|So What Was It All For?||Inquest on Iraq|
The war in Iraq is over, barring mopping-up operations. It is time for a stock-taking, an overview. We must put to the test in this war what we should put to the test in all wars in which our forces are engaged: what has Britain gained?
Britain has suffered 31 deaths in the war - tiny compared with World Wars I and II, small even compared with the Falklands War. But this is a matter over which numbers should not be the issue. The question is: what vital or legitimate national interest could have justified the loss of any British lives in Iraq? And the brutal truth is that the Iraq war was embarked upon and waged for no British interest at all but in pursuit of a wholly political agenda - the agenda of Tony Blair, the agenda of George W. Bush, but above all the agenda of the Israel lobby in Washington, among whose many puppets Blair and Bush are merely the most high-profile at the present moment.
Attack on sovereign state
Let us for a moment concentrate our minds on a few of the essentials. What has happened is that Britain has been a party to a totally unwarranted attack on a sovereign state, a state that never harmed us and never even threatened us. No one seriously believes anymore the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass-destruction that might have been used against us. Everyone now knows that this claim was just a cynical lie, fabricated to justify military action. In healthier times, knowledge of such a lie - and the sacrifice of British lives in pursuit of it - would have become the subject of such national outrage that it would have brought down the Government. But in the political and moral climate of today it is dismissed as par for the course.
When that lie passed its sell-by date - when it had become obvious that if the weapons of mass-destruction had existed they would have been used against us - another lie was concocted: we were invading Iraq to bring democracy to that country, to give its people their freedom. Even if this were so, just who the hell do we think we are to decide what is good for another country, to determine what kind of political system or ruler its people will live under?
But of course, everyone now knows that this was not true - anymore than the tale about the weapons was true. It was an equally cynical fabrication, cooked up to justify an utterly immoral war. That, aside from British and American deaths, thousands of innocent Iraqis would perish and many more - including little children - would be maimed did not, of course, matter to our political masters so long as their nefarious political aims were achieved.
These are the political masters, of course, who love to occupy the moral high ground: and to persuade us that everything they do is done out of concern for the good of humanity - the liberal conscience in all its putrid humbug!
Hiding behind the troops
Once the war had started, politicians and their bought press, very typically tried to hide behind our troops in order to escape criticism. To attack the war, they claimed dishonestly, is to attack our boys. This was such a puerile argument it is difficult to imagine how anyone other than a mental retard could swallow it. British troops, like their American counterparts, were just doing what all military personnel have done across the ages. They were going to fight where they had been ordered to go to fight. The fact that they acquitted themselves professionally and honourably had nothing whatever to do with the question of whether they should have been there or not. And in fact those who condemned the war were people much more concerned about the fate of our boys than were the politicians who sent them to Iraq. Our view is that in the very regrettable, not to say tragic, case of British servicemen being required to lose their lives this should only ever be when Britain, her people or her vital interests are threatened. Indeed, those who made the most constant use of the term our boys could not give a damn about our boys to them, they were just expendable pawns in a piece of squalid political piracy.
Where our boys (and a few girls) were concerned. Britain came out of the Iraq war with honour. But where politicians and journalists were concerned (those who supported the war at least) there is nothing but disgrace. The name of our country has been used in a foul act of aggression and mass murder which it will take a long time to expunge from the national memory.