Thirteen years ago, America and Britain used the excuses of “eliminating Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction” and “stopping a dictator from turning the Middle East into hell on earth” to circumvent the United Nations and outrageously start the Iraq War. The recently released Iraq war inquiry report from Britain shows that the evidence about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction are “lies, all lies,” generating frenzied global public opinion.

Iraq was once called the “largest virgin land on an oil well,” so Saddam was deluded into thinking he could prove his innocence. Hong Kong journalist Susanna Chui-yung Cheung wrote in her book “On the Scene in the Middle East” that “to America, weapons with real killing power are undoubtedly oil,” and “reasons for starting the war could not be more apparent; what could be more satisfying to the elite than building American military bases on a virgin oil field?” Using democracy to violate democracy and using human rights to trample human rights is the real nature of the so-called American democracy and American human rights. There are unspeakable secrets behind its grandiose slogans.

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, supposedly took all the blame for invading Iraq. However, it is nothing but a hypocritical official line. The riverbanks of the Tigris and the Euphrates once grew milky leaves; now the rivers are soaked in blood. The ancient cultures have been reduced to ruins, they are breeding terrorism around the world, and have become the headquarters for the Islamic State. How exactly would Tony Blair take responsibility for all of this?

America once declared to the world that Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction was an absolute certainty. Compared to Blair’s statement that making the decision to start the Iraq War was the most painful, solemn, and difficult decision he made in his 10 years as prime minister, George W. Bush has never shown any inclination to apologize; he has said the world was better without Saddam. Is the world better without Saddam? Overthrowing one Saddam led to the rise of a thousand more Saddams. Since America and Britain freed the genie of terrorism from the bottle, the sound of gunfire and artillery has not stopped in the Middle East and Europe; when will the bloody days end?

A group of bad men waved their weapons, charged into a sovereign country, plucking away their leader like a baby chick, sentencing him with a trumped-up charge and hanging him. In international politics, might is everything. Taking total responsibility equals taking no responsibility at all. In fact, some families of fallen British soldiers have called Tony Blair a “terrorist.”

The many lies about the Iraq War have thoroughly exposed American hegemony and its nature of aggression. The Iraq inquiry report may have signaled the end of a dark chapter in British politics, but in the South Sea, the American hegemony that is built on lies is still everywhere. Its dominating behavior still has not changed. From the American politicians’ verbal threats, to the repeated military exercises, to the constant media onslaught, to the multiple rounds of secret diplomatic battles... there is never a peaceful moment in the South Sea. American logic seems to be, since navigational freedom in the South Sea is seemingly threatened, there needs to be a greater U.S. military presence in the South Sea, so it is pressuring China with its battleships. However, there is absolutely no issue with safe or free navigation in the area, nor is China militarizing the area. American logic is built on lies; its real goal is to curb China’s development.

The bouquets and cheers at the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting could not pacify the tumultuous tides in the South Sea. While the joint statement by ASEAN foreign ministers and China did not mention a single word about the South Sea arbitration, America, Japan, and Australia released a joint statement insisting that the arbitration be legally binding. No matter what cover-up they choose to use, the nature of their hegemony cannot be concealed.

China is not another Iraq. The so-called need for “navigational freedom” is built on lies, and it is really about America’s freedom to rampage. America cannot shake the Chinese people’s firm determination to defend its sovereignty in the South Sea. When Chinese Naval Commander Wu Shengli met John Richardson, the American chief of naval operations, he said, “We will absolutely not” five times in a row. This is the voice of the highest level of Chinese government, the voice of all Chinese troops, and the voice of all 1.3 billion Chinese people.

The author is a special contributor to youth.cn.