It was a cock-up of epic proportions, as well as being a war crime. The post-war planning was practically non-existent, the Geneva Conventions were breached in almost every way possible. There was no proper basis for the invasion and occupation under international law. Once an invasion and occupation is under way, the occupying power has an absolute duty to maintain order, basic amenities, the infrastructure and civil control for the benefit of the occupied, may not carry out exemplary punishments, may not arbitrarily detain, torture and/or kill the civilians under its power, and may not use banned weapons and munitions. All these things were done in clear breach of international obligations, and hundreds of thousands of people died. Vast sums of money were distributed in the form of bribes and inducements, an already corrupt political class was further subverted in the process, and a puppet government was installed giving enormously greater influence to Iran, to the detriment of the regional balance of power. To claim that this appallingly cynical exercise in military and geopolitical adventurism has left the world a safer place is flagrantly dishonest and flies in the face of any reasonable appraisal.
The real one in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own people and on the Iranian people in the 1980-1988 Iran/Iraq war, Uday Hussein tortured his own Olympic athletes and committed many other acts of genocide, and Qusay Hussein conducted horrible abuse of Iraqis and joined his brother and father in acts barbaric against the Iraqi people. Yes... the world is far safer as a result of the Iraq War....Again, I'd like to ask which world you are living in?
Care to look at the rest of the world? Perhaps you'd also like to look into how life has changed in Iraq for women, children, gays, jews, etc.The real one in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own people and on the Iranian people in the 1980-1988 Iran/Iraq war, Uday Hussein tortured his own Olympic athletes and many other acts of genocide, and Qusay Hussein conducted horrible abuse of Iraqis. Yes... the world is far safer as a result of the Iraq War....
Right, it's only the USA which should be allowed to use chemical weapons on Iraqis.The real one in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own people
Obviously the world is far better off if responsible Western powers are doing the torture and abuse. Those damned Iraqis just don't do it efficiently enough.Uday_Hussein tortured his own Olympic athletes and many other acts of genocide, and Qusay Hussein conducted horrible abuse of Iraqis
You're right... the whole idea of Iraqi women voting freely in democratic elections is absolutely life changing...
Nawal Fenwick: I believed nothing could be worse than Saddam's regime. I was wrong
After 20 years away, she returned to find a nation full of questions that she doubts any inquiry will ever answer
Friday, 29 January 2010
I knew going back to my country of birth would be emotional. I had not seen my family for 20 years. I had hoped that after all the bloodshed and violence, there might be some positive signs. Unlike many, I was not against the war in 2003; neither were my family. We thought there was a proper post-invasion plan. And we believed nothing could be worse than Saddam Hussein's regime. We were wrong on both counts. Seven years later, there still seems little in Iraq to be hopeful about.
In the past seven years, my relatives have again been forced to plan escape routes. I cannot tell you how depressing it is to see such a close family so broken and scattered. But even more depressing than that is what has happened to women in Iraq since the invasion. Blair and Bush perhaps didn't foresee the consequence of creating a political vacuum after removing Saddam. It has largely been filled with religious sectarianism and women's rights have regressed in the process.
My nieces told me about women who had had their throats cut for not covering their heads. In one case, they told me, a female doctor was murdered for going to work. These might be extreme cases but it shows the trend away from the moderate.
Saddam Hussein, for all his evils, was relatively secular. I was in high school in the early 1960s in Baghdad. I was friends with girls from different religions and sects. Nobody wore their faith on their sleeves back then; there wasn't a headscarf in sight. Yet now in the streets of every town through which we travelled, we saw girls as young as 10 covering their heads. In her day, my mother campaigned for women not to have to wear the abbaya – I'm glad she is no longer here to realise her battle was in vain.
My family, like most educated Iraqis, aspire to Western freedoms and have always longed to live under the rule of law in a country that respects human rights, democracy and free speech. But now they just despair at the mess and, depressingly, even they feel that life under Saddam was preferable to the present situation. Under Saddam, they told me, they weren't free but they knew how to stay out of trouble. Now there may be elections, but everyone lives in fear of where and when the next car bomb will strike. They do recognise that the vast majority of violence in their country comes from insurgents, not foreign troops. But there is still growing anger towards Britain and America for creating the situation and for impacting their lives. This feeling is replicated in thousands of households across Iraq.
Well... as the example I depicted shows, the Iraqi War brought some sense of democracy to the nation; more democracy than the Iraqi people had ever seen. Women voting freely, for the first time in their lives, in open and democratic elections. So in that sense, in my opinion, the nation is safer. And Tony Blair is correct. Now you can condemn him, ignore the real reforms in Iraq, ignore the freedom that Iraqis now have, ignore the brutality that Hussein and Sons threatened the nation with pre-war, and go along with Obama who was against the Iraq War and against the surge that eventually won the war, as is your want. But in doing so you'd be against the example I depicted, of a woman freely voting in her first open democratic election... That says a lot... The Iraq war was a costly war; that's certainly true. But the nation is indeed safer; that's also true.Safer how?
No, not nearly as "cool" with it as the US government was while they supplied him with weapons, intelligence and diplomatic cover while his forces killed over a million Iranians. Saddam Hussein was a vile dictator, but that is not sufficient reason under the international law drafted in part by the USA for the US and its allies to invade and occupy his country and slaughter his people.So you were cool with Hussein & Sons and their appalling suffering they visited upon the Iraqi people?
Thanks and I find your depiction very interesting.No, not nearly as "cool" with it as the US government was while they supplied him with weapons, intelligence and diplomatic cover while his forces killed over a million Iranians. Saddam Hussein was a vile dictator, but that is not sufficient reason under the international law drafted in part by the USA for the US and its allies to invade, occupy and slaughter his people.
since the fiasco of the iraq war lead to the election of obama and a democrat controlled congress, I guess there is indeed an argument that the world is a safer place
It is abominable to suggest a parallel between the D-Day landings and the invasion of Iraq. Hitler was not French. Hitler had invaded and occupied France. Hitler was abetted by a French puppet government. Hitler practised exemplary punishment. Yet Hitler was supported by a corrupt and compliant French puppet government. The Allies, including French forces, of course, were evicting the invader, not doing the invading themselves. Can you really not tell the difference?Thanks and I find your depiction very interesting.
Tell me, then, when does "invade, occupy" (using your words) become valid in your opinion? Was it valid in France in 1944 to evict Hitler? If so, why and if not, why not?
I am trying to understand why you're not seeing the passage of democracy Coalition troops brought to Iraq as wrong and comparing it with other like efforts...
You're going to have to provide links..You mean the chemical weapons supplied by the US?
wikiwiki said:As part of Project 922, German firms such as Karl Kobe helped build Iraqi chemical weapons facilities such as laboratories, bunkers, an administrative building, and first production buildings in the early 1980s under the cover of a pesticide plant. Other German firms sent 1,027 tons of precursors of mustard gas, sarin, tabun, and tear gasses in all. This work allowed Iraq to produce 150 tons of mustard agent and 60 tons of Tabun in 1983 and 1984 respectively, continuing throughout the decade. Five other German firms supplied equipment to manufacture botulin toxin and mycotoxin for germ warfare. In 1988, German engineers presented centrifuge data that helped Iraq expand its nuclear weapons program. Laboratory equipment and other information was provided, involving many German engineers. All told, 52% of Iraq's international chemical weapon equipment was of German origin. The State Establishment for Pesticide Production (SEPP) ordered culture media and incubators from Germany's Water Engineering Trading.
France built Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in the late 1970s. Israel claimed that Iraq was getting close to building nuclear weapons, and successfully destroyed the reactors in 1981. Later, a French company built a turnkey factory which helped make nuclear fuel. France also provided glass-lined reactors, tanks, vessels, and columns used for the production of chemical weapons. Around 21% of Iraqs international chemical weapon equipment was French. Strains of dual-use biological material also helped advance Iraqs biological warfare program.
Italy gave Iraq plutonium extraction facilities that advanced Iraqs nuclear weapon program. 75,000 shells and rockets designed for chemical weapon use also came from Italy. Between 1979 and 1982 Italy gave depleted, natural, and low-enriched uranium. Swiss companies aided in Iraqs nuclear weapons development in the form of specialized presses, milling machines, grinding machines, electrical discharge machines, and equipment for processing uranium to nuclear weapon grade. Brazil secretly aided the Iraqi nuclear weapon program by supplying natural uranium dioxide between 1981 and 1982 without notifying the IAEA. About 100 tons of mustard gas also came from Brazil.
cbscbsnews said:However, German and UK firms sold more weapons to Iraq than U.S. arms companies, the Post reports.
Congressional investigations after the Gulf War revealed that the Commerce Department had licensed sales of biological agents, including anthrax, and insecticides, which could be used in chemical weapons, to Iraq.