Wednesday, July 6, 2016

U.K. Chilcot Report Offers Devastating Critique of Tony Blair and the Iraq War

I'm just reading, soaking this in.

And of course folks have long known where I stand. Indeed, the Iraq war's the main reason I started blogging. (See, "The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths," and "Judith Miller, 'I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me...'")

At the Telegraph UK, "Chilcot report: 2003 Iraq war was 'unnecessary', invasion was not 'last resort' and Saddam Hussein was 'no imminent threat'."

And at the Guardian UK, "Chilcot report live: Blair says report clears him of 'bad faith' but Iraq inquiry says he exaggerated case for war."

Also, at London's Daily Mail, "BREAKING NEWS: Chilcot's damning verdict on Blair's Iraq War: 'WMD threat was NOT justified', military action 'was NOT a last resort' and invasion was based on 'flawed intelligence'."

And at the Wall Street Journal, "U.K.’s Long-Awaited Chilcot Report into Iraq War Criticizes Legal Basis for Invasion":

LONDON—The U.K. government under former Prime Minister Tony Blair urged Parliament to vote in favor of joining the Iraq war when the legal basis for U.K. military action was “far from satisfactory,” according to the findings of a high-profile inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the war.

The roughly 6,000-page report released Wednesday, which comes seven years after the inquiry was launched, also said policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments, according to John Chilcot, the retired civil servant who led the inquiry.

The assessments “were not challenged, and they should have been,” Mr. Chilcot said.

The long-awaited report is the culmination of the inquiry launched in 2009 by the then-governing Labour Party to address public criticism of the case made for the war and preparation for reconstruction in Iraq, among other issues.

The report also said that planning and preparation for Iraq after Saddam Hussein was deposed were “wholly inadequate.”

In response, Mr. Blair defended his decision to take military action, saying he did what he thought was the right thing and that the inquiry didn’t find otherwise.

“The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit,” he said in a statement. “Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein; I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.”

Some 179 British military personnel died in the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, which Mr. Blair at the time justified with assertions that the regime had weapons of mass destruction—a claim that turned out to be false.

Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq invasion continues to shape the British public’s appetite for military involvement in foreign wars and comes as the U.K. reassesses its role in the world following the vote to leave the European Union...

Fascinating politics of this. See how the report damages the "neoliberal" Blairite faction of the U.K. Labour Party, and then strengthens the neo-communst Corbyn partisans? It's almost too pat. And of course we'd never be having a vigorous debate in the U.S. on the origins of the war --- a relitigation of the war, in the parlance --- because Hillary Clinton, the Democrat Party nominee, was one of the war's biggest boosters in the Senate in 2002.

I love it!

Expect updates on this throughout the day. Leftists want a criminal indictment for Tony Blair. It's freakin' amazing. Oh, the vindictive hatred is just seething. The issue's a classic polarizer of our times.