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).
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?