|Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller|
I read with interest the article "Ten Years On: Endless War?" by Lindsey German and there are some points which I feel need to be highlighted, in the interest of establishing clarity over the question of Iraq.
While people are debating the tenth anniversary since the Iraq invasion, it is often forgotten that British military action against the country, started over twenty years ago, when Iraq first invaded Kuwait .
After the Gulf War ended, the UK continued military actions against Iraq , through the use of two methods, one being the establishment of a No Fly Zone and the other being the long time commitment to upholding the Sanctions regime.
During the 1990’s, the UK also repeatedly bombed Iraq, on the pre-text of preventing Saddam from stock-piling weapons, while the sanctions were imposed to allegedly prevent Saddam, from being able to gain access to the materials necessary, to construct such weapons.
Despite the fact that as early as 1997, Iraq had been disarmed and numerous UN officials had resigned in protest, to an estimated 6.000 children dying per month, as a result of embargo related causes, such facts were oblivious to the Labour Party, when it came to making the final decision to invade.
Having ignored the advice of then MI5 Director-General Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the British Government repeatedly changed its rationale for its cause, and despite being warned by British intelligence not to invade, the Government opted to flip-flop between its home made excuses.
Starting with the failed attempt to connect Saddam with Al-Qaeda in the events of 9/11, the Government chose to embrace the Weapons of Mass Destruction argument, which was put to them, from the Iraqi exile “Curveball”, who still resides in Germany and has repeatedly boasted his “pride”, at having lied to trigger the invasion.
While there may be people wanting to debate the numbers on any particular anti-war demonstration, the scale pales in to insignificance, in comparison to the consequences of Tony Blair’s policies but as Britain has since learned, they who ignore history, are destined to repeat its mistakes.