08 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Philip Hammond says decision to remove supporters of Ba’ath party from army was biggest mistake of post-conflict planning

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond gives evidence to the foreign affairs committee. He said many former Iraqi army officers have played key roles in Isis. Photograph: PA

The UK has stepped up its criticism of US conduct of the Iraq war, with the foreign secretary saying the single most disastrous mistake was the mass removal of supporters of the Ba’ath party from the Iraqi army, which he claimed led directly to the formation of Islamic State.

Philip Hammond said the move by Paul Bremer, an American diplomat in charge of running Iraq in 2003, to dismantle the country’s army had proved a disastrous mistake, as it had sent 400,000 unemployed soldiers on to the streets.

On Thursday the Chilcot report on the UK’s involvement in Iraq delivered a scathing critique of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war on the basis of bogus intelligence and a catastrophic lack of planning for the aftermath of the invasion.

Hammond’s direct link between Bremer’s decision and the rise of Isis contrasted with Blair’s claim on Thursday that the world was a better place as a result of the removal of Saddam Hussein.

“I can regret the mistakes and I can regret many things about it, but I genuinely believe not just that we acted out of good motives and I did what I did out of good faith, but I sincerely believe that we would be in a worse position if we hadn’t acted that way. I may be completely wrong about that,” Blair said……………


Protesters march and chant in Texas before turning and running. Several loud bangs are then heard. At least 11 police officers have been shot, five fatally. It follows protests across the US over the killing by police of black men Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in separate incidents.

  • Three suspects in custody after shootings at anti-violence protest

  • Fourth suspect reported to have shot himself after standoff

  • Police said ‘snipers’ had targeted officers

  • Protests sweep US over killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

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The O'Leary

Five policemen killed in Dallas. What did we expect after the murder by policemen of hundreds of black persons this year? What did we expect in this culture of guns? What did we expect in this country still trying to deal with racism and failing miserably, to the extent that we have a racist, facist Presidential candidate? Really, what did we expect?

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