The Truth

Iraq War Five Years On .........

by Stewart Cowan, 22/3/08

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 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 years ago."

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 world

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 2003."

"By then, Unmovic inspectors had carried out some 700 inspections at 500 sites without finding prohibited weapons."

"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. 'Official' 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 as 655,000.

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 of war?


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.