Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Confession time

I have a confession to make, it’s shaming to me but I’ve got to get it off my chest, ‘I supported the invasion of Iraq’! There, I’ve said it, and I don’t feel better I wish I did but I don’t.

I wish I could say I was one of the ones carrying the peace banners and calling for a little sanity during the run up to the invasion of Iraq; but I wasn’t and for that I feel deeply ashamed and foolish.

I thought that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator who needed to be got rid of; for the safety of the world, I knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, or rather I should say that I thought there might be; but I knew that that wasn’t the reason we were going to depose Saddam.

I thought we needed to be shot of him (perhaps an unfortunate choice of expression) because of the potential threat he posed in the middle east; as supporter and bankroller of Islamic terrorism, and a torturer and oppressor of his people, he was guilty of war crimes, I very naively and as it turned out completely wrongly thought that deposing saddam would improve things in Iraq in the short term and improve things apropos terrorism in the long term.

In fact the exact opposite has occurred, the situation in Iraq is now worse than almost anyone could have imagined it’s become a rallying place and cause for the insurgents and terrorists we couldn’t have got it more wrong if we’d tried.

In mitigation I will say that I was lied to and tricked, and like anyone who finds they have been conned; now I’m blazing mad about it.

Also I wasn’t the only one, such normally sensible luminaries as Neil young ‘bought the bullshit’ so to speak (remember ‘Let’s Roll?) and judging by his new album he’s just as angry about it as me.

“Let’s impeach the president for lying

And misleading the country into war.”

From ‘Let’s impeach the president’ Neil young 2006.

And his plea in mitigation;

“We had a chance to change our minds,

But somehow wisdom was hard to find,

We went with what we knew and now we can’t go back

But we had a chance to change our minds.”

From ‘Shock and Awe’ Neil Young 2006.

But what’s to be done now? That’s the million dollar question.

I don’t have the answers, but I know that the only way to find them is by listening to the real people of Iraq, not the stone-age theocrats or the generals or the politicians or the so called insurgents, but the people on the street; going about their daily business, and in their homes too frightened to come out or let their children play.

We need to listen to 'Salam Pax' and Riverbend and the thousands of other human voices advocating peace and common sense, and for once do what the real people of Iraq want us to do.


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