Iraq: what now for the war on terror?
Saturday 27 October, 10.30am until 12.00pm, Student Union Bar-room Rants

Nearly five years down the line and troops are still in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and the Ba’athist regime has been wiped out. The idea that Iraq provided a safe haven for al-Qaeda also proved unfounded, though it may have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What can it mean now to ‘see it through’?

Was there ever any moral substance to the invasion of Iraq? Or was it never really anything more than a neocon adventure? Was the project driven by American national self-interest, or was it a desperate attempt on the part of crisis-ridden political elites to inject some moral purpose into vacuous national politics? How does the experience of Iraq play into the War on Terror at home? Will the experience of Iraq put an end to Western military interventions, neocon or otherwise, or can we expect more in the future?


Brendan O'Neill
editor, spiked; columnist, Big Issue; contributor, Spectator; author, A Duty to Offend: Selected Essays
Professor Bill Durodié
head of department and chair of international relations, University of Bath
Dr Chris Bickerton
associate professor of international relations, Sciences Po, Paris; author, European Integration: from nation states to member states; co-editor, The Current Moment

 Produced by

Dr Maria Grasso lecturer in politics and quantitative methods, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield; author: Generations, Political Participation and Social Change in Western Europe

The Iraq war: the strip-tease of democracy, Lee Jones

 Recommended readings

What's next in Iraq?
'The unified Iraqi state that the U.S. is trying to pursue is a chimera.' Ali A. Allawi, minister of finance under Ibrahim al-Jaafari's transitional National Government, talks to Juan Cole
Juan Cole & Ali A. Allawi, Chronicle, 27 May 2007

The politics of naming: genocide, civil war, insurgency
In Iraq the politics are as messy as the military intervention is complicit. Darfur, on the other hand, presents a black and white canvas, where the perpetrators are so evil and the victims so helpless that only a rescue mission from the outside will suffice
Mahmood Mamdani, London Review of Books, 7 March 2007

Basra: planned withdrawal or defeat
Leaving largely at night an under curfew, if the British presence had been such a success, the style of its ending would have been different
Paul Reynolds, BBC News, 2 September 2007

The Iraq war is Brown's war, a war he could have stopped
The question now is whether the disaster in Iraq will drag on because Brown lacks the courage of his alleged personal convictions
Simon Jenkins, Guardian, 29 May 2007

Denial of the link with Iraq is delusional and dangerous
The continuation of terrorist attacks in Britain are a central part of Blair's legacy- and the responsibility of a political class that failed to hold to account those who launched an illegal war of aggression
Seumas Milne, Guardian, 4 July 2007

recommended by spiked

Iraq: now it’s a gesture invasion
Brendan O’Neill, 15 January 2007

The phantom occupation of Iraq
Brendan O’Neill, 28 October 2006

Session partners

in association with