By Jack Holmes
Sir John Chilcot has released an official investigative inquiry into the Iraq war today. The 2.6 million word long report on the British invasion of Iraq revealed a number of concerning issues including that Britains involvement in the invasion was not the “last resort” it had been described as at the time.
Chilcot himself spoke bluntly today about the “unnecessary” war, declaring Saddam Hussein “no immediate threat”. The dictator having access to weapons of mass destruction was one of the key points for Western involvement in Iraq and was presented by Western leaders as fact, the Chilcot report however described that intelligence had not been “established beyond doubt”. This fact alone raises the question as to whether the British Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair, should be charged as a war criminal for his actions.
Chilcot described the report as “a reliable account” of the events that led up to the UK’s involvement in the US led invasion that began in 2003. The ongoing military presence in the country claimed the lives of 4,487 service personnel, including 179 British servicemen and women, as well as Iraqi civilian deaths, the numbers of which range from 90,000 to more than 600,000.
The 12 volume report has taken over seven years to put together costing the taxpayers over 10 million pounds, and comes only days after current Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn blasted the “lies” told to MP’s over Iraq.
Corbyn has already called for an inquiry into Blairs actions during the Iraq conflict and with evidence as solid as the Chilcot report states, it’s unlikely this will be the end of investigations into the leadership behind the Iraq invasion.
The Scottish National Parties leader in Westminster Angus Robertson commented that, “We have to understand how it was possible to go to war on the basis of a lie in the first place and then ask ourselves who was responsible and how do they face the responsibility.”
David Cameron, was a Tory backbencher during 2003 where he voted for British involvement in the invasion, meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was an unwavering opponent and was one of nearly 140 Labour MPs who opposed the decision to go to war. It seems this will simply be the newest expected that the two’s apposing ideologies will once again be at odds in the coming weeks.
You can view more details on the Iraq inquiry here.