We owe Iraq a timely election, not false excuses

Share
Related Topics

Mr Blair's judgement is sound on one point. Now, with new killings and kidnappings taking place in Iraq every day, is not the time for anyone - not the British, not the Americans, not the United Nations and certainly not the interim Iraqi government - to "wobble" over the timetable for elections. Having so abysmally failed in our promises to bring peace and security to Iraq, the very least we can do now is to stick to our pledge on elections.

Mr Blair's judgement is sound on one point. Now, with new killings and kidnappings taking place in Iraq every day, is not the time for anyone - not the British, not the Americans, not the United Nations and certainly not the interim Iraqi government - to "wobble" over the timetable for elections. Having so abysmally failed in our promises to bring peace and security to Iraq, the very least we can do now is to stick to our pledge on elections.

The moderate Shia leader, Ayatollah Sistani, has always been right about this. Without elections, no Iraqi government has a chance of being accepted as legitimate by a majority of Iraqis. However difficult the circumstances, the Iraqi authorities and foreign forces must do their utmost to ensure they go ahead. The pity is only that efforts were not made to hold elections much sooner after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Iraqis should have been trusted with their own future earlier.

But there was another, far less consoling, conclusion to be drawn from Mr Blair's appearance with Iraq's interim prime minister at Downing Street yesterday. It is now clear that if the election timetable for Iraq slips, those who launched such a misguided war and then so comprehensively bungled the peace will be the last to accept the blame. Responsibility is already being shuffled off on to anonymous forces of "global terrorism". So, while acknowledging the divisiveness of the war, Mr Blair insisted that those disagreements should now be consigned to the past.

There was, he said, in a worrying echo of Mr Bush's "you are with us or you are with the terrorists" mantra, "only one side for sensible and decent people to be on". Those on the other side were opposed "not only to the new Iraq, but to every one of the values we hold dear". This conflict, Mr Blair said, was the "crucible in which the future of global terrorism will be decided". Don't call them a resistance, Mr Allawi chimed in, call them terrorists.

Somehow we have slid, Bush-style, from a mission to oust a dictator to fighting the global "war on terror". Pre-war Iraq was no paradise, but it was no hotbed of terrorism either. If it can now be described as such, this is what an illegal foreign intervention has made it.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m