I have posted two quotes to the left of this piece which are very revealing, one from Ali, a long time resident of the Karrada suburb of Baghdad and G. W. Bush the President of the USA and a man who on his occasional visits to Iraq, has never ventured beyond the heavily fortified Green Zone for fear of his own safety. To use the word ‘noble’ as Bush has when one is commenting on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, is so far from reality that if the man were not President of the USA he would have been sectioned under the mental health act.
From day one the war and occupation of Iraq has been based on lies, deceit and criminality; and about the only type of person beyond the neo-liberal clique around GW Bush who would view this conflict as noble would be the likes of the late Mafioso John Gotti and his ilk. The scale of human suffering in that poor begotten nation is appalling and recognized by all rational people as the greatest human catastrophe now facing Humankind. As Seumas Milne wrote in todays Guardian far from the Iraq war having been a noble venture,
“The unprovoked aggression launched by the US and Britain against Iraq five years ago today has already gone down across the world as, to borrow the words of President Roosevelt, ‘a day which will live in infamy.’ Iraqis were promised freedom, democracy and prosperity. Instead, as Jon Snow’s compelling TV documentary Hidden Iraq underlined this week, they have seen the physical and social destruction of their country, mass killing, tens of thousands thrown into jail without trial, rampant torture, an epidemic of sectarian terror attacks, pauperization, and the complete breakdown of basic services and supplies.*
It is difficult to read about Iraq or watch Documentaries about that country without tears and rage erupting within one. In the five years since the invasion, the number of Iraqis killed vary between 150,000 (the figure accepted by the Iraqi government) and a million-plus, the medical magazine the Lancet’s estimate of 600,000 violent deaths in the first three years alone has held up to the most rigorous scrutiny. Iraq is ranked as the most violent and dangerous place in the world by an Economist Intelligence Unit index. Two million refugees have fled the country, whilst a further 2 million have been driven from their homes and communities inside Iraq. In Bagdad alone almost 50,000 people have had their lives stolen over the last five years of US occupation. Look back to the impact the 52 deaths caused by the July 7 terrorist outrage had on London, then try to imagine what it must be like living in a city where 50,000 of your family, friends, neighbors or fellow citizens have met their deaths in the most violent and gruesome manner.
The Iraq catastrophe isn’t down to mistakes or lack of planning as many of those who supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq are now claiming, but a refusal to recognize that people will resist foreign occupation with what ever means are at their disposal. When will this simple fact seep into the brains of those who rule us. That it does not is down to their racist arrogance, they understand perfectly that when the USA was attacked on 9/11 they had the right to defend itself by attacking Al Qaeda. Yet when the Iraqis, Palestinians or Irish hit back at their tormentors, all the likes of Bush, Brown and Sarkosy can do is cry terrorist murderers. Of course it was not an accident of history that Adolf Hitler during WW2 called the French Resistance and the Polish Home Army terrorists, as he like GW Bush today had lost touch with reality and his own humanity.
Whilst the Iraqi people continue to suffer what of those who brought this conflagration down upon them.
G. W. Bush is still US President although mercifully his period in office ends at the end of the year, he will then draw a hansom pension which will be toped up by handouts from the multi national corporations whose coffers he helped fill and whose hands are as blood-stained as GW Bush’s, the worst US President in living memory if not ever.
Dick Cheney is still in the vice-president’s office, but much diminished by events in Iraq and by battles with other branches of government. At the end of his term in office he will in all probability return to work in a multi national corporation.
Donald Rumsfeld forced out of office as Defense Secretary in November 2006 after a Republican drubbing in mid-term elections; now a fellow at conservative think tank, the Hoover Institution, at Stanford University.
Paul Wolfowitz Rumsfeld’s number two was made president of World Bank only to be ousted after scandal involving promotion of his partner. Now at neo-conservative hub, the American Enterprise Institute.
Tony Blair Left Downing Street and became Middle East envoy to Quartet group; will lead international team to tackle climate change and is to teach religion and politics at Yale. Paid up to £5m for memoirs.
Jose Maria Aznar Stood down as Spanish PM in 2004. Has been teaching at thinktanks and universities in Spain and US, and is on board of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
John Howard Australian PM ejected in spectacular style last November. Now on international speaker circuit.
Ahmed Chalabi Blamed as conduit of false intelligence about WMD. Failed to win seat in Iraqi parliament. Now adviser to Iraqi government.
Osama bin Laden Despite rumours of death, still likely to be in tribal regions of northern Pakistan. Most recent recorded tape produced in December. **
We can but hope the day will come when all of these men will be in the dock of the International Criminal Court.***
A series of films made by an Iraqi journalist about the current desperate plight of the Iraqi people,