With the release of the Chilcot Report, the ghosts of the Iraq War have resurfaced.
Questions about alternative solutions, misguided policy and flawed intelligence have made the rounds once again.
So too has the calls for blood from within British society. Certain segments of the population demand that Tony Blair pay a price for his involvement in the war.
Words like ‘genocide’ and ‘war criminal’ are appearing frequently when Blair comes up in conversation.
I find both terms to be inappropriate when discussing Tony Blair.
Genocide is a deliberate policy of eliminating one group of people. I highly doubt London and Washington plotted to exterminate the populace of Iraq.
Nor is the term ‘war criminal’ appropriate, either.
The fact that people in the West cry foul and toss such terms about with such ease when discussing their own leaders, while ignoring actual war criminals and cases of genocide, is indeed troubling.
How people forget who Saddam Hussein was, and what he had done up until 2003.
Saddam Hussein instigated a war with Iran that cost over a million lives. He gassed thousands of Kurds to death, and filled countless mass graves across the country.
His sons raped women at will, and his secret police service was infamous for its cruelty.
Yet this man and his actions are often overlooked when people demonise the decision to go to war.
Western bleeding hearts put more energy and effort into attacking their own leaders, and demanding punishment for them, than they do for condemning actual war criminals.
What a glorious world we would live in if these protestors truly fought for what they claim they do (justice, equality and tolerance), and focused their sights on ending the tyranny that haunts places like Syria, Iran or North Korea.
Make no mistake: The Iraq War was mismanaged and poorly executed. Civilians died and are still suffering the scars of this folly.
However, we should not allow people to delude themselves and others about who we actually went to war with.
We did not invade the Switzerland of the Middle East, where everyone was happy and content with life.
Nor did we carpet bomb kindergartens and ice cream shops.
In 2003, we went to war with a sadistic and brutal dictator and his Ba’athist regime.
This part of the narrative must be remembered, but is all too often sadly forgotten.
Harold Ohayon, Belfast