The only lesson we ever learn is that we never learn
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/fisk/robert-fisk-the-only-lesson-we-ever-learn-is-that-we-never-learn-797816.htmlToday, we are engaged in a fruitless debate. What went wrong? How did the people – the senatus populusque Romanus of our modern world – not rise up in rebellion when told the lies about weapons of mass destruction, about Saddam's links with Osama bin Laden and 11 September? How did we let it happen? And how come we didn't plan for the aftermath of war?
The main winners of the war are not the ones its instigators planned: Iran and al-Qa'ida and the other big winners are the money men who have made billions.
The only Washington hawk still in a position of power after the occupation went so disastrously wrong. Part of a lame-duck administration, but can look forward to a comfortable retirement: his former company, Halliburton, has done nicely out of the whole Iraq business.
Could the ayatollahs ever have imagined that the Great Satan would overthrow its great enemy, Saddam, put its Shia co-religionists in power in Iraq and make its soldiers hostage to Tehran's good will? They have George Bush where they want him, and Israel is nervous
Sir John Scarlett
Author of the notorious WMD dossier along with Alastair Campbell, he was criticised for allowing MI6 to be used for political ends. But a grateful Tony Blair granted his ambition of heading the service, and the traditional knighthood followed.
Saddam had no truck with Osama bin Laden's men, but that did not stop the White House convincing the US public they were in cahoots. It was the invasion that gave al-Qa'ida a foothold in Iraq and eased the pressure on it in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The only Iraqis still wholeheartedly behind the occupation, and why not? America ousted the man who attacked them with poison gas, and guarantees the safety of the closest thing the Kurds have ever had to an independent nation.
Got into hot water with his previous military company, Sandline, in Sierra Leone and New Guinea. Bounced back spectacularly with Aegis Defence Services, which won a huge contract in Iraq, to the dismay of his American competitors.
Thanks to his invasion of Iraq, historians are seriously debating whether he is the worst President in US history. Even if Cheney and Rumsfeld were more to blame, he will bear ultimate responsibility for the damage to America's standing in the world.
Never have arrogance and incompetence combined to such disastrous effect. The ideologues might have been "mugged by reality" and humiliated, but Iraq will suffer the consequences for decades to come.
Might still be Prime Minister if Iraq had not stained his record. But given the millions he's now making, some might think that he belongs in the Winners column.
Preoccupied by Iraq, the US has had little time or inclination to press Israel to talk peace, apart from the half-hearted initiative launched in Mr Bush's last year in office.
The US media
How did a press that prides itself on its rigour and accuracy get carried along by war hysteria? 'The New York Times' and WMD propaganda, anyone?
The world supported the US when it overthrew the Taliban and ousted its al-Qa'ida "guests". But America switched its attention to Iraq. The result: al-Qa'ida and the Taliban have regained strength.
The 7/7 bombers used Britain's role in Iraq as their excuse, and the authorities have their hands full trying to prevent disaffected young Muslims seeking to emulate them.