The invasion of Iraq by the US led coalition that started 15 years ago this month is a war whose lessons we should never forget. It not only destroyed the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq and Libya and triggered the Syrian civil war with its endless external interventions, and started the war in Yemen, it also spawned ISIS, started the so-called war on terrorism that spread extremism all over the world and gave us our own version of it in the Holey Artisan killings in July of 2016.
The Iraq invasion also needs to be remembered for how the UN and the world was duped by the US and UK on a total lie about Saddam Hussein possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) and how these two allies consequently browbeat the UN to join their collective voice to provide a legal cover to the invasion. And all this for oil.
Soon after the birth of ISIS, its extremist ideology and terrorist followers spread far and wide and it brought many Muslim majority countries face to face with a brutal reality that they never knew existed within their folds. Many of their young men, and some women, started to become blood thirsty followers of an ideology claiming its roots in Islamic scriptures that no genuine Muslim could related to.
Fifteen years after the invasion, Iraq is in tatters, Libya, fragmented and lawless, Syria is ruined with millions of its people homeless and refugees. The world faces threat of terrorism with fascism raising its ugly head in the heart of the very Europe that suffered most from its scourge in the last World War.
We, in The Daily Star, have revisited the war and have tried to trace back its origin and indicate the probable causes. Many of the declassified war time documents and several of the inquiry commission reports have revealed the worst aspects of Western duplicity that has all but destroyed the moral standing of the West.
We have prepared a series of stories that recount the events and end with a description of our own battle with extremism.
The Daily Star's Inam Ahmed and Shakhawat Liton have sifted through thousands of pages of news reports and various commission findings and produced a narrative that, we believe, our readers will find both absorbing and also highly disturbing--disturbing as to how countries that wish to be leaders of our time, stoop to lies, manipulation and deceit for profit and promote arms sales.
The first of the series will be printed on 22 March, Thursday.