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UK's reckless role exposed in ruinous Iraqi invasion

DA60

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'"Suppose that the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded and real Iraqis, not (just) Saddam's special guard, decide to offer resistance," wrote British prime minister Tony Blair to U.S. president George W. Bush in December 2001, two years before the U.S. and the UK invaded Iraq. At least Blair had some doubts, but neither man could really imagine the Iraqis would see them as conquerors, not liberators.

Another 13 years have passed, and at last we have the Chilcot Report, an impartial probe into why Britain joined the U.S. in that invasion. It's a 12-volume study that illustrates just how ill-informed planners of that illegal war were, but it doesn't tell us much we didn't already know.

There are juicy documents about the pre-war connivance between Bush and Blair, like Blair's vow in 2001 "We are with you, whatever." But there is comparatively little on the scale of the disaster that the invasion inflicted on innocent Iraqis: thirteen years of war, up to 600,000 Iraqis killed and a country effectively destroyed. So this is a good time to recall the fate of the city of Fallujah.

Fallujah was a city of a third of a million people, less than an hour's drive west of Baghdad, that was occupied by US troops in April 2003. It was the first place American troops fired on Iraqi civilians. It had fallen under control of Iraqi resistance forces by the end of the year. That was the "First Battle of Fallujah".

Fallujah was recaptured in November 2004 by US forces, at a cost of 95 American dead and 560 wounded. An estimated 1,350 insurgents were killed in this "Second Battle of Fallujah".

Sunni insurgents took back control of Fallujah in January 2014, six months before rest of western Iraq fell to Islamic State virtually without a fight. The pattern was the same: the new Iraqi army built up by the United States at a cost of $26 billion simply collapsed and ran away.

The "Third Battle of Fallujah" began in May of this year. Iraqi government forces supported by Iranian troops and U.S. air strikes, took almost six weeks to recapture the city. Most of the city is just ruins.

Other cities in Iraq are less comprehensively wrecked, but none are safe places to live. The most recent bomb attack in Baghdad this past Saturday killed at least 250. When Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, visited the scene of the bombing Sunday, he was chased away by a crowd hurling stones, shoes and insults. And there is no end in sight.

Thirteen years, half a million excess deaths or more, millions of refugees, impoverishment and insecurity, and an astoundingly corrupt government that is successfully resisting Abadi's attempt to reform it. It is no wonder even most of those in Iraq who suffered under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule now wish he had never been overthrown.

Cautious ruminations of the Chilcot Report underplay the most important fact about the invasion of Iraq, which is that all these appalling consequences were predictable. People who had any real knowledge of the political, ethnic and sectarian politics in the region and especially in Iraq DID predict them, including the experts in the US State Department and the British Foreign Ministry.

Never mind whether or not the decision to invade Iraq was a war crime (though it was, under international law). Never mind whether invaders'motives were good or bad (they were both, actually). What shines through is the sheer arrogance and ignorance of those who brought this calamity down on Iraqis, who must now live out their lives in misery and terror. Thanks, guys.'


UK's reckless role exposed in Iraqi invasion | The London Free Press


Thoughts?
 

joG

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'"Suppose that the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded and real Iraqis, not (just) Saddam's special guard, decide to offer resistance," wrote British prime minister Tony Blair to U.S. president George W. Bush in December 2001, two years before the U.S. and the UK invaded Iraq. At least Blair had some doubts, but neither man could really imagine the Iraqis would see them as conquerors, not liberators.

Another 13 years have passed, and at last we have the Chilcot Report, an impartial probe into why Britain joined the U.S. in that invasion. It's a 12-volume study that illustrates just how ill-informed planners of that illegal war were, but it doesn't tell us much we didn't already know.

There are juicy documents about the pre-war connivance between Bush and Blair, like Blair's vow in 2001 "We are with you, whatever." But there is comparatively little on the scale of the disaster that the invasion inflicted on innocent Iraqis: thirteen years of war, up to 600,000 Iraqis killed and a country effectively destroyed. So this is a good time to recall the fate of the city of Fallujah.

Fallujah was a city of a third of a million people, less than an hour's drive west of Baghdad, that was occupied by US troops in April 2003. It was the first place American troops fired on Iraqi civilians. It had fallen under control of Iraqi resistance forces by the end of the year. That was the "First Battle of Fallujah".

Fallujah was recaptured in November 2004 by US forces, at a cost of 95 American dead and 560 wounded. An estimated 1,350 insurgents were killed in this "Second Battle of Fallujah".

Sunni insurgents took back control of Fallujah in January 2014, six months before rest of western Iraq fell to Islamic State virtually without a fight. The pattern was the same: the new Iraqi army built up by the United States at a cost of $26 billion simply collapsed and ran away.

The "Third Battle of Fallujah" began in May of this year. Iraqi government forces supported by Iranian troops and U.S. air strikes, took almost six weeks to recapture the city. Most of the city is just ruins.

Other cities in Iraq are less comprehensively wrecked, but none are safe places to live. The most recent bomb attack in Baghdad this past Saturday killed at least 250. When Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, visited the scene of the bombing Sunday, he was chased away by a crowd hurling stones, shoes and insults. And there is no end in sight.

Thirteen years, half a million excess deaths or more, millions of refugees, impoverishment and insecurity, and an astoundingly corrupt government that is successfully resisting Abadi's attempt to reform it. It is no wonder even most of those in Iraq who suffered under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule now wish he had never been overthrown.

Cautious ruminations of the Chilcot Report underplay the most important fact about the invasion of Iraq, which is that all these appalling consequences were predictable. People who had any real knowledge of the political, ethnic and sectarian politics in the region and especially in Iraq DID predict them, including the experts in the US State Department and the British Foreign Ministry.

Never mind whether or not the decision to invade Iraq was a war crime (though it was, under international law). Never mind whether invaders'motives were good or bad (they were both, actually). What shines through is the sheer arrogance and ignorance of those who brought this calamity down on Iraqis, who must now live out their lives in misery and terror. Thanks, guys.'


UK's reckless role exposed in Iraqi invasion | The London Free Press


Thoughts?

It might be so, that the troops should have been better prepared and maybe one could have waited a little longer, but otherwise? I've read a lot about the report and read pieces of it, but I didn't see anything really new or surprising.
 

gunner

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It might be so, that the troops should have been better prepared and maybe one could have waited a little longer, but otherwise? I've read a lot about the report and read pieces of it, but I didn't see anything really new or surprising.

You see no problem with the aftermath and lack of post invasion planning?
 

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You see no problem with the aftermath and lack of post invasion planning?

I do think that we learned that it would have been better to turn it over to the UN instead of doing it ourselves. But that was not so much Blair's fault as ours.
 

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I do think that we learned that it would have been better to turn it over to the UN instead of doing it ourselves. But that was not so much Blair's fault as ours.

Turn it over to the UN? You do realize that they fled from Iraq after they got bombed, right?

And as for the OP. I think Dubya's actions in setting up that invasion is grounds for a war crime- but the UK was a very willing henchman and played a huge role in it. But of course since war crime tribunals are nothing more than Western hypocrisy, no arrests will ever be made.
 

joG

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Turn it over to the UN? You do realize that they fled from Iraq after they got bombed, right?

And as for the OP. I think Dubya's actions in setting up that invasion is grounds for a war crime- but the UK was a very willing henchman and played a huge role in it. But of course since war crime tribunals are nothing more than Western hypocrisy, no arrests will ever be made.

You know? I've heard that a lot and checked many allegations of war crimes out in the treaties and Conventions. But not one has ever proved correct.

As to the UN running off, that's what they usually do. But that is our fault as much as anyone's and it would have been a chance to bind in the international community and let it begin to shoulder responsibility.
 

PoS

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You know? I've heard that a lot and checked many allegations of war crimes out in the treaties and Conventions. But not one has ever proved correct.

As to the UN running off, that's what they usually do. But that is our fault as much as anyone's and it would have been a chance to bind in the international community and let it begin to shoulder responsibility.

Of course you wont see any proof, not when the government covers up and protects their own. But your support for the UN borders on hypocrisy since a UN report did claim that the Iraq invasion was illegal so how do you reconcile it?
 

gunner

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You know? I've heard that a lot and checked many allegations of war crimes out in the treaties and Conventions. But not one has ever proved correct.

As to the UN running off, that's what they usually do. But that is our fault as much as anyone's and it would have been a chance to bind in the international community and let it begin to shoulder responsibility.

Do you know anything about the build up to the war? The way you talk has no relation to actual events. America was going in no matter who was with, or against them.
 

joG

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Of course you wont see any proof, not when the government covers up and protects their own. But your support for the UN borders on hypocrisy since a UN report did claim that the Iraq invasion was illegal so how do you reconcile it?

I would say that you might source the document you rally to support your opinion.

Ps: But you are right that there are quite different interpretations if the legality. That is a symptom of poor law ie Conventions and treaties. That is a problem that should have been addressed urgently and has not. We have known this for some time, but since the 1990s it had become clear how dangerous the fact would become. The Iraq invasion had prepared the international community to accept this, but made only one step in that direction. The momentum seem totally lost now.
 

joG

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Do you know anything about the build up to the war? The way you talk has no relation to actual events. America was going in no matter who was with, or against them.

Now that is a really selective interpretation of the facts. Of course the US wanted Saddam's regime gone in the way it has wanted Castro's gone or Iran's theocracy. The difference is that you can only do, what is enough legitimate. Getting rid of Saddam was. It was certainly expensive and the gains have been largely disapated. But legal and legitimate it was.
 

gunner

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The legality for America was of no interest, at that time. Fact. Also, that is not me arguing one way or the other, over the issue of legality. Again, do you know anything about the build up? Or were you just a kid?
 

Tigerace117

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Turn it over to the UN? You do realize that they fled from Iraq after they got bombed, right?

And as for the OP. I think Dubya's actions in setting up that invasion is grounds for a war crime- but the UK was a very willing henchman and played a huge role in it. But of course since war crime tribunals are nothing more than Western hypocrisy, no arrests will ever be made.

Nuremberg was "Western hypocrisy"? Interesting theory you've got there......
 
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