Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cause and effect in Iraq

I'm intrigued by this line of argument that, by revealing the shocking details of the cavalier attitude to human life over the course of the war, WikiLeaks have put service personnel and Iraqis at risk. It could equally be argued that, by withholding shedloads of information that is so clearly in the public interest to reveal, the Americans have forced WikiLeaks' hand, and thus any negative consequences that follow should be considered the Americans' responsibility alone.

Does that sound a bit contrived? Well, yes, frankly it does. But no more, I'd suggest, than the evasions of responsibility we've seen from the US and UK about civilian casualties throughout the conflict. No matter how avoidable or senseless a death was, it seemed, the blame could somehow always be traced back to Saddam Hussein "defying the international community" - either that or to the "turrrst bombers", few of whom actually seemed to be in Iraq until the invasion. Those who have repeatedly run away from the direct and devastating consequences of their own actions are hardly in a position to sanctimoniously lecture others on the same subject.

1 comment:

  1. The joke (although that is undoubtedly a poor choice of word) is that Saddam wasn't defying the international community at all.

    They, in the form of the UN, said he must give up his WMDs; they said they knew he had them because the US had sold them to him and they had the copies of the invoices; he said he didn't have them but people were welcome to come in and look; Dr Blix and his team went in and looked, and looked, and looked....

    ... and when it looked like they, experts that they were, were going to report that, after all he had been telling the truth and he didn't have WMDs.... DubYa decided he could wait no longer. Hundreds of thousands of people were just sitting there waiting to be killed and complete chaos was just dying to be released upon the rest of the Iraqi population, not to mention the troops from the US and UK.

    And at this point Tony Blair could only be recognised by the soles of his shoes.

    And they accuse WikiLeaks of irresponsibility?

    Sheesh. Give me strength.