As today will see the official release of the Chilcot Report into Tony Blair’s and the British government’s role in the Iraq War, I am re-posting here two older articles that are perhaps particularly relevant in that context.
The first asks the question ‘Is Tony Blair Being Made a Scapegoat For the Entire Iraq War?’ Mistaken by some people at the time as having been a defense of Tony Blair – which it certainly isn’t – that article simply plays Devil’s Advocate and asks whether the Blair witch-hunt is drawing all public attention away from the actual originators and primary architects of the Iraq War.
Read that article here.
The second is a timely reminder of the huge scale of ongoing suffering and humiliation suffered by the people of Iraq as a result of that invasion. Centering on the UN’s OHCHR Report on Iraq from the beginning of this year (which recorded at least 18,802 Iraqi civilians having been killed – and 36,245 wounded – just between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2015, let alone the 11 post-invasion years before that), it provides some of the important additional context to the Iraq catastrophe beyond just the war years that the Chilcot Report will focus on.
Read that article here.
As for the Chilcot Report itself, it is said to be bigger in volume than War & Peace, has taken seven years to be released and has cost millions of pounds to complete. While it will no doubt paint Tony Blair in a very bad light, it remains to be seen whether it will lead to any legal action being taken against key figures in the conspiracy to illegally invade a sovereign nation.
In 2012, the government vetoed the release of the documents detailing minutes of Cabinet meetings in the days leading up to the invasion in 2003. The British Foreign Office also successfully appealed against a judge’s ruling and blocked the disclosure of extracts of conversations between George W. Bush and Tony Blair days before the invasion.
The government stated that revealing the conversation would present a “significant danger” to British-American relations.
The Cabinet Office was reported, three years ago, to have been resisting the release of “more than 130 records of conversations” between Bush and Blair, as well as “25 notes from Mr Blair to President Bush” and “some 200 cabinet-level discussions”.
It is also highly unlikely that there will be any reference to the mysterious death of Dr David Kelly or the death of Blair-era Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.
We’ll know very shortly whether this Chilcot Report accomplishes anything or whether it belongs on the same scrapheap as the Diana Inquest, the 9/11 Commission Report and other official ‘reports’ of the same nature.