Background to poetry of the
Iraq War 2003-2011
The first Iraq War poems
The first Iraq War poems were not by military personnel but mainly by outraged civilians.
Why the outrage against the Iraq war?
Politicians and the media had been making allegations against Iraq for years before the furious bombing campaign began on 20th March 2003.
Their allegations and constant ranting to the media about the threat of Iraq were a sign that they were trying to prepare public opinion to agree to the bombing of the country. The great mass of people around the world were completely unconvinced by the arguments which always lacked credibility.
No war in history had ever been so widely opposed
On 15 February 2003 there were demonstrations around the world in 780 cities, including 145 in America. Tens of millions of people marched in protest at the idea of bombing Iraq. Between one and two million people marched in London against the war. History shows that the people on the street were right and the politicians wrong.
In Whitehall, London. My picture of a tiny fragment of the one to two million strong demonstration in London 15 February 2003
My photo of part of the crowd of hundreds of thousands that gathered in Hyde Park on 15 February 2003 to protest against the planned war on Iraq.
Two million demonstrated in Rome against the bombing of Iraq
Against morality and international law
Everyone now knows that popular opinion, common sense, international law, human decency, morality, rational argument were all ignored by those who had the power to prevent the war.
It is not surprising that few people were convinced by the politicians.
For example, did any sane person in Britain really believe that Saddam Hussein in Iraq was planning to attack British soil and had prepared to be able to do so within 45 minutes? What possible reason might he have for doing such a thing? In any case, the British, the French and others had comprehensively bombed his air force into extinction in the preceding years - acting totally illegally, of course.And his army was small, in fact easily conquered. Did he have a navy to ship his invaders to Britain? Or even "British soil" in Cyprus? The whole suggestion was laughable.
Did anyone believe that he had weapons of mass destruction when the UN weapons inspectors had been there for years without finding them, or that removing the inspectors and bombing the country was a more effective route to finding these weapons? Not a single weapon was ever found, yet a country was terrorised and destroyed and its resources turned over to big corporations.
Apparently in America over half the population became convinced that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, this being an idea fostered by the American government and was always a barefaced lie.