- Youtube video CNN interview (25 Oct 2015) – Tony Blair says he’s sorry for Iraq War ‘mistakes,’ but not for ousting Saddam:
IS is first credited to Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq after the 2003 US/UK invasion and subsequent pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda in 2004. IS as we know it now came from the break up of this original allegiance in Syria during early 2014.
It is very clear that the Iraq Invasion, subsequent occupation followed by poor planning and decision making created the necessary conditions that allowed al Qaeda in Iraq to flourish. It also emboldened Shia militias and their leaders that exert such influence in Iraq now.
Politicians claim that ‘lessons have been learned’.
However a similar lack of planning, contingency planning and support during the Libyan intervention in 2011 showed that ‘not a great deal had been learned’ when removing a dictator and opening the inevitable power vacuum.
This is despite the precedent already set in Iraq that had shown how the situation can deviate dramatically from the intended plan and how reactionary or short sighted decisions can make the situation much worse.
Now it is Syria, in which Western goverments have backed from the beginning an armed uprising by protesters following the crack down by president Assad’s military. When a political solution presented itself by Russia to remove Assad over a transitional period in 2012, it was ignored.
Three years later and large parts of the country are in ruins, a refugee crisis spilling over into the EU and fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups that have gained in numbers, power and influence on the ground in Syria.
Such groups were present when the protesters picked up arms and have excelled as the situation has deteriorated relentlessly.
The probable outcome should Assad’s government fall is that of Syria becoming an Islamic State and the implementation of Shariah Law. Contrary to Western political and media focus on the Islamic State regarding this, similar ideology is widespread among many opposition groups and coalitions on the ground in Syria, even those fighting IS.
It is not the ideology that many of the opposition groups and coalitions oppose, it is the legitimacy of IS and its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi dictating the caliphate.
A fact that seems to be ignored by intervening politicians allegedly acting for the good of the people suggesting it will be better given time. It depends how a long that is given that Libya, Iraq, Syria and the middle east generally continue to suffer the ramifications and will do so for years and possibly decades to come.
Who is to say a better outcome could not have been achieved without military intervention, invasion or military support, given enough time?
The common theme seen in these poorly planned interventions, invasions or assistance efforts is the price paid by average civilians that want little to do with wide spread armed conflict in their country, either by internal or external forces.