As shining beacons of equality, freedom and justice, the champions and maintainers of human rights, Bush and Blair launched their latest 'humanitarian' intervention in March 2003, seeking to liberate and free the subjugated and oppressed victims of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical, brutal and totalitarian regime.
Seven years later. Three trillion dollars spent. Infinite bloodshed.
The 2003 Iraq War has been plagued since its inception with deep controversy and questions of legality. Masked with a facade saturated in western values of democracy and the rule of law, the dark and harrowing secrets of Bush and Blair's supposedly humanitarian crusade are increasingly becoming exposed.
This entry comes in response to this weekend's release of 400,000 classified US documents on the War in Iraq, where logs reveal more than 15,000 previously unreported civilian deaths and countless incidents of mistreatment against helpless detainees.
Hundreds of the leaked war logs reflect the fertile imagination of the torturer faced with the entirely helpless victim - bound, gagged, blindfolded and isolated - who is whipped by men in uniforms using wire cables, metal rods, rubber hoses, wooden stakes, TV antennae, plastic water pipes, engine fan belts or chains. At the torturer's whim, the logs reveal, the victim can be hung by his wrists or by his ankles; knotted up in stress positions; sexually molested or raped; tormented with hot peppers, cigarettes, acid, pliers or boiling water - and always with little fear of retribution since, far more often than not, if the Iraqi official is assaulting an Iraqi civilian, no further investigation will be required.
Through this description, Nick Davies writing for The Guardian reveals the sheer extent of the revelations made by the Wikileaks exposure. At the heart of the disclosures lies the revelation of the FRAGO 242; an order from high ranking military officials specifically instructing coalition troops not to investigate any breach of the law on armed conflict, including torture and other human rights violations by their Iraqi allies, unless it directly involves a member of the coalition. Beyond this military and legal jargon, the FRAGO 242 or rather, a license to torture has allowed the abuse and killing of Iraqi civilians and detainees by their Iraqi officials' counterparts, whilst our coalition troops stood back and watched. In other words; they were complicit. The same troops sent into Iraq in the name of peace and humanity.
The constitutions of the West are supposedly underpinned by democratic values of freedom, equality and human rights. We are signatories to countless human rights declarations, treaties and conventions, where we promise the suffering, the oppressed that we stand in solidarity to fight in their cause, in the name of their struggle. Yet there exists not a single trace of the nation building, rule of law implementing goals which Bush and Blair fed to the world as their justification for entering Iraq. Rather, we see a minute snapshot into the realities of a war bludgeoned with dishonest intentions, innocent deaths and the catastrophic failure of our world leaders to stay true to their words.
The biggest irony of all, leads me to ask my final question, how different are these reports of torture to those encountered under Saddam's regime?
This game of charades being played by the US and the UK is coming to an end as the world begins to realise the hollow meaning of their humanitarian promises, to see the rhetoric they espouse as they speak of humanity and to truly begin to understand the hypocrisy of their human rights.
Author: Ashamed of the people who call themselves government, call themselves leaders or even joke enough to call themselves human; and whose values of true democracy, true justice and true human rights will not be made a mockery of by those who [for now] prevail in power.