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The British ‘Iraq War Inquiry’
#1
As I was prompted to write to The British Queen in early May this year and as it was subsequently implied by someone in a position to know, that Sir John Chilcot's statement to the press three weeks later: "Deal Done on the Iraq War Inquiry", was somehow related to that communication, it seems at least plausible that some of the matters described here will emerge in the inquiry. For all of that, my intuition tells me that most of it will be omitted. In any event, it is still the case that I would rather talk about these events as they relate to my own life in my own voice and under my own name, at least in some form, and hence the reason for this particular piece of writing.

If this is omitted from the inquiry, then even though I can assert that this did actually happen, you can obviously forget about it. Alternatively, if it is included and if you got to hear about it from me beforehand, then at least you can judge how accurately or otherwise the official version mirrors this one.

From my personal perspective, the events began with a lady my father introduced me to as his then girlfriend in the 1980's who, after her mother's premature death and her subsequent adoption, was raised from her childhood onwards in one of Rothschild's stately homes in the South of England.

The kind of reality I'd been brought up with was a long way away from the world the Rothschild's live in. At the time, I was in my teens and taking a course in journalism after the philosophy course I wanted to take had been discontinued. It was a strange dynamic and one which probably led her to tell me things she never ordinarily would have done the events that occurred as a consequence of her meeting Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho being the obvious case in point.

I remember that it was one evening in 1987 that she took me to see a film about an uprising in South Africa at the cinema. After we emerged from the cinema I asked her if she'd enjoyed the film. She said she hadn't but in a way which seemed to prompt further questioning. When I asked her why she hadn't enjoyed it she replied that it was because "it wasn't what really happened". I asked her if she was there and she said "yes". Then she told me the rest:

Attending music college in London and in her early 20s - she met and began dating a man called Moshoeshoe II - the paramount chief and future King of Lesotho. Moshoeshoe had come to England for his education and having now graduated or almost so, was shortly due to return home.

At some point she wondered about the future of the relationship. Moshoeshoe told her that there was no possibility it could ever last. Marriage was entirely out of the question.

In those days and until 1965 Lesotho was a semi-independent republic with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, and one consequence of this arrangement meant that officially, the Apartheid laws of South Africa, such as for example the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act', were not applicable in Lesotho.

According to Moshoeshoe however, precise interpretations of the rule of law weren't necessarily the issue.

The recent events in Sharpeville (the events we'd just witnessed a portrayal of in the cinema) had raised tensions dramatically to the point where the South African government had become paranoiac and instituted a clampdown. Moshoeshoe told her that if he married a white girl, especially in those present circumstances, this would be considered as undermining the fabric of the law in Apartheid. As a consequence of this the marriage, if it took place, would be interpreted by Verwoerd as an act of war. To that effect Moshoeshoe told her that if this happened, in his considered estimation, the South African's would invade Lesotho and annul the marriage by placing the bride up in front of a firing squad.

The lady retreated to take advice.

As the Royal Court Theatre was at the height of its influence and centre of her social world at the time, and as Laurence Olivier had been a vocal opponent of fascism since at least the Second World War, for her confidant, she said she turned to Olivier.

She never told me the circumstance or content of those discussions with Olivier, except to say that she'd wondered if this had influenced him later in his much celebrated role as Shakespeare's Othello. Whatever it was they said, the next time she met Moshoeshoe, she told him that, even if she were placed in danger of being killed, if she could help bring down the oppressive apartheid regime, she would be honored to become his Queen.

The essence of the thinking was this: Because Lord Victor Rothschild had inherited a position that gave him a certain kind of influence in British affairs, she was confident that he would be able to maneuver the British Prime Minister in such a way that, with her involved as a British subject, he could get the British to declare war on South Africa.

That was the force of the argument as she conveyed it. With her as his bride and the Royal Air Force at their disposal, there was no reason why Moshoeshoe II shouldn't win a war against South Africa.

Presently, with Moshoeshoe persuaded that this could and would actually happen, they flew out to Africa. They spent a short time touring the countryside, preparing themselves for the wedding and the battle that lie ahead. Three days before the marriage was due to take place, she phoned home and told her aunt that she'd travelled abroad, was about to marry the Chief of Lesotho and that after the wedding, they were planning to invade South Africa.

Miriam ordered her to come home immediately.

She refused.

Victor Rothschild took the next flight to Lesotho and the following day they sat down for an emergency meeting in the palace.

Victor told them that although the plan was viable in itself, the couple had overlooked certain factors in terms of wider political implications and the potential for escalation.

The essence of the discussion was that he told them that tensions were already escalating furiously between the USSR and USA and that any sudden outbreak of war, even civil war in South Africa would almost certainly impact upon those circumstances directly. I think this aspect of history is both well known and relatively uncontroversial. It's no secret that Khrushchev supplied the ANC with their weapons and that the Americans were geopolitical allies of South Africa. That meant Khrushchev and Kennedy were involved already. He managed to convince them that if the wedding went ahead and war was declared, the British would never become involved. If they did, they'd find themselves on the side of the USSR and involved in all out war against the USA. "Russian tanks through Berlin. American Air Force on London. WWIII and nuclear". Those were the words she used to describe what he'd said that night.

She said she flew back to the UK the next day, Victor Rothschild disinherited her on the plane and three months later the Cuban crisis broke out.

Although at that time, being only just out of my teenage years, much of what she told me was predictably and obviously outside my frames of reference, there are several things I remember and one of them is the distinct sense that the British Queen was aware of what had happened. That was a tangible sense I still remember I had even as I now know it was just a projection. It wasn't in any way a sense implied by the particular conversation we'd had after watching the film, so much as a presumption. In any case, as the matters were described in the context of a desire to see what really happened' in terms of a cinema portrayal 25 years after the event, I was never particularly guarded around what I'd been told. I regarded the information as not widely known but non-the-less, nothing more than this.

A short while after this my father and the lady concerned split and we gradually fell out of touch. If I was still very much in awe of her afterwards and tried to renew the contact, the response was hardly encouraging and I gave up all too easily.

Then in 1992 I befriended an American philosopher the day he arrived in Oxford to meet Bernard Williams, at the time White's Professor - the highest chair in Oxford - the first time. For the next few years I saw this fellow of the university every week after he'd met Bernard Williams for a discussion. Then we'd have an extended secondary discussion whilst he offloaded his varieties of cognitive dissonance in order to better absorb the insight and variety in Williams' thinking. At the time I was well aware that this dynamic combination amounted to the best education in England and I wasn't even enrolled at the university. Even then, it was only in the next decade, when the research areas Williams was directing people to at that time emerged with great frequency as the latest developments in science magazines, that I realized just how good it really was.

That's an important point. If the friendship between me and the American became strained around the end of the decade, it did so in the first instance because we disagreed more about matters relating to the philosophy of science than anything else. The discussions we had focused on people watching in terms of the human sciences; and linguistics - as a subject in and of itself. For all that, if we mostly agreed and were successful for years on end in steering ourselves away from the sorts of conflict that dominated the American culture wars, this began to become increasingly difficult.

In the first instance, there was the extremely ostensible way President Clinton's impeachment process must have rankled any American abroad as it began to be played out in the British press. In addition, as my American friend had begun talking to Bernard Williams, some of Williams' admirers began to cultivate his conversation and one of these was the philosopher Martha Nussbaum. By now Nussbaum was dating President Clinton's lawyer Cass Sunstein and, after allegedly using her own perjury credentials' from a notorious Colorado bench trial earlier in the decade as promotion, was now involved in the defense of the perjury charges relating to President Clinton's pending impeachment hearing.

As philosophers sometimes revel in the bad reputations they are able to cultivate amongst their peers, this perhaps shouldn't be taken too literally in sense of wider contexts. But then as the process of Clinton's defense was a linguistically centered one and thus fell within the areas of philosophical interest we'd already developed, it somehow got placed on the table. For a conceptually adversarial British person to overhear some of the conversations that emanated from this even second hand and from a distance, quite probably, created the beginnings of a sense that a sacred space had been invaded an irony in view of my genuinely great estimation of all things American. But which thereafter pointed the conversation towards more political subjects, with Bernard Williams now suffering from terminal cancer and no longer reachable, as temperatures rose, and as the 2000 US presidential campaign kicked off in earnest.

Most likely we'd have just gradually drifted apart in terms of an amicable distance, bearing our individual differences in the ways that teacher/pupil friendships often and in many cases are expected to do. Except that when the Bush/Gore election intensified into the most explosive election in American history and then dragged on for weeks, even with me as neutral, events suddenly seemed long since out of control and even this navigable process then erupted into something else entirely. Thus the last time I saw my American philosopher friend was shortly before the inauguration of President Bush in January 2001.

I only mentioned the above story to the American once - and at that in passing - but we did once discuss it. Whatever exactly it was we said, it seems the Americans sustained an interest and hence all the rest ever since.

By 2006 I'd renewed my earlier acquaintanceship with my father's former lady friend and we renewed our conversation. Over the next couple of years we chatted, albeit it ever so occasionally and only in terms of relative small talk and all as if nothing had happened.

Then in November 2009 out of the blue, and with a cognitive leap akin to remembrance, the lady suddenly knew who she told that story to in 1987 - and suddenly the rest becomes different altogether yet again.

And that was the situation. With my arrested development in the ascendency, and with my false layers of security melting, it never was a surprise to me, even as it really was one, and even as I was floored by the extent of all that had been nailed on the ground in the meantime.

I could be wrong, but my understanding is that when HM The Queen realized the true nature of what really happened, she responded accordingly. If, after that, any of this re-emerged in those conversations between George W. Bush and Tony Blair prior to Iraq well let's wait and see what the inquiry says.

By April 2010, my potential involvement in what had occurred previously seems to having been passed along a chain of those suddenly interested to somebody particularly interested. I'd guess that as I obviously had nothing to hide, there was no point in maintaining anonymous surveillance. I don't know who my stalker was. It was a girl. She made it deliberately obvious. I met her a couple of times at private views in London's art galleries but, predictably enough, she didn't give anything away. After a while, she began to furnish me with indications that as personal involvement was understood to have not been the result of malicious intention on my part, any notifications of trouble pending came also with possibilities of reprieve.

And yet still the notifications came thick and fast.
Amongst life's tars, I now found myself walking atop the sticky ones. I sat back for the rest of the year, and then some, as I continued to feel the heat

I wasn't made aware of it until around 18 months later, but it seems that by early 2011, I'd passed the test in terms of a perceived ability to carry the occasion and seeing an opportunity, the powers that be determined to wait until the US election in 2012.

What better distraction could there be, after all, than the full glare of the media interest generated by a US presidential election to bury the bad news of all that had previously occurred, in order that the American people and government might not notice what certain British individuals had been up to?

That's a cynical way of stating it - except I don't think it was motivated by the cynical as much as a genuine desire to affect the resolution of several complex situations. At one stage, I was expecting it to happen. Why it didn't happen in the end is complicated but, entirely my decision - and admittedly a mistake. Non-the-less, that the Iraq War Inquiry might have been originally delayed from its first intended due date of late 2011 in order for this to happen, was not something I was aware of at the time.

After the election, nothing happened - except things went back to square one all over again. My stalker re-emerged in June 2013 and kept me on standby with the seeming possibility that something significant was about to emerge.

Then suddenly in May this year I get temporarily deleted off the system with no explanation except I receive a suggestion that maybe it would be a good idea if I wrote to HM The Queen. Regretting I hadn't thought of that idea previously, I did this and then, sure enough, Sir John Chilcot makes his announcement to the press three weeks later Deal Done on the Iraq War Inquiry' in a statement that is flagged as being somehow significant.

All of which quite possibly explains how the Iraq War Inquiry was delayed in the way it was. Exactly why it might have been delayed for another 18 months after the 2012 election however is something I can't tell you. I could've written that letter to The Queen in November 2012, if that was what was wanted, and all other things being equal, the inquiry could have been ready for publication by July/August 2013. Why the extended delay?

Perhaps when the report is released we will be in a better position to answer this question. If not, then hopefully, now these events are out in public view, something good might finally emerge out of all this at last. Provided the issues involved are understood as in a sufficiently broad sense and addressed as the sheer number of contingencies involved, I see no reason why this should not be the case. To that end I'm sure the dangers this seemed to present to relations between future British and American governments was the crazy result of a once upon a time disorientation through proximity distortion.

For the rest, we wait for Sir John Chilcot and his Iraq War Inquiry.

Mark Julyan
Website: www.markjulyan.com
Email: mark@markjulyan.com


Reply
#2
Welcome Mark. Forgive my abruptness but what, precisely, are you telling us?

Quote:I could be wrong, but my understanding is that when HM The Queen realized the true nature of what really happened, she responded accordingly. If, after that, any of this re-emerged in those conversations between George W. Bush and Tony Blair prior to Iraq well let's wait and see what the inquiry says.

What was it that you believe the Queen realized?
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#3
Dear David,

I cannot answer except to say that what the British Queen or for that matter anybody else decides they want to realize is a personal matter for them to decide and not for me to presume.

Many thanks for your question but for the rest please also refer to my last sentence.

Regards,

Mark J

http://www.markjulyan.com
Reply
#4
Then I don't understand why you have joined as a member to post something that is incomprehensible to the members here?

Perhaps it is a form of insurance or protection?
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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