Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. The UN Refugee Agency stated the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.
In a CNN interview of October 2015 former British Prime Minister Tony Blair angered many when he made a token acknowledgment of his ‘mistakes’ over the Iraq War admitting there were ‘elements of truth’ to the view that the invasion helped promote the rise of ISL.
Hans Blix who headed the U.N. inspections in Iraq at the time of the war 10 years ago has said in his memoirs. “Today, I look again at the reasons why this terrible mistake — and violation of the U.N. charter — took place and explore if any lessons be drawn –
- The war aimed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, but there weren’t any.
- The war aimed to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, but the terrorist group didn’t exist in the country until after the invasion.
- The war aimed to make Iraq a model democracy based on law, but it replaced tyranny with anarchy and led America to practices that violated the laws of war.
- The war aimed to transform Iraq to a friendly base for U.S. troops capable to act, if needed, against Iran — but instead it gave Iran a new ally in Baghdad
Was it about Oil? Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalised and closed to Western oil companies before the invasion. After a decade of war it is largely privatized and completely dominated by foreign firms. Iraq’s oil production has increased by more than 40% in the past five years to 3 million barrels of oil a day but 80% of this is being exported out of the country while Iraqis struggle to meet basic energy consumption needs. Basic services such as water and electricity remain luxuries, with a quarter of the population living in poverty.
“Of course it’s about oil; we can’t really deny that,” Gen. John Abizaid, Head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq, in 2007.,
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are.” Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel 2007
Was it attempted genocide? In a paper for the Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Manitoba, Professor Nagi of the School of Business at George Washington University cited a secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document which he said amounted to “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”. The DIA document revealed “minute details of a fully workable method to ‘fully degrade the water treatment system’ of an entire nation” over a period of a decade. The sanctions policy would create “the conditions for widespread disease, including full scale epidemics,” thus “liquidating a significant portion of the population of Iraq”.
Axis of Evil… General Wesley Clark the former Supreme NATO Allied Commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Strategy and Policy, describes ((2003 – Winning Modern Wars) his conversation with a military officer in the Pentagon shortly after the 11 September attacks, regarding a plan to attack seven Middle Eastern countries in five years: “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. Watch this space…
Regime change and Democracy