Opinion – Blair, the Iraq War and me – Al Jazeera English – John Gelmini

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Fird...

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdos Square after the US invasion of Iraq. Found on the US military website. CAPTION:The statue of topples in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on April 9, 2003. Three years later, Iraqi forces increasingly are taking the lead in securing their country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an intresting article brought to us by Dr Alf but it needs to be put into context. The decision to “re-order the Middle Eastern chessboard” was made by the Neocons whose thoughts on the matter can be read on the PNAC website and in the You Tube utterances of John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle.

Wesley Clarke in his visit to the Pentagon, as a former General, describes the plan to “take-down” five countries in the Middle East, as part of this strategy, in a different You Tube interview.

The plans to invade Iraq were made and “war-gamed ” by the Pentagon long before the decision to invade which was made as early as 2000.

The Iraq war was partially about oil, partially about Balkanising Iraq into 3 separate entities and partially allegedly about seizing whatever it was in the Bagdad museum that the Americans coveted so much that they put an armed guard on it the moment they arrived.

Tony Blair was a willing participant in all of this, and was used to give “fig-leaf” cover to the overall exercise, which was not about Saddam Hussein who posed no threat to the West whatsoever.

Blair’s apology is irrelevant to the scheme of things, which were formulated years earlier by people with the brute military power to carry things out.

John Gelmini

Tony Blair is right: without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State | World news | Martin Chulov – The Guardian

Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands afte...

Tony Blair and George W. Bush shake hands after their press conference in the East Room of the White House on 12 November 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martin Chulov, who covers the Middle East for the Guardian argues that only one of Tony Blair’s mea culpas in his CNN interview stands out as truly significant, namely his partial acknowledgment that without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State (Isis).

Source: Tony Blair is right: without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State | World news | The Guardian

Chulov examines the political consequences of the Iraq war and subsequent events which led to the growth of ISIS. Whilst not defending ISIS, the article highlights the Sunni position, namely:

Throughout all its incarnations, the group’s grievances have been largely consistent. Central to them is the belief that the invasion destroyed a regional order, ousting a stalwart of Sunni rule, and inviting the rival Shia sect to take over. The sense of loss was profound, with many Sunnis passionately believing that the US and Britain must have known exactly what they were doing.

The article lets the reader draw his/her own conclusions about US and British policy, both in the invasion and subsequently.

For me there were apparently two gross errors in US policy. Firstly, under Bush, there was completely inadequate planning for the political development of Iraq after the invasion. Secondly, in Obama’s haste to pull troops from Iraq, he created a political vacuum in Iraq, which was quickly filled by ISIS.

As for Blair, his argument on the CNN interview was silky smooth. Blair was vain and America’s poodle but ultimately the US called the shots. Blair is obviously positioning himself for fallout from the publication of the Chilcot enquiry.

Perhaps, it’s time to look again at the US policy vis-a-vis Iraq, both under Bush and Obama?