The former UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix writes
in The Guardian
that "The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a tragedy
- for Iraq, for the US, for the UN, for truth and human
dignity. I can only see one gain: the end of Saddam
Hussein, a murderous tyrant....an oppressor of his own
people but no longer a threat to the world. Iraq was
on its knees after a decade of sanctions."
The Headline and sub-headline to his article are "A
war of utter folly - Responsibility for this spectacular
tragedy must lie with those who ignored the facts five
Those (the UK and US Governments) who ignored the facts
also made up their own 'facts' and just said anything
they could think of to hoodwink the people because they
wanted this war for geopolitical and other reasons.
The reasons for war that were given to a gullible
Mr Blix continues, "The elimination of weapons
of mass destruction was the declared main aim of the
war. It is improbable that the governments of the alliance
could have sold the war to their parliaments on any
other grounds. That they believed in the weapons' existence
in the autumn of 2002 is understandable. Why had the
Iraqis stopped UN inspectors during the 90s if they
had nothing to hide? Responsibility for the war must
rest, though, on what those launching it knew by March
"By then, Unmovic inspectors had carried out some
700 inspections at 500 sites without finding prohibited
"The contract that George Bush held up before
Congress to show that Iraq was purchasing uranium oxide
was proved to be a forgery."
"They could not succeed in eliminating WMDs because
they did not exist. Nor could they succeed in the declared
aim to eliminate al-Qaida operators, because they were
not in Iraq. They came later, attracted by the occupants."
"A third declared aim was to bring democracy to
Iraq...but five years of occupation has clearly brought
more anarchy than democracy."
"Increased safety for Israel might have been an
undeclared US aim. If so, it is hard to see that anything
was gained by a war which has strengthened Iran."
How many have died in Iraq?
After five years there are wildly differing death toll
figures are around 4,000 US, 175 UK and 134 other
coalition force deaths, plus thousands of Iraqi military
deaths and around 90,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
In October 2006, the Lancet
suggested that civilian deaths could be as high
The Iraq Body
Count website disputes such a high figure, so who
knows what the true figures are considering, for example,
deaths from injuries or disease sustained directly or
indirectly by the war may not be accounted for as casualties
It is great that Saddam's rule is over, but at what
cost now and in the future?
Who benefits? Arms manufacturers, (mainly) US companies
involved in rebuilding Iraq (like Halliburton: Dick
Cheney's old company) and wargaming politicians and
all the other vultures who profit from war.