Nick Hopkins London The Sydney Morning Herald
A BRITISH woman who worked at the top of the US military during the most troubled periods of the Iraq war has said she fears the West has yet to see how some Muslims brought up in the past decade will seek revenge for the ”war on terror”.
Emma Sky, 44, was political adviser to the United States’ most senior general in Iraq, Ray Odierno, and part of the team that implemented the counter-insurgency strategy that helped to control the civil war that erupted in the country.
She spent more than four years in Iraq, including a spell as civilian governor of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city in the north that continues to cause tension between the country’s ethnic groups.
Ms Sky argues that politicians and government officials in Britain and the US should have been held responsible for the decision to go to war and the lack of strategy and planning for its aftermath, the consequences of which are still being felt.
She said that lack of understanding of the Arab world also meant the West struggled to grasp why the war had provoked so much violence, and who was responsible for it.
”We behaved as if there were a finite number of people in the world who had to be killed or captured. And we were slow to realise that our actions were creating more enemies,” Ms Sky said.
”Now, we are saying, ‘We’ve pulled out of Iraq, we are pulling out of Afghanistan, and it’s all over now.’ It may be over for the politicians. But it is not over for the Muslim world. Well over 100,000 Muslims have been killed since 9/11 following our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly by other Muslims.”
She added: ”The world is better off without Saddam [Hussein]. But nobody has been held accountable for what happened in Iraq … Politicians can still claim that Iraq was a violent society, or that Iraqis went into civil war because of ancient hatreds, or the violence was the inevitable result of the removal of Saddam, or that al-Qaeda and Iran caused the problems. They distract from our own responsibility for causing some of the problems by our presence and the policies we pursued.”
She said the focus on building up local security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was not the right priority. ”We think it is … about our security. But in the end, it is about their politics … success in Iraq was always going to be defined by politics. We needed a political solution, a pact, a peace.” GUARDIAN
NOTE BY THE EDITOR: Look at her face expression. You can see how she enjoyed being near the power-that-be. I have seen them, both ladies and men. Many of them ‘small guys’, who all of a sudden found themselves near the power over life and death. And they enjoyed it. And, yes, a backlash may still follow.