06 Julio 2017 16:21
A bloody war that will always be remembered
The Iraq War will arguably be remembered as the biggest Western blunder in modern times.
Raging wars in the Middle East and the intervention of developed countries has almost become the norm. But do politicians learn their lessons? Well, if airstrikes in Syria are anything to go by, then no.
Sir John Chilcot, who published a crushing verdict on the UK government’s involvement in the Iraq War just last year, has admitted that he does not believe Tony Blair, then prime minister, was ´straight with the nation´ about his decision to enter the conflict in 2003. In a rare moment of disclosure, the chairman of the public enquiry into the war confessed that Blair had however been ‘emotionally truthful’ in his accounts of the events.
[caption id="attachment_4444" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Sir John Chilcot presents The Iraq Inquiry Report at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster on July 6, 2016/Getty[/caption]
Speaking to the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, Chilcot said: ‘Tony Blair is always and ever an advocate. He makes the most persuasive case he can. Not departing from the truth but persuasion is everything.’
But later in the interview, when quizzed about whether Blair had been as honest as he should have been with the public during the inquiry, Chilcot replied: ‘Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her. I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.’
Chilcot’s findings, published in July last year, tarnished the ex-prime minister’s reputation by writing that, at the time of Iraqi invasion in 2003, dictator Saddam Hussein ‘posed no imminent threat’. The report also said the war was fought on ‘flawed intelligence’ and the reasons for taking up arms in the first place was ‘far from satisfactory’. The robust claim by both Blair and George W. Bush that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction is now viewed by many with suspicion and regret.
And while Blair described his decision to join US attacks as ´the hardest, most momentous, most agonising decision I took in 10 years as British prime minister’, the many lives claimed by a bloody and treacherous war will never be forgotten. At the time of the Chilcot Inquiry publication, he said he felt ´deeply and sincerely… the grief and suffering of those who lost loved ones in Iraq’.
Unfortunately, he will never truly understand the sufferings of those people still living with the scars of that fatal mistake.