alternative if we are to preserve the very basis of democracy."
And Sid Blumenthal explains why Blair should not stand in the dock alone:
There was no "imminent threat" to the United States from Iraq. Then there was no strategy for building a new Iraq."Hubris and ideology" ruled. Now, "Iraq is more dangerous to the US potentially than it was at the moment we went to war."

These are the reluctant judgments of one of the key US officials who participated in the highest levels of decision-making of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Both interviewed by me and in a forthcoming article in Foreign Affairs journal, Larry Diamond offers from the heart of the Green Zone an unvarnished first-hand account of the unfolding strategic catastrophe.

Diamond, a scholar at the Hoover Institution, a conservative thinktank located on the Stanford University campus, was personally recruited to serve as a senior adviser to the CPA by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, once provost of Stanford . . . .

In Iraq, the US cannot escape from its own trap without even more ruinous consequences. "If we walk away the place falls apart disastrously. Americans are not only a bulwark against civil war. They are a stimulus for nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist mobilisation. We need to reduce that stimulus and provocation without robbing the new Iraqi state of the bulwark it needs" . . . .

Fallujah remains under terrorist control; insurgents run rampant even beyond the Sunni triangle; the number of US soldiers killed spirals towards 1,000; the Iraqi army, disastrously disbanded by the CPA, is being reassembled and trained. The American campaign is consumed with false charges made by a Republican front group about the medals that John Kerry earned in a war more than 30 years ago. The arrogant and incompetent blunders of the Bush administration in Iraq are not debated. On the eve of the Republican convention, Bush burnishes his image as a prudent and reassuring leader. The lethal realities of his "hubris and ideology" are for the moment off the screen. Mission accomplished.

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