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Ten years on, Western leaders have learned nothing from Iraq disaster

(Global Times)

08:37, March 26, 2013

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Does the 10th anniversary of Washington's Iraq War mean anything to the leaders who took us into war? No. Because, so far, there has been no indication that they have learned any lessons.

Then US president George W. Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair lied to their respective government and people in order to launch the regime change war. Utterly false reports about weapons of mass destruction and other non-existent threats were used to dupe Americans, Britons, and the world.

Today, the Iraq War is a fading memory in the US, and the Americans have yet to comprehend the extent to which the war has stolen their future through some $5 trillion of unnecessary war costs and untold damage to Washington's reputation.

Despite these facts, US politicians do not hesitate to advocate regime change wars against Syria and Iran.

The US public, influenced by jingoist corporate news media, does not relate the disaster in Iraq to the present US intervention against Syria, let alone to a possible war against Iran.

About three quarters of Congress voted to authorize Bush to use force against Iraq. Today the percentage would be at least as high, if not higher, for regime change wars against Syria and against Iran which many politicians openly and stridently call for.

Petroleum-rich Iraq was created by the British Empire after World War I following the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement to divide the spoils of that war in the Middle East between Britain and France.

Iraq as such never existed in history. London simply amalgamated three former Ottoman provinces, to make up an "Iraq" state. These were Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra. The British placed a friendly king in charge of the Iraqi state while placing his brother in charge of Jordan.

Britain's strategic reasoning was simple. Because Iraq was petroleum-rich, it could serve the empire's interests.

Petroleum in southern Iraq could be refined and then accessed via the Persian Gulf. And petroleum in northern Iraq could be conveyed by pipelines to the Mediterranean Port of Haifa and refined there to support the British fleet.

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