FOR a blatant misrepresentation of the facts Mike Mercer’s diatribe (“Lampooning the leaders” November 19) takes the biscuit.
While it is true that countries other than the US and UK have posted miniscule numbers of largely non-combatant troops to Iraq since the invasion in order to curry favour with the US for economic and/or political reasons this was not part of any UN operation.
Since 2006 the UN has been obliged to provide some assistance in a vain attempt to mitigate the predictably disastrous consequences of the ill-considered US/UK invasion, confirmed only a month or two ago as illegal by the new UN Secretary-General, following Kofi Annan’s similar pronouncement.
It is arguable that most of the countries supplying these very limited numbers of personnel prior to 2006 would have been even less enthusiastic had the UK not provided the White House with a cloak of credence by so astonishingly supporting the US in the first place.
The vast majority of countries forming the UN disapproved of the US/UK invasion - hence the US/UK's strategy to bypass the General Assembly in 2003.
“The whole world’’ was not “fooled by Saddam Hussein’’. Iraq had, years prior to the invasion, given an impression of the presence of WMD for the purpose of discouraging attack from the vastly superior forces threatening the country, an understandable tactic by the leadership of a virtually defenceless nation emaciated by years of sanctions. When invasion seemed certain, Saddam declared that Iraq had no such weapons. The UN weapons inspectors had found no WMD in years of searches and said the existence of such weapons was highly unlikely.
Hence the machinations made to distort the intelligence information and to invent dangers to this country which did not exist. All to secure a favourable vote from a supine Cabinet and Commons, although two ministers had the decency to resign over the issue.
The imbecilic mismanagement of the occupation of Iraq has accelerated and deepened the catastrophic descent into chaos and guerrilla warfare.