They came, they conquered, they destroyed and now the have unfortunately, handed over , the Cradle of Civilization and the heart of the Arab world to people whose loyalty is more to Iran than their own country. So many have died as a result of the 2003 invasion; so many have lost people they love - and for what? had no weapons of mass destruction while evidence given to Britain’s Inquiry by Tony Blair’s former Prime Minister and the former Chief of MI5 suggests that was known all along.
claims that the war was waged to root out Al Qaeda are also false as there were no terrorists in the invasion. Al Qaeda’s arrival was a direct response to the conflict. The Special Forces commander Brigadier-General Patrick Higgins has recently confirmed that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations in remain “pretty much intact”. forces have achieved little during the past seven years. is as unstable as ever.
When none of their pretexts for war remained standing, the invaders patted themselves on the back for democratising the nation. This was another sham. How can an occupied country, beset by sectarian conflict and stricken by terrorist bombs be a democracy in any sense of the term? Several months have passed since the elections and, today, Iraqis remain in the dark as to who will become their next prime minister.
George W. Bush and his dim-witted administration have much to answer for. But as long as America holds a veto in the UN Security Council they will never be held to account. As if the invasion itself that was fuelled by lies wasn’t despicable enough, Washington robbed of its peoples’ unity and its Arab identity. The devastated with no thought to the day after apart from a desire to punish anyone deemed to have been a supporter of Saddam Hussein.
The army was disbanded, ministries were trashed and members of the Baath Party were thrown out of their jobs. A kangaroo court was set-up to try Saddam, whose death by hanging on one of the holiest days for Muslims was a cause of humiliation for Arabs and Muslims, yet a cause of celebration for Washington. The reins of power were handed to politicians who had spent most of their lives outside their country and whose loyalty for the regional power is more than to their own nation.
Ibrahim Al Jaafari who was the Prime Minister in ’s transitional government had spent nine years in Iran. The incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has lived at various times in Iran, Syria and Jordan. In September 2006, he made an official visit to Tehran when he referred to Iran as “a good friend and brother”.
Last month marked the end of America’s misnamed ’Operation Iraqi Freedom’. The military drew down and handed in the towel with respect to the diplomats. Some 96,000 combat troops were expected to be out of by September 1st, leaving 50,000 of their comrades in the country to ‘advise and assist’ their Iraqi counterparts until at least 2011.
What happens next is anyone’s guess but the door could be opened to a potential all-out sectarian bloodbath as well as a power vacuum that will undoubtedly be filled by Iran, waiting in the wings. Iranian tentacles have already spread to Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza, Somalia and Sudan. is destined to be yet another notch on Tehran’s belt.
Speaking from an Iraqi jail, Saddam Hussein’s former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has accused the of “leaving to the wolves” during a surge of countrywide violence. “We are all victims of America and Britain,” he said. “They killed our country in many ways. When you make a mistake you need to correct a mistake, not leave to its death”.
With Iraqi fatalities for July the highest since May 2008, Aziz is right to be worried. No one wants to see foreign forces quit more than I do but they broke it so they must it, which so far they have failed to do. The ongoing violence is only one aspect of ’s problems. Iraqis still suffer from high unemployment and poverty as well as a lack of electricity, clean water and fully equipped medical facilities.
In November last year, I devised a plan for the future of which I sent to President Obama and Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It called for the dissolution of the Iraqi parliament, the introduction of a temporary emergency law, the setting up of a ‘truth and reconciliation’ commission and the appointment of a “strong, impartial, secular Prime Minister and President without any known links to Iran”.
For the foreseeable future, needs to be governed by a strong man; a true patriot, who will not tolerate the spectre of sectarianism; someone who speaks and acts for the benefit of all Iraqis, whether they be Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, Turkmen or Christians. When all the troops and mercenaries have gone and when Iraqis have regained their spirit of nationalism, only then should democracy be reintroduced.
Unfortunately, Mr Obama does not seem to care what happens to . He is keen to cut-and-run so he can free-up troops to bolster Washington’s other useless war in Afghanistan. In a recent speech, he romanticised America’s military role in forgetting that prior to taking office he had labelled “an unwise war” in which “we did not use our military wisely”.
Whichever way President Obama now tries to dress-up his country’s blunders he can never erase the stain on its reputation. He may be able to console himself with the thought that he was not the one to decapitate but will he ever be able to forgive himself for handing to Iran on a silver platter?