THE call by retired General, Sir Michael Rose, for the Prime Minister to be impeached by the Privy Council over the invasion of Iraq by Anglo-American imperialism, is a serious call.
It is one thing when lifelong civil servants appointed by the government inquire into its conduct with a view to finding that it is whiter than white – after all the entire Blair gang (the then Defence Minister Hoon, Foreign Secretary Straw and the chief, Blair) have been found to be entirely blameless by more than one such rigged inquiry.
It is quite another when a representative of the military chiefs, a decisive part of the capitalist state, which demanded assurances that the war was legal from the Attorney General before they would commit their troops, demands that the Prime Minister is impeached.
Rose, the ex-UN commander in Bosnia, said Blair had to take responsibility for his actions. ‘To go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from,’ he said.
The General added that the consequences for Iraq and the war on terror had been ‘quite disastrous’. He added: ‘The politics was wrong, that he rarely declared what his ultimate aims were, as far as we can see, in terms of harping continually on weapons of mass destruction when actually he probably had some other strategy in mind.
‘And secondly, the consequences of that war have been quite disastrous both for the people of Iraq and also for the west in terms of our wider interests in the war against global terror.’
With the last point we are getting as near to the truth as we are ever likely to get from the British general staff.
For the war has been disastrous for the west – read that the war has been absolutely disastrous for British imperialism and its desperate need to have access to the oil and gas bearing regions of the planet – and in particular, the war has been disastrous for the British armed forces.
First of all, they have been completely humiliated in southern Iraq. They are under house arrest in their barracks because their intervention against the Baathists brought to power a regime in southern Iraq whose leaders are much closer to Iran, in every way, than they are to Washington or London.
The Blair solution to this contradiction is for the military to scuttle out of the Iraqi frying pan into the fires of Helmand province in Afghanistan, where the war in Iraq has provided the breathing space for the Taleban to regroup and re-emerge stronger than before.
Then there is the state of army morale. It has been broken by the illegal character of the war and the mass killings of Iraqi civilians that have taken place. The army has been strained to breaking point, where sullen opposition to the war is common, while opposition amongst military families is widespread, and the Territorial Army which has had to provide a quite large percentage of the forces has virtually disappeared as a viable reserve.
Now the military chiefs are fearful that getting out is going to be much more difficult than getting in ever was, and that in fact an expansion of the war is on the White House agenda, with operations against the Syrian regime of President Assad.
Many Blairites will see Rose’s call as a virtual mutiny or encouragement to mutiny. In fact it is. If a leading general wants to see Blair impeached by the Privy Council, then why should the squaddies and the NCOs carry on with the imperialist slaughter, risking their own lives in the process, and of course risking future trials for war crimes.
Of course they should not. They must put an end to the British war in Iraq and Afghanistan by refusing to take part in any operations against the Iraqi and Afghan people, and demand that they are returned home at once. The British workers will support them.