Chilcot: The Tip of Absolutism - 20 Years Ago
0 comments | by Samson Simon Sharaf
Chilcot report is an eye wash has done very little more than to confirm the obvious. The report has no remit, and the findings were always going to be of very little importance. Experts are of the view that the anger that is felt in the UK and across the world about the invasion of Iraq is not going to be changed by what has been written in the report. As much as it is good for academics and historians, ultimately, it doesn't do anything to bring the process to court.
The fact that the inquiry wasn't given the remit to look into the legality of the war means that it could only confirm what we already knew." Unfortunately, it shall not be possible to take legal action against Tony Blair. It can‟t go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the UK has a seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC) and can veto that.
It is 20 years ago that I first joined Labour‘s shadow cabinet. It is with regret I have today resigned from its cabinet. I can‘t accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support.‖ - Robin Cook, 17 March 2003. Robin Cook lived and died a Labour Warrior. Thirteen years hence, he is vindicated. Blessings have come to UK in the form of Brexit followed by the Chilcot Report. For a democratically conscience UK, Iraq reflects how public mandates can be misused and the Brexit why policy decisions should not be thrown into public domain. The public institutions of UK failed their responsibilities. First, the UK Parliament acquiesced to falsehood and secondly, shied away from responsibility and positive decision making. Now is an opportunity for UK for atonement and resetting the sails.
Across the Channel, the two events provide opportunities to untangle from a predominantly US led policy in Middle East. This policy has no end and produces anarchy that swarms Europe with human waves on immigrants. There are also lessons for Pakistan, KSA, Qatar, Iran and Turkey; the inner circle operatives of the unrest in CENTCOM. Hares cannot hunt with hounds.
Anglo-Americans carry many a guilt of the past. Chilcot Report is one such exposure. They learnt no lessons from the Berlin Airlift, Gulf of Tonkin, Bay of Pigs, El Salvador, Sandinista and Nicaraguan Contras. History attests that Iraq was neither the first nor the last instance that incomplete intelligence was sexed up. The two trans-Atlantic allies had cooperated in the past on Assumed Intelligence that made the world bloodier. They must be prevented to do so in future, especially in the areas under CENTCOM. It is time that mainland Europe wakes up to these realities and uses the argument to make the world more welfare oriented for those who suffer the machinations of the ‗Dogs of War‘. They need to realise that it is no more the
North (US led capitalists) who dominate the world but also the rising South led by China, Russia, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey, Iran, Middle East, South America and Pakistan. If the bifurcation does take place, Japan and South Korea will have to weigh their economic options with either the US led bloc, EU or Asia. The violence initiated by US led objectives after the exit of USSR from Afghanistan now stands fully exposed. In due course a tectonic shift is inevitable. As Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan lie in ruins, a new international equilibrium is the call else the multi headed serpent will devour the United Nations that stands as an ineffective spectator.
US Strategic mind is obsessed with dominance. Past seven decades have witnessed the gradual rise of bulls who advocate covert violent activities reflecting aspirations of zealots, cartels, energy giants and economic czars, all riding the technological edge. The Bush Doctrine of 2001 is another name for Political Absolutism with the objective of international dominance. Neo Clausewitzians exist aplenty in the US policy corridors bending backwards to support this policy by selective use of overpowering military might against the weak. This is called ‗Shock and Awe‘.
After the 9/11 attack, Bush Doctrine enunciated a policy that the United States had the right to secure itself against countries that harbour or give aid to terrorist groups and therefore the unsanctioned invasion of Iraq and the misuse of the blanket UN resolution on Afghanistan. USA misused a UN Resolution on Afghanistan far beyond the principal of minimum force to pursue dual and triple containment (Russo-Sino, Iran and Pakistan). The uni-polarity will get bloodier if sanity does not prevail.
When US bombed Afghanistan with daisy cutters and depleted uranium bunker busters, I called it a ‗War of Hate‘ built on illogical strategic and military premises. Armed with absolutist logic of Bush Doctrine, the trigger happy neo Clausewitzians in Capitol Hill were making themselves important. As usual, the US intelligence and defence establishment took charge of the events. As events progressed, my hypothesis got stronger. ‘If you have it, display it‘ was the impulsive reaction of the Bush administration to demonstrate its unchallenged broad spectrum dominance with technical supremacy. The neo right orthodoxy added fuel to fire. The fact that a Labour leader like Tony Blair and UK Parliament fell to the illogical proves the death of the left in UK. The resignation of Robin Cook fell on deaf ears. Today, he can be cited a hero.
Even Tony Blair in many arguments advocated focus on Afghanistan and not Iraq. To everyone‘s surprise, Afghanistan after the opening volleys was left to simmer whilst USA shifted its focus to destroy perceived havens of terrorism and sexed up weapons of mass destruction. The real intention was to consolidate the oil rich Southern Front, Brzezinski‘s strategic prescription of a comprehensive and integrated Euro Asian geo-strategy. The ultimate objective was to control the entire resources of Middle East and Central Asia through triple containment.
After the fall of Saddam Hussain‘s regime, UK had no clue of what was happening in Iraq, or chose to look the other way. Retired Colonel Jim Steele, a veteran of US atrocities in El Salvador and Panama was appointed as Vice President Cheney‘s and Donald Rumsfeld‘s personal advisor to Iraq‘s Special Police. He was a close associate of General Petraeus who later became head of CIA only to fall from grace. Steele‘s perpetuation of human indignity oversaw the worst forms of torture giving birth to the ultra-radical sentiment of ISIS. No one noticed that Colonel Theodore S. Westhusing a West Point professor of English and Philosophy who volunteered to serve in Iraq in late 2004 died in Baghdad in mysterious circumstances with a note that said, ―I cannot support a mission that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied—no more.‖Rather than bring democracy to the world, Bush-Chenney-Rumsfield-Blair nexus created anarchy with obvious outcome of ultra-sectarianism and Daesh. Within the complexities hares hunting with hounds complicated the situation.
The pressure generated in Iraq helped USA get a free hand in Afghanistan and what US neo Clausewitzians‘ term AFPAK. This is where the war will be decided. Just to remind readers, the Osama Bin Laden nexus with the Taliban of Afghanistan is a cover. The world will know more once a Chilcot like report follows on Afghanistan. OBL was and remained a US asset. How else could the world‘s most wanted fugitive be transported from Sudan in chartered Lockheed C-130 fights to Jalalabad Afghanistan on invitation of President Rabbani and not the Taliban resistance in 1996?
Incidentally, 1996 was the time the Government of Pakistan had nearly succeeded in forming a broad coalition between Afghan Taliban and various war lords led by Ahmad Shah Massoud. Same year Benazir Bhutto was removed as prime minister. In 2001, Massoud was killed by OBL‘s men. Following 9/11, Afghan Taliban Movement was lumped with OBL, despite the fact they wanted to hand over the fugitive to a NATO Muslim Country. The chapter of reconciliation in Afghanistan is closed till emergence of dynamic and not imposed leaderships.
On the eve of elections, Americans have a Hobson‘s choice. They stand on a road with a One Way Ticket. Either way, the choice is bad. Bernie Sanders could go down in history as the American Robin Cook.
The writer is a political economist and a television anchor-person. He can be contacted at email@example.com.