Inquiries and War Crimes

The UK is currently running an inquiry into the invasion of Iraq.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23774115-iraq-inquiry-no-guilty-verdicts-and-blair-wont-be-put-on-trial.do

And although this is a clear whitewash that will only slightly damage in the incumbant Labour government, some interesting things have already been thrown up.

  • How the Poms were already looking at removing Saddam one way or another.
  • That the Russians and French were so opposed to heavier sanctions (because of their trade links) that this effectively pushed the Seppos into preparing for war.

The WMD issue is going to be looked at in more detail in the next few days but I’ll be very interested in seeing just how ‘they’ cooked the books on this item which was the always listed as the primary cause for the war, and the explanation I admit I fell for.

If the invasion had not happened it would have been interesting to see what would have transpired as Saddam clearly felt he was untouchable thanks to the support of the French and Russians. Tens of thousands were dying each year due to medical shortages, not to mention the thousands who disappeared thanks to the regime itself. Saddams’ family and cronies were getting richer, and the big S himself was a pretty hard target so would he have been toppled or would things have got progressively worse?

The virtual civil war we saw for many years would have happened when Saddam fell as the Shia had been down trodden for too long and Iran would not have been able to help themselves possibly even leading to a new iran-iraq war which would have then been in Irans favor. That would definitely have led to a splitting up of the country and maybe even a loose federation between the Shia south and Iran. I couldn’t see a full annexure for the simple reason that Iraqis are quite nationalistic and the Shia’s don’t trust the Iranian guvmnt.

But of course with the inquiry comes the usual howls of War crimes and how Bush, Howard and Blair are war criminals..err but are they? That the war was dubious on legal grounds shows more a weakness in international law than a strength as from a moral view point as Saddam was by all evidence a brutal dictator and also had broken more binding UN determinations that removing him form power was in the interests of the Iraqis and the region.

Of course that then lays out the line who do you invade next..Saudi? Iran? Syria? But that just shows also how weak international politics is and how much certain countries with shaky or non-existant human rights records *cough* Russia and China *cough* are afraid that the spotlight will be shone on them at some stage. And they do not want precedence.

We have to acknowledge that by saying that invading Iraq in 2003 was wrong, that if France or Britain had struck first against Germany in 1939 or 1938, that war would also be wrong.

However firstly you’d have to convict B,B &H before they could be rightly called War Criminals but how many actual appeals have been made for this to happen..anyone? And with Iraq slowly improving its situation, a process that will take many, many years will the Iraqi guvmnt be trooping to Hague demanding justice? Nah, I don’t think so.

Also the other issue is that the majority of deaths amongst Iraqis were caused by their fellow Iraqis a damning indictment on Iraqi society thanks to decades of Baath’ist rule. This merged with the constant funding of Sunni terror groups by Saudi and some shia groups by Iran meant that a nascent intra-religious war was brewing which could have got more lethal than actually happened.

That the USA and it’s allies screwed up in Iraq is without question esp. with Rumsfeld and Cheney helping the shrub make the really big decisions so it was incomplete Pentagon plans that were used rather than complete and more accurate State department ones which could have made the post invasion phase much easier and less bloody.

However we should never forget the malign influence of Saudi, Iran, Russia and France in this tragedy as it was their own self-interest that kept Saddam Hussain in power after his invasion of Kuwait. Especially Saudi Arabia as it was their demands to George Bush which stopped the push to Bagdad.

In the end popular history will remember the men who pulled the trigger but not those who set the scene and provided the guns and ammo..and victims.

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5 Responses to “Inquiries and War Crimes”

  1. Moko Says:

    “We have to acknowledge that by saying that invading Iraq in 2003 was wrong, that if France or Britain had struck first against Germany in 1939 or 1938, that war would also be wrong.”

    Don’t think you can justify shooting someone before they become a threat. Hindsight’s always 20/20, but back then you don’t have it.

    Think we all knew invading Iraq was wrong and the majority thought so too. Plenty of nations told Bush to stick it but he went bull at a gate no matter what.

    I’m a little each way on the enquiry, but in the future it’ll be seen as a good thing, historically. Don’t know what the point is but…

  2. Moko Says:

    Sorry…if that’s the case then we should bomb the shit out of Iran now…?

  3. Barnesm Says:

    I too am enjoying the unfolding of this story. To be honest I was never convince by the WMD arguments but happy to see Saddam toppled. Just think we should have done in back at the end of Desert Storm I.

  4. bangarrr Says:

    My thoughts have always been that going into Afghanistan was justifiable, going into Iraq before rebuilding Afghanistan wasn’t. With Afghanistan used as an example you could justify a lot.

  5. chazfh Says:

    Moko, what I’m trying to say is that in hindsight most premetive attacks will not be recongnised in a positive light no matter how much potential good comes of it. Democracies are not good in pre-emptive roles.

    As for Iran, no we shouldn’t, no matter how tempting it is or for that matter let israel do it for us. Last thing the world wants at the moment is another war.

    Barnes: I belived and i was worng however I always belived that he should have been downed back in the day.

    Bangar: and in the end we were reactive to the ‘Stans problems as it wasn’t important until someone pushed a boeng through the wtc

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