Politicians Forget Iraq’s Human Lessons

There is no easy solution to the current Syrian crisis as it becomes an increasing protracted and savage conflict. Unfortunately, what it shares with many other conflicts is the impact of the international community inability to confront it and the failure to learn past lessons. As the they have failed to meet a consensus so the situation has cost more lives and become more complex.

While Syria captures the main headlines today, however, in Iraq the bombs still explode in the streets and while the decision to halt military action suggests that Iraq has not been forgotten it is perhaps due to political factors than anything else. We remember the lies which lead into Iraq but do western politicians remember the continuing human impact of the conflict such as the birth defects which now affect civilians in Fallujah nine years on. This was caused by the illegal use of chemical weapons by the U.S military themselves, specifically depleted uranium and phosphorous.

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In short western politicians have learned the political lessons rather than the human lessons. Arguably, the political manoeuvring of Ed Milliband suggests this is so.

There is no doubt that the use of chemical weapons on civilians is a horrendous act that requires a response but equally and unlike Iraq we must not avoid responsibility or clean our hands of the our actions consequences.

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