TONY Blair has finally had his day in front of the Chilcot inquiry and predictably stuck to his guns over the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 and the main plank of the defence that he put forward is that Saddam Hussein was an aggressive and ruthless “monster” who had to be stopped at all costs. If Saddam were to be allowed to remain in place he would inevitably go on to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which he would be quite ready to use to threaten other countries in the Middle East — especially Israel and possible Saudi Arabia.
But he threw is a few red herrings to confuse the issue by starting off claiming that the events of 11th September 2001, when Al Qaeda agents attacked the United States and shocked the world had changed the whole political scene and made invading Iraq a necessity. Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with that attack!
We knew and both Blair and Bush knew there was no link at all between the Baathist government in Iraq and Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda hated and despised the Baathist government for its secularity and Saddam’s police would have made short work of any Al Qaeda agents they found on their soil.
But Blair argued it was relevant because if Saddam did develop WMDs he might pas them on to Al Qaeda. This is a poor justification for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
Blair is also still claiming that Saddam was in breach of the United Nations resolution that ordered him to get rid of all his WMDs. The truth, as US and British intelligence well knew, was that Saddam had been unable to construct any new WMDs after the first Gulf War because of the rigid sanctions imposed on Iraq. These sanctions were monitored by US spy satellites.
These sanctions were also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and other vulnerable people from starvation, lack of clean water and lack of medicines but now the world’s media seem to have forgotten this shocking episode. But this “amnesia” does allow people like Blair to crow that infant mortality in Iraq is lower than it was under Saddam.
Blair claims that Saddam failed to comply with the UN resolution — but the fact that no WMDs were ever found in Iraq proved he had complied with it. The only thing he baulked at was allowing the US to send its military spies in under the auspices of UN inspection to “case the joint” before the invasion that both the imperialists and Saddam knew was inevitable.
Since Iraq had complied with the UN resolution there was absolutely no legal justification for the war. But it sent a message to every other country in the world that obeying UN resolutions can leave you open and vulnerable to imperialist invasion.
So Blair has lied and lied as usual. The war was not about fighting Al Qaeda terrorism; it was not about Iraqi refusal to abide by UN resolutions and it was not about WMD. It was about oil! And it was about the master-plan of the US ultra-greedy, ultra-reactionary neocons to rule the world by controlling fuel supplies.
So who are the dangerous, power-hungry monsters who want to enlarge their empire and are prepared to use WMDs to achieve their ends? It is Bush and Blair! They are the ones who used the massive WMDs of the “Shock and Awe” onslaught; who used depleted uranium weapons, phosphorous weapons and other chemicals that will pollute the country and spread cancers and birth deformities for generations to come.
They are the monsters and they had to be stopped. And the people of the Iraqi resistance did it.
Saddam made one very wise decision just before the invasion, knowing that the superior weapons of the invaders would give them an easy initial victory, he armed the people. And he knew the invaders would never be able to consolidate the occupation and they never have.
Saddam was no saint but the worst atrocities attributed to his name happened when he was the ally of the US and Britain and with their full approval. If he was a dangerous monster then Bush and Blair — and Rumsfeld and Cheyney and all the neocons were a thousand times more monstrous and dangerous to the world.
Fortunately they are now less dangerous thanks to the misfortune they suffered in Iraq — so perhaps the war did destroy some monsters after all.