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Is the Iraq war justified?

By Naveed Alam
April 14 2013




After a decade of war, Iraq is still paying a high price of being abused, is exposed to a long and unfortunate chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US- UK led 2003 invasion.

Amnesty International estimates the number of Iraqis civilian killed in the invasion and ensuing sectarian violence to be more than 110,000.

The question remains; is the Iraq war justified?


In the run-up to the war, U.S and its allies, mainly United Kingdom,   repeatedly asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that represented a threat to the United States and other targets.

Former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair, claimed in 2002 that Iraq had chemical weapons, some of which could be deployed immediately.

Former U.S vice President Dick Cheney, simply stated, that “There was no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

However, United Nations inspectors in Iraq failed to find stockpiles of WMD before the war; they did discover and ordered the destruction of several missiles whose range exceeded U.N. limits.

The main reason to invade  Iraq was  Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction , which eventually they never found, which is also very strange because in 1980 US and Britain  had helped Saddam Hussein to build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons to use against Iran.

After the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the rationale for the war shifted from regime change to the grandiose scheme of implanting democracy. It meant U.S and United kingdom killed tens of thousands, justifying it in the name of democracy in Iraq.

Noam Chomsky believes that U.S wanted to control Iraq’s huge oil resources, which prompted the US to invade Iraq in 2003. As the world’s oil resources are diminishing, the U.S seeks control over Iraq’s oil to secure its global power and influence.

Iraq after War

Iraq is getting more violent everyday. It seems like a civil war to Iraqis. Figures from the start of 2011 showed 200 reported incidents of violence per month in Iraq; while since the beginning of 2013, there have been 800 reported major incidents per month.

Amnesty International describes that Iraq currently has one of the highest rates of death sentences in the world. The armed conflict, intense political and sectarian rivalry and widespread lethal violence, tens of thousands of Iraqis have been rounded up by the authorities; many of them have been detained for months or years without charge or trial in conditions that facilitate, even invite, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Is the war justified?

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair justified the invasion and says he has no regrets over Iraq.  “How can you regret removing a monster who created enormous carnage? he said.

However, BBC’ reveals fresh evidence that war intelligence ‘was a lie’ and MI6 and CIA were informed before invasion that Iraq had no active WMD.

Key intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq ten years ago was based on “fabrication” and “wishful thinking”, a BBC Panorama revealed.

On the other hand Former U.S President George W Bush admitted that the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein on the basis of flawed intelligence was the biggest regret of his presidency.

Ten years on, a majority of the people of the world believe that invasion in Iraq was a mistake. And most believe that Prime Minister Tony Blair deliberately set out to mislead them in order to gain their support for the invasion.

It is almost impossible to believe that someone can justify the war with a lie. How can Mr. Blair justify the war when his own Labour leaders including Ed Miliband says that the war was a mistake.? The First minister Alex Salmond accused Tony Blair of taking the UK into a Iraq war on the basis of a “gross deception”. He also describes war as “illegal and unnecessary”.

How could it be made  impossible to inflict such barbarism again? On what moral and ethical basis  does Tony Blair justify trying to get rid of Saddam Hussein and destroying whole Iraq?

On what grounds do we decide that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should go the International Criminal Court, but Tony Blair should join the U.N Middle East peace envoy.  The question is will Bush and Blair ever be charged with war crimes over Iraq invasion?  Unfortunately, the question will remain  unanswered as the world follows only one rule which is “might is right”  However, there should be a greater chance of preventing more western military intervention in the Middle East, as Blair and his friends are now pressing for in Syria and Iran.

About the Author: A freelance journalist, Naveed is pursuing International Journalism at Brunel University. He has also worked with Express News and he tweets as @nido99

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Samosa.

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