As disturbing developments in the Syrian civil war prompt a discussion within American society about our role overseas, it is useful that some very interesting new information about the origins of the Iraq War and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is coming to light. Last week, an email from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s server revealed that Blair had made a pact with George Bush pledging his support in the invasion conspiracy a year before the U.S. ignored the international community and destabilized the entire region.
Today, Blair grudgingly admitted to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that there were “elements of truth” to the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration’s aggression led directly to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Da’esh), and apologized for “for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime. Now, whether it’s right or not, that’s for — everyone can have their judgment about that.”
He also admitted that he was either lied to or purposefully misrepresented evidence that indicated Saddam Hussein’s Iraq held weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated delivery systems. “I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong because, even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought.”
The military action in Iraq and the utter mismanagement of the situation on the ground unleashed a brutal power struggle aggravated by decades of ethnic tension. The disbandment of the military and government following the capture of Baghdad created a power vacuum that the occupiers never filled. The weakness of the government in Baghdad and the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi military created a space for ISIS to carve out a state with shuddering brutality, and all of those events can be traced back to Bush and Blair’s warmongering. These war criminals still have much to answer for.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.