Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Bruce Clark: Bring Back Saddam

Bring Back Saddam

By Bruce Clark

This title is meant only as an attention-grabber; no one in his right mind would seriously want the infamous mass-murderer back. But it serves to make the point that , after three years and in spite of all the lofty sounding platitudes about freedom and democracy, the invasion of Iraq has brought only death and destruction.

Yes, there have been elections, but no viable government has been formed after more than three months.

The infrastructure of Iraq has taken a terrible pummeling with lower than pre-war oil output, long queues for petrol in one of the most oil-rich countries in the world, less hours of electricity and severe shortages of essential medical supplies.

Sectarian violence is at such levels that there is a debate now as to whether or not this constitutes civil war; there are more than 30 killings per day and Shiites and Sunnis are being forced to flee their respective areas, with daily bombings, kidnappings, abductions and murders by militias, some of which are linked to the government.

. The seasoned BBC Journalist John Simpson recently wrote that he has made eight visits to Baghdad in the last year and each time he found the situation worse. Do we trust his judgment or that of the US military spokesmen who assure us all is going swimmingly in Iraq.?

These indicators are, ofcourse, disappointing, but are as nothing compared to the loss of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, and the climate of terror in which ordinary Iraqis now live .

The actual numbers killed is an interesting issue in itself. Estimates vary from less than 20,000(Iraqi Body Count) to over 100,000 in Les Roberts study published in The Lancet. The Bush government naturally likes to quote the former figure.

Its easy to forget that the stated reason for the invasion was the fear of Saddams weapons of mass destruction. We now know from the leaked memos from Downing Street and Washington,( the latter one was recently publicised by that bastion of radicalism , the New York Times), that Bush and Blair had decided on invasion well before the diplomatic processes were exhausted. The head of MI5, Sir Richard Dearlove stated that, in his opinion, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around policy” by the Bush regime. A later leaked memo, ( mentioned in Phillipe Sands recent book),merely confirms what we already knew: Bush and Blair deliberately lied about their intentions and bypassed the Security Council. ( This information is available on the not very radical BBC site – search under memo and Iraq)

. If the information revealed in the leaked memos demonstrate that Bush and Blair lied in order to prosecute an illegal invasion in which many thousands of innocent people have been killed, western democracy has come to something of a pretty pass when it can countenance such action by the countries that gave us constitutional government and the democratic republicanism.

Ofcourse, when the weapons of mass destruction were not found, as had been predicted, the script did a U-turn and changed to a more noble cause; that of bringing freedom and democracy to the poor suffering Iraqis. When we look at the many vicious regimes that the US is happy to support , only the extremely naïve could possibly accept this thesis. The US has a proven record of undermining democracy when it doesn’t’ suit their grand plan and of supporting vicious dictators when it does. William Blum in his recent book gives a quick overview of the lengths the US will go to in order to protect its interests. Note that the US’s chief backers in the region, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are very far from being models of democracy.

The Neo Cons who now dominate the Bush government have always openly stated that they aspire to project US power throughout the world, countenancing no other rival and with a willingness to use force in the interests of the expansion of US Power.(look for Project for the New American Century in Google) I’m probably understating their intentions, but there is no doubt that US foreign policy has moved dramatically in this direction and, tragically, the most obvious victim of this new philosophy of American dominance is Iraq.

As was stated at the Nuremberg trials, initiating a war of aggression is “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains writing itself the accumulated evil of the whole” I believe this was an illegal war of aggression prosecuted in the pursuit of the interests of the US and its allies; no doubt the international lawyer might argue this point, but what is unarguable is the terrible cost inflicted on the Iraqi people.


Bruce Clark is a New Zealand based news watcher and occasional commentator

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news