CIWI Bulletin #7
11 April 2014
Dear members, supporters, readers and well-wishers,
Welcome to the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry bulletin.
In this edition:
-New surge in violence in Iraq
-Obama defends invasion of Iraq
-Cheney accused of pushing war for profit
-Iraq caused more PTSD than Afghanistan
-Blair claims he saved Iraq from Syria-style civil war
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New surge in violence in Iraq
Agence France-Presse reports that violence is on the rise again in Iraq:
“Attacks in Iraq left 19 people dead Tuesday while security forces said they killed 25 militants near Baghdad amid worries insurgents are encroaching on the capital weeks ahead of elections.
“The latest violence is part of a protracted surge in nationwide bloodshed that has left more than 2,400 people dead since the start of the year and sparked fears Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian fighting that plagued it in 2006 and 2007.”
Obama defends invasion of Iraq
In response to comments Obama made about Iraq recently, Common Dreams writer Jon Queally accuses Obama of “rewrit[ing] history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia… in order not to appear hypocritical”:
“President Obama is on the receiving end of scorn for remarks made during a high-profile speech in Brussels on Wednesday [March 26] in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.
“Speaking to the international community about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and fending off repeated accusations that the U.S. has lost its moral authority given the invasion of Iraq and other breaches of international law in recent years, Obama said:
““Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.
““But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”
“But instead of tamping down accusations of hypocrisy, Obama inflamed it.
“Responding to the speech on FireDogLake, DSWright shot back: "Worked within the international system? So if Russia had gone to the UN to get a resolution, failed, then annexed Crimea it would have been OK?"”
This tweet sums up the response of many:
@tony_hartin: “#Obama says "invasion" of #Crimea worse than invasion of #Iraq. 1 million people died in Iraq due to US. How many died in Crimea? #Ukraine”
Cheney accused of pushing war for profit
Mother Jones has unearthed video from 2009 of Senator Rand Paul accusing former Vice President Dick Cheney of advocating war on Iraq to benefit Halliburton financially:
“In not widely noticed appearances on the campaign trail, Paul claimed that Cheney's advocacy of the invasion of Iraq was partly nefarious and predicated on corporate self-interest, not national security priorities.”
“[…] Paul then indicated to the students that he believed that Cheney had used 9/11 as an excuse to launch the Iraq War to serve Halliburton's interests:
““There's a great YouTube of Dick Cheney in 1995 defending [President] Bush No. 1 [and the decision not to invade Baghdad in the first Gulf War], and he goes on for about five minutes. He's being interviewed, I think, by the American Enterprise Institute, and he says it would be a disaster, it would be vastly expensive, it'd be civil war, we would have no exit strategy. He goes on and on for five minutes. Dick Cheney saying it would be a bad idea. And that's why the first Bush didn't go into Baghdad. Dick Cheney then goes to work for Halliburton. Makes hundreds of millions of dollars, their CEO. Next thing you know, he's back in government and it's a good idea to go into Iraq.””
US: Iraq produced more PTSD than Afghanistan
Washington Post looks at why:
“research consistently concludes that veterans are returning from Iraq, where the troubled shooter in Wednesday's Fort Hood tragedy served, with what appears to be greater exposure to stressors and higher levels of PTSD. The Fort Hood shooter, an Army truck driver named Ivan Lopez, was reportedly undergoing evaluation for PTSD.
“Some numbers from the Department of Veterans Affairs estimate that PTSD affects about 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan, but 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq.”
Blair claims he saved Iraq from Syria-style civil war
Perhaps in anticipation of the release of the UK’s Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, Tony Blair is seeking to defend his record:
“Tony Blair yesterday said ministers must be prepared to go to war in the future regardless of the level of public opposition.
“The former Prime Minister suggested voters do not always understand where Britain’s real interests lie and should be ignored if politicians think there is a good case for military intervention.
“He admitted that ministers should be ‘aware’ of the need to secure public support for a foreign conflict.
““But in my view, it doesn’t invalidate the necessity to intervene because what you’ve got to compare is the fact and the consequences of intervention with the fact and the consequences of non-intervention,” he said.
“The former Labour leader, who is still dogged by his controversial decision to take Britain to war in Iraq, said the West should have bombed Syria last year despite overwhelming public opposition in the UK.
“He said: “The consequences are, in my view, terrible and will be a huge problem not just for the Middle East region but for us in the years to come.””
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The views expressed in this bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry (Inc). Readers should note that the Campaign for an Iraq war Inquiry (Inc) seeks a diversity of views and opinions in order to identify common ground.