Fox News en rechts blamen Obama voor de opkomst van ISIS. Bijvoorbeeld Fox citeert een speech van Bush:
“To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States…It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda…It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale…It would mean we allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan…It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.”
Maar juristen, adviseurs en analisten hebben precies voorspeld wat er zou gebeuren als Bush Irak zou binnenvallen. Christopher Weeramantry, ex-rechter van het Internationaal Gerechtshof, schreef al in 2003 een boek tegen de Irakoorlog, aan het begin van de aanval. Hij voorspelde:
The unpredictability of consequences and ramifications
The ramifications of hostilities once entered into are totally unpredictable. Every country has friends and enemies. Those friends and enemies tend to be drawn in as the battle escalates. As new participants are drawn in, directly or indirectly, no one can say where it will end. This is particularly so in a powder keg like the Middle East, a volatile background in which possible flashpoints are numerous. There are so many different loyalties and ideological differences in that part of the world that many fuses can be lit. There is no think tank, however clever, however well armed with information, anywhere in the world which can anticipate all these events.
Far from ending terrorism, terrorism gains a new lease of life. Vast numbers of new terrorists are created. If the objective is to end terrorism, this is the last way to do it, for instead of being extinguished it gains a hundred more lives. Senator Byrd of Virginia, a US Senator who spoke out against all this, said that the war would fracture the once solid alliance that existed against global terrorism after September 11th. This blunts the war against terrorism. The two great military campaigns the US has launched recently – the anti terrorism campaign and the anti Saddam campaign – far from complementing each other, could lead in diametrically opposite directions. So that again is a practical result of war which any person could perceive.
Giving other nations a licence to use force
If one nation can act unilaterally, or if two or three of them can act unilaterally, an open license is being thereby given to all the other nations to act unilaterally. We have prided ourselves on having established in our generation the international rule of law. Where will the international rule of law stand if all nations are free to use the same argument that the United States is using of a unilateral entitlement to resort to force? If one nation can use it another nation can. And if one nation can use it with regard to a nation which is 10,000 miles away, and which has not yet articulated any threat, other nations can use it in regard to dangers which are close by and where there might have been actual threats. So the whole international rule of law becomes consigned to the scrapheap of impractical concepts. The world cannot afford this. It must do what it can to steer the future away from this negative result. And it is important to remember that every individual counts. There is something every individual can do each in his or her own small way to strengthen respect for international law.
Creating instability in the country invaded
In the particular context of the Iraq situation another obvious consequence of military action is that it would create instability in Iraq. The world does not approve of dictators. Dictators must not resort to weapons of mass destruction. All that the world agrees upon. But the substitute may well be a foreign sponsored government, and a force of occupation. These could increase Middle East tensions in a manner no one can predict.
In particular there are the twin dangers that a foreign invasion displacing an existing regime will create a power vacuum and at the same time rekindle a feeling of patriotism in the subjugated country. All elements including those who resisted the former dictator would be united in a feeling of resentment if not hatred towards the invading power – a feeling that would naturally increase, the longer the new regime continues to be in occupation. Here again we encounter a consequence of going in without UN sanction.
Part of the predictable power vacuum will be the difficulty in choosing a new Iraqi leader and there is naturally grave danger in the new leader being seen as the puppet or nominee of the invader, unless he is there by popular will – which is impossible to marshal immediately.
Terms are already in common parlance describing the American nominated governor as a “Viceroy”, thus rekindling memories of imperialism which the developing world had hoped had been relegated to the history books half a century ago. It further complicates the question of acceptability if the appointee is a general responsible to the Pentagon, and those planning an invasion and occupation must be taken as having foreseen the resentment this would create.
Creating instability in the region
Dealing again with the particular context of hostilities in Iraq, it should be observed that the Middle East is in any event, a politically volatile area. There are numerous factors at work here which can precipitate violence in unpredictable ways. Divisions are foreseeable between potential authoritarian regimes and forces pressing for democracy, between those seeking religious and secular forms of government, between religious extremism and moderation, between Sunnis and Shi’ites, all set in the background of the Israeli-Palestine tensions. Foreign elements seeking to intrude in the area and particularly the prospect of a foreign military presence have the potential to trigger off violence in unforeseeable ways.
Moreover, there are possible combinations of states or of forces across national boundaries which can be set off by such foreign intervention. The collapse of regimes not based upon the popular will could also result in instability in states that have hitherto been stable, thus spreading a ripple effect throughout the region.
Damaging international law and the United Nations
In his observations just referred to President Carter noted that “by defying overwhelming world opposition the United States will undermine the United Nations as a viable institution for world peace”. The spectacle which all the world will witness of the greatest power in the world snapping its fingers at the United Nations and demonstrating this organisation’s inability to fulfil the high purposes for which it was called into being must surely be the gravest single denigration ever to occur to the world organisation since its creation more than half a century ago.
The League of Nations had been functioning with high expectations and some measure of success when the dictatorships of the time chose to assert their naked power, ignore the law and do as they pleased, confident in the belief that no power on earth could hold them back. One difference is that the dictatorships of the time were not violating any treaty prohibiting the unilateral use of force. Such a legal principle only existed as customary law. Those who now go to war in defiance of this established treaty obligation are in that sense going further than those dictatorships in trampling on international law.1
Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor van vader Bush, schreef een opiniestuk in 2002 in Wall Street Journal dat: “Possibly the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region… there would be an explosion of outrage against us… the results could well destabilize Arab regimes …could even swell the ranks of the terrorists.”
Philip Gordon van denktank Brooking Institution: “Removing Saddam [Hussein] will be opening a Pandora’s box, and there might not be any easy way to close it back up.” Het Pentagon voorspelde het in een simulatie.
Gerhard Schröder adviseerde Bush tegen de invasie. Israël adviseerde dat de invasie de regio zou destabiliseren. Dick Cheney zei dat Iraq zal desintegreren na een militaire aanval, al in 1991. In 2003 zei hij dat de invasie zal worden “exploited by terrorists and extremists outside Iraq.” CIA waarschuwde dat: “a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other and that rogue Saddam loyalists would wage guerilla warfare either by themselves or in alliance with terrorists.” CIA Director George Tenet citeert in zijn boek een rapport van de CIA-analisten van 2002:
“The United States will face negative consequences with Iraq, the region and beyond which would include:
- Anarchy and the territorial breakup of Iraq;
- Region-threatening instability in key Arab states;
- A surge of global terrorism against US interests fueled by (militant) Islamism;
- Major oil supply disruptions and severe strains in the Atlantic Alliance.”
Dus analisten, adviseurs en juristen wisten toen al dat de invasie in Irak tot de huidige toestand zou leiden. Niet Obama is schuldig, maar Bush.
1. Weeramantry, C. G. (2003). Armageddon, or, Brave new world?: reflections on the hostilities in Iraq. [Colombo], Weeramantry International Centre for Peace, Education & Research.