This month, March 20, 2023 to be precise, marks 20 years of the Bush-Blair war on Iraq that killed and maimed millions of Iraqis, destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and left millions more in extreme poverty. The war was launched on a pack of lies: that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The UN inspectors found no evidence of such weapons but the Bush-Blair combine was not constrained by facts.
When the UN inspectors, including their chief Hans Blix, reported finding no WMDs in Iraq, Bush insisted otherwise. Since he was hell-bent on attacking Iraq, he had to create ‘alternate facts’. In typical American style, he personalized the issue alleging that the Iraqi dictator Saddam Husain… “is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”
Undeterred by the weapons inspectors’ report, Bush sent his Secretary of State Colin Powell at the head of a large delegation to the UN Security Council. The aim was to convince the world that Saddam possessed WMDs and these posed an existential threat to the world. Powell, accompanied by then CIA Director George Tenet waved a vial with some opaque liquid in it claiming it contained lethal chemicals whose contents could kill millions of people.
On February 5, 2003, Powell, supposedly the most credible voice in the US regime, addressed the Security Council. He said: “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources—solid sources.” He went on: “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
Powell insisted that intelligence officials assured him the information was credible, with CIA director Tenet nodding approvingly sitting behind him. There were reconnaissance photos, elaborate maps and charts, and even taped phone conversations between senior members of Iraq’s military, Powell claimed.
“Saddam Husain has chemical weapons,” he insisted. “Saddam Husain has used such weapons. And Saddam Husain has no compunction about using them again—against his neighbors, and against his own people.” The phrase “weapons of mass destruction” was used a total of 17 times. It became the catch-phrase for justification of the war.
The ‘most credible voice’ in the Bush regime was lying through his teeth. Not surprisingly, most members of the Security Council did not buy into this canard despite the best efforts of American and British diplomats. No Security Council authorization was given for the war. The Bush-Blair duo, however, were not constrained by legality.
On March 20, 2003, Bush ordered air strikes over Baghdad. It marked the beginning of an armed aggression supposedly “to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger,” Bush said in a televised address to the American people. The British poodle Tony Blair was a partner-in-crime in this illegal war.
Saddam’s regime, weakened by decades of sanctions that were imposed in 1990, was toppled in a matter of weeks. Intense search for Iraq’s so-called WMDs failed to find any; none existed. But by May 1986, the sanctions had killed more than 567,000 Iraqi children.
The consequences for the Iraqi people were horrendous. American and allied bombings did not confine their attacks to Iraqi military targets in the second war on Iraq. Its infrastructure, food facilities, healthcare system and water systems were attacked and destroyed.
Brown University’s ‘cost of war’ project estimates of civilian deaths, while admitting “no one knows with certainty how many people have been killed and wounded in Iraq since the 2003 United States invasion,” said that “between 275,000 and 306,000 civilians have died from direct war-related violence caused by the US, its allies, the Iraqi military and police, and opposition forces from the time of the invasion through October 2019.”
Brown’s report conceded that since “not all war-related deaths were recorded accurately by the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition, the numbers are likely much higher. Several estimates based on randomly selected household surveys place the total death count among Iraqis in the hundreds of thousands.”
Many more Iraqi civilians probably died as an indirect result of the war. These included damage to the systems that provide food, health care and clean drinking water resulting in illness, infectious diseases, and malnutrition. All these were preventable and could have been treated. The harmful effects of decades of US sanctions were compounded by the devastating war unleashed against Iraq in March 2003.
The plan to go to war was hatched almost a year earlier between Bush and Blair at the US president’s Crawford ranch in Texas. The exact details of the plot came to light early last year. In a secret memo, published by Middle East Eye, the conspiracy to invade Iraq was plotted between Blair and Bush on April 5-7, 2002. The memo was written by David Manning, Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser, who accompanied him to Crawford. It was shared with a very small select group of British officials.
Manning wrote in the memo: “This letter is exceptionally sensitive and the PM instructed it should be very tightly held, it should be shown only to those with a real need to know and no further copies should be made.”
The memo was shared with Simon McDonald, principal private secretary to foreign secretary Jack Straw, and shared with five other senior British officials: Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff; Mike Boyce, chief of defence staff; Peter Watkins, principal private secretary to defence secretary Geoff Hoon; Christopher Meyer, UK ambassador to the US; and Michael Jay, permanent secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Bush-Blair duo discussed military preparations for the war, the propaganda campaign to win public support for it and the trap to be set up for the Iraqi dictator so that he would be caught wrong-footed and thus provide justification for the war. We need to recall that the plan to invade Iraq was made soon after the attacks of 911. This is what General Wesley Clark, the former Nato commander, had revealed in an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in March 2007, following his visit to the Pentagon about 10 days after 911.
The US plan was to take down seven countries starting with Iraq and ending with Iran. Other countries on the US target list were Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon, Libya and Syria. Only Syria and Iran survived the criminal plot, thanks to the brilliant strategy devised by the Iranians led by the martyred General Qassem Soleimani.
Intrigue, deceit and lies are staples of British diplomacy. From the division of the Middle East unstable small nation states to the implantation of the zionist monstrosity on the land of Palestine are all part of British intrigue and duplicity.
Iraq, however, has been a special target of the Anglo-American-zionist conspiracy. Prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq in January 1990, then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had visited George Bush Sr. to ‘stiffen his back’. During that war, the US used depleted uranium shells that poisoned Iraq’s soil as well as water resulting in the birth of hundreds of thousands of deformed babies.
Leading up to the March 2003 invasion, it was British propaganda that conjured up the image of the mushroom cloud over New York in 45 minutes, alleging that Iraq had a nuclear bomb as well as weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were found because none existed. But for the war-mongers, that did not matter. What mattered was to launch the war to destroy a Muslim country and cause millions of deaths through war and starvation. This was done to enrich the weapons manufacturers and other corporate thieves that rule America and their sidekicks in Britain.
Blair was knighted for planning with Bush the murder of millions of innocent Iraqis by launching a war on a pack of lies. The Chilcot inquiry report confirmed Blair’s lies by stating he was not “straight with the nation”. Both Bush and Blair should be put on trial for war crimes but given the current Anglo-zionist-American controlled system, this will not happen unless a new, more just system is put in place globally.