When I explain my upbringing, two things come into my vocabulary- I grew up in the backdrop of Tony Blair and the Second Gulf War (more commonly known as the war in Iraq).
This “war” was an illegal one, which cost the lives of nearly 200 British Soldiers, but many thousands more Iraqis in a successful bid to oust Saddam Hussein from power. A coalition of nearly 50 countries, headed up by the UK and the USA, invaded Iraq (for the second time in 30 years) in 2003. Now, to put things into perspective for you, last time around (1991-1995), around 200,000 people incuding military personnel were killed. By the time of the invasion, Iraq was a much weaker country, as economic sanctions had been placed by the United Nations.
Iraq wasn’t even much of a threat. The war was based on a pack of lies, and even the head of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time admitted as much: “My judgement would be that the probability of Saddam Hussein initiating an attack in the foreseeable future would be low.” US President George W “dubya” Bush’s security adviser, appeaser and puppet Condoleezza Rice, said in 2000, “If Iraq does acquire weapons of mass destruction they will be unusable because any attempt to use them will bring national obliteration.”
One of the reasons why Iraq was invaded was oil. Now common sense dictates that much to anyone, except for when it comes to the internet, where this is generally considered to be a conspiracy, very much like the 9/11 truthers. However whoever has dominion over oil supplies wields great power economically over the countries that do not. With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as neighbours, it’s not a great stretch of imagination to realise that Iraq was and still is an oil-rich country in an oil-rich region of the world. The chairman of Conoco-Philips (one of the gigantic US oil corporations) is quoted as saying this: “We know where the best oil reserves are in Iraq and we covet the opportunity to get them.” I’ve already mentioned that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has massive oil reserves. In truth, it has one of, if not the, biggest oil reserves in the world. The USA, for all their goodness normally, had a “murica” moment and has been known to bully and bribe other countries to get them to play ball.
Speaking of which, let’s have a look at the countries involved in the invasion. There’s the UK, the USA, and Australia. They’re not surprising. But there are a lot of weaker countries involved too: Romania, Latvia, Estonia, The Ukraine, Hungary, Lithuania, El Salvador and Georgia. One has to ask, considering the last 60 years, whether this wasn’t so much of a “coalition of the willing” as Dubya put it, but a coalition of the bribed or bullied. Most of the weaker countries in the “coalition” had a debt to one of the bigger countries involved, so is it really possible that they joined voluntarily? Somehow, I don’t think so.
The really ironic thing is that this was supposed to end the supposed “war on terror” that George W Bush declared in the aftermath of 9/11. The thing is, the Second Gulf War didn’t end terrorism. It made more war and terror, frankly, with the rise of Al-Qaeda, Daesh and Boko Haram, who have committed a lot of atrocities in the name of Islam since 2003. Madrid, Paris, London, Turkey and Nigeria have come under attack from islamic extremism since 2003, and it’s not very difficult to realise that by invading Iraq, the “Coalition of the willing” lit the fuse to a powder keg in the middle east.
As for whether the war had anything to do with 9/11, there’s very little evidence, if any at all, to prove that the hijackers had anything to do with Saddam Hussein. For a start, the hijackers were from a different branch of Islam to Saddam Hussein. Every attempt by the Bush administration to connect the two has been discredited. Bob Baer (If you can read this, Bob, and I’ve not spelled your name correctly, I’m sorry), a former CIA agent who specialised in Islamic fundamentalism and extremism in the middle east, came out to the media saying that he was “unaware of any direct evidence of Saddam Hussein pursuing terrorism against the USA”.
It wasn’t even about removing bloodthirsty tyrants from power. We’d supported Saddam Hussein’s regime during the First Gulf War, arming his armies and supplying them with weapons and military goods. In fact, the USA gives millions away in military aid and full diplomatic support to Uzbekistan, which is only just across the Caspian Sea from Iraq. A UN agency did some serious investigating into this regime, and found it guilty of “systematic torture”. The UK’s ambassador at the time was quoted as saying that “ruthless and unscrupulous brutality is inherent in the government”. In that region of the world, we’d (by this I mean the UK) gone along with the USA, supporting the dictatorship in Saudia Arabia, where there is little to no democracy, where women aren’t even allowed to drive cars, and where beheading people is still a punishment from law.
The reason why I have written about this as my blog post for the last 4 days of the week is due to the news report yesterday that Sir John Chilcott’s inquiry into the occupation of iraq had finished, with just over eight million words written, and some pretty damning indictments of the actions of former British Prime Minister, “teflon” Tony Blair and former President of the United States of America, George W Bush. In the inital findings, Tony Blair was heavily criticised for running too close to the USA in terms of economic and political ties, relying too much on the “special relationship” our countries have openly fostered since the end of the second world war. He was also very heavily dependent on following the neo-conservative foreign policy of Bush’s administration, which has proved disastrous- terrorism has been on the up in an unprecedented rate.
So there we go people, a thousand words on the Iraq war. Hopefully, Bush and Blair will be brought to justice.