The Middle East is exploding – literally. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadi outfit so brutal even Al-Qaeda has disowned it, is marching toward Baghdad leaving a trail of bodies and destruction in its wake. How has this happened?
Who would know better than Lakhdar Brahimi, UN Envoy to Syria:
The world is looking for scapegoats and the architects of the Iraq War of 2003, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President George W. Bush, spring unbidden to mind. Politicians and commentators are lining up to denounce the war as the reason Iraq and Syria are burning.
Even worse, was the lack of post-war planning: the decision to disband Iraq’s army; the destruction of its infrastructure and civil bodies; the setting up of a puppet government; and the final insult, the decision to withdraw troops before the country had had a chance to gain its bearings.
As criticism of the war and its connection to the current crises rises to a crescendo, Bush has remained publicly quiet; rashly, Blair is acting like a shamed schoolboy, cheeks aflame. Squirming no doubt under the global onslaught of swiveling heads, in his attempt to defend himself, he has protested far too much.
In an essay analyzing the current Middle Eastern crises, he announced, with breathtaking arrogance, “It is time to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this.”
Reaction to this "astonishing" essay has been muted in the U.S., while the reaction across the pond was more predictable. With much foaming and frothing, the media, celebrities, politicians, activists – indeed anyone with access to a hashtag – have piled on the opprobrium. Read and weep …
To begin with, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants "unhinged" Blair to put a sock in it:
It seems many agree with the unhinged diagnosis:
Meanwhile, the HuffPost wonders if Mr. Blair has any idea what he’s done:
Back in the U.S., Reza Aslan, an American historian and writer, makes a strong point:
"the most prominent voices being heard are the very ones who brought us the Iraq War in the first place" http://t.co/dfLbcSurPh— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 13, 2014
Professor Tim Bale (Queen Mary University, London) speaking to the New York Times muses: “There is something about Blair that really makes a red mist descend upon people who would otherwise be able to judge more objectively.”
Maybe this is why:
Or this observation by American commentator Tom Garan:
Picasso Kat shares this fabulous article on the lies that led up to the Iraq War:
Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq http://t.co/7gg4qJiaPD // al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before this. It's offshoot is ISIS.— Picasso Kat (@Picassokat) June 12, 2014
So the apologists for the Iraq war will convince no one; this video on the other hand is manna in the hands of its critics, particularly the surprisingly prescient comments by Dick Cheney toward the end:
The saddest commentary on the 2003 war must be from its veterans:
Was the war a mistake? This poll speaks for itself:
What does the future hold?
Well, when the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, was released from the U.S.’s detention facility in Iraq in 2009, he told his captors, "See you in New York!"