Sunday, January 08, 2006

Impeach Blair over Iraq: UK general

A LEADING British Army officer believes Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached for his role in the war in Iraq, the Mail on Sunday reported.

General Sir Michael Rose, a former UN commander in Bosnia, was quoted by the right-of-centre Mail on Sunday as saying: "I think the politicians should be held to account ... my view is that Blair should be impeached.

"That would prevent the politicians treating quite so carelessly the subject of taking a country into war."

A high-profile resignation of a senior armed forces officer before the start of the March 2003 conflict may also have made the British Government think twice before sending troops to the Gulf, he added.

"I would not have gone to war on such flimsy grounds," he said.

The newspaper said the comments were made during a television documentary to be aired on Channel Four television on Friday.

Martin Bell, BBC television's former war correspondent who made the film - Iraq: The Failure of War - appeared to back the general, writing in the Mail on Sunday that it was "reasonable" to blame the politicians.

"Ordering the armed forces to war is the most serious decision any government takes. On Iraq it was taken with a degree of nonchalance bordering on negligence," said Bell, who is a former independent member of Parliament.

Rose's opinion revives a call made in November 2004 when 23 MPs filed a motion to impeach Blair on charges of "gross misconduct" over the US-led invasion.

Although it fell by the wayside despite attempts by Welsh and Scottish nationalists to revive it during the general election last May, it was the first such bid to impeach a prime minister in 198 years.


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