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Iraq: The Brutal Truth About Occupation
LORD BUTLER'S report on how Blair's government tried to build support for Bush's imperialist war on Iraq showed that government and state officials lied about the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
The report gave detail of 'flawed' intelligence and showed how the 'dodgy dossier' with its ludicrous '45-minute attack' warning grossly exaggerated the case for war.
Butler however - like an evangelist promising "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." - decided nobody was to blame! Even John Scarlett, the former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee and now head of MI6 escaped with his job if not a snow-white reputation. So did New Labour's Blair, Straw and Hoon.
In the USA, a Senate hearing is trying to pin all the blame for the Iraq war and its increasingly deadly and unpopular consequences on its intelligence services. CIA director George Tenet resigned for 'intelligence failures'. After Butler, no-one in government or state service felt under pressure to resign.
But all the redeeming power of Butler can't hide what's been happening since the invasion of Iraq. Any idea that the "handover of sovereignty" in Iraq would make the occupation more acceptable to Iraqis have faded fast.
The US air force's war on Fallujah continues, with a sixth air strike on 18 July. It killed 14 Iraq civilians in a poor area of the city, including women and children - the US military claimed al-Qa'ida-linked militants were there "just moments before."
But this attack was 'approved' by Iraq's interim prime minister Iyad Allawi. US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage said the Iraqi government has been "fully informed". "We didn't just strike off on our own. A sovereign nation had to agree."
Obviously he agrees with his boss Colin Powell's view that Iraq had sovereignty but some "of that sovereignty they are going to allow us to exercise on their behalf..."
Iraqi people are now suffering under this occupation and opposition is growing. There has been a 'seamless transition' from direct imperialist control to rule through an isolated Iraqi stooge regime.
Anger at attacks such as the carpet bombing of Fallujah will grow. Butler may have absolved Blair but history will not.
In The Socialist 24 July 2004:
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