Wednesday, July 06, 2016
For No Positive End: By Their Own Words
Seven years and 2.6 million words later, the release of the U.K.'s blistering Chilcot Report lays the blame for the bloody debacle of the Iraq War - its trillions of dollars wasted, thousands of soldiers killed and maimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed with millions displaced, and toxic legacy of turmoil and terror - where it belongs: On the deceitful, cynical, arrogant, inept and morally bankrupt heads of Blair and Bush. In statements, Sir John Chilcot mercilessly portrays Blair as what the NY Times dubs “Washington’s poodle,” who obediently joined a war of choice rather than explore peaceful options. On the lethal failures of judgment behind that decision, he adds, "We do not agree that hindsight is required." Blair in his turn expressed his mealy-mouthed "sorrow, regret and apology" it all turned into such a shitshow - or, as summarized on Twitter, "Sorry not sorry."
Despite the widespread belief that Blair/Bush/Cheney and their cabal should be charged with war crimes, the report fails to address legal culpability for the catastrophes they all engendered. And of course official America has yet to own any of it - to produce a comparable document calling the Bush/Cheney crimes what they were, or hold anyone other than truth-tellers legally or morally accountable for anything, or even allow any occasion, Rwandan reconciliation style, that might require them to proffer their own pathetic "sorry not sorry," even as their obscene shadows hover in every page of the current unfurling of the war's history.
We are left, instead, with the spectacle of a still-leering Cheney on news shows and a still-mindless Bush on his bike, both here, free, unrepentant, hideously untouched. Thus does it fall to the sentient among us and to their victims to name their culpability. To revisit the multitude of lies they told: "Let the warmongers be damned." To listen to the righteous wrath of U.K. families who suffered and continue to suffer because of them, and who quietly but furiously insist the criminals should pay for their crimes. To hear the sister of a dead soldier declare Tony Blair "the world's worst terrorist" and the father of a dead soldier mournfully conclude, "My son died in vain."
In Iraq, meanwhile, the news was not of Chilcot. It was of the daily chaos, the unending terror, the latest bombings that killed hundreds of innocent shoppers at a Baghdad market - in a devastated Iraq, a day like any other. The ungodly, untenable truth remains that it has fallen not to the perpetrators but to their broken victims - weeping relatives to wheelchair-bound veterans - to say, "We did that."