What a foolish war

The New Statesman highlights the moral bankruptcy of Tony Blair over the Iraq war:

Does Tony Blair cry into his pillow when he thinks of Iraq? It is one of the few questions about the war that remain unanswered. It intrigues, but is now of consequence only to historians and psychologists. The assessment is clear for all to see. In almost every respect, from the early preparations to the present day, this has been a calamity. Three years on, it is worth recalling just how badly mistaken the venture was, and how much of it was foretold.

To anyone who had high hopes for a more ethical and internationalist foreign policy, Blair’s terrible mistakes give no satisfaction. Saddam may be on trial, but there is now, thanks to Blair and Bush, no better time to be a dictator and abuser of human rights anywhere in the world. Such is the parlous state of global institutions, that it is hard to envisage concerted moves to promote peaceful democratic change in the Middle East or elsewhere. We have argued before on these pages that an enhanced United Nations remains the best arbiter for determining when military action should be used, as a last resort. Blair’s successor should devote more energy to vesting in that body greater credibility and authority.

The BBC’s John Simpson has no doubts that Iraq is falling apart. Meanwhile:

Iraqi documents collected by US intelligence during the Iraq war and released by the Bush administration show Saddam Hussein’s regime was investigating “rumours” that 3,000 Iraqis and Saudis had travelled unofficially to Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks to fight US troops.

”¦One of the documents, a letter from an Iraqi intelligence official, dated August 17, 2002, asked agents in the country to be on the lookout for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and another unnamed man whose picture was attached.

UPDATE: Der Spiegel looks at the Shiite death squads in Baghdad. They call their actions, “a type of ethnic cleansing.”

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