So what of the architects of the war? How has the final report refuting their official rationale for war been spun? In America, the Bush Junta is punting the idea that 9/11 changed everything. Except, of course, the neo-cons who dominate the Junta had urged the removal of Saddam back in 1998 when the "Project for the New American Century" wrote to Clinton urging exactly that. Saddam was in their sights from the moment they were not elected into office. 9/11 was just cynically used to further their imperial aims.
Meanwhile, Saddam's old mate Donald Rumsfeld, veered starkly off message when asked about the alleged ties between al-Qaida and Saddam. Apparently there were none. What a surprise! The next day he back-peddled somewhat (flip-flopped?) and got back on the spin machine. But the damage was done -- some truth had exited from a Bush Junta member's mouth. But does it matter? After all 62% of Republicans think that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. How do these people dress themselves?
In the UK, things are no better. "I can apologise for the information that turned out to be wrong," Blair said, "but I can't sincerely, at least, apologise for removing Saddam." So Blair almost, but not quite, apologised over the "faulty" intelligence that he used to justify his war. But what of the spinning of "intelligence"? What of the removing of the caveats and riders? What of the turning of inconclusive and sporadic "intelligence" into clear and firm evidence? Or withholding intelligence when it didn't fit his ideological view? Not a word. What a surprise. Should we expect anything else from the lying bastard?
He did not almost apologise over deposing Saddam, quite the reverse. Yet regime change was not the reason the UK went to war. Blair was clear on that before the war. In fact, Downing Street explicitly denied that it was the aim of the war. That would be illegal. Yet with all the other rationales exposed as the lies they were, Blair is left with deposing Saddam as his final gambit. Surely the Iraqis being free is what counts? Yet the Iraqis are not free. They are subject to foreign occupation and so one dictatorship has replaced another. And the new bosses are as unconcerned about killing Iraqis as Saddam used to be.
Blair argued that the "international community" also thought Saddam had WMD. The same "international community" which was not convinced by Colin Powel's (now utterly refuted) little presentation? The same "international community" which had urged that the UN weapons inspectors be given more time? The same "international community" which marched in its millions against the war? The same "international community" Blair and Bush simply ignored by launching their imperialist war? His grasp of the facts is as strong as his grasp of logic.
Then there is the idea that the war as "legal" because of Saddam's flouting of the UN. Obviously Israel's flouting does not warrant invasion and occupation. Nor does Bush and Blair's launching an illegal war in opposition to the UN itself. If that is not flouting the UN, what is? And how did Saddam flout the will of the UN? Apparently by saying that he had no WMD and, of course, he did not. So Saddam flouted the UN by doing what it said while Bush and Blair imposed its will by ignoring it! Such is the strange world of politics!
But, apparently, Saddam was still interested in WMD and retained some intellectual capability. So while Blair shifted from Saddam having actual WMD to "programmes" it transpires that the old dictator did not even have that. Rather he had "intentions" to recreate programmes. So we went to war based on (effectively) Saddam's letter to Santa. Nor should we forget that the conclusions about Saddam's intentions are based more on inference than solid evidence and his interest in obtaining WMD, or pretending to, was not about threatening the US but mainly to counter Iran. So much for being a threat to the world! As the war showed, Saddam's clapped out army was no threat to neighbours never mind the world's strongest military machine! Then there is the "intellectual" capacities Saddam was meant to have. In other words, Iraqi scientists. Apparently Saddam should have expelled, shot or lobotomised any scientist with a basic knowledge of a field related to WMD!
And where does the logic of Blair's argument lead? Well, the expression "thought crime" springs to mind. Also it means that any state can invade any other because they may, at some time in the future, be a threat. This is foreign policy by crystal ball. And will enemies of the US/UK "axis of clairvoyance" use this logic to launch pre-emptive strikes against them? After all, they now have a proven track record of attacking others on a whim (backed up by extremely suspect "evidence" cobbled together to fit the requirements).
So what have we learned from all this? That politicians are lying bastards who will say and do anything when required for reasons of state. Yet to think that Bush and Blair went to war because of their personal desires and personality faults is ridiculous. The war was conducted because a significant enough section of the ruling elite saw it was in their interests to do so. The costs have proven to be higher than expected and, consequently, calls are being heard to change from the current insane policies to ones less costly for US imperialism.
Ultimately, to end imperialism we need to end the system which generates it: capitalism. That will never be achieved via the ballot box. Only by direct action and solidarity in our workplaces and communities can we do that. And only such a self-managed movement can stop the state in its tracks when it tries to foster imperialist war on the world. As the Iraq invasion shows, marching from A to B is not enough and never will be.