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Iraq: it was regime change « Previous | |Next »
December 16, 2009

Unlike Australia the British are conducting an actual public investigation (The Chilcot Inquiry) into the Iraq war. The inquiry will consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and the aftermath. Hopefully it will address some of the more pressing questions about this period.

What has surfaced so far are the many false claims made by their government (along with the US and Australia) to justify their attack on Iraq. The false claims indicate the deceit and subterfuge that was used by Tony Blair to persuade parliament and the British people to support war in Iraq; a war they did not want.

BellSBlairIraqlies.jpg Steve Bell

Tony Blair, the former British Prime minister, has said that he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public.

It was regime change that was the basis for military action. But, as was suspected at the time, Blair like John Howard in Australia, needed to make to make a convincing case. So the WMD threat was invented as an excuse because using force to produce regime change on humanitarian grounds is not permissible under international law.

And, as we suspected, Washington called the shots and Britain, just like Australia, fell into line with th beat of Washington's war drums.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:06 AM | | Comments (10)


Gary I don't even think it was regime change, in the sense that they developed a rational cause-and-effect argument or did any kind of cost/benefit analysis. It was just all instinct and emotion by a bunch of egotistical, precious, unintelligent heads of government, egged on by assorted vested interests with a variety of agendas ranging from the Israel lobby to corporations that (correctly) saw it as a pathway to enormous wealth. Bush and company wanted to unleash their awesome military machine on someone and the hapless Iraqis just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Am trying to remember who the subject and artist of the original painting was, on which the cartoon is based. Some pope or cardinal in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries- wish I could remember exactly.
Is, or has, Blair been ever been diagnosed with a personality disorder?
If the answer is positive, does this mean we could apply a similar diagnosis to certain figures on the current Australian ALP right.
Perhaps we would then be better justified in getting rid of some of them BEFORE further damage is done, preferably by hanging, drawing and quartering ( after a right flaying and protracted hot collaring, of course!)

What Ken said.

Which was what was said by critics, probably including Ken, at the time cos it was bleeding obvious then and even more so now hundreds of thousands of dead people later.

I would recommend this article by Naomi Klein for a [part] analysis of why we went to Iraq.
Sub-titled "Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia" it starts slowly but the latter section is strong.

the artist was Francis Bacon.

a money quote from the Naomi Klein article in Harpers:

The great historical irony of the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is that the shock-therapy reforms that were supposed to create an economic boom that would rebuild the country have instead fueled a resistance that ultimately made reconstruction impossible. Bremer's reforms unleashed forces that the neocons neither predicted nor could hope to control, from armed insurrections inside factories to tens of thousands of unemployed young men arming themselves. These forces have transformed Year Zero in Iraq into the mirror opposite of what the neocons envisioned: not a corporate utopia but a ghoulish dystopia, where going to a simple business meeting can get you lynched, burned alive, or beheaded. These dangers are so great that in Iraq global capitalism has retreated, at least for now.

This was a world of Abu Ghraib and a hooded prisoner with electrical wires attached to his hands.

What a sequence.
From Velasquez (and the Inquisition?), to Munch, to to Bacon's likely commentary on Munch, to bods on stools with pointy hats and electrodes at Abu Gharaib.

a quick and dirty swift regime change implies doing something about the governing the country after regime change. It implies reconstruction after Iraq had been cracked wide open for US global capitalism after decades of being sealed off.

As Naomi Klein argues in her Baghdad year zero:Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia:

A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete.

But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.

this economic shock therapy, or “shock treatment,” is the Chicago Boys and Chile revisited in Iraq. It is a free market capitalist dream being implemented. Bell's chair should have been an electric one that referred back to Andy Warhol.

According to Naomi Klein in her article in Harpers Magazine the strategy behind the laissez-faire shock therapy was this:

If painful economic “adjustments” are brought in rapidly and in the aftermath of a seismic social disruption like a war, a coup, or a government collapse, the population will be so stunned, and so preoccupied with the daily pressures of survival, that it too will go into suspended animation, unable to resist.

What happened in Iraq was an even more radical form of shock therapy than pursued in the former Soviet world.

Well, I recall they got their oil contracts/treaty in final form a couple of years ago, too.
Final piece in the strategy. What these articles give the USA, is a fait accompi to march straight back in, if the Iraqis ever try to reclaim their wealth, as well.
I suspect your "sovereignty" piece just up at "philosophy" (geez, this French pomo writing style is "dense"!) is an attempt to get inside the mentality that drives this sort of outrage- the very power and preogatives of God Almighty H(er)imself, with none of the mentality and intent of God, required to wield such power without grave harms and a widening self -corruption that speaks to the notion of reification and social reproduction.