The Iraq War March a decade on

Have any lessons been learnt from the Iraq War and reaction against it ten years later?

The Iraq War was certainly the most reviled legacy of the last Labour government, and an issue that millions of people felt very strongly about at the time. Indeed, when major figures from that particular government appear publicly to defend the decision that they took, one thing that they can never feasibly claim is that the public were on their side at the time.

Just in case this wasn't abundantly clear, in February, 2003, the biggest public protest in the history of the United Kingdom took place, with over one-million people marching on the streets of London, and for that matter across Europe and the United States, to register their disgust at this policy. I was merely one of those people.

There is no doubt that it was an uplifting day, and it is always edifying to see that so many of your fellow human-beings feel passionately about this travesty of a policy. However, I should make it clear that I never expected the march to change the political decision regarding the Iraq war. My reason for being there was to raise awareness of the issue, and perhaps be a small part of a physical demonstration of the extent to which the political establishment in Britain regards the public with contempt.

This ought to be quite clear, as the views of the public, despite an overwhelming majority of people being against the war, were completely disregarded. Since then, Tony Blair has stated that had Weapons of Mass Destruction not been put forward as the rationale for the invasion, that another excuse would simply have been found to justify the war to the public.

Of course, many people believe that a rather valuable black commodity that needs to be drilled for was the real motivation for the war. It has been suggested that the real reason that the Iraq conflict took place was that Saddam Hussein had ceased trading oil in euros, as reported by Time Magazine. Today, the Daily Telegraph has reported that Iran's plan to do the same is the real reason for the ratcheting up of pressure against them.

This is before one goes into the rank hypocrisy of claiming that a dictator such as Saddam Hussein poses a great threat to the world, after Britain and the United States have openly supported, funded and armed him.

A decade later, conservatively hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, conditions in the county have not improved in the slightest, NATO action has been taken in other countries such as Libya, which is now a total mess, and David Cameron tells us that Britain needs to engage in a massive war in Africa which will last several decades, only pausing briefly to agree yet more overseas arms sales.

So what good did the march do? I'm not sure. What I would say is that I wouldn't go on another one. And my reasoning for this is quite simple. By now it should be abundantly, emphatically, crystal clear to the public that the mainstream political establishment has no regard for the concerns of everyday Britons, let alone the people of a remote country thousands of miles away from these shores that they will never have to answer to directly. Yet despite this, at the last general election 25 million people still turned up and voted for the three mainstream parties, who continue to expand overseas warfare while slashing basic public services for the British people on an almost daily basis.

Here's a crazy idea...maybe we should stop voting for them. How much more blood for oil does there need to be before we do so?