Fifth anniversary of the Iraq war – and of Ceasefire Magazine

We warned about the disastrous conequences of basing British foreign policy on a blind annexing of our national interests to those of the world’s superpower and, sure enough, many of those consequences have come to pass.

Politics - Posted on Friday, January 9, 2009 5:03 - 0 Comments

Share

Hicham Yezza

Ceasefire celebrates its fifth anniversary this autumn. Our first issues offered a vigorous indictment of New Labour’s drumbeat to the catastrophic Iraq War. We warned about the disastrous conequences of basing British foreign policy on a blind annexing of our national interests to those of the world’s superpower and, sure enough, many of those consequences have come to pass. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are now dead as a result of the occupation, and Iraq ‘s political elites – when not trying to partition the country along sectarian lines – seem stuck with the seemingly unsolvable cunundrum of how to gently ‘disinvite’ their US guests who are starting to overstay their welcome (and have shown no intention of relinquishing their strategic presence).

When Prime Minister Maliki announced his support for Barak Obama’s proposal for a complete phased withdrawal of all US troops within 16 months, he was quickly forced to eat his words and deny he had ever advocated anything of the sort. The whole episode was blamed on the poor interpreter but nobody bought the charade and it is now clear the US and Iraqi leaderships are now at odds over the future of the Americans’ Presence. The Iraquis rightly feel they should be left to their own devices, but the Americans are predictably acting as if they have “earned” the right to establish a long term foothold (similar to their military bases in Japan and Germany) and expect the Iraqis to accept similar arrangements with gratitude.

It would be interesting to see what the next US president brings to the table. In particular, what the next administration intends to do about Iran. This is assuming Israel doesn’t act first and essential present the next president with a fait-accompli, which is a possibility very few serious observers are willing to discount.

“History repeates itself,” goes the maxim. Possibly, but it’s probably more accurate to say it’s people who repeat their own history.

This generation has a clear task ahead of it: to rebuild the international consensus as a viable, credible and potent force in global affairs. If we fail, it’s the “Might is Right” jungle of centuries past all over again. This is not empty theorizing but a tectonic shift already in the making. As the people of Iraq and Georgia have learnt the very hard way.

Share

Leave a Reply

Comment

 

More Ideas

More In Politics

More In Features

More In Profiles

More In Arts & Culture