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July 7, 2016

U.S. should have its own Chilcot Report

By Habib Siddiqui


I have argued many times that the Iraq invasion was a crime of the highest proportion. Bush’s poodle, a.k.a. former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, allowed his country to be pulled into a conflict that claimed hundreds of British lives, thousands of American lives, and probably a million Iraqi lives (but who is counting!), while plunging the entire region into a maelstrom of terroristic chaos, including the birth of extremist groups like the Daesh.

Last Thursday the Chilcot report on the UK’s involvement in Iraq delivered a scathing critique of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war on the basis of bogus intelligence and a catastrophic lack of planning for the aftermath of the invasion. (The excerpts of the Chilcot report can be read by clicking  here.) The salient points of the report are:

      1.The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted.

      2.Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

      3.Blair promised George Bush: ’I will be with you, whatever’.

      4.The decision to invade was made in unsatisfactory circumstances.

      5.George Bush largely ignored UK advice on postwar planning.

      6.There was no imminent threat from Saddam.

      7.Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information’.

      8.The UK military were ill-equipped for the task.

      9.UK-US relations would not have been harmed if UK stayed out of war.

      10.Blair ignored warnings on what would happen in Iraq after invasion.

      11.The government had no post-invasion strategy.

      12.The UK had no influence on Iraq’s postwar US-run administration.

      13.The UK did not achieve its objectives in Iraq.

      14.The government did not try hard enough to keep a tally of Iraqi civilian casualties.

The Chilcot report obviously incriminates Blair. But how about George W. Bush, the man who must be held accountable for starting the war in Iraq?  

A scathing new biography of Bush was published last week by renowned historian Jean Edward Smith in which he devotes a substantial portion of his book to the lead-up and aftermath of the Iraq war. He concludes: “Whether George W Bush was the worst president in American history will be long debated, but his decision to invade Iraq is easily the worst foreign policy decision ever made by an American president.”

Beyond Bush, the political elite in the US has faced almost no punishment for supporting the invasion of Iraq. Dick Cheney and company are also living comfortably in retirement, and both political parties have nominated people (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump) who supported the invasion in 2003.

The current global disorder from Bangladesh to the USA stem largely from our inability to punish such white-collar mega war criminals who get away as the untouchable mafias from the wars that they bring about. It is a shame to our generation that we have failed to book these SOBs (son of Bush and Blair) who have caused so much pain, suffering and sadness in our time. Such impunity has created a sense of utter frustration and un-quenched anger among some concerned citizens of our globe who feel that in the absence of a trial at The Hague, they must do something, for instance, take the law in their own hands. In this age of the Internet, when children are growing up spending more time behind the computer than playing games in the fields, some youngsters are fuming in anger and do feel that their parents’ generation has failed them miserably and that they ought to do something to right the wrong. They are rebelling, and taking law in their own hands, and are, regrettably, thus, creating a world of fitnah and fasad that we have never seen before in which victims simply don't know why they are getting killed. It is a sad saga of our time in which every day is worse than the one before! It is like living under mindless anarchy from Baghdad to Brussels, from Dhaka to Dallas, and from Jerusalem to Juba!

I believe that the only way we can stop this mess is by ensuring that the mega war criminals like Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell are all tried for their respective roles in Iraq War invasion, and that those responsible are punished appropriately so that no future Bush or Blair can emerge in our world. Once such mega criminals are tried, then we can go with trying our smaller criminals like Bashar al-Assad and General Sisi and others. So long the world community fails to bring in justice in our world against such mega criminals, I am afraid, we shall only see worse. Period!

The US truly needs its own Chilcot report. But with the Amen Corner controlling in the Capitol Hill will it ever do the needful for such a report to emerge? I doubt it.

Dr. Habib Siddiqui has authored 11 books, five of which are now available through His latest book - Devotional Stories is published by A.S. Noordeen, Malaysia. Dr. Siddiqui is an alumnus of the prestigious University of  Southern California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Ph.D.