So the Yanks are going home. Apart from the thousands of their servicemen and women whose lifeblood they are leaving in the sands of Iraq. And minus the trillion-plus of dollars they have expended on destroying an Arab country (which has lost more than 150,000 souls and three million off into exile), fanning the flames of fanaticism, making Iran more powerful, and unleashing a wave of sectarianism throughout the Muslim world. Nice work, but hardly "Mission Accomplished", as the valediction delivered by US President Barack Obama at Fort Bragg recently made clear to the discerning.
The more he talked about what he once called the "dumb war", the more obvious it was that his was the task of holding the dipped banner of defeat. This is the death knell of American empire, the end of the brief unipolar world. Like Ozymandias, history — which hasn't ended after all — will invite us to gaze upon its ruined works and tremble. But instead we will rejoice, rejoice. For the Project for the New American Century it will be never glad confident morning again.
The war that was waged — yes, for oil and Israel — was waged above all to terrify the world (especially China). It turned into the largest boomerang in history. For what has been demonstrated are the limits of near-bankrupt America's power. Far from being cowed, America's adversaries — and its enemies — have been emboldened. With shock and awe the empire soon dominated the skies over Iraq to be sure. But they never controlled a single street in the country.
Fortresses such as Fallujah entered history alongside Stalingrad as symbols of the unvanquishable power of popular resistance to foreign invasion. Crimes such as Abu Ghraib prison entered the lexicon of the barbarism of those who invade others, flying the colours of their "civilising" mission. China now knows it has nothing to fear from an America where a third of the population are living in poverty or terrifyingly near it, and whose imperial hubris met its nemesis on Haifa Street.
I told Tony Blair — outside the men's lavatory in the library corridor of the House of Commons, to be precise — that the Iraqis would fight them, with their teeth if necessary, until they had driven them from their land. I told Blair that there was no Al Qaida in Iraq, but that if he and George Bush were to invade there would be thousands of them. But two things, as Bush would put it, I "mis-underestimated". First, that when the tower of lies on which the case for the Iraq war had been constructed was exposed, the credibility of the political systems of the two main liars would collapse. And second, that the example of the Iraqi resistance would trigger seismic changes from throughout the region.
Almost nobody in Britain or America any longer believes a word their politicians say. This malaise has fuelled both the Tea Party phenomenon and the Occupy movement, even if the word Iraq seldom crosses their lips. And from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf the plates are moving still ...
— Guardian News & Media Ltd
George Galloway was an MP in the British parliament, for Labour and later the anti-Iraq war Respect party, from 1987 to 2010.