Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Dan Kennedy, writing in the Guardian, is spot on.
US Vice-President Dick Cheney, the real power in the White House during the Bush presidency, is attempting to claim that the invasion of Iraq has worked out well.
Not well for Saddam Hussein, obviously, who was caught hiding in a cellar some five years ago and subsequently executed rather than sent to the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.
And not well for the people of Iraq, unless one considers the faint autonomy of some of Kurdistan to be worth it.
Of course, the invasion and occupation of Iraq went really well for Dick Cheney himself, as he was able to transfer large amounts of US tax dollars into the hands of his old pals at Halliburton.
Increasingly, as one listens to the whining of Tony Blair about his anguish over the war, or indeed scoffs at corrupt old Bertie Ahern as he pleads to be considered the great peacemaker of Ireland, I have come to realise that the place to hurt these people is in their legacy.
Blair's not stupid, and now realises that his legacy will be ever ruined by his involvement in Iraq. Ahern is rather stupid, but his arrogance and ego demand that history credit him with things he had at best a tangential involvement in (peace in the North of Ireland and the boom economy), rather than the things he was up to his greasy little neck in (endemic Fianna Fail corruption, clientelism and gombeenism).
Cheney is also concerned about the legacy. And he remains in cynical denial about the wrongs he has committed.
His only out now is to try to persuade the rest of us to see things from his twisted point of view - a point of view which says that it doesn't matter if there were no weapons in Iraq, it doesn't matter if hundreds of thousands died needlessly, and it doesn't matter about America kidnapping and torturing people in third countries.
As Dan Kennedy says in his excellent commentary on Cheney's delusions, it is enough to make a jackal puke.