“The Iraq
war was the right war against the right enemy at the right time, and waged for
broadly the right reasons. There is no need to apologise about it.
Notwithstanding many mistakes in execution in the peace-keeping phase, provided
the coalition of the willing retains its nerve there is every chance of
achieving a reasonable outcome still.”

So writes Greg
Sheridan
in today’s Oz,
sentiments Henry endorses (Ooops, there goes the last subscriber!). Of course,
those who oppose this view – a substantial majority in the western world it
seems – give great weight to the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in
Iraq.

The
Economist
reviews the preview of a fascinating report by US Army
historians, based on interviews with Saddam’s henchmen, especially Tariq Aziz.
Key points:
* “… right up to the last moment the dictator did not expect
America to attack, because of the faith he had in pressure from Russia and
France in the UN Security Council.”
* “Even after the invasion started,
Saddam did not expect the Americans to fight all the way to Baghdad-a delusion that prevented him from torching his
oilfields or opening the dams to flood southern Iraq.”
*
“Saddam later came to believe that Iraq was winning, and continued to think so until
American tanks reached Baghdad.”
* “As for those WMDs, it seems
that some senior members of the ruling circle never stopped believing, even
after the war, that Iraq had these, even though Saddam himself knew
otherwise.”

If some of Saddam’s cronies thought
Iraq had WMDs, it is perhaps not so
surprising that Messrs Bush, Blair and Howard thought so. Now we are facing a
far bigger problem, that of Iran and its stated intention to acquire
(nuclear) WMDs and to use them to wipe Israel (and who knows who else) “off
the map”. Henry fervently hopes the UN steps up to the plate this time, as any
attempt by the US and its allies to handle the
problem by military action would be almost as bad as not handling it at
all.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW