Wednesday 6 July 2016

Blair exonerated at Chilcot

Sir John Chilcot has published the report of his inquiry into the Iraq war of 2003, the first time the United Kingdom has invaded and occupied a foreign state since Germany in 1945. This was a hazard for Tony Blair, the Prime Minister at the time, because under the Nuremburg war crimes code, the legal system used during the German occupation against the leaders of the deposed Nazi regime, he could have been legitimately prosecuted. Sir John concluded that: "Judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, 'WMD', were presented with a certainty that was not justified. Policy on the Iraq invasion was made on the basis of flawed intelligence assessments. It was not challenged and should have been. The circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory. Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate. Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq; and the UK's relationship with the US does not require unconditional support. Ministerial discussion which encourages frank and informed debate and challenge is important; as is ensuring civilian and military arms of government are properly equipped. In future, all aspects of any intervention need to be calculated, debated and challenged with rigour..." Mr Blair will not however face any criminal charges. Interestingly, one of the most prominent figures in the movement to charge Blair as a war criminal is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Opposition, see: At the moment there is an insidious attack on his leadership and an attempt to remove him from office run mostly by Tony Blair's supporters in the Labour Party. This is one of those situations where one can only cry...

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