Iraq War 2003
March 2003 was a gloomy day when the United States and the United Kingdom, led by George W Bush and Tony Blair, started the Iraq war 2003. The narrative they gave was that Iraq, under a tyrant leader like Saddam Hussein, was undermining the basic human rights of the local people and threatening poor neighbors, and was preparing deadly weapons, notoriously termed Weapons of Mass Destruction and nuclear bombs. In fact, the narrative of WMDs was totally false. Bush and Blair should be charged with war crimes over the Iraq war 2003 because they are killers of over 1 million Iraqis.
But in reality, they both had no love or respect for the Iraqis, and their purpose was to weaken Iraq so much that it could no longer stand before them. They breached the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq as a free and independent country. It was, by no means, a legal or logical move. It was a breach of International Law and political and social norms.
Rationales Behind Iraq War 2003
Iraq War 2003 wreaked havoc on the common people as the U.S. and the U.K. military stepped into Iraq. They were not logical, but they did give some shallow rationales:
- They wanted to oust Saddam Hussein, a despotic power, who had no love for the folks within his country and those neighbors.
- Saddam-led Iraq was preparing Weapons of Mass Destruction, including nuclear bombs, a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441. (U.N. Adopting Resolution 1441, pp 1-8). Soon after the attack, Bush was found saying, “We shall disarm Iraq.”
- They wanted to rescue the neighbors of Iraq like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Kuwait as they were on the verge of collapse when the U.S. stepped in.
George Bush or Tony Blair had no Legitimate Authority to Attack
But that is not the whole truth when you see things from wide perspectives. Take the first point that a non-legitimate monarch ruled Iraq. Let’s take it. Who gave George Bush or Tony Blair the authority to decide what is good for Iraq and what is not? Where do they get this legitimacy? Iraqis never requested them to launch Iraq War 2003.
Famous American social scientist Mearsheimer (Chap. 3, 6) condemned and criticized this policy of so-called helping other peoples without their legitimacy. The author clearly stated that the U.S. or the U.K. had no right to attack Iraq. He found the logic that the U.S. has an obligation to make the other world, to their definition, civilized and liberal. He termed this American madness “The Great Delusion.”
No biological, Chemical, or Atomic Weapons were Found as per Chilcot Report
Now deal with the second reason for the attack, the breach of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, which made the use of biological, chemical, or any other types of weapons of mass destruction illegitimate. The Bush and Blair administration and their team of experts and intelligence agencies felt that Iraq was undergoing the preparation of weapons of mass destruction only to be used against poor neighbors and then the U.S. and the U.K.
Famous Chilcot Report ( Chilcot, 2016, Para. 4, 5) proves that this the rationale behind Iraq War 2003 was a fabricated story.
“We in Congress would not have authorized that war with 75 votes if we knew what we know now. Today we know these assessments were wrong.”511-page U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Report, headed by Pat Roberts on Iraq War 2003
It clearly states that there were no signs or presence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That shows the scale of criminality that the U.S. and the U.K. government officials committed by attacking a sovereign state.
Iraq War 2003 was no War of Last Resort
It further adds to our knowledge that in hate of Saddam Hussein, they forgot the basic principle of war that war should always be the last option while the Chilcot Report shows that war was the only option.
Chilcot explains that the Iraq war 2003 was no war of “last resort”: this was a war of choice, unleashed “before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.” The findings of this report suggest that the authorities who made this attack on Iraq should be indicted, and punishments should be exemplary.
U.S. is no International Arbiter to Rescue Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi Arabia
Furthermore, the U.S. and the U.K. claimed they came for the so-called rescue of the neighbors of Iraq, mainly poor Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. But, did Iran or Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait bow before them to come to their salvation? And if they did, was it still per the Principles of politics to crush any country because some other country does not like it.
If India does not like Pakistan and requests the USA to attack it, should she decimate Pakistan? Should Iran be turned upside down because Saudi Arabia does not like it? No. It is the death of rationality and logic.
U.S. did not Come to Rescue Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi Arabia
The first meeting of the National Security Council a few weeks after the attack was Kuwait was truly revealing. It best explained the nature of the U.S. war against Iraq and its hidden purposes. When asked about the fact why no Kuwait representative was invited to participate in this most important meeting, one of the participants, a government official and representative of the U.S. government said,
“Hey, too bad about Kuwait, but it’s just a gas station — and who cares whether the sign says Sinclair or Exxon?”Marshall par. 1, 2003
Not Saddam but the U.S. Collaborated with Al-Qaeda
Many reports showed that the U.S. collaborated with Al-Qaeda, which badly damaged the false American narrative that Saddam Hussein was collaborating with Al-Qaeda, a banned terrorist organization (Bowden, 2011, par. 3). It revealed the U.S. hypocrisy and how the U.S. had close relationships with Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in 2004.
There are numerous reports and investigations on it that show how the U.S. is an ally and not an enemy of Al Qaida. Considering that the U.S. and not Saddam Hussein was collaborating with Al-Qaeda, there remains no doubt about the legitimacy of the U.S. war against Iraq.
Bush had Personal Issues with Saddam Hussein
Some close officials in the Oval Office, Washington DC, hinted that it was the hatred of Saddam Hussein more than anything else that led to the American attack, and this hatred was for the reason that once Saddam Hussein called Bush senior a dog and then Bush junior as the son of a dog.
It may not seem the only reason, but it carries a lot of truth that this was why they wanted to make an example out of Saddam and destroy its economy and people, which they successfully did.
Aftermaths of the Iraq War 2003
These require thousands of pages to write the so-called unintended consequences of this war briefly. It had multifaceted repercussions on the various segments of society. Following are the top picks.
Over 1 Million Iraqis Died in Iraq War 2003
The most notable consequence of the U.S. war against Iraq was the humanitarian crisis. Millions were displaced, and hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed based on poor intelligence reports. Americans were clueless about the situation in Iraq or Iraqis.
This annoying behavior of the U.S. and the U.K. put 4 million common people on the roads displaced. Moreover, the number of casualties is over five hundred thousand according to National Geographic. Therefore, Bush and Blair should be charged with war crimes over the Iraq war 2003 to set an example for coming generations ( Vergano, 2003, par. 3-4.).
But this report is no more relevant as it is about seven years old now. Recent statistics suggest it is over one million lost their lives let alone the economic loss of billions of dollars. Apart from that, almost every one-third of Iraqi lives below the poetry line, which is the ramifications of the unjust war.
What Former U.S. Army Generals say about Iraq War 2003
Daniel Bloger (a U.S. Army general who has more than 35 years of experience in defense) gives a genuine and upright analysis of the US-led Iraq war 2003. Bloger’s main argument is that the U.S. could never win this battle because they did not know who they were fighting. They would shoot anyone they suspected (Bloger, 2014, 431).
Every man shot by U.S. soldiers wore civilian clothes. If he had an AK-47, was he getting ready to shoot you or merely defending his family? If he was talking on a cell phone, was he tipping off the insurgency or setting off an IED, or was he phoning his wife?”Bloger, 2014, p. 122
Catastrophic Decision to Ousting Saddam Hussein and Abandoning Iraqi Army
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was not the perfect man to lead Iraq. Despite this, he was working as a strong bridge between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two arch-rivals. After his demise, the brain-trust in the U.S. and the U.K. started to realize their mistake to oust Saddam. It was simply a place where no one ruled; hence became a hotspot of terrorism, extremism, and instability.
The power vacuum after the Iraq war 2003 created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or notoriously known as Daesh. The spineless American and British strategists made the blunder by attacking Iraq and then dismantling the Iraqi army. After being furloughed from the permanent job with no place to work, they became easy bait of terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda (Hassan, 2018, p. 1).
Bucca Camp and the Birth of ISIS
Additionally, they tortured the important Iraqi army officers on the forefront of defense against the U.S. Those who survived the atrocities committed became rebels, further putting Iraq in chaos. It was the Bucca camp, where ISIS was created by terrorizing those helpless people. America created ISIS, and it is the truth of the century.
Gary Hart, a US senator warned that the Iraq war 2003 would increase the risk of terrorism across the globe, which has been proven right (Hart, 2003, p. 1).
Economic Meltdown of Iraq
A fateful result of this war was the economic meltdown of Iraq. During Saddam Hussein’s time, most of the people lived a peaceful and good enough life. They had necessities and facilities, and education was booming; the hospitals were some of the most advanced in the Arab world.
But the time after the U.S. landed in Iraq has been very tough for the common people. Poverty has since then more than doubled, with one-third of them living below the poverty line. None else but the U.S. is responsible for the economic destruction of Iraq.
Historical Sites Damaged in Iraq War 2003
Iraq has been, to most historians, the oldest and the greatest cultural heritage in the world. Mesopotamia was this place, not anything else, which most of the world outside forgets. The National Library and the National Museum, along with many other notable institutions of Iraq, had to incur destruction all over. Most important shrines were also bombed, which meant sheer pain for the public and the state.
It has become a fact, not a debate anymore, that the 2003 Iraq invasion of 2003 by the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Poland, and other like-minded countries was a breach of international law from any stretch of the imagination.
U.S. Misused International Law based on Preemptive Strike” as “Self-defense
The evil use of the technical term “Preemptive Strike” as “Self-defense” is no longer taken up. The UN Charter clearly says that war is the least option. While for American government officials, it was not only the first option but the best one. Relating it to the elusive American dream, they took it as a religious obligation. Those who know article 51 of the UN Charter must learn its proper usage and understanding, not using it as a tool to enervate their opponents.
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.Charter of the United Nations, Article 51
Further, Article 2(4) of the UN Charter explicitly denounces the Iraq war 2003 because it violates UN Charter
”All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”Charter of the United Nations, Article 2(4)
It means the territorial integrity and sovereignty of any state must be realized and observed. For this reason, Kofi Annan said that the U.S. invasion was against the spirit of the UN Charter and hence illegal.
U.N. Chief Kofi Annan Condemned Iraq War 2003
Moreover, the war killed nearly a million innocent people, destroyed the economy, and annihilated their cultural and civilizational remains. It was a criminal act and not just a mistake. Then Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization, Kofi Annan (par. 3), condemned this attack for this reason.
“I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”Kofi Annan on Iraq War 2003
Under President George W. Bush, the U.S. and the U.K. government officials decided to go for the Iraq war because they believed Iraq was making nuclear and chemical bombs.
However, the Iraqis were not, and they even didn’t have nuclear power plants there. Resultantly, they killed over a million folks. Those government officials, who judged it wrongly, should face persecution.
Iraq War 2003 was to maximize Persian Gulf Oil Flows
The single most important purpose behind the Iraq war 2003 was to maximize Persian Gulf oil flows for the United States and its allies. The infamous Project for a New American Century report (published in 1997) alarmed the United States about the increased demand for oil, especially from the Persian Gulf, and the possible energy crisis in the coming years.
The report said,
”While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification for the US to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. The need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”(Ahmed, 2014, p. 2)
In other words, the United States was looking for an excuse to establish its stronghold in the Arabian Peninsula to avoid any energy crisis. The report suggested that the U.S. could exploit “Middle East tension” especially surrounding Saddam Hussein.
Besides, the American and British oil and gas companies wanted to invest in Iraq and take hold of oil reserves. It was not possible with Saddam Hussein being the ruler of Iraq. The companies tried to strike a deal with Saddam but he had given a plethora of demands. Therefore, the U.S and the U.K began the Iraq war 2003 to remove Saddam Hussein and destabilize the region.
Bush and Blair should be Charged with War Crimes over Iraq
The reaction to this report should not be limited to regrets or apologies because millions have been hurt, and this genie will still haunt the people for a very long time. International Criminal Court highlights the eleventh heinous crime, called Crimes Against Humanity, including murder, rape, sexual violence, extermination, slavery, and this war brought all for the Iraqis.
International Criminal Court (ICC) calls itself “an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”
Great liberal ideals demand that the two culprits (Tony Blair and George Bush) should face persecution. That no one, how strong or sacred, is not beyond the reach of the law. That all are equals and some are not more equal than others. So it should be the rationale behind this.
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda tried over 70 Rwandan Leaders for War Crimes
It will not be the only time that the ICC tries some top-notch leaders of a country. Rwanda genocide was a planned thing, so the prime minister was indicted. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda tried over 70 Rwandan leaders for war crimes.
Today’s situation demands the same structure of law. ICC should disallow Tony Blair and George Bush along with their family to participate in any politics. Moreover, they both should apologize for their crimes, treated the same way as was the case with the Sicilian Mafia, life imprisonment.
To conclude, 2003 marked the destruction of Iraq at the hands of the U.S. and its allies. The raison d’être of this invasion was that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was against the peremptory norms of International law.
But the U.S. attack proved to be extremely deadly for the locals. It destroyed the peace and prosperity of Iraqis and the neighboring countries like Syria, Yemen, etc. The world stood out of the picture during this, and the country fell into the abyss of despair and disarray. Today’s unstable political situation and the economy are the results of this war.
Daniel Bloger himself said it was a kind of war they could never win because they did not have any substantive or legitimate purpose for this attack. They failed because no one could win by lynching the common people, and that’s what they did.
The Chilcot Report did not doubt that George Bush and Tony Blair should be brought before the law and tried in the International Criminal Court. Not just me but every human with sense will say this. Although the U.K. court has stopped trying or indicting Tony Blair, it does not vindicate the blood on his hands.
Owen Jones, a top-notch British journalist argues, “The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime” ( Jones, 2015, par 7). Hence the 2003 U.S. and its allies’ war against Iraq was a criminal act. Therefore, Bush and Blair should be charged with war crimes over the Iraq war 2003.
If International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda can try and punish the former prime minister, why not Tony Blair and George Bush?
Bolger. Daniel. P “Why We Lost?” Published by Houghton Miffin Harcourt , 2014, pp.431
. Bowden. Mark (2011), “Five Myths About Osama bin Laden” , Washington Post, 2011, par 3
Hart. Gary (2003) “Why Won’t Anyone Listen to Gary Hart” by. Salon.com, 2003 pp. 1
Hassan. Mehdi. “How Drones Creates Blowbacks’ by The Intercept, 2018, pp1.
Jones. Owen (2015) “The War In Iraq Was Not A Blunder Or A Mistake. It Was A Crime” The Guardian. 2015, par 7
“Lessons of Iraq War Underscore Importance of UN Charter – Annan”, UN Press Release, UN News, 16 September 2004, par.3
Marshall, Victor (2013) “The Lies We Are Told About Iraq”, Los Angeles Times, 2003, par 1
Mearsheimer. John (2018) ” The Great Delusion” Yale University Press, 2018.Ch. 3,6
UN News (2002) “Security Council Holds Iraq In ‘Material Breach’ Of Disarmament Obligations, Offers Final Chance To Comply, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1441,” UN Press Release, November 8, 2002, pp 1-8
VERGANO. Dan (2013)” Half-Million Iraqis Died in the War” Iraq War Death Survey, 2003, by National Geographic, 2013, par 3-4Share