Tony Blair’s Iraq War Apology Saves No One But Himself
After killing uncounted millions, opening up gates to extremism, increasing sectarian violence, creating millions of refugees, fuelling a humanitarian crisis and destroying a nation once boasting the best healthcare and living standards in the region; Tony Blair has apologised for ‘mistakes’ in the Iraq war. And poof! There we have it, all wrongs undone. I’m sorry Mr Blair, although aptly timed for the impending Chilcot Report, your 12-years-too-late apology just doesn’t cut it.
The apology comes at a crucial time, as (previously) secret emails from the White House were released. Despite his public facade of attempting a ‘diplomatic route to avoid invasion’, the memo revealed Blair agreed allegiance to the Iraq War a year prior to invasion. In addition, Lord Chilcot is due to announce the publication timetable of his report into the Iraq War. If anything, Blair’s apology is anything but sincere, but rather, it is as reactionary as it is calculated.
Stroking the ego of one Bush Junior and his great ‘Murica, Tony Blair took us to war based on false pretences, discharging an illegal war without UN approval and against judgement by the UN that there were no WMD, echoing many others — all of which Blair and Co politely ignored. Selective hearing I assume.
Whether choosing to ignore or being blissfully ignorant, Tony Blair fails to understand and accept that the plight of the 2003 invasion cannot be erased with a basic formation of words.
Iraq War Aftermath
- At least 4 million Iraqis have been internally displaced (July 2015, IDMC); 2.8 million people between 2003–2006 (UNCHR), who don’t have official residency documents in their new areas, therefore they cannot work, buy property, and don’t qualify for food rations or schooling.
- Created more than 2 million refugees who have escaped to Syria and Jordan, hardly safe havens.
- With a sharp rise in unemployment, 1/3 of the population now live in poverty (UN Development Programme).
- The population has very little access to basic needs such as clean water, food, sanitation and electricity, with only 1/3 having access to clean, safe drinking water.
- More than half of the doctors fled Iraq after the invasion (2003–2006), leaving hospitals understaffed with very little to no medical supplies, leaving more than 5 million with limited access to healthcare (UN).
- 4 million are considered food insecure, with 1/4 of the children left chronically malnourished.
- More than 5.2 million need humanitarian assistance, with about 2.8million in need of food aid (UN).
- The number of people in need of life-saving assistance increased by 400% in one year.
- Iraq is plagued with horrific birth defects and cancers thought to be caused by the effects of depleted uranium and white phosphorous used by the military.
- The invasion intensified and fuelled sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni Muslims, allowing extremism and Islamic state to manifest themselves through the gaping holes left by the war, halting economic recovery.
“Bring Democracy to Iraq”…. Uh
It’s hard to believe a country — the second largest oil exporter, with the fourth largest oil reserves — is still battling through widespread devastation, violence and poverty, 12 years on. Fault has to be laid at the empty political rhetoric rallied by the UK and US of ‘removing a dictatorship’ and forming a ‘prosperous, democratic nation’. With an estimated $2.2 billion needed, only $0.6 billion has been funded to date (UNCS). Neither Bush or Blair made or fulfilled any concrete post-invasion plans, instead they chose to ride the wave of ‘victory’ as a humanitarian crisis washed up ashore.
So no, the apology isn’t enough. The apology isn’t going to save a population stripped to poverty. The apology isn’t going to restore a nation. The apology isn’t going to fix the humanitarian crisis. The only person the apology saves is Tony Blair as he feeds his self-serving, egomaniac personality. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Digest that.