Friday, January 29, 2010

Blair lied, people died

Some slogans never get old, they actually get new.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair testified today before the Chilcot Inquiry about what led to the Iraq invasion. According to him, all facts presented to him at that time pointed him to the conclusion that the 45-second claim (i.e., that Iraq could launch bio/chem weapons in 45 minutes) was true. He offered a morally challenging argument about his dilemmas at that time:
"Your worry is not simply, is the intelligence correct so that I can act, your worry is also if it is correct, what am I going to do about it?"
I understand dilemmas and the urgent decisions that situations force on you, but what a pity that his intelligence agents did not make him aware of the (then potentially) horrible aftermath of his assertive actions (or maybe they did).

For lack of better metrics - the civilian body count stemming from that decision, to this day: around 100,000.

He also talked at length about how the US' and UK's opinions on regime change differed (but, obviously, not enough for them to defer the invasion decision). It shocks me how lightly the word "regime change" gets bandied around.

Never forget (with added emphasis this time), the civilian body count from that casual act of regime change, to this day: around 100,000.

The only thing more tragic than the deaths themselves is the fact that there is no acknowledgment whatsoever except along the fringes of British/American intelligentsia that these military adventures abroad themselves have a part to play in increasing security threats. Thus perpetuates the vicious cycle - aggression abroad leads to more insecurity at home which leads to more aggression abroad. As we speak, the universal blue-eyed boy Obama is ramping up the remorseless "good war" in Afghanistan.

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