Former British Prime Minister and war criminal Tony Blair has written an essay attempting to deflect blame for the current crisis in both Iraq and Syria on the actions he and his fellow war criminals, former US president George W. Bush and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, committed themselves to when they lied their way to war against Iraq in March 2003. In his essay Blair says: “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ caused this crisis. We didn't.”
The fact is; ‘we’ did – or, at least, Blair, Bush and Howard and their neoconservative supporters around the world did.
Blair argues that: “Three or four years ago al-Qaeda in Iraq was a beaten force”. Blair’s wrong. Firstly, it wasn’t; it was subdued but it certainly wasn’t beaten. And secondly, why was ‘al-Qaeda’ in Iraq in the first place? It certainly wasn’t there before the invasion in March 2003. And Saddam Hussein had no more time for the Sunni extremists we see there today than the West has. The reality is that the Islamic jihadists that the West decided to put under the umbrella label of ‘al-Qaeda’ evolved as a jihadi movement in Iraq shortly after the invasion and they evolved because they saw an opportunity to do battle with the West who they saw as an enemy that had dared invade Islamic lands. They weren't there to protect Saddam Hussein’s regime, they were there to simply rid Islamic lands of foreigners in their lands.
During the allied occupation of Iraq, especially in the early days of the invasion and occupation, the allies treated the Iraqi people with the kind of disdain and brutality that became typified by the exposure of the horrific treatment of Iraqi prisoners in places like Abu Ghraib. As a result, young Iraqis became radicalised and joined the various jihadi and resistance groups that formed during this period. Money and religion became a toxic mix during this time as various groups changed sides behaving more as mercenaries rather than jihadists.
As time went on jihadists from other places in the Middle East moved to Iraq to join them. Later, when the allies eventually overwhelmed them, most of them simply melted away. Some quietly returned to their homes while others went off to fight in other jihad wars. Some went to Libya and elsewhere in North Africa while others later went to Syria.
Then along came the next generation of jihadi fighters as the civil war in Syria became a war between the Syrian government and their supporters and the international jihadists who flocked from all over the world to fight their holy war. Now the war has gone full circle in Iraq and that, contrary to Blair’s assertion otherwise, it most definitely was ‘we’ that caused the current crisis. Before the invasion there was no ‘al-Qaeda’ in Iraq. Today the jihadists that the allies wrongly label ‘al-Qaeda’ are stronger than ever in both Syria and Iraq.
Of course ‘we’ are to blame.