What Was The War For?
19 May 2003
Thank you, Mr
Bush and Mr Blair, for making our world safer by ridding us of the one
tyrant - Saddam Hussein - who never had any connection with 11 September
2001, or with the Riyadh bombings or with the bombings in Casablanca.
The "liberation" of Iraq was supposed to free us from the
bombers of al Qaeda. So said Mr Blair. So said Mr Straw. Could you talk
to us, please, Messrs Blair and Straw? What was Iraq for? No, we don't
have any "claim of responsibility" for the Casablanca massacre,
but the nature of the cold calculation behind the Casablanca bombings
One suicide bomber kills himself by blowing open the doors of the Jewish
community centre. Then his surviving comrade blows himself up inside.
Weren't the Jews - like the Christians - "people of the Book",
honoured by Islam? But then - and there's always a "but then"
- wasn't Morocco a "friend" of the West, a country that has
resorted to torture again over the past year in its pro-American battle
against "terrorism", yet another country in which human rights
have taken second place to President Bush's war on terror?
Osama bin Laden always said that his intention was to overthrow "the
corrupt monarchies of the Arab world". It was Saudi Arabia at the
beginning of the week, Morocco at the end. So, back to the point. Ten
suicide bombers killed the innocent of Casablanca - that's more than
half the total killers of September 11, 2001. And only five days after
al Qaeda struck Riyadh.
Was it not President Bush who boasted to us of how America had struck
a devastating blow in the "war on terror" in Iraq? Was it
not Vice-President Cheney who informed us that al Qaeda was reeling
from America's bombardment of Afghanistan? Was it not Defence Secretary
Rumsfeld who would have us believe that half of al Qaeda's leadership
was eliminated - either through capture or murder (let us speak frankly)
at America's hands? So take a look at the terrain.
Afghanistan is in a state of anarchy, its pathetic government scarcely
ruling over Kabul. Iraq is in an even more incipient state of anarchy,
largely without electricity, money or petrol. And this is a war of good
Casablanca is a sorry and pertinent page in the history of America's
folly in the Arab world. So what comes next? More boasts by President
Bush that he is winning the "war against terror" or more claims
- yes, he told you so - that the "war on terror" is eternal?
Heaven spare us all.