The long awaited official inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the Iraq war sparks anger across the world.
The recently published findings of the official inquiry into the Iraq war, delivered by John Chilcot, has sparked anger nationwide as the truth about the decision-making process surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq emerged, and has caused global apologies from many British Politicians towards those affected by the Iraq War.
Seven years in the making, the 2.6 million-word report details the circumstances surrounding the Iraq War and demonstrates that mistakes were made by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, with regards to the invasion.
The Inquiry determined that Blair’s decision to invade Iraq was primarily influenced by his desire to maintain the United Kingdom’s special relationship with the United States, and refuted his claims that the military action taken was not a last resort and that the global threat posed by Saddam Hussein was overstated.
Blair has issued a public apology for his actions, saying:
I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you can ever know or believe.
Blair, however, proceeded to reject at least nine findings of the report, refuting the finding that the war was ‘not a last resort’ and that the UK and US undermined the UN by invading Iraq.
The wider repercussions of the Inquiry’s findings are merely estimates at this time, with Chilcot stating the possibility that another forum may investigate whether the invasion had a legal basis or not. The report may also give rise to cabinet reform, as it proposes that collective ministerial discussion was missing from Blair’s Cabinet. Many have lost faith in the Labour Party as these discoveries have been made public and the contenders for Head of the Labour Party will have to do a fantastic job in order to overshadow Blair’s failings, for which he appears to be unrepentant, and to prove to Britons worldwide that this is not what the Labour Party stands for.
Additionally, Paul Barratt, Australia’s Defence Minister, has stepped forward acknowledging that ‘we need a similar inquiry here’.
Chilcot’s report – it is four times the length of War and Peace – has revealed so much about what was going on behind the scenes, between Blair and his advisers, Blair and his cabinet, Blair and Bush. Australia needs a similarly comprehensive independent inquiry into how the decision was made to commit Australia to this war.
Whether this will lead to a US inquiry no-one knows, but Australia’s rumblings may create a political earthquake elsewhere.
The release of this long-awaited verdict, has sparked anger and disappointment in people of all ages, particularly the parents of deceased veterans who have come forward expressing their disappointment and anger at the handling of the situation, having discovered, through the Chilcot Inquiry, that troops were sent into Iraq ill-equipped. Many have been left feeling that their loved ones died in vain. But it’s not just parents of former soldiers that are finding the release of this information difficult; some disgruntled students have taken to social media to express their anger, either posting comments themselves or retweeting those from other accounts.
Kieran Hyland, our Politics Editor, observed that:
While the report itself mainly confirmed pre-existing concerns about the way the Iraq War was initiated and conducted, the findings raise the issue of too much unrestrained power vested in the executive branch of Government. The fact that a memo from Tony Blair to George Bush promised British aid to the United States in ”whatever ” event clearly calls into greater focus the legitimacy of British involvement in Iraq to begin with, let alone the reports’ emphasis that there was no clear evidence that Weapons of Mass Destruction even existed, nor a contingency plan of how post-war Iraq should be run following British and American victory.
But while some students have taken an interest in the finding of the inquiry, others seem to take a different stance, claiming ignorance, having determined that because it was over 10 years ago the events and circumstances surrounding it are no longer of any consequence. Just because it is a past occurrence, this does not mean that there will not be future repercussions. So watch out, because this report had a lot to say about how the British Government handled things, and that might be about to change.
What are your thoughts on the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry? Let us know in the comments section.