The Litmus Test for the Legality of Iraq War
“No one had attacked anyone. There wasn’t any new W.M.D. We could have taken the time and got it right” – Claire Short
Here is the litmus test. Imagine this scenario. Tony Blair’s son is in a critical condition, and fighting for his life. He is in a luxurious private hospital, funded by his wealthy war-profiteering father, the pictures are broadcasted, and many of the Iraqi parents who lost their children or struggling to keep them alive, can see their ‘benevolent’ liberator in action. Anyway, ten leading physicians from various countries advise Blair of a certain medical operation to save his son’s life. Shortly after, Dr. Goldsmith dissents, he is a prominent doctor from an American-Israeli Hospital, and after some deliberation suggests an alternative course of action.
Which way Tony Blair is likely to go? The answer is obvious; any human being would opt for the former and go with the overwhelming majority opinion – because he would act ‘sincerely’ for the interest of his son. Any genuine father would take the decision based on his conviction of the facts, whereas a crooked father would pick an opinion to support his ulterior agenda. Like a father who may look to profit from the death of his wealthy son.
Using that litmus test on the legality of war – was Tony Blair really convinced of the wavering opinion delivered by Goldsmith at the last minute, which was at odds with the vast majority of the legal experts. It is beyond doubt that he was not looking to be persuaded, because he was already committed to the American plan. All he needed was a fig leaf to cover his private parts, so that he can do the usual war dance around the ‘Bush’, praying for a slice of the profit from the gods; Goldsmith provided that fig-leaf, which is transparent to most people, causing revulsion.
Claire Short claims she was conned. No, she conned herself in the first place. The world could see that Iraq was a broken country that did not even have a conventional force, let alone WMDs. Yet, Claire Short, sitting in the heart of the Cabinet, could not see through all the signs that she is now citing in the Chilcot Inquiry that clearly points to one thing: Blair has already made his mind up about the invasion.
Furthermore, she tried to sugarcoat her decision to remain in the Cabinet by suggesting that the neo-con Blair would get a state for the oil-less Palestinians and the UN would takeover the Iraq operation. Even in the early days, one can see Blair is more suited to be a member of the Israeli Knesset rather than a Middle East Envoy. To be candid, Claire Short succumbed to her weakness, and it is not really worth dwelling on that. To err is human; to forgive is divine and one can apply that to Claire Short.
Blair as an individual has profited from the Iraq war, and he is making good money through the recession. For sure, you will not find any unusual items on his expense claim form. Maybe, he will donate some of that money to the Iraqi children born with deformities or to the many made orphans as their parents became collateral damage. Then the media would market those images, and it might finally ‘convince’ all the sceptics that the Iraq war waged by the profit making Capitalist nations was in fact driven by altruistic reasons.
Apart from the financial costs, the lives lost on all sides, facing an economic recession, what has the invasion achieved for the UK? Had it made the country safer, meaning was it in some danger before? 7/7 does not count as it is a consequence of the war and not a cause. If you are in doubt, just check the date of the events.
Alternatively, has Tony Blair placed UK on the radar of the Jihadist and the future Jihadist from Iraq? The children will grow up knowing the cruelty shown by the Americans and that can be understood to an extent as a reaction to 9/11. An angry America had to spill some blood in the old tradition of the Wild West, it needed to quench its thirst for vengeance. Not that American is an innocent victim, far from it; she is an arrogant one, the judge, jury and the selective executioner of UN resolutions!
But, how would the future generation of Iraqis see the British role? The UK was not attacked by 9/11 or by Iraq; if anything the British have invaded and killed thousands of Iraqis during the period of the First World War. In fact, Winston Churchill used chemical weapons on the Kurds, long before Saddam Hussein. Yet, once again, they participated in this crime of aggression with a great deal of zeal. The Blair episode reminds you of that money making kid in the class, who would team up with the biggest bully and quietly incite the bully to extort money from other children. Later in life, the money making kid would become a banker in the City or a lawyer, who always show sympathy for the Israelis! Yes, he does have a heart and some ethics!
We are no longer living in the old days of the British Empire, where massacres could be suppressed, and if it leaked, one could use ‘diplomacy’ and bribery to quieten it; then with the passage of time it would vanish from people’s memory. Today, the age of information ensures that such things will remain fresh in the minds of the future generation. We cannot alter the past, but by addressing the present, and in particular, by addressing the crime of Blair, it may help to secure the interest of our nation. The future generation of Iraqis may see that the British population have a heart, not just the millions who marched against the war, but the vast majority disagree with this arrogant and heartless war criminal, and they have tried to do some justice.
Yamin Zakaria can be reached at [email protected].