Like many of my fellow veterans with whom I served in Iraq, I am still haunted by what was done, and is still being done, to the Iraqi people because of our invasion of their country in 2003. This week, a damning report was released in Britain exposing the country’s role in the US-led illegal and immoral war on Iraq. We need a similar investigation in the US too!
After 7 years of interviews and data gathering, the Chilcot report reached these major conclusions:
- The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted.
- Former Prime Minister Tony Blair deliberately exaggerated the allegedly imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
- The decision to invade was made under shady circumstances, and Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information.”
- The government did not try hard enough to keep a tally of Iraqi civilian casualties.
But what about the role of the US? It is really the US that is responsible for disseminating lies, spearheading the invasion, having no post-invasion plan and destroying Iraq. Since 2003, 500,000-1,000,000 Iraqis have been killed, millions more wounded and one in eight have been driven from their homes. Shouldn’t the American people know exactly who led us into the biggest foreign disaster in modern history? If the British people can demand accountability, why can’t we?
President Obama was elected on a platform of peace but never delivered on his promises to end the US military intervention in Iraq. Iraq is still in shambles, and Iraqis are still getting killed every day. The least President Obama can do before the end of his tenure is to establish an independent inquiry into the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Investigating the Iraq war would be the first step towards holding US war criminals responsible. Call on President Obama to establish an independent inquiry into the Iraq war before he leaves office!
Toward a world free of violence,
Matthew Hoh and the CODEPINK team