Yet even today as Sir John Chilcot read his half hour statement to a baffled audience, Tony Blair was unrepentant: ‘I believe we made the right decision’. In the aftermath of tenure as UK’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair made millions in a similar fashion as the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation. Clair and Clinton are a product of the same era of politics in the 1990s and they are so wrong on foreign policy and choosing the same Arab regimes of the Gulf States as their close friends. After Iraq, both parties set the nest steps towards Libya and Syria. The chaos these people wrecked, unbelievable. Next chapter Clinton II.
Most fortunate that after Brexit and the UK’s alienation from mainland Europe, the Chilcot report on Iraq Inquiry will lead for a political split of the British people with the politics from across the Atlantic. Great Britain, an island adrift in a self-inflicted wound by Eton elitists. Unsurprising as the EU referendum showed so very clearly, the City of London outside the reality of everyday life of people from Mainstreet. It’s another step towards a Revolution on Inequality in the Western world.
As always in matters of military aggression, the humane perspective has to start with the victims. Since the US-led, UK-backed invasion of Iraq in 2003, estimates of the lives lost to violence vary from a quarter of a million to 600,000. The number of injured will surely be several times that, and the number of men, women and children displaced from their homes is put at between 3.5 and 5 million, somewhere between one in 10 and one in six of the population.
The 2.6m words of his report will necessarily take much longer to digest, but the defining sting was conveyed in just six words penned by Tony Blair himself, in a letter to Mr Bush in July 2002 – “I will be with you, whatever”.
Meanwhile, as Jack Straw and top officials would plot in private for how to secure a UN seal of approval for a course that was already set, Mr Blair protested in public that he was pursuing a “diplomatic solution”. There was diplomacy, all right, but it was diplomacy aimed at licensing war. When even this failed, the final cabinet discussions were less concerned with the real looming battle, than about the PR war with the French. For any progressive internationalist, and Mr Blair was once one, the most damning of all Sir John’s verdicts is that the result of the invasion was not – as was claimed – to uphold the authority of the UN, but instead to undermine it.
The gap between the public and the private rationale fed the mistrust which has since – amplified by the banking and MPs’ expenses crises – fuelled the Brexit vote. The whole conduct of politics in Britain was demeaned, but the highest price was paid on the left. The otherwise unthinkable ascent of Jeremy Corbyn occurred, prompting Labour’s lapse into civil war. Many Labour MPs are still struggling to understand it. As they do so, they should reflect on the cool rage of Mr Corbyn, who always opposed the war, in the chamber on Wednesday, and contrast it with the complacent tone adopted by David Cameron, who originally voted in favour.
Mr Blair’s impulse to trot alongside a know-nothing cowboy might reflect a deep need to bury the CND badge of his youth and earn some muscular respectability. Mr Corbyn’s ascent is the most ironic of the consequences of his historic mistake. But by far the most serious are still being played out far away – on the streets of Iraq.
From my diaries ….
Damn. hate to see those villains on my computer screen again … even Stephen Hadley, architect of Obama’s overthrow of Assad in Syria.