U.K.‘s Much-Awaited Chilcot Report on the Iraq War ‘Delivers Damning Verdict on Tony Blair’ (Video)
The United Kingdom’s official inquiry into the Iraq War has revealed that former Prime Minister Tony Blair “deliberately exaggerated [the] threat from Iraq” and did not exhaust all possibilities before resorting to military action. Below is a clip from Sir John Chilcot’s introduction to the report:
You can also download and read the full report here.
Family members of soldiers who died in the Middle East war are calling for legal consequences to Blair’s actions. Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron, who voted for the war, has been quick to say that while the mistakes from the Iraq War mustn’t be repeated, this does not mean that all military intervention on the U.K.‘s behalf should be ruled nor that the Brits shouldn’t stand behind Americans in the future.
Here are some excerpts from Cameron’s statement:
“We must all pledge this will never happen again,” he said, noting that all MPs who voted as he did in favour of the war must take their share of responsibility. “We cannot turn the clock back.”
He stressed there were lessons that the UK should not draw. He maintained that the UK must stand with its American allies where they have common interests, and that the public should still be able to rely on the “judgments of our brilliant intelligence agencies”.
“It would also be wrong to conclude our military are not capable of intervening successfully,” he said, citing Sierra Leone as an example where military action ended with a positive outcome.
Cameron touched on his own record of intervention, saying he still believed it had been right to remove Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya despite the “difficulties plain for all to see” after that happened.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had campaigned against the war, had a very different message to convey:
Jeremy Corbyn said the war “was not in any way, as Sir John Chilcot says, a last resort. Frankly, it was an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext, as the inquiry accepts, and has long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion.”
Going to war without UN authorisation was “profoundly dangerous and would set off series of uncontrollable and destructive events,” Corbyn added. … “All but 16 members of the official opposition supported the war, many in my party voted against, indeed members here on all benches voted against the war, but none of us should take any satisfaction from that. We have to be saddened as to what has been revealed.” … “The reality is it was the original decision to follow the US president into the war, one of the most volatile regions in the world, and impose a colonial-style occupation that led to every other disaster.”
Corbyn did not mention Blair by name in his statement but heavily implied that he felt the former prime minister had given incorrect information to parliament.
“We now know that the house was misled in the run-up to the war and the house must now decide how to deal with it 13 years later, just as all those who took the decisions laid bare in the Chilcot report must face up to the consequences of their actions, whatever they may be,” he said.
Here’s a clip from the speech Corbyn delivered in Hyde Park, London, at a rally against the Iraq War in 2003.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
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