So, after seven years and lots of pounds, the Chilcot report on “lessons to be learned” from Iraq has finally been published. It tells us nothing we didn’t already know, frankly, and takes away the rationale for the ongoing denial we have continued to see among Blairites over the years, although god knows they’re still trying. I could write a long post on this. Or I could just let The Independent summarize in seven sentences,which they have done, and which admirably seems to sum up the entire enterprise.
Chilcot on the threat posed by Iraq:
“Military action might have been necessary at some point, but in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.”
Chilcot on Blair’s assertions about WMDs:
“The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that [September 2002] statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”
Chilcot on the UN not backing the war:
“In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the Security Council’s authority.”
Chilcot on the legality of the war:
“We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis or UK military action were far from satisfactory.”
Chilcot on the special relationship:
“The UK’s relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement. It does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ.”
Chilcot on Iraq as last resort:
“We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”
Chilcot on the post-war administration:
“The scale of the UK effort in post-conflict Iraq never matched the scale of the challenge. Whitehall departments and their Ministers failed to put collective weight behind the task.”
In other words, a gigantic clusterfuck. Enough said. There are already calls for a War Crimes inquiry against Tony Blair, and he certainly deserves it (and not him alone), but you know it will never happen. But at least we have the report now, and Blair’s delusions and aspirations to greatness, and the support he received from people who should have known better, are now a matter of pubic record. How is the US doing with its self-reckoning? Oh, wait, never mind–not gonna happen is it?