Tony Blair and the war that never was

Blair-and-Bush

This past Sunday, with the backdrop of the escalating events in Iraq, Tony Blair, former British prime minister and prominent supporter of the 2003 Iraq invasion, set out on a crusade on his blog to justify a second western intervention in Iraq, just eleven years after the first bullets were fired in March 2003.

In his blog post, faithful to himself and his blatant intellectual dishonesty, Blair made the case that the current situation of Iraq had little, if not nothing at all, to do with the nine year occupation of the country by the “coalition of the willing”. This of course was spearheaded none other than himself and his American partner in crime, former President of the United States of America George W. Bush.

It appeared clearly through Blair’s lyrical rendition, that if fault for the current unrest in Iraq laid with anyone, it was certainly with Iraq’s political elite and the Islamic fundamentalists under the banner of Islamic state in Iraq and the Sham —aka ISIS. Later during the week, this statement was echoed by current American President Barrack Obama, who stated on CNN that the west — read here the United States and the United Kingdom — had given Iraq “the chance to have an inclusive democracy” and that the only form of American intervention on the table was a strategic one to “protect national interests.”

As the events unfold at a velocious pace in the current Middle East geopolitical context, it is very important to pause and replace these statements in a historical perspective that encompasses the dominant foreign policy lines that have guided western intervention in the region since the end of the Second World War.

Eisenhower and Nixon at Dinner with King Saud
(l-r) Dwight D. Eisenhower, King Saud and Richard Nixon

The major historical element that is disregarded too often, and without which an understanding of western invention is always incomplete, is the Eisenhower Doctrine. The special message to the Congress on the situation in the Middle East is – until this day – the backbone of American interventionism in the Middle East and the foundation of American foreign policy with regards to Middle Eastern politics.

In many ways, the Doctrine is more of a strategic alliance with the Saudi strain of Wahhabism, which is an ultra-orthodox reading of the teachings of Islam, against the mounting influence of Nasserite socialism and Ba’athlism, pan-Arab socialism that was a major threat to American domination of the region in the mid twentieth century. In many ways it was the continuation of the divide and conquer  strategy which was espoused by both British and French colonial regimes after the First World War. The objective to split the Arab world into various fractions, and playing these fractions against one another, thus assuring the paramount position of western influence in the region, and the foiling of any pan-Arabist dream.

The reason behind the Eisenhower Doctrine and the emphasis that French and British colonial regimes instigated pseudo ethnic, tribal and religious division was to protect their national interests, the most important being of course the control of the primordial natural resource: petrol.

In the name of natural security and democracy, democratically elected governments were toppled such as the Iranian government of Mossaddegh  in 1953 when his administration made the bold move to nationalize the petroleum industry, or when Islamist extremist militant groups were funded to make the case for right-wing autocratic dictatorships which seated their power on being the final rampart against the Islamists.

But all in all, the gurus of American foreign policy fancied more the chances of advancing their agenda and “protecting their national interests” with the help of Islamist fundamentalists and autocratic regimes than with socialist ones, or left-wing movements be they religious or secular. This is why America has always openly supported the most backwards regime in the region, Saudi Arabia.

waronterror_Frank151It’s a known fact that Saudi Arabia has financed extremist Islamist groups. A current example is their unequivocal support for Islamist forces in the ongoing Syrian conflict. Not only do the Saudis offer financial support to such organizations, but also offer them with logistical support and cover.

The current situation in Iraq and Syria is but another chapter in a covert operation to maintain a managed form of chaos in the region that benefits none other than big western oil companies and corrupt oil drunk dynasties, all which promote extreme Islamist theories outside of their borders and repress them within. The War on Terror of which the Iraq War was a part, a war which was called by its main instigators a war against fear for freedom and democracy (and whatever other amalgamation of buzzwords that fit in sound bites) is anything but a war against terror.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, The War on Terror resulted in utter chaos and the destruction of a strong and viable pan-Arab movement which would have fostered an alternative to the Western colonial and neo-colonial domination of the region and the Saudi reactionary agenda. The War on Terror served an interest: the interest of those that first sowed the seeds of terror within the Middle East and whom without terror would cease to hold such a firm grasp on the petroleum reserves and the cash flow that coincides.

On the 30th of July, 762 (Christian calendar) while all of the “western” world was still engulfed in the dark ages, the city of Baghdad was built, a magnificent place of knowledge and architectural resplendence. Today Baghdad and the magnificent city of Damascus are piles of rubble, ruins, shadows of their former selves. The real terrorists aren’t the ones you might be afraid of.

A luta continua.

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