by Pasquale Pugliese*
On March 20, twenty years ago, the criminal and illegal assault began military occupation of Iraqled by the USA and Great Britain, to which our governments have followed, “founded” and “justified” on the lie of non-existent “mass destruction weapons” of the Iraqi regime, heralded – among other things – with the now iconic fake vial from Colin PowellSecretary of State to George W. Bush, to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003.
Despite the opposition loudly expressed by a massive international peace movement who had early denounced its immorality, dangerousness and speciousness: in Italy 500 thousand people demonstrated in Florence on 9 November 2002, at the conclusion of the European Social Forum, and then again three million in Rome on 15 February 2023, together with over one hundred million worldwide, to the point of being declared by the New York Times “the world‘s second superpower”.
Although that war directly and indirectly resulted in over a million deaths because “the assault on Iraq was clearly a violation of international lawthe US and its allies are also responsible for the consequences it has entailed”, as noted by the independent organization Ippnw (International phisicians for the prevention of the nuclear war).
Although the specious Western occupation of theAfghanistanas a “response” to the attack on the Twin Towers of 11 September which would last for twenty years, leaving that unfortunate country, hundreds of thousands of victims later, in conditions worse of those in which it had been found and attacked (but the coffers of the international war industry with double the profits of twenty years earlier).
Although the aggression first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq were at the origin of the wave of fundamentalist terrorism response to the terrorism of war, of which we still suffer the consequences, as also noted by the Report of the British Government Commission Chilcot of 2014, which nailed the president Tony Blair to his responsibilities, thus concluding his political career.
Despite all this, none of the principals has ever been formally charged for these war crimes by any Criminal Court, internal or international. And yet, writes the American philosopher Noam Chomsky, the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq is the “worst crime of the 21st century: a textbook case of the kind of aggression considered the ‘supreme international crime’ by the Court of Nuremberg” (Chomsky-Waterstone, The consequences of capitalism2022).
Only the reporter Julian Assange has been rotting for years in a British maximum security prison – awaiting extradition to a similar US prison where he will remain for the rest of his life – for having (de) shown through WikiLeaks the so-called “side effects”, i.e. the amount of deliberate civilian casualties.
Of which we have now also lost the memory – in addition to having stolen their lives with impunity – given the silence of most of the media that is accompanying this twentieth anniversary. And we keep stealing it when they drown, like refugees without help, near our coasts, fleeing a country now devastated.
Yet, even in that war as in the previous (and subsequent) Afghanistan and in the current one in Ukraine, there was an “attacked and an attacker”, as it is necessary to say obsessively for a year now. But in those cases the attacked were sons of a lesser god (and the aggressor son of a greater God). Therefore, after violating them, we have abandoned them to their fate. And forget about it.
*philosopher, author on peace and nonviolence