This week marks 14 years since the war in Iraq — Gulf War II — began. Julie Lenarz sums up many of my feelings on the matter (from her Facebook page):
It’s the 14th anniversary of the Iraq war and I see the usual “war criminals – lock them up” bullshit in my timeline from the same crowd that is still unable to accept that a political decision you happen to disagree with, no matter how profoundly, is not a crime. The UK conducted no less than five independent inquiries clearing the government of deliberately lying, so at this point it is really those that are still pretending otherwise for their own petty politics and out of a false sense of moral superiority that are bending the truth.
The only war criminal is dead and goes by the name of Saddam Hussein, a genocidal dictator responsible for the death of over two million people. Get some fucking perspective.
Yep. One hundred percent.
Important, in light of Chilcot, to remember the following: Saddam Hussein was the war criminal. Not Tony Blair and not George Bush. And neither Bush nor Blair lied their countries into a war. The Chilcot Report says nothing of the kind. Read it.
I miss Hitchens! A good moment to re-read these words of his:
When Tony Blair took office, Slobodan Milosevic was cleansing and raping the republics of the former Yugoslavia. Mullah Omar was lending Osama bin Laden the hinterland of a failed and rogue state. Charles Taylor of Liberia was leading a hand-lopping militia of enslaved children across the frontier of Sierra Leone, threatening a blood-diamond version of Rwanda in West Africa. And the wealth and people of Iraq were the abused private property of Saddam Hussein and his crime family. Today, all of these Caligula figures are at least out of power, and at the best either dead or on trial. How can anyone with a sense of history not grant Blair some portion of credit for this? And how can anybody with a tincture of moral sense go into a paroxysm and yell that it is he who is the war criminal? It is as if all the civilians murdered by al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be charged to his account. This is the chaotic mentality of Julian Assange and his groupies.
That is moral clarity, people. My late brother had it, too. Really miss the wisdom of both of those men.