Thursday, July 07, 2016

Sir John Chilcot eviscerates Tony Blair's case for war in Iraq

It took seven years to prepare but it turned out to be waiting for. And it wasn't the whitewash some had feared.

Here Sir John Chilcot presents the key findings of his 2 million word report.

Obviously I have only seen summaries and clips like the one above and have not had time to plough my way through the massive report. But it ls already evident that the Chilcot Report has given official endorsement to many of the harshest criticisms which have been made of the way Tony Blair took Britain into war against Iraq and of the conduct of the invasion and occupation which followed.

As Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC wrote here of the Chilcot report.

"the conclusions, reached with the weight of more than two million words, backed with evidence from thousands upon thousands of documents, are crystal clear, polite - but no doubt, completely damning - even if perhaps no real surprise."

"The report suggests the government failed, the intelligence community failed, the military failed, and that Tony Blair ran his government in a way that meant the possible and probable consequences of military action in Iraq were never properly considered."

As far as I am aware does not accuse Tony Blair in so many words of being a liar or a war criminal, but it does accuse him -  and a lot of other people - of terrible mistakes which have cost both Britain and Iraq very dearly indeed.

I don't believe that Blair's reputation will or should ever recover from this report.

Now we need to make sure all the lessons are learned. It would be a great mistake to draw from the Chilcot report the lesson that Britain should never intervene again in a situation where a vile regime is a serious threat to the people living under that regime or neighbouring countries. But any such interventions must be managed from start to finish far better than the invasion and occupation of Iraq was.

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