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Two decades after invasion, Americans view Iraq War as mistake: Poll

Anti-war demonstrators protest in Hollywood, US, on the first anniversary of the start of the US-led war in Iraq, March 20, 2004. (Reuters photo)

Two decades after the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq, the majority of Americans have come to the realization that the war, which left about a million people dead and ruined the Arab country, was a mistake, according to a poll.

The Axios/Ipsos poll released this week showed that while two-thirds of Americans approved of the military action in 2003, 61 percent now believe it was the wrong decision.

On March 20, 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs; but no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

The US war in Iraq cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, according to a study called Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When the US ground invasion of Iraq began twenty years ago, just 26 percent of Americans in a Pew poll opposed the war.

While 83 percent of Republicans supported the invasion compared to 52 percent of Democrats.

Two decades later, 58 percent of Republicans still insist the US was right to invade. Only 26 percent of Democrats still think it was a good idea.

Sixty-seven percent of Americans don’t believe the war in Iraq made the US any safer, according to the Ipsos poll, which was conducted last week among 1,018 Americans over 18 years old.

‘To end war, prosecute US, UK officials who wage it illegally’

The world must finally put an end to the impunity of war criminals by holding US and UK officials responsible for launching the illegal war on Iraq, done without the approval of the UN Security Council, and prosecuting them under the Nuremberg principles, American journalist Don DeBar said.

DeBar told Press TV that the Iraq war was illegal from the very beginning.

"It is illegal for a nation to make war on another nation if it does not have the approval of the UN Security Council, if any of those nations are signatories to the original UN Charter. And it’s been adopted - that happened with the US as a charter member of the UN, and it was approved by the US Senate in 1940s. Consequently, the US involvement in Iraq from the beginning, and the UK involvement in Iraq from the beginning, was illegal,” he said.

“And under the Nuremberg standards, which would then apply, each and every death consequent – intentional or not - to either US or UK military action there, or condoning of the US action there by the media or public officials, or any act facilitating that, is an individual war crime. And, by the way, there’s a death penalty for that,” the journalist noted.

“No one will prosecute these people. That’s why I started with the word impunity. And we might bookend with that because that’s the problem. And until the world puts an end to that impunity, until the world sees the major contradiction in all international relations is US, UK, and EU imperialism, then it’s going to continue until this eats our species,” he stated.

A damning White House memo had revealed details of the so-called “deal in blood” forged by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush over the Iraq war.

The document, titled “Secret... Memorandum for the President”, was sent by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell to President Bush on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas.

The sensational memo revealed that Blair had agreed to support the war a year before the invasion even started, while publicly the British prime minister was working to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The document also disclosed that Blair agreed to act as a spin doctor for Bush and convince a skeptical public that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which actually did not exist.

In response, Bush would flatter Blair and give the impression that London was not Washington’s poodle but an equal partner in the “special relationship.”

Powell told Bush that Blair “will be with us” on the Iraq war, and assured the president that “the UK will follow our lead in the Middle East."

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