Five Years of Progress 9

Amnesty International describes the curent state of play:

Carnage and despair in Iraq

Five years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the country is still in disarray. The human rights situation is disastrous, a climate of impunity has prevailed, the economy is in tatters and the refugee crisis continues to escalate.

Seumas Milne sums it up brilliantly in The Guardian:

There must be a reckoning for this day of infamy

The problem in Iraq, we’re now told, was a lack of preparation, or the wrong kind of planning, or mistakes in implementation. If only, say the neocons, we had put our man Ahmad Chalabi in charge from the start, the Iraqis wouldn’t have felt so humiliated. If only we hadn’t dissolved the army, the pragmatists insist, the insurgency would never have taken off. If only the Brits had been running the show, mutter the old Whitehall hands, all would have been different. The problem, it turns out, was not the invasion and occupation of a sovereign Arab oil state on a tide of official deceit, but the way it was carried out…

…For the future, so long as the disaster of Iraq is put down to mistakes or lack of planning, the real lessons will not be learned, but repeated – as appears to be happening now in Afghanistan. Gordon Brown has at last promised a full Iraq inquiry when British troops are no longer in the firing line. But any more delay to a proper accounting of what has taken place – including, as the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said at the weekend, the nature of the US-British relationship – will only further corrode the political system. The disaster of Iraq has at least had the effect of demonstrating the limits of imperial power and restraining further US attacks. The danger is, however, that next time they’ll just try and do it differently – without the mistakes.

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9 thoughts on “Five Years of Progress

  • ken

    A short while ago, the Labour Party proudly published its top fifty achievements of ten years in power. Its website invited comments and further suggestions. I submitted the following (as a member of the Labour Party) and offer it as a comment here.

    I received no reply.

    "For 5 years of Labour's government there has been a war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, supported by Labour's leaders. One hundred and seventy British servicemen have been killed, and hundreds of thousands of civilians, women, children, also killed during the pursuit of these wars. Has none of this led to ANY achievement that can rank in Labour's top 50? Is there NOTHING that all these people died for that ranks above 'Free entry to national museums and galleries'? Exactly WHAT about these wars is there for Labour members to be proud of that can rank in this top 50?

    These wars, WHAT are they for? This is my suggestion for an entry in Labour's top 50 achievements: Laws introduced making it illegal to read the names of killed soldiers at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Please let me know what consideration will be given to my suggestion and where it ranks. Thankyou.

  • ruth

    I don't believe on the part of the Neocons there were any mistakes. They've got what they want, a weak fragmented society which has to put all its efforts into daily survival while the Neocon companies guarded by their mercenary/security firms help themselves to the Iraqis' unmetered oil.

  • ruth

    I don't believe on the part of the Neocons there were any mistakes. They've got what they want, a weak fragmented society which has to put all its efforts into daily survival while the Neocon companies guarded by their mercenery/security firms help themselves to the Iraqis' unmetered oil.

  • macshealbhaich

    There should be a reckoning for what has been done to Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular with the principals of these monstrous crimes, but I fear that they will escape scot free in This Life and not receive due recompense this side of the Day of Reckoning – no matter how many of them make insincere conversions to the Church of Rome. I wonder whether Anthony Charles Linton Blair expects "the Good Shepherd" to be as easily bamboozled by him as the Labour Party?

  • opit

    Everyone has been pooh-poohing the '9/11 conspiracy theorists' and not paying attention to other data. TomDispatch hit me over the head because I had independently found out about the PNAC after reading this:

    I decided to look at it as an actual plan rather than a warning : and said 'oh,shit' to myself. That was two years ago. It still lines up.

    I agree with ruth.

  • Tonys Akiller

    "The problem in Iraq, we're now told, was a lack of preparation" – I respect Seumas, but why is he entertaining their spin?

    The problem is squarely that we illegally invaded Iraq for its oil and geostrategicness (if that is a word) on a pack of lies, in the process killing 1,191,16 people, setting the path of millions more DU victims for numerous generations later and all the rest of it.

    Don't let them foist distractions upon you.

    And as for GB's promise for an inquiry – are you serious in paying that any attention whatsoever? There definitely DOES need to be a reckoning but for heavens sake, we talk about learning lessons from history… what kind of reckoning will result from an inquiry by the wars architects and bankrollers? And hasn't anyone heard of the Inquiries Act 2005?

    I like ruth's point because it's pretty much hits the nail on the head.

    {Link goes to the excellent "Blairwatch: The Blair Years and the war crimes tribunal – UPDATED" by the antagonist }

  • ken

    Further to my comment above, both Ruth and macshealbhaich are, of course, absolutely right. It will happen again and again, some time, some place. In preparation, I see, the UK army is recruiting now in our schools. Last year MI5 & 6 said they had commenced career seminars in schools.

    Soon we will hear the regular bleating that there are insufficient engineers and scientists going through university (for the UK arms industry of course).

    It seems unstoppable………..

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