CHILCOT opened his report of his inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war yesterday by stating that it was not the job of his very long-running inquiry to judge whether the war against Iraq, which was opposed by the UN Security Council and by the majority of the British people, was illegal.
A bourgeois court or inquiry is incapable of judging one of its imperialist wars as illegal, since that would also condemn the system that produced it as being illegal, and therefore give revolution its own legality. However, the report did show that for Blair the Iraq war was an opportunity to demonstrate to the United States, and President Bush, that British imperialism would be with it from beginning to end, no matter what was required to be done.
In fact, as the inquiry confirms, Blair assured Bush in 2002 that no matter what, the UK would be at the side of the US as far as the invasion of Iraq was concerned. He told Bush ‘I will be with you whatever!’ followed by ‘Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is the right thing to do.’ It was regime change from the start.
Chilcot said yesterday: ‘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.’
He added: ‘We have also concluded that: The judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
‘Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.’ Chilcot confirmed that as far as the Security Council was concerned: ‘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.’
He added: ‘Second, the Inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognised Court. We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory.’ Blair must be sent off to the Hague!
Chilcot added: ‘In the House of Commons on 24 September 2002, Mr Blair presented Iraq’s past, current and future capabilities as evidence of the severity of the potential threat from Iraq’s WMD. He said that, at some point in the future, that threat would become a reality.
‘The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified.’ He added: ‘In the House of Commons on 18 March 2003, Mr Blair stated that he judged the possibility of terrorist groups in possession of WMD was “a real and present danger to Britain and its national security” – and that the threat from Saddam Hussein’s arsenal could not be contained and posed a clear danger to British citizens.’
The reality is that if Iraq had possessed wmds it would not have been invaded. it was invaded precisely because it did not have wmds, and was therefore thought to be easy meat.
In fact, as Chilcot confirmed, the invasion and the imposition of a regime imported from Iran onto the Iraqi people led to mass slaughter and a massive explosion of anger that saw British troops completely out of their depth and forced to retreat.
He said: ‘The invasion and subsequent instability in Iraq had, by July 2009, also resulted in the deaths of at least one hundred and fifty thousand Iraqis – and probably many more – most of them civilians. More than a million people were displaced. The people of Iraq have suffered greatly.’
However: ‘By 2007 militia dominance in Basra, which UK military commanders were unable to challenge, led to the UK exchanging detainee releases for an end to the targeting of its forces. It was humiliating that the UK reached a position in which an agreement with a militia group which had been actively targeting UK forces was considered the best option available.
‘The UK military role in Iraq ended a very long way from success.’ They retreated to Afghanistan!
Blair should face trial and British imperialism be overthrown by a socialist revolution. This is the lesson from Chilcot!