The Liars Lost Their Bet – Brian Cloughley

On January 28, 2003, two months before the US and Britain invaded Iraq, I had an article published titled ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’ in which I wrote “let us be realistic about repeated US assertions that Iraq has nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. (President George Bush calls them ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, which is a dreary propaganda phrase.) If America has evidence of these weapons it could produce it without compromising intelligence sources. Mr Bush and his staff keep announcing that Iraq possesses these things, yet refuse to give us proof.”

I questioned the statements of western politicians concerning Iraq’s possession of “materials to produce as much as 500 tons of Sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent”, which was what George Bush declared. His orders to invade Iraq were carried out on March 19 and he was backed up by a particularly nauseating piece of perambulating filth, Britain’s British prime minister Tony Blair, who announced in September 2002 that Saddam Hussein “has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes.”

Bush and Blair were a couple of squalid schemers whose disgusting lies led to massive destruction and caused a staggering number of deaths in the most horrible circumstances. Neither of them has the slightest understanding of the utter misery they inflicted on millions of people. They refuse to admit that the current disaster in Iraq would not have happened had they not gone to war. They are unashamed of their lies, their folly and their slaughter.

Last week the man Blair tried to justify his wicked deceit by writing that “we must liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this.” He ignores the fact that he and Bush had waged an undeclared war in Iraq for years before they ordered their invasion. Not only did they impose vicious sanctions but declared ‘no-fly zones’ supposedly to protect Shias and Kurds but which were intended to destroy Iraq’s entire infrastructure. The zones had no basis in international law and complemented sanctions in a particularly savage manner.

British and American strike aircraft and cruise missiles zoomed round Iraq’s skies having wonderful yippee-shoots blitzing what they called “legitimate targets”. Like the children killed in January 1999 when an AGM-130 cruise missile “slammed into the middle of the residential neighbourhood of Basra, killing 17 civilians, at least 4 of them small children playing in the streets.”

We know that foreign children don’t matter to warmongers. After all, when US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright was asked on television whether she considered the deaths of half a million Iraqi children a reasonable consequence of US sanctions she replied “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.” Can you imagine any human being believing that the death of half a million kids is justifiable?

The price was worth – what?

The price of the US-UK war on Iraq is now being paid with staggering intensity. Thousands of people are dying in the latest phase of hideous slaughter by mindless bigoted fanatics. And it was all started by Bush and Blair. The pre-war half million dead children were only a start.

Saddam was a ruthless dictator who was feared by his citizens. But during his secular regime his country was home to many Christians and Jews. Before the US-UK invasion there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Most have fled and there remain only about 400,000 who exist in wretchedness and terror. And although the west and the Jewish lobby try to disguise the fact that Jews in Saddam’s Iraq were not persecuted it cannot be denied that it was only during the US occupation that the last remaining rabbi fled the country. When he got to Israel in 2006 he said he had been “living in a prison” and that Jews in Iraq were terrified of “kidnapping or execution.”

Blair ignores what happened – and especially what didn’t happen – in Iraq before the invasion that was ordered by his master, the deranged Bush. In his recent pathetic attempt at self-exculpation Blair wrote that “I understand all the reasons following Afghanistan and Iraq why public opinion was so hostile to involvement”, but ignores the fact that he endorsed the Bush bet about the war resulting in a “unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror.”

Look at what has happened as a direct result of the Bush-Blair war: Iraq is not unified or democratic and is not centrally-governed. It cannot defend itself in any fashion. But it is buying vastly expensive and useless military equipment from the United States.

On June 6, six days before “two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters” Lockheed Martin delivered the first F-16 fighter aircraft of a contracted 36 valued at $1.9 billion. Then there are the deals for $4.8 billion for Apache attack helicopters, $2.4 billion for anti-aircraft missiles (presumably to combat the Isis air force), a paltry $800 million for 24 AT-6 Texan aircraft, and a $5 billion order for 30 Boeing 737-800s.

So be assured that America will fight, fight and fight again to keep the Iraqi government going Boeing.

In the January before the Bush-Blair war in 2003 I wrote that in order for us to believe that war was justified: “Just show us one nuclear device, not even a bomb, just a thingy that is nuclear. Just show us one picture taken yesterday of a missile with an NBC warhead. Let us see evidence that there is a missile launcher ready to shoot off a missile that could ‘kill up to one million people.’ All right: we’ll settle for a missile that could kill a thousand people. Produce evidence that Iraq has one vial of VX agent. Then we will say you were right, and watch you reduce Iraq to rubble.”

They couldn’t produce evidence. But they did reduce Iraq to rubble. And the present catastrophe in that ruined region is entirely their fault.

The liars lost their bet, but the arms manufacturers’ profits roll in. The price is worth it.