Sunday 18 May 2003

So What Was The War For?

by Robert Fisk

click here to visit his website More than 50 dead in a week. Thanks for the Iraq war.

Thank you, Mr Bush and Mr Blair, for making our world safer by ridding us of the one tyrant - Saddam Hussein - who never had any connection with 11 September 2001, or with the Riyadh bombings or with the bombings in Casablanca.

The "liberation" of Iraq was supposed to free us from the bombers of al Qaeda. So said Mr Blair. So said Mr Straw. Could you talk to us, please, Messrs Blair and Straw? What was Iraq for? No, we don't have any "claim of responsibility" for the Casablanca massacre, but the nature of the cold calculation behind the Casablanca bombings is sufficient.

One suicide bomber kills himself by blowing open the doors of the Jewish community centre. Then his surviving comrade blows himself up inside. Weren't the Jews - like the Christians - "people of the Book", honoured by Islam? But then - and there's always a "but then" - wasn't Morocco a "friend" of the West, a country that has resorted to torture again over the past year in its pro-American battle against "terrorism", yet another country in which human rights have taken second place to President Bush's war on terror?

Osama bin Laden always said that his intention was to overthrow "the corrupt monarchies of the Arab world". It was Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the week, Morocco at the end. So, back to the point. Ten suicide bombers killed the innocent of Casablanca - that's more than half the total killers of September 11, 2001. And only five days after al Qaeda struck Riyadh.

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