Blair’s apology


Too little, too late


The war launched by the US and its allies on Iraq killed over 150,000 civilians and created a power vacuum filled by the West’s nemesis, the IS. Despite Saddam Hussain being an authoritarian ruler, Iraq was a stable country under him. With a secular regime in power, there were no sectarian or ethnic clashes and no chance for Al Qaeda to strike roots. That the Bush-Blair duo turned Iraq into a terrorist haven would be remembered as a crime against humanity. The invaders have paid a part of the misadventure’s price. A total of 4,491 US servicemen were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2014. Britain lost 456 troops. Blair’s statement is a confession that the attack on Iraq was unjustified both legally and morally. The statement amounts to rubbing salt in the wounds of families who lost their dear ones in the war.

Bush fabricated the myth about Iraq possessing the WMDs. Blair went one step ahead by maintaining that Saddam’s hypothetical WMDs were ready for use within 45 minutes of an order. The duo went ahead with their plans in disregard of massive protests in Europe at a scale never witnessed before.

Blair’s apology smacks of insincerity. He puts all the blame on agencies which he claims were responsible for providing faulty information regarding Saddam’s WMDs. He shifts the burden on others for their failure to prepare a post-Saddam plan. Since the timing of the so-called apology coincides with reports of the Chilcot inquiry about to be made public, it has led some to conclude that Blair is trying to pre-empt the exposures expected in the detailed inquiry.

The evil that Bush and Blair did lives after their exit from the political stage. The destabilisation in Iraq, Libya and Syria has given birth to IS. The destruction of the otherwise secure Muslim countries is the latest grievance in the charge sheet against the West. The duo has thus strengthened the extremist’s narrative and weakened democratic forces in the Muslim world.