Sorrow and regret do not make war crimes go away, but resorting to illegal means to carry them out do make them punishable.
The Chilcot report, which was made public on Wednesday, details the UK involvement in the Iraq war and the role played by accomplices Tony Blair and George W. Bush.
Tony Blair’s alleged sorrow and regret is patently false, as he justified his decision to aid America in murdering millions of innocent men, women and children with the excuse that ISIS was rising.
Unfortunately, the Chilcot report says otherwise. Its research totaling 2.5 million words cost 13 million euros. It analyzes how the military intervention in Iraq in 2003 was decided and how the situation was handled after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
It is one of the most controversial chapters of Tony Blair during his time as prime minister. The investigations cover until 2009, when Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, took charge, and they reveal details about the gross mismanagement of the whole war.
For starters, the report shows that there was no sufficient legal basis for war. Sir John Chilcot, the rapporteur of the commission of inquiry has concluded that “the circumstances in which it was decided, that were the legal basis for military action in Iraq, were not acceptable”.
The report cites some of the defects detected in the legal process, mainly the recommendation of the attorney general at a Cabinet meeting, in which the matter was not discussed in detail. The report states that “there was very little appetite for questioning Lord Goldsmith, and that there was no debate about the legality of their proposals.”
The report explicitly criticizes the way in which the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, publicly presented information from British intelligence. It argues that intelligence services “did not conclude beyond reasonable doubt” that Saddam Hussein was producing chemical and biological weapons.
Blair’s statements were based on his convictions and not on the judgments made by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JTC) referring to the British Cabinet as responsible for directing the various intelligence organizations.
British intelligence services are also criticized in the report for “not having delved into the possibility that Iraq had no biological or chemical weapons.”
One of the most compelling pieces of information from the investigation led by Chilcot is that “no peaceful alternatives had been exhausted” at the time when the UK decided to join the Iraq war.
On March 18, when the parliamentary vote was taken, “there were several diplomatic avenues to be explored, and military action was not the only option.”
Tony Blair had been repeatedly warned that the invasion of Iraq could trigger more terrorist activity of al Qaeda, according to the report. Not only was he warned that the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq would be strengthened, but also that ” the invasion would be a threat to the UK”.
Perhaps the most significant fact in the report is that “the situation in Iraq in 2009, the year when the investigation ended, did not meet any of the objectives outlined in January 2003”.
“The strategic successes were very limited,” says the report. “It argues that the period at the end of the deep sectarian divide threatened the stability and unity of the country “.
The report criticizes the lack of planning for the country after the overthrow of the regime.
“The government had access to a multitude of information that presaged the enormous postwar task, which is identified as bringing stability and unity to Iraq.” Expectations submitted by the Cabinet in 2003 show that the facts had not been analyzed in detail and that the risks and challenges of the invasion had also been underestimated.
Iraq is fractured, failed state
Kurds in northern Iraq did not wait to be find out whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and hid in the mountains when the United States and Britain attacked Baghdad in March 2003.
More than 4,000 of them had died 15 years earlier in Halabja, in a bombing campaign with toxic gases carried out by Baathist forces.
At the end, the Kurds were the ones who suffered the least during the war, which had little effect in their dream for autonomy. In fact, they enjoyed a better situation after the 1991 Gulf war, thanks to the protection of an international air force.
At least 150,000 Iraqis were killed in the conflict and more than one million were displaced from their homes, says the Chilcot report, which focused most of its attention into investigating the mistakes made by the British Government to assess the suffering caused to the people of Iraq, which is what almost the entire international community had tried to avoid.
Thirteen years later, Iraq is a failed state, beset by terror and fragmented factions led by the Islamic State. The terror group is now killing people of all religious groups and communities.
After seven years of preparation, the Chilcot report now confirms that despite the promises made before, during and after the war, the consequences of the invasion were undervalued, and planning for a post-Saddam Iraq were completely inadequate “.
The Iraqi government is reeling from the shock wave. Interior Minister Mohamed Ghabban, has resigned after one of the biggest attacks in a country that seemed accustomed to terror.
Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, was booed by the crowd and stoned his official car when he visited the site of the massacre, despite being a Shiite, as the people of that district of the capital showed their frustration.
The excesses of Shiite militias against the Sunni minority, blessed by the successive governments of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who maintained secret prisons and torture, multiplied after the departure of the last military forces of the United States in 2011.
In this hotbed of ethnic and religious hatred, the Islamic State took over much of northern and western Iraq two years ago to found the caliphate with its neighboring possessions in Syria. The theoretically well-armed and trained armed forces fled in disarray before the rapid advance of the jihadi militias.
The international community has had to work hard to return the Iraqi Army to its combat ability. Soldiers begin to slowly come back and cities have started to recover, but the country remains widely divided. The Islamic State terror hit several points around the country and executed terrible attacks during the bloodiest Ramadan in recent history.