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Dutch commission determines Iraq war was unlawful

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by coineineagh, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    The ruling party in the dutch government (CDA), lead by Prime Minister Balkenende, had opposed an investigation into the circumstances of the Iraq war for years. But the commission Davids was finally sanctioned. Willibrord Davids is a former head of the dutch supreme court.

    On the 12th of january 2010, the commission Davids published its findings in a report. The most important conclusions were:
    * There was no adequate mandate for the invasion in International Law.
    * There is no evidence for dutch military involvement during the initial invasion.
    * Prime Minister Balkenende showed little to no leadership during the Iraq debates.
    * Dutch AIVD and MIVD were more nuanced than foreign intelligence services about Iraq
    * These nuances were not taken into account by dutch ministers.
    * There was no openness given to the parliament regarding the american request for military support and buildup.
    * Supply of information to the Tweede Kamer (house of representatives) was inadequate at times.


    Within a few hours, mr. Balkenende responded to the commission's report, essentially downplaying its findings with such comments as: "Opinions on the matter vary greatly.:heh:"
    Problem is, mr. Balkenende is in power with a new government coalition now, and there weren't enough right-wing parties to form a majority (well, there was Wilders' PVV, but let's give the man some credit for not even considering that;)).
    New coalition partners in the PvdA (labour party) were outraged:jawdrop::toofar:, and demanded that the commission's findings were acknowledged as binding, not a mere opinion.
    Facing a potential breakdown in his current ruling coalition, the Prime Minister begrudgingly revoked his earlier statement.
    The best mr. Balkenende was willing to do was: "Knowing what I know now, my decisions regarding the Iraq war would have been different."
    Since the commission report already determined that ministers had access to nuanced intelligence reports (i.e. we knew that Bush was lying about those alleged intel reports. Heck, even I knew he was lying!), that statement results in Balkenende claiming ignorance and incompetence. Balkenende is a far too intelligent man to feign ignorance:hmm:, so I wonder how he thinks he can pull this off...

    By adjusting his statement, Balkenende has saved the government coalition for the moment, but the troubles are far from over.:mommy:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  2. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Post deleted as it probably violated too many rules
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
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    Roughly the same thing happened a year or two ago in Denmark. the scarry part here is, that the Prime minister at that time, who withheld information from folketinget (the senate of denmark I suppose you could call it) , so that they would support the war, is now the secretary general of NATO.
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Under Bush the US have, among other things abandoned for themselves the Nuremberg standard.

    The problem with the US view on international law during the Bush years was that it was neither conservative nor mainstream but rather extreme and extensive, which means well outside of the international consensus, which in international law means 'illegal'. The finding is thoroughly unsurprising. Any conservative lawyer would come to about the same result. All they needed to do was to soberly and properly read the law.

    The only thing making that allowed the US to get away with their international legal shenanigans (war of aggression, violations of Geneva III and IV etc.) so far and for the time being is the considerable political and military weight the US are able to put behind their claims about what the law says, and, of course, their UN veto.
     
  5. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    In other words might makes right. There's nothing bew under the sun I'm afraid.
     
  6. mordea Banned

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    Who the hell cares what the Dutch think?

    Edit: Oh, well, obviously the Dutch care what the Dutch think. But I doubt anyone apart from the Dutch could care less!
     
  7. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I'm a little confused as to where Ragusa brought the US in. I thought this was a Dutch investigation of the Netherlands' activity.

    By the way, I think you want 'report' in the original post, not 'rapport'. The first is a display of facts, usually either verbal or on paper. The second is a strong, close understanding, usually developed over a long period of working together. For example, one might say, "Tom and Steve, while writing a report for the UN, developed a close rapport which continued for many years."
     
  8. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, first of all, I've always believe the Iraqi war was personal vendetta by the Bush family. Bush found an excuse to finish the job his father did not (with the encouragement of the former SecDef who left the job unfinished) -- although I think the job was finished as defined for Desert Storm.

    The ruling is not suprising at all. I think nearly every European and Middle East country would have a similar ruling under similar procedings. While the ruling has some impact for the Dutch, it has no impact for the US (or Iraq).

    In response to Ragusa, the US does whatever it wants. Period. We always have and under no president have we ever allowed International law to trump our own law, nor have we ever allowed an international court to bring our citizens to trial (and in fact actively lobby to ensure it never happens). Clinton made a token gesture of support knowing full well the support would never be ratified (an opinion on my part, but Clinton was a smart guy and I think he knew).

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations will never direct the US in their involvement or non-involvement in international affairs. That's just a fact of life and I don't see it changing no matter who is president. I personally believe even if we could be matched in military might (or bested) we would not bow to the UN. The US does though work with the UN to support those causes we feel are right -- but our government simply cannot support causes which the people of the US will disagree with (we will vote them out).

    In the end our politicians are all about self-preservation and will not go against the wishes of the voters. It is an issue of national pride that no other governing body can direct the US to any course of action and I doubt it will change any time soon.
     
  9. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    Yup, same thing in NL too: Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was minister of foreign affairs in that cabinet and became.... secretary general of the NATO.
     
  10. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I care what the Dutch think, even if I often confuse them with the Danes ;). What we see here is people admitting that their country's government made a mistake. I think that takes a lot of guts as a nation. I wish my country would be willing to do that more often.

    It also is a push in the direction of discouraging such a war from occurring again.
     
  11. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    I translated the bold part of the text from the dutch wikipedia entry, since there isn't an english one (yet). I overlooked that detail, because that's how report is spelled in dutch.
    In response to the international war crimes tribunal being established in The Hague, not only did the USA refuse to make it binding for its own citizens, but Bush actally passed the American Service Members Protection Act, allowing the US to invade Holland in a surgical strike, in case any such attempt was made.

    Eventually China got your president to snub the Dalai Lama, as a result of the mounting debt the US government owes to the chinese. I'm sure there will be many more of these moments of embarassment in the future, all the while the US will become the planet's biggest moocher:
    "Hey Joe, I need some cash, got any for me??:geezer: No seriously, I need money, give me all your money...:mad: Now!!!"
    I guess the new source of pride will be, that although the States appears to be begging on a large scale, it's really just applying duress through its oversized military.:cool:
    :idea:Similar to all the top US intelligence and defense officials being promoted for their alleged incompetence during 9/11.
    Canada?? I'm not sure what they've done wrong exactly in the past, except perhaps pronunciation... but there's nothing too bad aboot that...:p
    As for preventing similar wars in the future, I'd sooner hope that the general public becomes more aware of patterns of manipulation, and raises a stronger voice against it in the future. Perhaps if governments are unwilling to recognize patterns observed in the past (and documented in such commission reports), it will become more obvious for the people that something is very wrong... who knows?
     
  12. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Coin, you do realize that if every nation in the world gave the US back the money it has given over the years we would have no national debt?
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    We (America) are surrounded by enemies, Coin. Quick! Someone get out the checkbook and pay Blackwater (or whatever they are called now), or some other "contractor," defense coporation or security company to "save us." What!? No money in the account for defense?!!! Someone call the Chinese!
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I usually like and respect your posts T2 but this one was really really really lame and it shows a line of reasoning that I find quite repulsive. If not even faulty, I actually think you are mistaken there. The US does not give away money, you had the Marshal Plan and you have given weapons to Israel and other countries whose regime you support but other than that what the US gives is a pittance. I would like to see numbers, I would not be surprised that if you added up all US aid during the last 100 years it would not even make a dent in your current debt. I am sure someone less lazy than me could find the numbers.

    By your line of reasoning money given to others in their time of need really is still your money and you can wave it in front of their noses everytime you have the need to show your superiority or get them to do what you want? And if that doesn't work, you still have your force of arms so you can just take what you want, no one matters but number one.

    In your last two posts you have pretty much summed up why the US is somewhat disliked around the world T2. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
    Ziad likes this.
  15. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    FYI, Germany has paid back it's Marshall Plan aid to the US completely by June 1971. And by this time next year we'll have repaid the reparations for WW-I from the vindictive Versaille treaty.

    In that sense, Shirley Bassey got it all wrong in her song. Not diamonds are forever - debt is.

    And as for US aid: The largest part of aid given by the US is still and by a large margin military aid - which goes like this: A recipient country gets, say, 1 billion dollars to buy military equipment, of which, depending how privileged the recipient is, they have to spend 70, 80, 90, 100% in the US. Which means that it is generally speaking a subsidy for the US defence industry and that the money flows back into the US to the benefit of the US economy or a segment thereof.
     
  16. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Is that about the Marshall Plan?

    The US did the smart thing, i.e. reinjecting some of the money back in Europe after it has been devastated by war and European economies have been sucked dry. Making half the world your debtors is not a bad move since it is very doubtful that Nixon could have made the dollar inconvertible to gold if it hadn't been the case.

    The US became rich and rose to prominence thanks to the two World Wars. I'm not questioning their involvement, it's just that they seem to have joined in the military effort when they had no other choice or could no longer benefit from the situation. I know we have to be grateful for American involvement in Europe as without American help Western Europe would probably have become part of the USSR's satellite states but I'm saying that we shouldn't overlook the fact that the British gave up a lot for American help during the war.

    When it comes to the British involvement in WW2 I'm convinced that Western Europe has a lot to be thankful for as the British Isles were the last line of defence. Due to American neutrality, American involvement in the Battle of Britain remained minimal. Had Operation Sealion been successful it would have been impossible to stage an invasion of German-occupied France in Normandy (and probably anywhere else).

    As much as I am wary of the British (like any self respecting Frenchman) I have to say that the British did save the day (I'm even willing to overlook the Mers El Kébir incident).

    Whether you like it or not T2 is right. The US can do pretty much what they want.

    At one point I was genuinely concerned that the Bush administration would add France to the list of the Axis of Evil countries. When Americans started renaming fries and banning our wine and cheese I knew there was something wrong. The French economy was badly hit because Chirac refused to involve France in that war.

    The point is everybody knew that there was something wrong with the allegations of WMDs in Iraq and their supposed links to Al Qaeda but in the end it didn't matter. I'm pretty sure that the invasion of Iraq didn't make the world a safer place and certainly didn't help in the War on Terror, it certainly fuelled up anti-American feelings and was used by many to demonstrate the existence of American imperialism though.

    The current problem with Iran is a by product of the war in Iraq as only Iraq was strong enough to limit Iran's power in that region. With Iraq gone, Iran is definitely the most powerful country in that region and that is not a comforting thought.

    I can't say I have much respect for the crass ignorance and arrogance that the Bush administration demonstrated. I guess the anti American feeling got fuelled up by the rampant use of expressions like "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and "sand niggers"... I won't even mention my opinion regarding Guantanamo or anti-personnel mines.

    Forget about the UN, the International Court of Justice or the Geneva Conventions. They don't apply.
     
    Chandos the Red likes this.
  17. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] The US gives out loans, not gifts. This facilitates corporate takeovers, puts a country into a debt spiral, forcing them to set up sweatshops, sell off their resources and institutions, etcetc. It only helps the corporations that give out the loans, and the corrupt officials in the countries themselves, that accept the loans.
    It's called globalization, and it's given the US a clandestine hegemony over the rest of the world.
     
  18. mordea Banned

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    Those people with the clogs?!

    The US puts its own interests first? OMG SHOCK HORROR!
     
  19. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    The US gives out more financial aid and assistance (mostly in terms of gifts, not loans) than any other nation in recorded history. Or at least, in total dollars given. In terms of % GDP, we aren't even in the top 10, but more like in the teens-early 20s, depending on who you ask and when. Still, that's a lot of money.
     
  20. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    That's not a very fair or valid argument.

    On the idea of loans over gifts: Microcredit banks have had big positive effects in poor countries, and their interest is on the average of 30% (Uzbekistan even has 70%!)

    Furthermore, on the corrupt officials: how would loans to corrupt officials help the corporations that lend them? Those corporations will never see the money again! That argument is off, since this problem applies more so to gifts than to loans!
    We could send something more substantial, like food or useful physical resources to those countries. Time has however shown that those goods will be simply be seized by the corrupt authorities and sold for money, or remains to rot in the harbors or airports due to a not existenting infrastructure that is needed to get the goods to their destinations. We could send the UN, but we actually we should not since the UN is an army of incompetent and indecisive civil workers. So that operation is only going to cost a lot of money and people will still be piss poor and/or dying.
     
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