Anglo-American conquest. Hasan concludes that, contrary to neo-con mythology, post-Saddam Iraq isn't better off.
Over the past ten years, Iraqis have witnessed the physical, social
and economic destruction of their country – the aerial demolition of
schools, homes and hospitals; the siege of cities such as Fallujah;
US-led massacres at Haditha, Mahmudiyah and Balad; the biggest refugee
crisis in the Middle East since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in
Between 2003 and 2006, according to a peer-reviewed study in the Lancet
medical journal, 601,000 more people died in Iraq as a result of
violence – that is, bombed, burned, stabbed, shot and tortured to death –
than would have died had the invasion not happened. Proportionately,
that is the equivalent of 1.2 million Britons, or six million Americans,
being killed over the same period. In a typically defensive (and
deceptive) passage in his memoirs, Blair described the Lancet
report as “extensively challenged” and said its figures were “charged
with being inaccurate and misleading”. Sir Roy Anderson, the then chief
scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, told ministers in an
internal memo that its methods were “close to ‘best practice’” and the
study design was “robust”.
Presumably, denialism is how hawks sleep at night. They dispute the
studies that have uncovered the human cost of the war – whether it be
the civilian casualties across the country, or the torture and abuse
inside Iraq’s prisons (which a UN investigator described in 2006 as
“worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein”), or the
fivefold increase in birth defects and fourfold increase in cancers in
and around Fallujah. Or they try to blame the violence and turmoil in
Iraq exclusively on terrorists, “jihadists” and “Islamofascists”. Few
would dispute that most of the killings in Iraq have been carried out by
the sadistic monsters who fight for al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But to
focus only on the crimes of AQI (or “al-Qaeda in Iraq”) represents a
gross moral evasion.
First, according to the Lancet survey, 31 per cent of the
excess deaths in Iraq can be attributed to coalition forces – about
186,000 people between 2003 and 2006. Second, most studies show that
only a minority of Iraqi insurgents were card-carrying members of AQI.
The insurgency kicked off in Fallujah on 28 April 2003 as a nationalist
campaign, long before the arrival of foreign jihadists but only after US
troops opened fire on, and killed, 17 unarmed Iraqi protesters. Third,
there were no jihadists operating in Iraq before our Mesopotamian
misadventure; Iraq had no history of suicide bombings. Between 2003 and
2008, however, 1,100 suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the
country. The war made Iraq, in the approving words of the US general
Ricardo Sanchez, “a terrorist magnet . . . a target of opportunity”.
The post-Saddam government, observes the noted Iraqi novelist and
activist Haifa Zangana, is “consumed by sectarian, ethnic division, but
above all by corruption”. The Human Rights Watch 2012 report shows how
the rights of the Iraqi people are “violated with impunity” by their new
rulers. In his book Iraq: from War to a New Authoritarianism,
Toby Dodge of the London School of Economics documents how the war has
produced an Iraqi system of government not so different from the one it
replaced. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Dodge argues, is leading his
country towards “an incredibly destructive dictatorship”. The
establishment of a liberal democracy on the banks of the Tigris remains a
neocon pipe dream.
So, Saddam is gone – but at what cost? Iraq has been destroyed and
hundreds of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, as the
direct result of an unnecessary, unprovoked war that, according to the
former chief justice Lord Bingham, was a “serious violation of
international law”. “It was worse than a crime,” said the French
diplomat Talleyrand, responding to the execution of the Duc d’Enghien by
Napoleon; “it was a blunder.” Iraq turned Talleyrand’s aphorism on its
head – it was worse than a blunder; it was a crime.
Dickhead Cheney was interviewed by Charlie Rose, broadcast on PBS yesterday afternoon. A full hour long display of DENIAL to the nth power. He simply ignored questions he didn't want to answer and continued to push his flawed agenda of world conquest for the Amerikan Empire!
Yeah, I watched parts of it. Enough to confirm that Cheney is only interested in his own fanciful version of reality. What a chump. And to think someone else had to go without a heart transplant so they could keep that rotten prick alive.
The situation in Iraq was getting worse every year Saddam was in power. That's unquestionably true, and was the biggest argument for doing something, like invasion, to make things better. It turned out intervening in Iraq made the situation go worse even faster.
One of the interesting things about Mali is that there are hints in the discussion that invading will make things worse, but worse more slowly than not invading. Therefore invading to make things worse is the most moral choice.
That's a more honest discussion than the binary "things are getting worse, we must try something to make them better". But it's not very comforting, and hard to sell to the public. Sometimes there really are only two doors open to you and you have to pick one: worse, and even more worse.
Hi Chris. What was really plaguing Iraq during the final years of Saddam? From what I've read it was the sanctions imposed largely at the insistence of Washington under Clinton. It was said that massive numbers of Iraqi children died due to the blockade and sanctions.
Here is a link to what is said to be a US State Dept. cable from one of the Wikileaks dumps. It has some answers on the state of things in Iraq prior to the first Gulf War plus other interesting items.
If it is what it's supposed to be, it offers a picture of Iraq after the war with Iran that most people wouldn't have been aware of.
Read Saddam's words to the US Ambassador then add the sanctions during Clinton's time, and it paints a pretty grim picture.
There has also been a lot of opinion given on what the Ambassador said to Saddam in this item;
"¶30. NOTE: ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED
TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A “LINE OF PATROL” IT
HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD
MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS “IN FRONT” OF THIS
LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN
KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO
POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS."
That has been interpreted by many as something Saddam could have seen as the US taking no position on border disputes with Kuwait. Others think it might simply have been a colossal blunder that the Bush administration either didn't recognize or simply didn't react to in a timely fashion. Another possibility is the US didn't take him very seriously and thought he was posturing and their goal was cheaper oil anyway so playing Arabs off against Arabs was certainly within the realm of the usual tactics.
If it was the later, one has to wonder if the cost of the whole debacle was ever weighed against the potential gains they sought? Not that any of those responsible would ever discuss that.
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