We will without doubt be hearing how the Iraq Invasion in 2003 was a failure and mismanagement by Tony Blair now that the Chilcot Report has affirmed what we already knew was an unfounded case for WMD’s. However, this article will give you an entirely different narrative to what you may find on the mainstream news channels and papers.
The Iraq Invasion was a failure only in terms of establishing Iraq as the model democratic nation in the Middle East for the rest of the nearby Muslim countries to follow suit, and this was undoubtedly “Plan A” for Iraq under the Greater Middle East Initiative of 2004. However, this does not mean there was not a “Plan B”. In fact when John Kerry mentioned Plan B for Syria he was not only speaking of Syria but rather a Plan B in moving towards Plan A, democratisation and secularisation of the Middle East.
The Islamic sentiment during the latter years of Saddam’s reign was strong and this is evident from the fact that he used this sentiment a number of times, whether that be falsely claiming that he is a descendent of the Prophet ﷺ or filling his speeches with references to the Qur’an. The only reason one would feel obliged to ride the Islamic wave would be due to the fact the people held Islam as more than just a mere religion. Especially when we know that the Ba’ath party was not born on religious grounds but on a secular one.
If Saddam had stepped down without a fight and left U.S. and Britain to install a new leader, they would have undeniably had to replace him with a leader that called for Islam. This is due to the fact the peoples thoughts and emotions were leaning towards Islam at this time.
This is definitely apparent when we look at the way in which Saddam held to power. He used government money to promote mandatory Qur’an studies in school. He built training centres for Imams including Saddam University of Islamic Studies. Radio stations were being dedicated to airing Qur’anic lessons and alcohol banned in restaurants. Ba’ath party members were made to take courses in Qur’an and Saddam was being shown in prayer in the media. There was a rise in mosque attendance and more women began to dress more modestly – especially considering the fact that Baghdad was the most secular of all the surrounding areas before. With all of these actions he felt that the population would support him from any incoming foreign invasion or occupation.
Plan B is in fact the steps preceding Plan A. Plan B is to engulf the Middle East in bloody sectarian conflict whereby a Muslim is recognised based on their affiliations to a certain sect (Shia, Sunni) rather than their religion. It is to partition the Middle East with more than just a mere line in the sand, but rather a deep bloody scar that will not heal with time.
Secretary Condoleezza Rice stated during a press conference that:
“what we’re seeing here in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.”
They wish for a New Middle East that will not see Islam as its solution because Islam will be seen as something barbaric and unable to govern, as is the case with post-Iraq ISIS. They wish to show that political parties that have any connection to Islam are simply incapable of handling the power and with one fell swoop can be destroyed.
It is through destruction and chaos that the West will start to prop-up and fund secular democratic groups as an alternative to the mayhem that they have endured. They hope that the majority would seek stability and safety rather than revolutions and uprisings.
It was not a failure for the West in Iraq but a pre-requisite to entering the Middle East, inserting their influence and averting the Islamic revival which would unmistakably challenge their dominance at a world stage.
The Chilcot Inquiry will later be seen as a waste of public money and a way to appease the mass that were against the war from the very beginning. They wish to pull the wool over the peoples eyes, so that the real motive is left unrevealed. It is surely easier to lay the blame on one individual rather than the ideology itself.