Who will apologize to the Iraqi people?

Until now, no one is ready to beg forgiveness from the Iraqi people for what was done

Maria Dubovikova

Published: Updated:

When terror struck Paris in November last year, claiming 129 lives, people worldwide expressed solidarity with France. Popular sights and historical monuments changed their colors to the French flag. Social media was abuzz with hashtags marking the tragedy.

Terror attacks carried out in Brussels claimed 35 lives. The world was shocked. Terrorists had targeted the very heart of Europe. A huge media wave followed. People changed their profile pictures in solidarity. Several monuments worldwide displayed the colors of the Belgian flag. People mourned the victims, and social media devoted hashtags and sincere posts.

The Orlando attack, by a single gunman at an LGBT nightclub, claimed 50 lives. The world was shocked. Media boiled again, people expressed support to the victims and their families. Historical places worldwide displayed the colors of the LGBT movement. The attack in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport killed 36. Reaction was more muted, but still media boiled and monuments were illuminated with the colors of Turkey’s flag.

The terrorist attack in Baghdad killed more than 200 people. Silence. The question asked mostly by Arabic media is why the media and people worldwide are mostly indifferent about the tragedy in Iraq. The question has become rhetorical.

Until now, no one is ready to beg forgiveness from the Iraqi people for what was done, or officially announce who bares responsibility

Maria Dubovikova

It seems not all lives matters. We saw it after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) downed a Russian passenger plane over Sinai. We saw it over the terrorist attack in Lebanon, and in other tragedies outside the West.

We have gotten used to explosions hitting Iraq practically every week, but it was not always like this. Violence following the U.S. invasion has claimed about 1 million lives. The U.S. “war on terror” made terror flourish. The death toll since the start of the “war on terror” has reached 2 million, from invasions, airstrikes and terrorist attacks.

A map of the sites of terrorist attacks in Baghdad since 2003 is the strongest evidence of the consequences of an invasion that was carried out under false pretexts. It is no secret that ISIS itself originates from that time.


The possibility of putting Britain’s then-Prime Minister Tony Blair on ‘trial’ in parliament for drawing his country into the U.S.-led campaign can be considered the first attempt to recognize the catastrophic, international crime against humanity committed at the start of the 21st century.

Putting him on trial could push the international community to rethink the invasion, U.S. policy and interventionism as an instrument of managing the world. However, a White House occupied by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump promises nothing good for the world, as most likely interventionism will get a new start.

In the report that mauled Blair’s already bad reputation, Sir John Chilcot recognized that at the time of the invasion, Iraq’s then-President Saddam Hussein “posed no imminent threat.” Russia reacted immediately with its traditional “we told you so.” Moscow strictly opposed the intervention, and warned the countries involved about the dramatic consequences that would follow.

The fabrication of evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction outraged the world, but those culpable have not been prosecuted. Prosecution will not return the lives lost in Iraq over the last 13 years, but it could bring some justice. Nevertheless, idealism over the Chilcot report should not prevail. It was mostly dictated not by guilt over Iraqi suffering, but by worries that British soldiers died in vain and taxpayer money was wasted.

Until now, no one is ready to beg forgiveness from the Iraqi people for what was done, or officially announce who bares responsibility.

Maria Dubovikova is a President of IMESClub and CEO of MEPFoundation. Alumni of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations [University] of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia), now she is a PhD Candidate there. Her research fields are in Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, Euro-Arab dialogue, policy in France and the U.S. towards the Mediterranean, France-Russia bilateral relations, humanitarian cooperation and open diplomacy. She can be followed on Twitter: @politblogme

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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