By Chiman Salih:
Mr.Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, said in his statement about the Chilcot Report: “I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world. “ Mr. Blair also said that “… if the people agree or disagree with me, I took military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in good faith .”
I agree with you Mr Former Prime minister. You made the right decision. Saddam Hussein should have been removed from power even sooner than 2003. Before he killed many thousands of Kurds and Iraqis and destroyed 4000-5000 villages, before he bombarded Halabja with lethal chemicals and before the many other crimes committed by him and his cohorts. The world leaders should all have acted like Mr. Blair and ensured President Saddam’s removal.
Is it reasonable to debate about whether or not Saddam had weapons of mass destruction in his possession? Well, we know that he had used them.
In his memoir, Paul Bremer, who was appointed as Iraq’s civilian ruler by the US government following the invasion, recounts how the US and UK were warned by both Iranian and Russian government officials about Iraq’s complex internal composition which would lay the basis for many powers and terror groups to interfere in Iraq and stoke conflicts. In essence they were warning that Washington had failed to prepare for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. I can say that most of the diplomats who were serving in Iraq after the invasion are admitting failure in terms of security and governance, but they still mostly agree that the right decision was made about Saddam’s removal.
Coinciding with Chilcot, the US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein’s role in restraining terror, saying: “He was good at killing terrorists“. I would like to ask: what terrorists were killed by Saddam, and who did Saddam describe as terrorists?
At the same time another atrocity happened in Baghdad, when a suicide attack in the Karrada district took the lives of 250 innocents in a busy shopping place as they were preparing for Eid al Fitir. The politicians are making their statements while terror attacks and suicide explosion continue daily in the Middle East. And, according to French, German, Turkish and US intelligence agencies, the West is also under a tremendous threat.
Don’t all these developments prove that the world’s superpowers have failed to protect humanity ? And do they pose the choice, particularly for Middle Easterners, of living under either a brutal dictatorship or brutal terrorism?
If this really is the situation, the world powers cannot do anything to protect humanity and they should announce their failure from the stage of the Security Council. They should also prepare for a newer order for the world with a much powerful universal organization and security protection body. The situation now is like after World War 1 when the great powers established the League of Nations to settle international disputes, but this body proved ineffective and so, after World War 2, they replaced it with the United Nations, whose declared purpose was to protect world peace and security.
If we say that only dictators are qualified to fight terrorism as the humanity’s rescuing angels then we are saying that the United Nations has failed. Indeed the operations that have been ongoing under the umbrella of the international powers to fight terrorist groups in different parts of the world have been fairly weak and protracted. Their failure has made the 21st century a century of migration, with 65 million people becoming migrants in just three years 2013-2015 according to UN statistics.
Meantime the UK Parliament is preparing evidence and proposals for the incoming UN Secretary General post holder and this is one of the key questions it has posed: Is the UN able to respond effectively to new global trends?
Chiman Salih is a legal consultant, writer and journalist.