Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iraq report: Dutch PM now accepts criticism

It's all over the Dutch media in the last few days. The Dutch PM has reluctantly accepted some of the criticism of the Davids report on Dutch support for the Iraq war. But it's more about politics trumping international law. In the aftermath of the release of the report the blame game among the coalition government about lack of accountability reached near crisis proportions. So will the Davids report just gather dust on a shelf? No accountability or responsibility from Balkenende (Christian that he is) and his cronies for an immoral war, just political shenanigans to save face and avoid a political crisis. "Balkenende said this was not the right moment for a crisis..." That's shameful because the "economic problems" and the war economy are all linked.

From DutchNews.nl:

Crisis talks

The three coalition party leaders spent most of Wednesday in crisis talks to draw up a new response to the report. In Wednesday evening's letter, the prime minister said: 'Based on what we know now, the cabinet accepts that a more adequate legal mandate would have been necessary for such an action.'

Labour's parliamentary leader Mariëtte Hamer said the new statement meant the report had been 'removed from the waste bin'.

But opposition MPs were not so easily appeased. Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Liberal democratic party D66, said he had to ask if Balkenende's initial dismissal of the report was due to 'the arrogance of power' or 'clumsiness'.

Commentators said on Thursday the new statement appeared to have headed off a cabinet crisis.

Before the parliamentary debate on the letter, Balkenende said this was not the right moment for a crisis - referring to the economic problems facing the country.
For the conclusions of the Davids report in English, click here.

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