Iraq anniversary

A decade has passed since George Bush issued an ultimatum, demanding that Saddam Hussein and his sons were to leave Iraq within 48 hours or face an invasion by the US. Bush's rhetoric made frequent mention of a 'free' Iraq, a country that would be 'liberated' from a dictator, yet the events that transpired from that ill-fated speech have devastated a country.
Throughout the war, our governments insisted that they had a genuine humanitarian interest in bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. To put it simply, this is a lie, and needs to be exposed as such. A brief look at the West's record in the Middle East provides all the evidence we need in order to unearth the great myth of 'humanitarian intervention' in Iraq.
In Iraq everyone privately knew the WMD thing was a pretext, and this assumption underpinned all our political work. No-one was 100% certain of the real aims. Still today. So we made it up.
A grim anniversary was celebrated yesterday, and that is the passing of a decade since the invasion of Iraq. To illustrate the new and more peaceful state of the country, the eve of that anniversary was marked by a wave of bombings that left 65 people dead. The timing of the attacks was not an accident: someone wants the West to understand that they still have the capacity to carry out such atrocities.
I will never forget the feelings of grief, anger, fear, and sadness that overwhelmed me when news came that the bombs and missiles had started falling on Baghdad. I was on the set of the movie, which by now I hated, when it came.
Ten years have passed since American and British troops invaded Iraq on 19 March 2003. Much has happened during that decade, not least the downfall of an infamous dictator and the establishment of a democratic political system. A question that seems to be on everyone's mind these days is whether it was worth it?
Whether any of the officials who are now coming forward felt similar pangs of conscience at the time about the discrepancy between what they knew and what their government was saying is not known, but what is certain is that none of them were prepared to act on them if they did.
Sectarianism is there and it is still both a significant problem and a major stumbling block to moving the country forward. While this was most obviously demonstrated by the sectarian killings that dominated the local news for so long, it was also clearly evident when we analysed the key drivers for Iraqi's voting preference.
The Iraq War was the culmination of a process that started in 1994 with the rise of New Labour and reflected its heady psychological brew of arrogance and self-loathing. The arrogance came from a quasi-Leninist belief in Labour as the agent of some great historical mission on behalf of the masses - a traditional conceit of Labourism, admittedly.
This story is about young men (and yes, it is mostly men) who leave the forces early, rather than those who have undertaken multiple tours and spent a decent amount of time in the services. It's about those young men who already have a propensity for violence and who can't handle the discipline of the army. It's about how they are discharged and then booted out into society.