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War in Iraq and the re writing of history

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Hawk: Former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his attempt to re write history on newsnight. Copyright @BBC

 

Two weeks ago on Newsnight, in the run up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Kirsty Wark and Mark Urban interviewed US hawks Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld.

They were full of the usual rhetoric: great threat, outraged population, we had to take action, Saddam is gone, Iranis next, etc, and then came the whopper. The war in Iraq had a direct impact on the Arab Spring, they claimed, mentally patting themselves on the back. If the US had not ‘liberated’ Iraq, then the Arab Spring would not have happened – people would not have had the courage to overthrow their own dictators. “We inspired them! They should be thanking us on bended knee!” they might as well have said.

Kirsty, on Friday’s episode, continued with this theme and asked the same, ridiculous question to other interviewees: “Did the Iraq War have a direct impact on the Arab Spring?”

I did chortle oh-so-much at the sheer arrogance of the Americans taking responsibility for the Arab Spring.  Sorry to burst your stars and stripes draped bubbles, Messieurs Powell and Rumsfeld, but the Iraq war did not have the impact you would have us believe. The majority of the people in the Arab world are overthrowing dictators they believe to be loyal to America and the West. They do not want USinvolvement in their countries at all. That is what the uprising is about.

Yet the Americans, the war-mongering hawks in particular, seem to think the Arab world was inspired by the Iraq war and want something similar in their own countries – they don’t. At all.They did not support the Iraq war, which by the way was illegal under international law (Newsnight conveniently left that part out), they opposed it vehemently.

History is being re written here. It’s as though no one in today’s world has a long-term memory, seeming to forget the war in Iraq was, and still is, illegal and it is now seen as necessary, the first step in liberating the Arab world. If the Iraq war had an impact on the ArabSpring, it’s that it made Arabs finally stand up and say ‘enough’ and take control of their own affairs.

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Written by Iram Ramzan

September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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