The ‘war on terror’ and its Iraqi front were said to be inextricably linked to the prevalence of weapons of mass destruction. In the absence of such weapons, the war has been justified increasingly on moral grounds – as part of delivering freedom and the ‘Democracy Project’. These tropes are reminiscent of colonialism and its massively reinforced notions of the civilizing mission. Imperial nations claimed not only the right but the obligation to rule those nations believed to be ‘lost in barbarism’. Like John Stuart Mill, who stated that the British were in India ‘because India requires us, that these are territories and peoples who beseech domination from us and that . . . without the English India would fall into ruin’ (cited in Said, 1994: 66), imperialists operated with a compelling sense of their right and obligation to rule.