Friday, November 24, 2006

The Coalition of the Un-Willing Grows

Peter Tinley, former SAS officer who devised and executed the Iraq war plan for Australia's special forces breaks, ranks to say that the nation's involvement has been a strategic and moral blunder and to call for immediate withdrawal of his nation's deployment.

"The notion that pre-emption is a legitimate strategy is a betrayal of the Australian way."

Mr Tinley, 44, who retired from the army last year after a distinguished 25-year career, served 17 years with the elite SAS regiment, leaving the army as a major last year. In 2003, Mr Tinley served as deputy commander for the 550-strong joint special forces task group that took control of western Iraq. The same year, he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "dynamic leadership and consistent professional excellence". He has also been decorated for his military service in Afghanistan.

Tinley says the US-led coalition had been naive in its thinking about what it could achieve after a quick military invasion of Iraq and condemns the Howard Government over its handling of the war and has called for an immediate withdrawal of Australian troops:
It was a cynical use of the Australian Defence Force by the Government . . . . This war duped the Australian Defence Force and the Australian people in terms of thinking it was in some way legitimate . . . . They never had enough troops to fully lock down the major centres and infrastructure or the borders.
During war planning with US and British special forces at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2002, Mr Tinley says he never saw any hard intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction:
When I pressed them (US intelligence) for more specific imagery or information regarding locations or likely locations of WMD they confessed, off the record, that there had not been any tangible sighting of any WMD or WMD enabling equipment for some years.

It was all shadows and inferenced conversations between Iraqis. There was an overwhelming desire for all of the planning staff to simply believe that the Iraqis had learned how to conceal their WMD assets away from the US (surveillance) assets.

During our preparations for this war I remember hearing (ex-defence chief) General Peter Gration's misgivings and assumed he did not possess all the information that our Prime Minister did.

I now reflect on his commentary with a completely different view and am saddened that other prominent people in our society didn't speak louder at the time and aren't continuing to speak out in light of what we now know.

This is no slur on our soldiers. (Brigadier) Mick Moon and his men have been doing a fantastic job.

The notion that pre-emption is a legitimate strategy in the face of such unconvincing intelligence is a betrayal of the Australian way.

12 Moderated Comments:

Blogger skip sievert said...

The basis of the coalition was money. That is what bound together the axis of evil, Britain, The U.S. Israel, and Australia, and throw in a few others.

The non-war had everything to do with economic things.

It had nothing to do with Saddam or Terrorism , so called.

If the shock and awe was not terrorism , what is.?

How about the destruction of the infrastructure of that country.?

11/24/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous pekka said...

The present Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was furious as the opposition leader when Canada "abandonded" the U.S.A. by not joining her in the holy crusade to rid the world of the evil, Saddam Hussein. The Liberal Government at the time followed the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians and kept them out of this fiasco. I wish this luck would have fallen on Australians, too!

One should be careful talking about the subjects that one hardly knows. The most things Australian are not known to me. However, it seems that, at least under the stewardship of the Prime Minister Howard, the U.S. could do no wrong and the neocons in the White House were his idols. It is down right moving to see little Howard admiringly standing by the big guy, Dubya, in his many visits to the RANCH. I am sure, that everybody knows what it means to be invited to the ranch.

Just one more thing and I promise to shut up. A common belief in Australia seems to be that they became a real nation because of the the WW I battle in Galipoli where her troops were slaughtered by the Turks. I have never been able to understand why would the military fiasco on the foreign soil, done for the good of another country (Britain), be concidered as the defenition what it is to be Australian. Maybe following this logic, Iraq is Howard's Galipoli?

11/24/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Awesome connection, Pekka.

11/24/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

How can things get any worse? I haven't heard any speeches by the Emperor of the Earth lately, but surely he has made several. I wonder what his Thanksgiving speech had to say about what we all have to be thankful for!

11/24/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cyberotter said...

In my opinion the coalition was used only in the early onset of the war to kepp France Germany and Russia still in the mix. We did not want them coming out against the occupation, but alas France did anyways. After the ground assualt started the coalition was only used as a stick in the UN council meetings. Thoes countries that entered into it became irrelivent at best and IED fodder at worst. Unfortunatly it appears this conflict is passing civil war and descending into genocide. Sunii and Shiia warlords are now killing moderate (the vast majority) Arabs to see how much stomach the International community has towards this illeagle war. We have set the stage, but no longer write the script for this war. We are now caught in the crossfire and we are powerless to stop it because we can not identify who the enemy is any longer.

11/25/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Yes, Little Bill. How can it get any worse? Bush cannot even meet Maliki in in the Green Zone. Jordan is the safest location. The Green Zone was penetrated last week.

11/25/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Cyber, it looks to me that we have our own Gaza strip:

Iraqis cannot effectively escalate violence toward us (Israelis) because of our military superiority, so they, the Sunnis and Shia (Hamas and PLO) take out their frustrations on each other.

Our occupation of Iraq, which seems just to prolong and extend sectarian violence, seems more tenuous every month.

11/25/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

First of all, we are training an Iraqi army when there is no such thing as Iraq. No one in the streets of Iraq believes in their country above their ethnicity anymore. A united Iraq is a western fantasy. In reality, we are training a Shiite army that will eventually butcher the Sunnis, become an ally of Iran and, in the end, turn on us. This is so obvious. I find it shocking that people can't see what is clearly in front of their eyes.

11/25/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Indicted Plagiarist, A brilliant observation. There is no Iraq today. The government is a sham... a bad joke perpetrated on people who had really hoped their votes might make a difference.

Whatever mistakes Bush & the coalition made in the Invasion, it's nothing compared to the botched occupation.

It is the occupants of the former nation of Iraq who are paying the ultimate price.
the Wizard......

11/25/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

The situation with the death squads in Iraq is really nothing but the old El-Salvador option brought back to life. They were brought in with the aid of Chalabi, with a nod from the emperor to destroy the insurgency.
Divide and conquer, the oldest trick in the book.

11/25/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Shocking to hear Israeli Prime war criminal Olmert praise the the Iraq war as "good for Israel."

11/25/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Shocking.?

Part of the war was to destabilaze the area for Israel. The other part disrupting oil flow , to raise the price and keep control of the distribution.

Israel is a forward base for the U.S. Economic Machine/religious brainwashing machine. -

Divide and conquer is indeed the method. Dems and Repubs do a great job of that.

11/26/2006 06:35:00 AM  

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