As Britain’s role in the occupation of Iraq is declared officially over to the frenetic whizzing of the Labour spin machine, a reminder of the reality we leave behind us. At least 41 people killed by car bombs this week, another 150 the week before. That is nearly four times as many as were killed in London’s 7/7 bombings.
Of course, we did not bomb and invade Iraq to liberate its people. That was another hurried Labour invention following the exposure that Tony Blair’s claims about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction were false. Indeed, before launching his aggressive war Mr Blair made it clear that if Saddam was prepared to give up his non-existent weapons, Labour would be perfectly happy to leave him in power. We do not know how many Iraqi civilians were killed as a result of our actions as Labour and its American allies were not sufficiently interested to keep count, but independent studies suggest it could be as high as a million.
Apart from those most slavishly loyal to Messrs Blair and Brown, few now seriously dispute that this was the greatest British foreign policy disaster in at least half a century, possibly longer. Labour’s excuse for denying us a proper inquiry was that it could not happen, for some mysterious reason, while British troops were still in Iraq. So now they’re leaving, when does it kick off, Gordon? Usual advice applies – d.h.y.b. (I note, incidentally, that 400 British troops will be staying after the “withdrawal”. Is their key strategic role to delay any inquiry until after the next general election?)
See also my blogs of February 25 and 28, and March 1, 11, 20 and 28.