The Bigger Picture: The City in the Global Village


Iraq: From Here To Democracy?

Recently the UN reported that 6,600 civilians died in political violence in Iraq in the two months of July and August alone. An estimated 40,000 plus have died since the invasion. The death total of US armed service personnel in the same period is around 2,700 plus around 20,000 wounded, about half of whom have not returned to combat duty. As of 8 th September the UK had lost 118 British Armed Forces personnel - all of which makes for grim reading.

In his first speech as leader to the Lib Dem conference here in Brighton (21-9-06), Sir Ming Campbell called on David Cameron, the new reforming leader of the Tory Party, to apologise for having supported the military invasion back in 2003. Sir Ming also made some valid points about the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, but what is he saying about Iraq? What needs to be / what can be done? Well, the Lib Dem's have in fact produced a strategy document which is worth a read - see link at the end.

Iraq is like Northern Ireland, only a hundred times worse. Where in Northern Ireland 3,000 plus died in political violence over a period of 30 years, that number died in Iraq in the space of one month - strictly but roughly speaking, it is 360 times worse! That's the scale of the problem.

Saddam was a brutal dictator, a genocidal maniac, but he did not have WDM (weapons of mass destruction). The UK's participation in the US invasion without the broad support of the international community was a gross error of judgement. There were legitimate reasons for removing Saddam. Prof Brendan O'Leary has argued that Saddam could have been removed on more robust legal grounds if the charge against him had been genocide - see end of article for link.