Gordon Brown yesterday called it a 'success story' while John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, said that we should feel proud of the legacy we leave behind. Hilary Benn went onto Question Time last night to say that 'we leave Iraq a better place'.
In another glorious piece of rewriting history, The Sun newspaper stated that 'the fight to topple Saddam Hussein and defeat insurgent fanatics is over.'
With the British involvement lasting just over 6 years, there has been enough distance from the origins of the invasion for the truth to be warped and twisted by those who supported the war at the time and would rather paste over the unsavoury parts of which there have been many.
In 2003, Tony Blair was very much the junior partner in the decision making that is still being felt across the globe. He had to sell the invasion of Iraq to his Party, the House of Commons and the British Public and despite what The Sun claims, he never made it about removing the brutal Saddam. Bush and Blair actually offered to leave him in power if he handed over his Weapons of Mass Destruction so they were happy enough to leave him to carry on doing whatever it was he was doing. It was never about defeating terrorists, the simple truth is that Iraq was an Al-Queada free zone prior to the invasion. The country was filled by the suicide squads and mine layers afterwards.
The premise upon which Blair sold it with was WMD's. Despite the UN's Weapons Inspectors covering the country and coming up empty handed, Blair insisted Saddam had Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons and was in a position to use them with as little as 45 minutes notice. The lies unravelled and the truth came out that Saddam had no WMD's but by then the tanks and Tornadoes had gone in and we were committed.
Fast forward six years on from that false pretext and a roll call of achievements including a million dead Iraqis, 4 million refugees and 200 dead British soldiers. The country suffered an orgy of devastating ethnic cleansing, the destruction of its infrastructure that still remains inadequate today and an influx of terrorists to add to the murder and mayhem. The damage to our reputation through the massacres, use of torture and aligning ourselves with the most unpopular, right wing and war hungry US Government for generations has been immeasurable.
How we did it, why we did it and what we did during it, shouldn't be a cause for celebration. We leave it broken, scarred and devastated which nobody should be proud of as a legacy and as for the claim that we leave Iraq a better place, Hilary Benn should hang his head in shame and embarrassment.
No amount of whitewash, however liberally applied, will cover the rotten stench of what we did back then and how we are now going to leave the Iraq citizens to the whims and truck bombs of the terrorists.