Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Iraq 10 Years On

10 years on from Iraq and still Blair is a free man. No trial, no charge, not even an arrest. The invasion of Iraq has probably got to be the biggest crime my country has committed since my birth. Certainly the most straight forward case of war crimes and breach of international law. How can we expect people across the world to obey the rule of law when we flaunt it so frivolously?

And what legacy have we left Iraq? Some argue that although the motives may have been dubious, we have removed a tyrant and installed democracy, leaving the country in a better state than before the invasion. I cannot see this. I see a corrupt government using the banner of democracy to hide their wealth accumulation. I see constant sectarian violence terrorising the innocent and vulnerable. I see a lack of eduction and jobs. Saddam Hussein was a vicious dictator, few would disagree, I certainly wouldn't. But, are the normal citizens of Iraq generally better off now than before the invasion? With the exception of the Kurds, the evidence seems to suggest, NO.

It was wrong and immoral to attack and invade Iraq, and the mess we left the country in is a crime in its self. I do not feel good about belonging to a country that has committed such terrible acts. To see Blair, among others, on trial at The Hague, would go some way to addressing the injustices the Iraqi people have endured. It would also send a clear message to the international community and discourage any further abuses. Unfortunately this is unlikely to happen.

It looks quite a distinct possibility that Iran may be the next victim. Iran is constantly vilified in the media, and it's true that the regime there is brutal and oppressive, but they show no physical aggression towards their neighbours or beyond, they are not a threat to world peace, not like we, the US and Israel are. Hopefully, with much of the British population feeling let down by are exploits in Iraq, public opinion against any involvement in such an act will be strong enough to dissuade the government in participating. I'm sure the streets will see unprecedented numbers of protesters if the people are ignored.      

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