WikiLeaks explodes the last liberal justification for Iraq

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Bagh...

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Baghdad's Firdos Square on April 9, 2003. Image via Wikipedia.

One frequent justification liberal apologists give for the illegal invasion of Iraq is that for all its failings, at least it removed Saddam Hussein. WikiLeaks latest release has dealt a major blow to this tepid liberal justification for the crippling of an entire nation. The on-going torture by Iraqi Security Forces that the documents reveal, prove that the sadistic spirit of terror that Saddam Hussein unleashed is still very much alive and well.

Much is being made of the fact that American forces knowingly stood aside and knowing let Iraqi Security Forces torture their fellow Iraqis. However, as Al Jazeera point out, while this is morally reprehensible, legally American forces did nothing wrong:

International law did not require the US to investigate these allegations of Iraqi-on-Iraqi detainee abuse, because all of them were reported after June 30, 2004 – when Iraq once again became a “sovereign country”, according to the United Nations resolution 1546. The United States no longer directly controlled Iraq’s security services, and thus, it was no longer legally obligated to police them.

In reality, this caveat is of little relevance either. As is amply clear throughout history, the US Government has little concern for international law. However, even if American forces had been legally bound to intervene in Iraqi-on-Iraqi torture, it should have been no surprise if they hadn’t since the US Military has routinely used torture to “interrogate” detainees in Guantanamo Bay. The fact that they stood by – whether legally or immorally – should be no real surprise.

The biggest scandal here is that one of the supposed main aims of the illegal invasion of Iraq – to remove the tyranny of Saddam Hussein – has merely removed the man, not the brutality of the regime. Perhaps even more scandalous, is that the invasion has left Iraq in an even more desperate state than before troops arrived. One of the most disturbing facts to have emerged prior to WikiLeaks latest release is that due to the invasion, Iraq City now has a higher cancer rate than Hiroshima. It’s a damning indictment of the invasion that many Iraqis feel compelled into the perverse situation of longing for a return to life under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein than face the one they now have in the aftermath of the US led invasion and occupation.

In view of this, the on-going torture revealed by WikiLeaks, and the scandalous revelation that of 109,000 people killed in Iraq, a staggering 66,081 were civilians, there are no liberal excuses left for one the 21st Century’s most shocking war crimes.

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Here’s some intelligence for you Blair

Blair at the Chilcot Inquiry

It was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office and I do genuinely believe the world is a safer place as a result.

Even before you invaded, the CIA and FBI disagreed with you on that Mr Blair. And we all know how much you passionately believed in intelligence agencies.

When it suited the aims of you and your corporate sponsors that is.

Like every other government inquiry, the Chilcot Inquiry will be a whitewash. The findings aren’t due to be published until 2011 anyway and when it is, it will conclude something like “mistakes were made”, “intelligence was flawed” but there was no “criminal intent” by Blair and his cohorts.

By that time, Tony will no doubt still be earning £1,000,000 a month with his after dinner speaking engagements while the rest of us have to live in the infinitely more dangerous world that he helped create.

A liberal whitewash of the ultimate crime

The BBC and Guardian both report today that the UK Ministry of Defence is probing allegations that Iraqis were tortured and abused by British troops.

But notice there will be no probe into the biggest crime of all – the war of aggression launched by the UK and it’s allies on Iraq. Since without this act, none of the above alleged crimes would have been possible, it should be this crime which is on the front pages, not the terrible acts of a few soldiers.

Why are the lessons and conclusions laid down by the Nuremberg tribunal and enshrined in law by the UN continually ignored by the liberal mainstream media? Quite rightly, they get extremely upset if someone tries to deny the holocaust. But they don’t even a raise a whimper when the laws that resolved to ensure nothing like it ever happened again are so blatantly ignored by those in power.

The Nuremberg tribunal defined aggression and aggressive war as the supreme international crime. This is exactly what the UK and it’s allies launched on Iraq in 2003. Benjamin Ferencz, one of the chief prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials, best describes how international law was clearly violated in 2003:

The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States formulated by the United States in fact, after World War II. Its says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can’t use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, ‘Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they’ve found — then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq — which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.

Yet again, this is a textbook example of how the mainstream media continue to distract public attention away from the crimes of the powerful.

Bush’s parting gift for Obama (and Iraq’s for him)

Seems like George Bush is getting into the swing of things early this Christmas by leaving Obama a few farewell gifts in the US, while receiving one of his own in Iraq.

Bush is currently rushing through last minute legislation using a special “midnight regulations” law which allows laws to be passed into law immediately without consulting Congress. The bigger question here is why such a dubious concept as “midnight regulations” even exists in a democracy. It seems to be solely designed to allow outgoing Presidents to enact legislation that will take the incoming one years to undo. According to The Guardian, the law’s rushed through will:

  • Make it easier for coal companies to dump waste from strip-mining into valleys and streams.
  • Ease the building of coal-fired power stations nearer to national parks.
  • Allow people to carry loaded and concealed weapons in national parks.
  • Open up millions of acres to mining for oil shale.
  • Allow healthcare workers to opt out of giving treatment for religious or moral reasons, thus weakening abortion rights.
  • Hurt road safety by allowing truck drivers to stay at the wheel for 11 consecutive hours.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi also gave Bush an early Christmas present during his farewell tour of Iraq. During a press conference, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at him. Bush’s response?

That was a size 10 shoe he threw at me you may want to know…These journalists here were very apologetic. They were, you know, they said this doesn’t represent the Iraqi people, but that’s what happens in free societies where people try to draw attention to themselves.

Those Iraqis that see their daily lives as living under the boot of an American occupation will no doubt regard it as the most appropriate of Christmas gifts for President Bush.