The Shadow of Iraq, and Roll On Chilcot


Sajida al-Rishawi was the suicide bomber executed in Jordan when ISIS made a false prisoner-exchange proposal. She had survived because her vest did not explode, due to a faulty detonator.

Why did she decide, in her 30s, to become a suicide bomber?

In 2003, soon after US troops invaded her country, Iraq, they killed her husband. A few months later they killed her beloved older brother, and then in quick succession two more of her brothers.

She then offered herself to al Quaeda as a bomber.

When the NAZI-directed German army invaded France in 1940, the people who resisted were hailed, and still are, as heroes. They killed civilians. But their target was to defeat the hated enemy. Some were undoubtedly driven to rebel, and to sacrifice their lives, by the killing of a spouse or relative.

Before the invasion of Iraq, Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, had warned in a memo that if there were a ‘US installed regime in Iraq’ then ‘”Fudamentalism” would be increased.’ He also emphasised the fact that there were legal problems with invading Iraq.

A month before the invasion the Joint Intelligence Committee warned Tony Blair that ‘al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq.’

Subsequently the Defence Academy has concluded that ‘The war in Iraq . . . has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world . . . Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth.’ Similar conclusions have been reached by Eliza Manningham-Buller, Stella Rimmington, the JIC, the NIC, the CIA, the IISS, Chatham House and several other authoritative individuals. For more detail see

Tony Blair, supported by his cronies, has argued against that view, doubtless on the grounds that like Osama bin Laden he thought that he was doing the right thing, and therefore criticisms can’t be right. Roll on Chilcot.