Solution to a problem cannot be effective if the minute details of the causative agents responsible for the problem are not addressed. Without getting into the detail of the circumstances that facilitated the emergence of ISIS it would always hang heavy on policymakers to completely curb the devastation this group have caused to the entire world. Mere blowing out their hideouts and not punishing the silent actors whose policies and wrong decision have led the world in chaos will not make sense.
Tracing the history, one can easily find the evidence of ISIS rise from Iraq. As Iraq became the first test point of United States and Britain in marking their military entry in the Middle Eastern region. It started off with the invasion of Iraq on 19th march 2003 and lasted in 21 days on 1st May of the same year. This was assisted by the military coalition of United States, Britain, Australia and Poland where the major stakeholders were US and Britain.
With the rise of Saddam Hussein to power in 1979 and the establishment of Ba’athist regime, began the internal and external actors’ disturbance against him. Internally the Shiite population, initially insecure to be treated by a Sunni dominated regime and influenced by the Iranian Revolution the same year, weren’t much happy with his accession to power and the Kurds too remained an unhappy minority group for him. The establishment of Ba’athist regime was not already in the interest of the US and Britain so the external environment for him too was much hostile. Saddam had an oppressive behaviour towards the movements from inside Iraq and behaviour as a hostile neighbour towards newly Islamic republic of Iran and Kuwait with whom he came in direct military confrontations. He attacked Iran in 1980 in his insecurity with regards to “Shiite revivalism” as a consequence of Iranian revolution. This continued till 1988 when the war finally came to an end by agreeing to the ceasefire between the two countries. Winding up Iran’s chapter he initiated an oppressive military offensive against the Kurds and Shiite population of Iraq as a reaction to their uprisings. Saddam, later in mid-1990, invaded Kuwait, accusing it of slant-drilling into Iraqi fields and demanded relief from war debts. When Kuwait refused his demand, Saddam invaded Kuwait and proclaimed it to be the 19th province of Iraq. In response, the United States and Saudi Arabia assembled a large coalition in which US forces, after five weeks of air attacks, freed Kuwait of Iraqi forces that seldom offered more than token resistance.
Such behaviour, which was sensed by the major powers as a greatest challenge to their power play and Saddam’s straightaway attitude as a rigid ruler, was a threat to those aiming at the economic resources of the region. So was initiated an “accusation game” against Saddam by President George Bush of United States and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. It was planned to remove Saddam by a military intervention so in the run-up to the war, various officials and US allies repeatedly asserted that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that presented a threat to the US and other targets.
President Bush, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 7, 2002, said, “Iraq possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons; it is seeking nuclear weapons.” Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, on Sep 24, 2002, claimed that “Saddam has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population”. Secretary of State Colin Powell told UN that “Saddam is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb”. CIA director George Tenet told Feb 11, 2003 “Saddam had both biological and chemical weapons and could potentially deliver such weapons against other countries, including the United States”. Considering the hammering claims the question to investigate is what has been discovered about Iraq’s WMD program? David Kay, a former chief UN nuclear weapons inspector, was appointed as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Iraq Survey Group (ISG) in June 2003. He before Congress on Oct 2, about the group’s initial findings told “ISG had not yet found stocks of weapons”.
There were claims of Saddam’s link with Al-Qaeda as well. In his UN speech, Powell said: “Iraq today harbours a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda operatives”. State officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, talked frequently about Saddam’s links to al Qaeda. This claim was refuted by President Bush himself when he openly denounced the suspicion and said: “We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 attacks,” on Sept 18, 2003.
The debate that took a new start from an overripe discussion about Iraq war 2003 is selling like hot cakes through the ink of scholars and the words of the pro’s and anti’s of the invasion strategy. Considering the historical records of the invaders and completely opposite facts found and admitted over the course of time, the debate had been summed up by the very own Tony Blair himself who recently in an interview confessed his “mistakes” in Iraq war and left no ambiguity in accepting the wrong intelligence reports before going to war. Appearing on the US TV network CNN, Tony Blair confessed his mistake by saying “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence I received was wrong. Because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people against others, the programme in the form we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologise for that. I can also apologise, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you had removed the regime.” Blair was also asked whether the invasion of Iraq was the ‘principle cause’ of the rise of ISIS. In response to which he told that “I think there are elements of truth in that”.
Blair’s own confession that they committed “mistake” due to the “wrong intelligence reports” in Iraq case itself brings the debate of war’s justification to an end but here the subject must not be dated out. Instead the wrong invaders must be put in Hague and trailed for the unjust war and a great humanitarian catastrophe as a consequence of war. Most importantly the aftermath of the war shows the deadliest implications of their “mistake” in form of ISIS emergence and a nightmare associated to their spread across the region. This establishment have descended the entire region into chaos and left the lives of common people at a stake. The current refugee crises too have emerged as an indirect repercussion of Iraq war. This does not end up here in the Middle Eastern unrest but instead have entered the Europe as ISIS marked its entry there in the recent Paris attacks and with such a rapid spread of ISIS power scholars fear about the possible takeover of Europe in the hands of ISIS.
Analysing the repercussions of this unjust war, the players must not go free hand but should be put in Hague and needed to be trialled for the worst they did through Iraq to the world peace. So when Blair says “of course you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015” indeed he is right.
Kamel Daoud, an author at The New York Times wrote in this article “Saudi Arabia, am ISIS that has made it” writes precisely “Deash has a mother: Invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father Saudi Arabia and its industrial religious complex”.
So, what today the world is facing in the form of ISIS is the product of the wrong policies and approach with which they dealt Iraq. The spread of ISIS terror from Iraq to entire Middle Eastern region and from there to Europe is not mere to be blamed on the wrong interpretation of Islamic concept of Jihad but the entire collapse of global peace is a result of the mistakes Mac world made while waging war on Iraq.