on 25 March 2010
This is a magnificent book of forty essays and 800 pages giving the reasons for the Anglo-American war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.
Briefly the war was fought for several reasons
1. To acquire Iraq's massive oil reserves
2. To pressure OPEC to continue to demand dollars for oil. This means that the US gets its oil from OPEC at reduced cost in exchange for dollars printed by the Federal Reserve.
3. To have a second client state in the mid-East, should it be ever necessary to invade Saudi for oil, for example if there was a revolution there. The Americans may leave massive and modern Iraqi run bases so they can swiftly put an army back in the middle East, if necessary.
4. To neutralise an enemy of Israel. The two wars against Iraq, the 90s bombing campaign and the sanctions regime pushed Iraq from near first world status back to third world status, with the overall death tally in millions.
The professional intelligence agencies, CIA, MI6 and Mossad, knew Saddam had no WMD. But they were put under intolerable pressures by neocon politicians to assent or keep quiet about false intelligence to justify the war.
All this is spelled out in exhaustive, indeed repetitive, detail in the book. Amongst many excellent essays in the book, I especially liked two by retired CIA and Department of Defense analysts who explained how Vice President Cheney knowingly sought false intelligence to back the war. You see, in this book, there are essays by people who know what they are talking about! The book also includes an interesting and sad essay by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz given in the months leading up to the 2003 war.
Two of the essayists draw an analogy between Anglo-American aggression in the 2000s and German aggression in the 1930s. In both cases civil liberties were curtailed at home enabling politicians to launch unprovoked wars on the back of sophisticated propaganda campaigns. For Austria and Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, read Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s.
The book makes very depressing but enlightening reading. Having read it I am ashamed to be English. One day the West will pay for this.
PS Keep an eye on Iran. Instead of going to war for WMD that don't exist, we may go to war with Iran for WMD programs that don't exist.