Monday, April 17, 2006



No British troops for Iran

A tiny sliver of good news on Iran:

TONY Blair has told George Bush that Britain cannot offer military support to any strike on Iran, regardless of whether the move wins the backing of the international community, government sources claimed yesterday.

Unfortunately, its not all good news. Blair is still willing to diplomatically support the US rush to war, despite his government now agreeing that a long-term, diplomatic approach is needed. And he'll still be allowing US bombers to use bases in the UK and the UK territory of Diego Garcia to launch their raids. I wonder if anyone has considered the position that will put them in if the US actually uses nukes, as it is reportedly planning to do?

9 comments:

Why do you consider it a good thing that the UK has refused to offer the UN it full support in whatever it decides to do about Iran's nuclear ambitions?

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 4/17/2006 03:16:00 PM

Graeme: because I think that military action would be both ineffective and morally unjustified (the threat simply isn't imminent enough, its clearly not a last resort, and even if it was, ineffectiveness would make it nothing but pointless slaughter for no purpose), and that therefore participation in it would be wrong.

While the UN may very well approve it (after all, the US is very good at twisting arms), that doesn't make it right. They're a political body, not a moral one.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/17/2006 04:19:00 PM

I/S, quoting: TONY Blair has told George Bush that Britain cannot offer military support to any strike on Iran...

Graeme: Why do you consider it a good thing that the UK has refused to offer the UN it full support...

Bush may have ideas above his station, but he is not yet the entire United Nations.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/17/2006 06:20:00 PM

I see your point anonymous, of course I was referring to this bit "regardless of whether the move wins the backing of the international community"

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 4/17/2006 08:57:00 PM

Presumably Tony is conducting a little pre-emptive strike of his own by anchoring his position in the public media to avoid getting his arm too twisted behind the scenes.
It's slightly ironic that Joe Public should be doing this favour for him..

Posted by Huskynut : 4/18/2006 08:16:00 AM

If "rush to war" means multi-lateral negotiations through the UN then yes, Blair is diplomatically supporting the US rush to war.

There is a distinction between "rush to war" and not ruling out millitary options. The US negotiates with China all the time and does not rule out military actions. One also needs to consider whether in these sorts of negotiations with authoritarian regimes ruling military action is actually a good negotiation strategy. I would be most unimpressed if the US ruled out military action against Mugabe.

I don't see how you can be saying that Blair's government "...now agreeing that a long-term, diplomatic approach is needed". Ah, when exactly did they not believe this? And of course you are setting this up as some sort of contrast to the evil belligerence of the US who is at present taking the peaceful route via the UN. But surprise; now there is doubt about the UN.

The UN as you must be aware is a legal body. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty is a legal instrument. If Iran reneges on its legal obligation that the UN should be able to apply penalty. But I take it now believe that UN sanction of the Iraq war was irrelevant.

Posted by neil morrison : 4/18/2006 08:17:00 AM

Everything else aside I think the statement that the U.S. is planning to use nukes is misleading.

Remember the Pentagon is the largest office building in the world, and there are thousands of mid-level officers working in endless cubicle farms who have nothing to do all day but dream up military scenarios, write them down, and stick them in a file somewhere.

Just because there is a contingency plan for Iran that uses nukes does not mean it is at the top of the pile. I think that is an important point to remember

Posted by Anonymous : 4/18/2006 09:25:00 AM

"Just because there is a contingency plan for Iran that uses nukes does not mean it is at the top of the pile."

When has that ever been true? The military mindset ensures that the biggest and best weapons are always at the top of the pile.
Why would you bother going into battle at all unless you take your sharpest sword, your biggest gun, your largest battalion...?

One reason the US dropped the bomb on Japan (in my opinion) is quite simply because they could.

Consider this article from 2003 for an opinion on the military/industrial drivers behind the war advocates.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,897184,00.html

Posted by Gary Young : 4/18/2006 03:11:00 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a plan to 'nuke' New Zealand under a particular plan in the Pentagon.

All countries that maintian a modern military do this.

It planning ahead of time what resources are required to reach a succesful outcome (if possible).

Posted by Anonymous : 4/19/2006 03:13:00 PM