Iraq: A strong case for US re-invasion?



Nasim Chowdhury

Published — Tuesday 11 December 2012

Last update 11 December 2012 4:01 am

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AS we enter the last few days of 2012 and look forward to another action-packed year full of 'humanitarian' interventions, 'noble' vetoes, 'ceremonious' withdrawals and sincere double-standard, is there something that we have overlooked on our doorstep?
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq when the US and its allies — not quite as distinguished as those who voted last week against Palestine's statehood initiative, but not bad under the circumstances — raided the country as a bid to discover and destroy those infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that were never there in the first place.
There were other pressing reasons for the invasion of course which turned up from time to time as the war dragged on, such as women's rights, Al-Qaeda terrorism, and the fact that Saddam was a nasty piece of work. But all that can perhaps be explained at some later date. The important thing is that there were some very clear and honorable objectives in invading Iraq.
A decade on, it is worthwhile to revisit Iraq to find if the country is in safe hands or presents a picture akin to the days of Saddam Hussain, and if it is so then is it the fit case of an invasion again? So why not do it again?
Let's look at the facts as they stand today. First of all, Saddam is gone, and in his place we have the 'benevolent' Nuri Al-Maliki who is also a dictator (unless, of course, stealing an election counts as a legitimate means of coming to power). Secondly, we know for a fact that there now exists a real link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda in that they are there carrying out actual regular operations with increasing boldness and intensity. The old link was not bad, except that nobody seemed to know anyone who was both an Al-Qaeda operative and inside Iraq, but people can be very picky sometimes. On to the third fact: There are, at present, lots of WMDs in Iraq now, but perhaps this is not the time and place to discuss how they reached there.
Surely this adds up to enough reasons to re-invade?
But wait! There is more. The New York Times carried a characteristically upright article two days ago in which it was stated that US officials are 'dismayed' by, "Iraq's reluctance to inspect aircraft carrying (the) weapons through its airspace." These weapons are from Iran en-route to Syria, where they are being used to pulverize the population into submission in a war whose one-sided brutality probably has no parallel, and this is the same Iran who, according to the article, "has an enormous stake in Syria, which is its staunchest Arab ally and has also provided a channel for Iran's support to the Lebanese movement, Hezbollah."
Not convinced? Consider this: The US Secretary of State had secured a commitment from Iraq's foreign minister in September that Iraq would inspect flights from Iran to Syria, but "the Iraqis have inspected only two, most recently on Oct. 27. No weapons were found, but one of the two planes that landed in Iraq for inspection was on its way back to Iran after delivering its cargo in Syria." Perhaps this can be put down to the fact that inspecting weapons in Baghdad is about as rewarding as counting votes in Florida once was, but who should we blame for the apathy there?
All in all, there are more than enough reasons for a spectacular re-invasion of Iraq, which would coincide with the 10th anniversary of the last one and would have greater legitimacy and a deeper moral footing.

— Nasim Chowdhury, a British citizen,, is a political analyst and researcher.

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