Iraq and Responsibility…

Advocates and sympathisers of the invasion of Iraq have long observed that most civilian deaths were caused not by Coalition troops but by jihadists and sectarian guerrilas. This does not absolve our elites of responsibility. Dismantling the civil infrastructure of a highly sectarian country, surrounded by other sectarian countries, made this brutal outcome eminently predictable – and, as John Chilcot has told us, it was predicted and those architects were warned before they settled on invasion. Quasi-Kantian quibbles about what they hoped would happen are irrelevant to the more urgent point that men and women whose actions affect millions are obliged to make to make reasonable assessments of what will happen and to act in accordance with them. To feign innocence, as the neoconservative propagandist David Frum does in a downright sociopathic statement that Iraqis, most of whom are innocent men, women and children who have never lifted a gun or primed a bomb, “chose” violence is a pathetic attempt by a smug, comfortable man to escape blame for startling irresponsibility.

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