It’s unfortunate that self-correction comes ten years late for Iraq.
I was wrong for a lot of reasons — strategic, political, humanitarian — but the most important is that the Iraq War did not meet the basic test of a just war, which allows for pre-emptive military action against an imminent threat, but not preventive war designed to stop such imminent threats from even emerging. The Iraq War, to my mind, was clearly a preventive war and thus constituted a crime of aggression.
This month, the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, I’ve decided to re-publish some of my posts from March 2003. Call it masochism or basic journalistic accountability or the Internet’s revenge. But I was wrong. I was wrong in good faith. But I was wrong. And it’s worth, ten years’ later, to show just how wrong I was in order to understand better my massive error of judgment (let alone of tone).
Finally – and I’m sure that’s only in terms of this post – US special forces veteran links General Petraeus to torture in Iraq.
A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, retired Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organise the Iraqi security services.