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Tony Blair and the Kellogg-Briand Pact


Via The Telegraph: Tony Blair sidelined the Cabinet over the decision to invade Iraq because he feared ministers would leak sensitive material to the press, the head of the civil service has said. For the moment, this speaks for itself and to the nature of the Blair government, but I’m looking forward to the eventual report of the Iraq Inquiry. In the meantime, you may wish to read the brief treaty which is the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. It provided for […]

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War planes mark 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Battle of Britain speech – Telegraph


Ex-fighter pilots and relatives of war heroes joined commemorations as Sir Winston Churchill’s stirring ‘so much owed by so many to so few’ speech was read out, prompting tears in the crowd. The actor Robert Hardy began reading out the speech at 3.52pm, exactly 70 years after the wartime prime minister delivered it in Parliament. via War planes mark 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Battle of Britain speech – Telegraph. You can find the text of the speech here.

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Omnipotent Government – The Rise of the Total State and Total War (1944)


I find most accounts of the Second World War unsatisfying. They usually focus on the events of the war and the actions and speeches of individuals. Rarely does an account consider the ideas which prompted particular courses of action. In a previous post, I excerpted sections of Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War. Having now finished it, I can advise that it is a satisfying read for those interested in the ideas behind the actions […]

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On the anniversary of Imjin River


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Today is the anniversary of one of the most extraordinary battles fought during the Cold War. The battle by the (Glorious) Gloucester Regiment against an entire Chinese army at the Imjin River was one of the most exceptional moments of the war against totalitarian socialism. So, please, if you are minded, do join me to remember what price people paid on all sides in the battle between freedom and state control. You can find a related video here. I will […]

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Sir Ken Macdonald on Tony Blair


Via The Scotsman, we learn of Sir Ken Macdonald’s view of Tony Blair in respect of the war in Iraq: TONY Blair deployed “alarming subterfuge” to mislead the British people over the war in Iraq, one of his top law officers has said. Sir Ken Macdonald, who was director of public prosecutions at the time of the invasion, launched a devastating attack on the former prime minister, accusing him of acting like a “narcissist” as he tried to justify his […]

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Blair commits a revolt against reason


So here I am,  back online in our new High Wycombe home, just in time for this revolt against reason: Following the ‘climategate scandal’, Mr Blair said the science may not be “as certain as its proponents allege”. But he said the world should act as a precaution against floods, droughts and mass extinction caused by climate change, in fact it would be “grossly irresponsible” not to. If I understand Blair correctly, he is following up his recent assertion of […]

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Iraq: The war was illegal – The Independent


The Independent reports: Tony Blair will be quizzed over a devastating official memo warning him that war on Iraq would be illegal eight months before he sent troops into Baghdad, it was claimed last night. The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will consider a letter from Lord Goldsmith, then Mr Blair’s top law officer, advising him that deposing Saddam would be in breach of international law, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday. But Mr Blair refused to […]

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Four British soldiers die for sake of 150 votes – Times Online


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Just 150 Afghan voters dared to go to the ballot box in the area of Helmand province where British soldiers sacrificed their lives to secure a safe election day, it was revealed yesterday. The figures were released as the British Ambassador to Kabul admitted that troops could be engaged in combat in Afghanistan for five more years. The Electoral Commission in Kabul said that early estimates of voting in the former Taleban stronghold of Babaji, north of Lashkar Gah, the […]

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D-day Commemoration


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On a grey and showery day, skydivers at Weston on the Green commemorated D-day, not by skydiving, but by jumping static line at what for us is a low level: 3500ft. It makes you think. D-day Commemoration – Dornier G92, originally uploaded by stevenjbaker. Sport parachuting is relatively low risk, believe it or not. We go high with modern equipment: it works reliably and there is time to take the reserve if the main fails. No one is, or will […]

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Casualty evacuation: Beth in Iraq


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Beth leading the evacuation of a casualty of the Iraq war (we obtained a number of these press photos just today): Click the photo for a larger image.

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