Blair's crimes | Civilians slaughtered | Iraq

Britain and the US invade Iraq, leading to 650,000 deaths by 2006

A US B-2 bomber takes off from Diego Garcia heading towards Iraq-
USAAF photo – public domain – via

[ 20 March 2003 ]

On 20 March 2003, Britain joined the United States in an illegal military assault on Iraq in order to enforce regime change and eliminate the country’s alleged ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ even though London was aware that there was no credible evidence for their existence.  As the chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, testified to the United Nations Security Council shortly after the invasion, his weapons inspections commission had

‘not at any time during the inspections in Iraq found evidence of the continuation or resumption of programmes of weapons of mass destruction or significant quantities of proscribe items whether from pre-1991 or later.’1

Even a year later, Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor had failed to find ‘a single government lawyer or senior official in Whitehall (who) has told me that the war, in their view, was legal.’2  Some leading lawyers, however, went further suggesting strongly that the British government was responsible for a major war crime.  Mark Littman QC was not alone in arguing that Blair may have initiated the gravest of all war crimes. He cited chief US Prosecutor Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg trials of leading Nazis in 1946, ‘that to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’3

At least ten thousand Iraqis, including many civilians, were killed during the invasion in which the UK forces used cluster bombs, white phosphorous and depleted uranium leading to appalling injuries and a long term cancer hot spots.  This was followed by a brutal occupation, in which the United States and Britain soon earned an appalling record for human rights violations, did nothing to rebuild the country’s broken economic infrastructure and  stoked sectarian tensions in an attempt to keep opposition divided.  By 2006, the British medical journal the Lancet,following detailed epidemiological research by a team of doctors in Iraq, estimated that over 650,000 Iraqis had died over three years as a result of the invasion.4


  1. Hans Blix quoted in Mark Curtis, Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses, Vintage, London, 2004, p. 14
  2. Richard Norton-Taylor, ‘A Chance To Name The Guilty Men,’ The Guardian, 8 July 2004
  3. Mark Littman, ‘A Supreme International Crime,’ The Guardian, 10 March 2003 accessed at url . See also Mark Curtis, op. cit., p. 38.
  4. Sarah Boseley, ‘655,000 Iraqis Killed Since Invasion,’ The Guardian, 11 October 2006

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