Coffee House

As Mosul burned, William Hague discussed rape with a beautiful actress

12 June 2014

6:01 PM

12 June 2014

6:01 PM

How will history remember this week? Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was seized by ISIS, an army of fanatics who like crucifying people, among other activities, and who reportedly have British Muslims among their ranks. This was more evidence that Iraq — far from flowering into a beautiful democracy after the allied invasion of 2003 — has descended into bedlam. Again. Well done us.

And what was the British Foreign Secretary doing as the black flags went up across Mosul? He was in London, at the Excel centre, hosting a three-day conference with Angelina Jolie and a gang of other luvvies about sexual violence. Hague and Jolie agreed that rape must not be used as a ‘weapon of war’ – and vowed to do everything possible to stop sex abuse in conflict.

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Down with rape. Not exactly a bold position, is it? You don’t hear many people saying, ‘Do you know, I don’t think rape in war is all bad.’ And I don’t imagine the violators of women in the Lord’s Resistance Army will change their ways because of Angelina Jolie.

Rape is vile, obviously, and rape as a weapon of war worse still. Hague has vowed to give £6 million towards helping survivors of sexual violence and the British government will help Nigeria combat Boko Haram. So phew, it wasn’t all hot air. Nevertheless, the whole Angelina and William sex and violence tour — they have appeared together all over the world, promoting the same message — does look more like an exercise in celebrity self-gratification than anything else; tragedy transmuted into narcissism. There was a hashtag — #timetoact — so that lots of people could raise awareness and feel good about themselves at the same time. There were lots of press opportunities — rape is a good headline word — and artwork: an upside-down passenger airplane, for instance, represented the suffering and bewilderment that victims of sex violence feel. Meanwhile, in Iraq, ISIS were performing their own conceptual art: carrying out beheadings and posting videos of it on the web.

You can’t blame Hague for Mosul — though as opposition leader he did support the disastrous invasion — and it’s deluded to think of British Foreign Secretaries as super-heroes, flying around the world being a force for good. Hague has ruled out British re-intervention in Iraq this week, and that seems reasonable, given what interference has already wrought. But if one were looking for a symbol of western vanity and stupidity, it would be hard to beat the sight of William Hague and a beautiful actress, posing for cameras, repeating and repeating that sexual violence in conflict is terrible and must be stopped, while far away, in a country we invaded and now want to forget, people were being crucified and beheaded — and probably raped, too.


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Show comments
  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I`m sold, Freddie.
    “Waste all Muslims. Resolve world over-population.”
    There I go again. Always the liberal voice.
    Jack, the only Brit in the village.

  • vvputout

    WH is a nice guy and a competent historian, as witness his bio on Younger Pitt.

    But Palmerston he ain’t.

  • Whatever

    Angelina Jolie: insincere, ugly, self-aggrandising slapper. Hague et al: bellends.

  • Helen

    So so vile. Like rape isn’t a serious international concern, not when real war’s happening, you know, to men.

    I assume William Hague’s job quite often involves dealing with multiple issues at the same time. He probably understands, in a way the writer of this piece evidently can’t manage, that more than one thing can be important at the same time.

    He also probably understands that rape isn’t a trivial secondary concern or distraction from the real issues of conflict. It’s how millions of women experience war.

    I’m sorry you don’t consider a summit that’s raised huge awareness and prompted international funding to be a sufficient attempt to tackle these problems. I’m sure this poorly-written spectator blog will have a much more significant global impact.

  • whs1954

    As with Mosul, as with Boko Haram: many people have made themselves feel good by tweeting a hashtag, now we’re bored with that so let’s ignore the fact all that tweeting achieved sod all and the girls are still with their kidnappers.

  • Simon Fay

    Hague’s reported remark that the existence of rape in wartime “shames all men” made me want to headbutt the slapheaded right-on pillock.

  • infopoint

    Apparently, because Mosul is burning, Hague is not entitled to discuss rape, and according to the Daily Mail, Cameron is not entitled to go out for dinner.

    No. Mosul is burning because a better trained, better equipped, and better manned Iraqi army abandoned their position to ISIS militants, despite outnumbering them, rather than fight for their country.

    I did not support the Iraq War, but it cannot be denied that Western forces made great efforts to train and equip the Iraqi police and army. Ultimately, governance of Iraq was left in the hands of a democratically elected Iraqi government. Iraq is not a British colony. It’s the fault of the soldier-deserters that Mosul burned, not random British Conservative politicians.

    One mustn’t forget that ISIS who are burning Mosul are also fighting Assad. The Middle East is extremely complicated. The author of the article doesn’t say anything about what he would rather Hague be doing. It’s not as if Hague was jolly about Mosul. He’s said what we all would have said. What more is there wanting to do?

    • HookesLaw

      A bit to technical and correct for the usual suspects (and reporters) round here.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        You missed the point he made that you Camerluvvies are allied to these islamofascist murderers in Syria, laddie.

        You truly are a socialist dolt.

  • infopoint

    Yes, as Mosul burned, William Hague discussed rape with a beautiful actress. Apparently this is newsworthy.

    As Mosul burned, David Cameron went out to dinner, too. The Daily Mail thought that was newsworthy.

    No, it’s not. Mosul is burning because an Iraqi army that was better equipped, trained, and manned than the ISIS militants decided to run away rather than fight for their country.

    Those soldier allowed their country to be raped. It is they who should face the blame, not random conservative politicians. It’s not as if any of us has a better idea of what to do in the Middle East.

    • Makroon

      The point is, that this is not “their country”. The army is largely Shiite from the south, and the cities which have fallen are mostly in the Sunni belt.

  • Fasdunkle

    Two choices:

    1) Leave the ME alone
    2) Smash Saudi Arabia and the other GCC states

  • arnoldo87

    So the current situation in Iraq is all down to the deterioration that has continued since the invasion in 2003?
    This is the latest brainwash from the anti -war lobby. You will see no mention of the fact that ISIS was spawned in the tragedy of the Syrian Civil War.(The very name of ISIS tells you what it is about).
    And you will see no analysis of what caused the situation there to be so grave; no hand-wringing about our failure to support the original rebels when they had Assad on the ropes; no admission that THIS is what let ISIS in as a major force.
    Criticise the Bush/Blair foreign policy if you will, but the folly of the West’s appeasement policy since Obama came to power is now plain to see. Withdrawing our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan has been a popular measure, but we will need to go back in at some point in the future when the military options will be far more difficult than they are now.

    • Blindsideflanker

      As Blair is the UN Middle East peace envoy, perhaps we should parachute him in to Mosul.

    • HookesLaw

      You are I think being far to realistic and sensible for the nutjobs to be able to comprehend.

    • Pat

      Isis was close to extinction in Syria it was because of gains in Iraq that enabled it to become IS, which is an umbrella for a number of groups. Most prominently the army of the men of the nasqbandi, headed by saddam’s right hand man Al douri. Sunni dissatisfaction in western Iraq at Baghdad and Iranian influence is key.

  • Blindsideflanker

    They might as well legislate against people being beastly to one another in a war.

    The whole thing is driven by Cameron Conservative’s pollsters telling metrolsexual man, Cameron, he is behind on ‘Wimmins’ issues, so they pick some cultural Marxist wish list policy off the self and hey presto they can look really good around their metropolitan ever so politically correct dinner parties .

    Of course this new law won’t effect what happens in the deepest darkest Congo, no it will be used by a human rights lawyer like Phil Shinner to go after a British squaddie who happened to hire the services of a prostitute while abroad, and the British tax payer made to pay a fortune in legal bungs to make the problem go away.

    • HookesLaw

      More nasty rubbish from you.

      Consider the counter factual headline, ‘Hague turns down chance to campaign against rape’. This of course would not just be Hague smeared but the entire govt and the Tory party. Indeed no matter what Hague did I think Mr Grey would find an excuse to carp and criticise. Makes him a bit of a nutjob really.

  • you_kid

    When you’re in a ratings ditch or no one listens to what you have to say: go team up with the really important people, like actors. Become cool. Live the matrix.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you mean, like your matrix of sockpuppets, lad?

      • you_kid

        it’s a quote troll – you won’t know what I am talking about – it’s all gibberish to you, remember?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …so you’re a “quote troll”, lad? Is that just you or is it the entirety of your sockpuppets?

          • you_kid

            yes, today you are trolling quotes you don’t get, correct, lad.
            fun, innit?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …so you’re punctuating after the fact, lad? And which of your sockpuppets might be in charge of editing up your impenetrable gibberish?

              • you_kid

                Ah stuff it, I need to sack someone and ought to hire an Italian PA instead.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …stuff what, your impenetrable gibberish? I know what you mean… it is pretty much worthless garbage, lad.

                • HookesLaw

                  You are another typical thicko soulless bigot who cannot tell when his plonker is being pulled. Saddo … Go get a life.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …nice to see you socialist nutters gathering together, lad, to include the sockpuppet socialist nutters and you Camerluvvies.

                • HookesLaw

                  Make sure she is young and pretty. And does not mind working in an undeclared donation in kind office.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …well, as long as it’s not a multiply-accused rapist, lad .

    • Liz

      What makes you think there’s only two of them involved in this team?

  • Liz

    In other words Hague was wasting his time talking about violence against women, instead of concentrating on the important subject of violence against men.

    Men have been fighting wars since forever, there’s no rush, it’s not going anywhere, another day, another brawl/riot/battle/insurgency/uprising/revolution/war/coup/massacre, they can wait a week to get all the attention again.

    • John Dalton

      Yawn.

  • Bonkim

    Very little Hague or Obama could have or would have done to stop the sectarian war in Iraq or anywhere else. The Iraqi President has brought this upon himself by his unwillingness to have an inclusive government and divisive policies. Let Mosul burn.

    • HookesLaw

      A fair analysis I think. This seems to be why the USA refused to bomb these rebels before they got started. It remains to be seen if this was the right idea. The Kurds in the north seem to be taking control, maybe the Americans think these terrorists and Kurdish action will in effect blackmail the Iraqi govt into being more inclusive. We will have to see who has shot themselves in the foot.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        You really are a Camerluvvie dolt, lad.

        These islamofascists murderers are the same islamofascist murderers you dolts are desperate to help murder Christians in Syria, just a short skip over .

        You are a clueless dolt. All of you Camerluvvies are clueless dolts. You are not fit, and that’s why your hero Dave’s head is going to be mounted on a spike 10.5 months from now. This is reason #4,783 for that mounting.

        • Bonkim

          Iran will do the job that the US failed to do. Iran and the US are friends regards ISIS – and once that is done hopefully the US will bomb Assad to powder. Doubt if your prediction about Cameron sees daylight – he is the best PM we had for a while.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Delusional, you are.

            Simply delusional.

  • Donafugata

    Women have been, are being and always will be victims of rape, all over the world, throughout the ages.

    Mother Earth and Tory Boy are simply using this terrible fact of life to heighten their personal profiles.

    • Liz

      There’s apathy for you.

      • HookesLaw

        There was ignorance and bigotry from him.

  • Smithersjones2013

    But if one were looking for a symbol of western vanity and stupidity, it
    would be hard to beat the sight of William Hague and a beautiful
    actress, posing for cameras, repeating and repeating that sexual
    violence in conflict is terrible and must be stopped, while far away, in
    a country we invaded and now want to forget, people were being
    crucified and beheaded — and probably raped, too.

    Hague certainly is turning out to be a cartoon parody of a Foreign Secretary. He is without doubt the greatea=est disappointment amongst the current generally woeful Tory crop It’s a pity Spitting Image is not about. His character would be hilarious particularly with Angelina polishing his dome so regularly

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Intervene in Iraq? With what…? The last time our military were in Iraq they were chased out by a rag-tag band of Shia militiamen. Pretty much all the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have to deploy these days is some rather nice headed notepaper.

    • HookesLaw

      Well you are right, when we were in Basra we were pretty rubbish even though we had the troops and equipment. We did not have the will. This was through first I think wrong headed military tactics and also lack of stomach by the then labour govt who having put troops in place wanted to minimise casualties.
      In the end we had to be bailed out of Basra by the Americans. Maybe we should not blame the brass hats if they could see the political will was not there, but we should remember that when some general spouts off it does not mean he knows what he is talking about (a bit like Mr Grey really).

      On the other hand the SAS operations in Baghdad were brilliant and much admired by the Americans. I think the SAS were pretty disgusted by what happened in Basra.

  • The Masked Marvel

    One must understand, Freddy, that this is the type of imperialism – the white West intervening and forcing our cultural values on others – that the Left can support. So these PR stunts are very, very popular.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Being anti-rape (however self-indulgent this conference is) is simply forcing our cultural values on others? Should we ignore it then?

      • The Masked Marvel

        Being anti-rape is a personal position, affects no one. You can feel really bad about it, wear a wrist-band, write poetry for all the difference it makes. However, making public statements and using international government power in this way, though, is forcing your cultural values on others. No matter how righteous it makes you feel, that’s what this is. Either you support the idea of meddling in other cultures’ affairs when you think you know better, or you don’t.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Does this mean government statements re the Sudanese mother awaiting flogging & execution under sharia should not be made?

          • The Masked Marvel

            Oh, please. Is there a celebrity standing at the podium as well? Your reductio ad absurdum tells me you’re very far away from understanding.

  • Samuel Johnson

    The idea that you can stop rape by talking is absurd. As if a villain who might commit a rape would hold back because of the disapproval from Twitter. What *might* reduce war rape is preventing situations where savagery is unleashed. Sadly the British government is pretty good at encouraging the precise opposite, in Libya, Iraq, Syria …

    • Liz

      Villain? Like in a zorro mask? With a twirly mostachio?

      Of course talking makes a difference, talking, money, programmes, education, strategies.

      I’ll tell you what doesn’t make a difference: men blowing sh*t up.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Au contraire, you get the right men blowing up the right other men, and it can make a lot of difference. But it’s a rarity when those opportunities present themselves

        • you_kid

          My dad used to blow up WMD after the first Iraq war.
          No one listened to what he had to say, even years after that.
          So he shut up then and still lives to tell the tale.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …I thought you sockpuppets were mono-gender-hatched, lad?

            • Inverted Meniscus

              No their gibberish spouting hermaphrodite socialist nutters.

              • you_kid

                My dad used to BLOW UP wmd with unscom after the first Iraq war. No one listened to what he had to say, even years after the event.
                So he SHUT the FAQ UP and still lives to tell the tale!

                You know what unscom is lad? Educate yourself.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  More gibberish from a gibberish spouting uneducated socialist nutter.

                • you_kid

                  My father (a person you are most likely to have never met) used to blow up WMD with UNSCOM after the first Iraq war. No one listened to what he had to say, even years after the event.
                  So he shut up and still lives to tell the tale.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  You desperately need to see a doctor. One who specialises in socialist nutters with an army of sock puppets spouting unintelligible gibberish.

                • you_kid

                  Do you want me to say it once more, lad? Ok, I hear you.

                  My father (that’s a person you will have never met yourself) used to blow up WMD (not pressure cookers, lad) with UNSCOM (a multi-culti team that was, with a few intelligent Americans added to give it gravitas) after the first Iraq war. No one listened to what he had to say, even years after the event. So he shut up and still lives to tell the tale.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  And you and your army of sock puppets keep spouting unintelligible gibberish.

                • you_kid

                  You mean you are not intelligent enough to understand it, lad? Speak for yourself, and your uneducated muppets who know nothing about anything.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I’m not interested in your gibberish and socialist nuttery lad.

                • you_kid

                  Oh yes you FAQing are. But you are too dumb and too uneducated to understand anything spelt out to you. Still don’t know what UNSCOM is, lad? Jesus, slow’n’all too!

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  You are an irrelevant socialist nutter lad.

                • you_kid

                  Babes, why don’t you stick your plonker up your muppet friend’s [your choice entirely] and blow off?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Because I am sick of scum like you polluting every thread.

                • you_kid

                  Babes, you are losing it completely – look at your last twenty posts.
                  All you are doing is trolling. You need to ease that pressure lad and blow off.
                  I gave you simple instructions of how to do that – now just go and give us all a break will you?
                  I will not ask you this kindly again.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Get lost. And do not ‘follow’ me it is creepy and typical of you.

      • Samuel Johnson

        I would suggest that if he wants to prevent wars and thus ‘rape situations’ it would be better talking to Russia and Iran than Angelina Jolie.

      • La Fold

        The last line is complete nonsense. So if you saw a man sexually attacking a woman what would you do? try and educate them or ward them off with nothing more than bad breath and some colourful language? Because sadly violence does often solve problems, particularly violent problems.

  • BoiledCabbage

    The drive to prevent ‘conflict rape’ is as vain and fatuous as it gets – why not just a drive to end conflict? Forever? Permanently?

    • Liz

      Nonsense, on both fronts.

      • John Dalton

        Oh do bore off you sad gender grievance monger.

        BoiledCabbage is spot on. Hague has lost the plot. Most people seeing these pictures will just think he’s an idiot wasting time fannying around after movie stars when he should be knuckling down and working for the people of his own poor bl**dy country.

        The Cameron crew are the progeny of the Blairites – chasing money and celebrity. leaving chaos in their wake – and doing sweet FA to tackle the problems we, the people who elect and pay them, really care about.

        • HookesLaw

          Why don’t you bore off from just criticising someone because she is a woman.
          You are a pathetic bigot… another one on the speccys comment pages encouraged by another purile article from an ignorant and bigoted reporter.

          Hague was in London and no doubt in touch with the foreign office, quite what he might be expected personally to do is hardly explained by the author.This article is just another load of guff from a man who specialises in pouring out the stuff.

          • John Dalton

            Ah The Troll In Shining Armour!

            The likes of Liz fought hard for her equality – I’m sure she doesn’t need you patronising her.

            Pathetic. Ignorant. Bigot. Badges of honour coming from you. I wonder how well it’s worked for your hero Dave using those tactics? It doesn’t seem to shut us up does it – and it doesn’t seem to bring us back.

            Hague has lost the plot and most people can see it just as they can see right through Cameron.

            Happy trolling.

            • HookesLaw

              No argument or defence so you throw out ‘troll’.

              You are ignorant and a bigot… hard for you to be told that I know. But you know what I couldn’t care less. You all crowd round here where you think there is safety on numbers to vent off and get upset when someone disagrees with you.

              You are pathetic from start to finish, but take some consolation you are not as pathetic as Mr Grey or his editor that gives him space to spew such rubbish.

              • John Dalton

                You clearly could care less and I have enjoyed getting under your skin.

      • joanne mc grath

        That comment of nonsense on both fronts – offers nothing.

  • Nelly Pitt
  • andagain

    Is killing people in war still OK?

    • Donafugata

      Yeah, rape is the new killing.

      Then again, we could help by bringing every woman in the world to the UK and giving her and her kids a council house.

      • Liz

        Enabling and looking after mothers and children is what societies do. That’s their sole purpose.

        • Count Dooku

          Do bore off. My aim in life is not to act as a serf to the sisterhood. You wanted equality, now look after yourselves.

  • RavenRandom

    Nasty cheap article, the vileness of the author’s second paragraph “a conference with Angelina Jolie and a gang of other luvvies about sexual violence,” is not recovered by the “Rape is vile” comment in the third.
    What should Hague have done… waved his magic wand, expelius insurrectionus?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Hague should try not to be a slackjawed bandersnatch, for starters.

    • Makroon

      Didn’t Jolie make her career through films involving lots of violence and cheap thrills ? (to avoid the dumb censor). Ironic, no ?

    • HookesLaw

      Correct.

  • telemachus

    This post is disgusting
    Hague is to be congratulated in his drive against this aspect of degradation of the human condition
    As for Mosul we have nothing useful to say and should on this occasion leave it to others
    We have done enough damage in Iraq

    • MirthaTidville

      Yes we have and look which party caused it….At least Hague is trying to help which is a damn sight more than your lot have

    • Smithersjones2013

      Indeed Labour’s greatest crime and Telemachus has nothing to say! Labour swept it under the rug then and they are still sweeping it under the rug now!

      • Tony Quintus

        The ony alternative to sweeping it under the rug is to bomb it into oblivian, something the Iraqis are now quite capable of doing themselves.

    • whs1954

      Typical of you, and typical of socialists; all gesture, not so hot on reality. Hague has made a gesture, said how cross rape in war makes him; nothing has actually happened to stop rapes in war happening, but the Foreign Secretary has expressed his tutting disapproval, so all good.

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