Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Just To Clarify

I'm almost but not quite a pacifist. War is always evil, but sometimes it's the lesser evil.

I didn't have strong views about the first Gulf War. At the time I reckoned we needed to finish what we'd started and sweep on into Baghdad and topple Saddam. In the light of what's happened more recently, I think Bush #I was probably right to hold back.

The sanctions under which Iraq laboured through the 90s were an obscenity.

The Invasion of Iraq was unjustified. I never believed there were WMDs. Or that Saddam had anything to do with 911. It was clear to me that Bush and Blair were committed to waging war no matter what.

I find it hard to believe politicians who say they were convinced by the "evidence" put forward by the Bush administration. If I could see through the lies (and they were pretty flimsy) why couldn't they?

The only way the war can be justified is as an exercise in beneficent Imperialism. We are white, Christian and culturally superior and it's our duty to free these poor, suffering people from an evil dictatorship. A number of voices on the left took this line. I thought they were puddled.

Once the war was launched I was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe our troops would be greeted as liberators. Maybe we'd do more good than harm. It was thrilling to see Saddam's statue bite the dust. But it soon became clear that there was no proper strategy for the occupation. Mistakes were made, opportunities squandered. Bad faith was crowned with incompetence. 

The happenings at Abu Ghraib blew away the last shreds of the pretence that Crusader morality was any higher than Saddam's.

Iraq is a ruin. The institutions of civil society have been swept away. The so-called "government" is a joke.There's a vicious civil war going on. The occupation troops are piggies-in-the-middle- hated by almost everyone and incompetent to police the situation.   The only people who are doing very nicely, thank you, are the sectarian warlords like Muktadr-al-Sadr and the war profiteers.

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