By Jonathan Power
The crime of aggression (“planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression”) was described by the Nuremberg Tribunal that tried Nazi leaders as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.
President George W. Bush and British prime minister, Tony Blair, have been accused by many as war criminals for starting the war against Iraq and, second, for not watching carefully enough to make sure that war crimes carried out by individual soldiers were not covered up, and for the torture that Bush initiated and Blair appeared to tolerate.
Did Blair lie over the reason for going to war with Iraq – the supposed stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that Iraq possessed? It depends how you define lie. If you define lie as saying this cat is black when in fact it’s white he didn’t on the big issues. But what he did do was to give the impression the cat was assuredly white when in fact it was a sort of greyish.
But as the just published government commissioned report made by a distinguished civil servant, John Chilcot, has made clear the caveats were left out of intelligence briefings and the presentation was polished by the prime minister’s office.
We in the public didn’t have the pre-polished version but Blair did and he must have known in his mind, if not his heart, he was taking a gamble with the evidence. Read More »
By Gunnar Westberg
After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on the 11th of September 2001 President George W. Bush felt the need for revenge. Since years back, the US had developed plans to attack Iraq. Its dictator Saddam Hussein had been left in power after the First Gulf War in 1991, a war which the father of George W. Bush had left unfinished.
The real reasons for this renewed war on Iraq are not known.
Saddam Hussein had previously had a program to produce nuclear weapons. After thorough investigations lead by the UN representatives Rolf Ekéus and Hans Blix it became clear that all weapons of mass destruction had been eliminated. There were no nuclear weapons.
However, Saddam Hussein could of course start the production of nuclear weapons at some point in the future. And the US leaders choose to disregard the reports by the UN inspectors. “I do not want the smoking gun to be a nuclear detonation over Manhattan” said Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, and on the TV screen a mushroom cloud rose over New York. That picture spoke more strongly than the reports by Hans Blix.
The UN Security Council did not support an attack on Iraq. There were demonstrations against the war, in the USA and in the world, probably the biggest peace and pre-war demonstrations in the world at any time. But the decision to go to war seems to have been taken, unchangeable.Read More »
By Mairead Maguire
The long awaited Chilcot report (5 years) on the Invasion of Iraq will finally be released on 6th July, 2016.
The Report is to be welcomed and the hope expressed that this inquiry will tell the truth of what happened to the Iraqi people and clarify the UKs involvement, through an official Government recognition of facts of the wars, sanctions and invasion of Iraq and for transparency, accountability and reparation to be paid to the Iraqi people by the UK Government who participated in these illegal and immoral genocidal wars.
The story of what was done to the Iraqi people by UK and Western allies is shocking and deeply disturbing.
The two wars, the imposition of economic sanctions, causing the slow deaths of thousands of people, were indeed crimes against humanity, war crimes, breaking all international obligations and conducted with no respect for human life or the Iraqi people’s rights.
The UK/USA acted unilaterally ignoring the principal of multilateralism and irrespective of the enormous opposition to war against Iraq, articulated by millions of people around the world.
The invasion was carried out by US/UK NATO forces on the basis of a ‘lie’ that Iraq had nuclear weapons and was a threat to the US.
The foreign policy of the US/UK governments were for regime change and about Iraqi oil; the methods used were Read More »