Bij het terugtrekken van de Britse troepen uit Basra, proberen Britse politici en media de deelname van hun land aan de onrechtmatige invasie van Irak goed te praten. Ten onrechte meent Seumas Milne in The Guardian. Er moet een openbaar onderzoek worden ingesteld naar de Britse betrokkenheid bij deze desastreuze oorlog, mede om gelijksoortige blunders te voorkomen – bijv. bij de door de VS geplande escalatie van geweld in Afghanistan en Pakistan, meent hij.
Eerder beoordeelde Zbigniew Brzezinski deze ‘foute Irak-oorlog’ in scherpe afkeurende bewoordingen (link onderaan).
[Het is te hopen dat de Commissie-Davids die de Nederlandse steun aan deze oorlog onderzoekt, ook lessen voor de toekomst zal trekken].
Politicians crave a whitewash but Britain must hold a fully open public inquiry into the bloodbath it helped to create
It’s hardly surprising that those responsible for the human and social catastrophe unleashed by the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, on both sides of the Atlantic, should be desperate to rewrite its history or try to salvage the shattered reputation of those armies that carried it out. In Britain, as the bulk of its troops withdraw after a campaign that has already lasted longer than the second world war, that propaganda offensive has now reached fever pitch.
Gordon Brown claimed yesterday that the wreckage of blood-drenched Iraq was a "success story". The defence secretary John Hutton insisted Britain should be proud of its "legacy" in the devastated cities of the south. Hilary Benn, the environment secretary boasted of his support for the original aggression on BBC’s Question Time yesterday, declaring that " we leave Iraq a better place" a line repeated word for word by the Sun today and echoed across much of the media.
But the politicians’ craving for a whitewash is no reason for anyone else to give house room to such an absurd travesty of the truth. The Iraq war has been a monstrous crime. Based on a false pretext, it has left hundreds of thousands dead, created more than four million refugees, unleashed an orgy of ethnic cleansing and laid waste to the broken infrastructure of a country already on its knees from 12 years of sanctions and a generation of war…
Meanwhile, all the extravagant claims about a post-surge transformation of Iraq’s security are once again looking foolishly premature. The killing of three US soldiers in Anbar province on Thursday confirmed a rising trend of resistance attacks in April, combined with a string of horrific suicide bombings and increasing civilian deaths, now running at over 400 a month.
There can only be a durable stabilisation of Iraq once the occupation has ended and all representative political forces are brought into a negotiated settlement. In the meantime, a political accounting for what has been inflicted on Iraq which must include a fully open public inquiry has yet to begin in Britain. That is essential for Britain’s own corroded political culture but also because the same blunders and crimes are now being repeated in the escalation of another US-led war: in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Vooral voor Bush Jr-apalogeten die stug blijven volhouden dat zijn invasie van Irak een goede zaak was, is dit boek van Richard Haass leerzaam. Dat blijkt al uit deze recensie van Zbigniew Brzezinski in Foreign Affairs. Voor president Obama impliceert Haass een te volgen actief beleid t.a.v. ‘het’ conflict in het Midden-Oosten, dat Brzezinski expliceert: het opleggen van een vredesproces dat leidt tot en twee-staten oplossing die Israel veiligheid, en de Palestijnen ‘fairness’ biedt. Maar dat betekent dat Obama in moet gaan tegen de machtige zionistische (Pro-Groot)’Isarael lobby’ – en dat zal hem niet meevallen.
Hieronder een verkorte weergave van de recensie – met een link naar het artikel – en het betreffende persbeericht.
The sentence millions of Iraqis now live free of oppression is pure public relations
..Here is another quotation from his execrable letter. "It is important to remember that our decision to take action (sic) in Iraq was driven by Saddam Hussein’s refusal to co-operate with the UN-sponsored weapons inspections… The former Prime Minister has expressed his regret for any information, given in good faith, concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which has subsequently proven to be incorrect."
I am left breathless by this lie. Saddam Hussein did not "refuse to co-operate" with the UN weapons inspectors. The whole problem was that to the horror of Blair and Bush the ghastly Saddam did co-operate with them, and the UN weapons team under Hans Blix was about to prove that these "weapons of mass destruction" were non-existent; hence the Americans forced Blix and his men and women to leave Iraq so that they and Blair could stage their illegal invasion. I saw Blix’s aircraft still on the ground at Baghdad airport just two days before the attack. Note, too, the weasel words. Blair did not give his information "in good faith", as SM claims. He knew and the Ministry of Defence knew (and I suppose SM knew) they were untrue. Or "incorrect" as "SM" coyly writes.
Then again: "We can assure you that the Government would not have engaged in military action if it were not satisfied that such a decision was justified and lawful. The former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, confirmed on 17 March 2003 that authority to use force against Iraq existed from the combined effect of UN Security Council Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441."
But as an outraged Tom Geddes points out in his reply to this remark, "You must be aware that the decision to wage war on Iraq was neither justified nor lawful. The Attorney General’s advice has been widely described as ‘flawed’. Given that his previous advice was that an attack would be unlawful, we all know what ‘flawed’ means. I suspect the MoD (Ministry of Defence) also knows." So do I…
Britain was "dragged into a war in Iraq which was always against out better judgment" the former deputy head of MI6 has claimed, in a remark that will reignite the debate over political interference in the war…