Sunday, 31 January 2010

Does Blair’s Testimony Clarify the Motive behind the Iraq War?

"No matter how skilfully he ducked and dived today, Tony Blair's legacy will forever be that of the illegal, immoral Iraq war.”

- Angus Robertson of the SNP

The ineffectual Chilcot Inquiry was never designed to account Tony Blair; rather it appears to have served as a lesson for future Prime Ministers not to make ‘administrative’ errors like submitting dodgy dossiers. Moreover, it gave Tony Blair an opportunity to present his side of the story in a casual manner.

If innocent people were killed because of an illegal war, then a crime has taken place. Therefore, Blair should have faced a panel of experts from neutral countries, selected by the UN. The process would have focused on the legality of the war, and the consequence for the innocent Iraqis; depending on the outcome, it might have formed the basis for a criminal prosecution.

Regardless of the purpose of the Chilcot Inquiry, there was expectation from all sides that it would clarify the motive behind the decision to join the US-led war, and Blair’s testimony should have played a key role. That is on the assumption that the information revealed by Blair and others is accurate and comprehensive. Nevertheless, his testimony has raised further questions on the following three issues:

a) The 9/11 Link

Blair claimed, 9/11 was the turning point; that is when Saddam Hussein became a threat. Is he suggesting Iraq was behind 9/11? Saddam Hussein was a staunch Arab Ba’athist and an Arab Nationalist, whereas 9/11 was allegedly the work of Al-Qaeda planned from the mountains in Afghanistan; the two groups are ideologically poles apart and there were no historical connection between them. Even his close assistant, Jack Straw, did not perceive 9/11 had increased the ‘threat’ posed by Iraq; only the Americans decided to view it in that light and Blair followed this like a disciple.

So, what is the connection between 9/11 and Iraq? The only connection I see is one of vengeance for the US. Blair decided to join in like a vulture behind as the injured and angry US lion. Iraq is predominantly a Muslim country; the Muslims had to pay regardless of their guilt or innocence. They would be civilised through the bombs and bullets of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’! Such crude ideas are difficult for Blair to spell out, and the people are expected to read between the lines.

b) Saddam’s Threat

Saddam was weaker economically and militarily in 2000 than in 1991, and he was even weaker in 2003, yet paradoxically, the threat level from Saddam Hussein went up after 9/11 according to Blair! Arrogant Blair was Bliar’ing here.

To date, it is still unclear how Saddam Hussein posed a threat when the Chemical and Biological Weapons were all destroyed, along with the capability to renew such activities, after the First Gulf War of 1991. Even the conventional force was stripped of its capability through a decade of rigorous sanctions; the UN inspection team lead by Scott Ritter systematically ensured the Iraqi force was paralysed. For that reason, the “smoking gun” would never be found. This is self-evident from the invasion in 2003.

One can also argue the world was safer place in 2000 than in 1991, as Saddam did not launch any further strikes against his neighbours, let alone challenge the might of the US hegemony in the region. Therefore, the containment policy was working.

c) Saddam’s Potential Threat

One can rationally understand the notion of an actual threat or an imminent one, but how does one conjure up a potential threat from a country that is progressively getting weaker. Even more absurd, how can anyone justify and invoke a war based on potential threat? It is perplexing, how Blair as a lawyer can construe the argument that one can be punished for his intention. This confirms his arrogance and dishonest nature.

Iraq was not Germany pre-1939 rebuilding its military capability; it was confined to its borders and getting progressively weaker through the rigorous sanctions. Even if Saddam managed to acquire some primitive WMDs, he would be in no position to threaten anyone, let alone the mighty US forces in possession of ‘real’ WMDs.

Blair then elaborated the world is a safer place after the removal of Saddam, but this cannot be the basis to attack another country. In any case, this sort of claim is just sheer non-sense, no nation would want their country destroyed and occupied by a foreign force to remove a dictator. The smug Blair is implying the war was good for the Iraqis who were the biggest victim. Since the invasion, the civilian casualties have continued to mount in Iraq and they face numerous problems; all were absent prior to the invasion. As Blair spoke of a better Iraq, new generation of Iraqi children are born with deformities due to the use of Depleted Uranium. In Fallujah for example, the doctors are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers.

Regardless of the facts, Blair proceeds to blame others for the situation, as if the invasion was a reaction to that and not the cause of the violence and sufferings.

So has the region become any safer subsequent to a regime change? Has the oil-less Palestinians been given a fraction of the attention that was given to the oil-rich Kuwaitis? On the contrary, peace in the region continues to mean pieces (not just land, organs of dead Palestinians too) for Israel, who has launched two savage wars on the civilian population of Gaza and Lebanon, and constantly threatening to bomb Iran. In defiance of the UN, Israel continues to build more settlements in occupied territories. However, since it is Israel killing Palestinians and looting their lands and body parts, it does not count for much in the books of neo-con Blair who was also sabre-rattling against Iran. Of course, he will always do that behind the US might. Remember, a vulture always feeds on the leftover, after the lion has finished the kill.

On that Middle East issue, the so-called Middle East envoy blamed the Palestinians entirely, unlike the moderate and pretentious two-faced Jack Straw. According to Blair’s line of argument, the Israeli forces acted in self-defence by slaughtering the 1500 defenceless civilians in Gaza, like the Anglo-US forces from distant land came to Iraq and fought a war in ‘self-defence’! The Middle Easy envoy deserves a shoe full of excrements!

However, the testimony of Blair did clarify the following.

• It confirmed the Iraq war was instigated by the Americans for a regime change, and Blair subscribed to this in 2002. This is corroborated by the testimony of Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s ambassador to the US. According to Jack Straw, regime change was illegal, a clear violation of the UN Charter, and carried little support amongst the closest allies of Blair in the Cabinet.

• Therefore, Blair made the case for war based on the mythical WMDs of Saddam Hussein. Accordingly, Blair alludes to disarming Iraq’s mythical WMDs as synonymous with regime change. Its magic, they mean the same thing. So in the ‘logic’ (or arrogance) of Blair, 1441 not only authorised war, but also authorised a regime change!

That still does not answer why Blair joined the US-led crusade. At the time, Blair camp said, British interest would best be served by siding with the Americans, not just by giving political support but military too, even though the US did not need military support from UK, which Blair confirmed in the testimony. It was not an individual decision; the ruling elite within the UK permitted this important action. Did they hope for a small slice of a large US cake by offering their services to the American Empire? Is that why the Americans often portray the butler in Hollywood movies as a Brit?

The decision to join the US war was not based on any perceived threat to the UK, which has only come into effect because of that action. It was most likely based on some strategic and/or economic interests. But, there were no real short-term benefits gained, the bulk of the lucrative contracts went to the US companies; the vulture was not even allowed to feed on the Iraqi carcass it seems. Maybe, the US government will reciprocate in the future in some other way. This would be tested when Britain faces another crisis like the Falkland. My guess is, Blair and his cabal made a substantive error in joining the US-led war, without securing Britain’s share of the war booty, unless this is kept hidden like the Sykes-Picot treaty.

Yamin Zakaria (
UK, London

Published 31st January 2010

Thursday, 28 January 2010

An Illegal War is State-Terrorism

“we were convinced that all the fissile material that could be used for any weapons purposes had been taken out of Iraq, and we knew that we had eliminated and destroyed the whole infrastructure that Iraq had built up for the enrichment of uranium.”
- Hans Blix, in a BBC Interview, Jan 2003

As the toothless Chilcot Inquiry collates the evidences from the various individuals, not many are asking some basic questions regarding the Iraq War. As a layperson, the following questions come to my mind:

• What aggression did Iraq commit against the US and the UK that could have justified the war? How did the people of Iraq ever cause any harm to the people in the UK or the US?

• Where are the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which was the primary pretext for waging aggression on Iraq?

• Why was the UN Inspectors not given further time to finish their job, given that they had unimpeded access to inspect any place in Iraq and that they failed to find any evidence contrary to Iraq’s earlier declaration to the UN?

• In the absence of such weapons, why is the UN not taking the criminals to task at the international war crimes tribunal and order the belligerent nations to pay war reparations to Iraq?

I see the above questions are at the heart of the issue regarding Iraq war. The only answer I can conclude is – the new world order is governed by the brute force of the Wild West; far from some noble principle that is applicable equally to all nations. I do not want to “move on” like Blair, I want to see justice. I want to see criminals like Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Jeremy Greenstock face the gallows for the slaughter of innocent Iraqis, yet these armed robbers are parading themselves as ambassadors of peace. It is disgusting!

The evidence given by the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, at the Chilcot Inquiry revealed that he had conveniently changed his mind after meeting the American Lawyers, and added pressure from Jack Straw and possibly few others, just weeks before the actual invasion is launched. Note, whilst he is mulling over this, the British troops are already there, poised to attack a nation that has been systematically disarmed for a decade. Therefore, the British government still would have gone into war with the Americans, even if Goldsmith managed to standby by his conviction. Nevertheless, if he did remain firm, it would have helped, even if it could not halt the war.

It should have taken a “smoking gun” to change someone’s mind on a serious issue of this nature, which Hans Blix and his team of inspectors with unrestricted access could not find in Iraq. Given the circumstances under which the sudden change of mind occurred, it shows that Lord Goldsmith is a feeble man; all he needed was a little ‘push’ to rubberstamp the war that was already on the verge of being launched. Unlike some of the other principled individuals, he could not standby his conviction, and if needed resign from the post. Perhaps, the folks from Spooks whispered in his ear about the fate of Dr. Kelly! So, his ears only consulted those who were bent on going to war. Indeed, it was a one-sided conversation.

Why did he not consult other lawyers with an opposing view concurrently? Why did he not consider that other major powers in the UN Security council were of the view that UN resolution of 1441 did not authorise war? Why did Britain go back to the UN Security Council to seek a second resolution if the first was adequate? Being a democracy, it is imperative to discuss such matters with the Cabinet, but Jack Straw denied Lord Goldsmith that opportunity, obviously, Jack did not want to be late for the war party.

People say lawyers are shark, but Goldsmith proved to be a spineless cod! His ‘fatwa’ is like the ‘fatwa’ given to the Saudis during the First Gulf War at the last minute by some cleric, to permit the US Forces to setup base inside Saudi Arabia. By the time the Fatwa was given, the US armed forces had already arrived at the shores of Saudi Arabia, as if the fatwa was necessary. Again, the basic question, what did the Iraqis do to the Saudis?

There is no doubt the majority opinion amongst the prominent legal experts is that the UN resolution of 1441 did not authorise war, and more pertinently, this was view held by the majority of the nations inside the UN Security Council, including France and Russia with Veto powers. Therefore, the war had no mandate from the UN Security Council; it was a unilateral and barbaric act of aggression by the Anglo-US regime. Without a legal backing – the invasion was state terrorism dispensed to the innocent civilians of Iraq.

Some argue the war was necessary, as Saddam posed a threat to the region, but the region was not calling for war, with the exception of Israel. Maybe that was enough, serving Israel is enough to prove that the West are no longer anti-Semitic and they can redeem their past sins by the punishing some innocent third party, once again. Israel is a nation that routinely engages in killing innocent civilians, and is busy in the process of ethnic cleansing to make the land pure for the chosen race of God, add to that 'accolade', they are harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians in the true spirit of the shylocks!

Yamin Zakaria (
London, UK

Published in 28/01/2010

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Women's Rights

"I do find it astonishingly hypocritical for the West to incessantly argue against polygamy when one would hard pressed to find a virtuous monogamous man amongst them!"

"Had Islam and Muslim men been the real oppressors of women, the feminist movement would have arisen from within the Islamic societies"

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Route To Peace

Asymmetric conflict produces suicide bombers; this is supported by substantial amount of empirical evidence and reason. The cure is obvious - eliminate the conflicts, and that will naturally eradicate suicide bombings. In order to end an uneven conflict and establish peace, some level of ‘justice’ has to be given to the victim. Otherwise, the only route to peace is by annihilation or permanent subjugation of the weaker party.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Who wants 'peace' or 'piece'?

On the subject of peace, nations in the business of profiting from war through the sale of weapons are the ones lecturing about peace. They are in the business of war, and peace in distant land goes against their interest of profiting from conflicts. How can they talk of peace when their stomachs are filled with the flesh and blood of the innocent people? Lofty words have to be backed up with deeds.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Is this a Miracle?

Another obstacle for peace is the routine media propaganda that has reversed the identity of the victim and the aggressor. Even after the carnage in Gaza, the Palestinians are still the terrorists and the Israelis are the victims, according to the mass media. How do you become a victim instead of a terrorist for killing 1400 civilians that included substantial number of women and children? The Zionist-Christians would say, Halleluiah it is a miracle.