Iraq's connection with al-Qaida -- a lie, Iraq's purchase of uranium from Niger -- a lie, mobile biological weapons programme - a lie. Three lies justifying the war on Iraq in 2003. The source of the last lie, which was used by Colin Powell in his dramatic presentation at the UN, was Rafid al-Janabi (Curveball). He told the British Guardian newspaper (16 February): "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime". This single source, whose unreliability the CIA warned the American government about, became the backbone of the case for war.
What now? Here is Iraq, the country of my birth, riven by sectarianism and terrorism with millions of widows, fatherless children, and war-disabled, trying to cope with their blighted lives caused by an illegal war based on lies. And what will the future hold for children that are born and yet to be born with birth defects, because of the use of depleted uranium ammunition? The anguish of their parents is unimaginable. Four million people have been displaced by the war and its aftermath. And, oh, we must not forget the torture and sexual humiliation of people in Abu-Ghraib and other American-run prisons. Don't these people deserve justice? Iraqis are human too.
Are the American and British people going to demand that those responsible for such carnage and misery to these millions, including thousands of their own citizens, be put on trial? Are the families of American and British soldiers, killed or injured in a war predicated on lies, going to demand justice and closure for the loss of their loved ones?
Part of the healing process, and moving on for those left after such a calamitous injustice, is an acknowledgement of the wrongs done, actions to punish those responsible, and restitution to victims. Will any of that happen? On the contrary, the people responsible for this crime against humanity, George Bush, Tony Blair and others who were complicit in this man-made catastrophe continue to prosper and have not even apologised. Instead they keep asserting that they are proud of what they have done and would do the same again. Have they no shame? Have they got any humanity at all?
When and if the drums of war start beating against another unfortunate developing country, the American and British people need to be vigilant about what might be done in their name. They need to develop a healthy cynical attitude to the words of their politicians and the corporate media.
In the words of John Pilger in the New Statesman: " This acute scepticism, this skill of reading between the lines, is urgently needed in supposedly free societies today. Take the reporting of state-sponsored war. The oldest cliche' is that truth is the first casualty of war. I disagree. Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries, such as Iraq".
Will the unfortunate people of Iraq ever see justice?