Working paper given by Dr Owen Thomas at the ‘Intelligence, surveillance, and oversight: tracing connections and contestations’ conference, held by GUARDINT project (‘Intelligence and Oversight Networks: Who Guards the Guardians’) on 26th and 27th January 2022.
By Rhys Edwards
This blog focuses on former Labour MP Ann Clwyd and her emphasis on human rights as a motivation in Labour’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. It examines first, her efforts to prosecute Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain and other members of the Iraqi administration under international law, secondly, her decision to support the invasion of Iraq, and, thirdly, her testimony to the Chilcot Inquiry. Looking back at the 2003 invasion and the subsequent Chilcot Inquiry, how can we think critically about the British government’s interpretation(s) of human rights before the war in Iraq? Can the evidence compiled by the Chilcot Inquiry provide clarity for why human rights were so integral to Labour’s ‘marketing’ of the invasion to the British electorate?
This week we discuss the critique of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (or IHAT) that it failed to ‘bring justice’ and address the atrocities committed by British troops against Iraqi civilians during the Iraq war. The IHAT investigation lasted from 2010 until its subsequent dissolvement in 2018, running largely in parallel with the Iraq ‘Chilcot’ Inquiry. This post reflects upon an archival Guardian podcast episode from 2018 titled “Why we may never know if British troops committed war crimes in Iraq” and considers the limitations of international criminal justice and legal forms of individualisation in addressing war crimes committed by state soliders.
George W. Bush mistakenly described the Iraq Invasion as “wholly unjustified” and “brutal” in recent speech. In a recent speech on Wednesday (18th May 2022), former United States president George W Bush reminded the world of the ongoing consequences of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the violence of the intervention.
In 1991, following the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq. However, just 12 years later, a US-led coalition of forces invaded Iraq with the intention of removing Hussein from power. This blog post examines the changes in US and British interests between 1991 and 2003 that facilitated his removal during the Second Gulf War.
On April 9, 2003, Baghdad fell to coalition forces.
Exactly twenty years later, we’re looking back at reporting from the time in order to gain a greater understanding of the significance of this event.
A quick update on what the Warnings from the Archive team have been listening to/reading/watching this week. The pieces that have caught our interest and develop the themes and topics explored by the project.
After the second week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we’ve taken some time to examine what lessons the US and its allies in Europe can learn from the invasion of Iraq in order to inform the West’s response to Russia.
This week has seen the return of 337 ancient artefacts to Iraq from a private museum in Lebanon. Further to our discussion in August on the return of over 17,000 artefacts to Iraq that had been looted and stolen in the past few decades, Lebanon has also returned its share of Iraqi artefacts to their rightful homes. The collection of 337 artefacts which included clay tablets dating back to 2,900 BC had been held at the private Nabu Museum between Tripoli and Beirut.
Global reports this week have suggested that US disengagement from the Middle East and Iraq has left a superpower sized hole in the region. China is looking to capitalise on this especially with regards to Iraq, its third largest source of imported oil. Many are arguing that China is looking to be in a strong position to become a regional hegemon in the Middle East or, at the very least, replace the US as the leading superpower in Iraq but how might this neocolonialism continue to damage the region?