Sunshine, near-clear skies and some gentle ocean breezes this Wednesday afternoon on California’s north coast — a thick-looking fog bank hangs seemingly just to the northwest, but we’re not gray-covered as of yet.
Experienced some laptop/InterWeb problems earlier, but a new modem fixed it — I’ve had the same one for more than eight years — and now back online.
Big story today comes again from the UK (the Mirror): ‘The war was based on “flawed intelligence“, planning for the aftermath was “wholly inadequate” and the armed forces were let down, Sir John Chilcot said in a series of damning verdicts that shame Mr Blair and his government.’
(Illustration found here).
Although the so-called Chilcot Inquiry is five years late with its report, it’s better than nothing. The US needs a similar panel — examine the Iraqi war and it’s enablers.
At least post some light of one of the greatest and horrific blunders of mankind.
Main key-point: ‘The Report was not asked to rule on the legality of the Iraq War, but Sir John said the circumstances of were “far from satisfactory.”‘
Some further insights from the Guardian, also this morning:
It also revealed that in a remarkable private note sent on 28 July 2002 Blair promised Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.”
The head of the Iraq war inquiry said the UK’s decision to attack and occupy a sovereign state for the first time since the second world war was a decision of “utmost gravity.”
Chilcot described Saddam as “undoubtedly a brutal dictator” who had repressed and murdered many of his own people and attacked his neighbours.
But he was withering about Blair’s choice to sign up to a military plan drawn up in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by the US president, George W Bush, and his neo-con team.
Chilcot said: “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.”
Overall, Chilcot’s report amounts to arguably the most scathing official verdict on any modern British prime minister.
It implicitly lumps Blair in the same category as Anthony Eden, who invaded Egypt in a failed attempt to gain control of the Suez canal. Chilcot’s 2.6m-word, 12-volume report was released on Wednesday morning, together with a 145-page executive summary.
The venue was the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster.
As families of service personnel killed in Iraq welcomed its strong contents, anti-war protesters kept up a raucous chorus of “Blair Liar.”
Tony held a press conference just after the report was released, and even with ‘his voice sometimes croaking with emotion,’ kept up the bullshit:
But asked whether invading Iraq was a mistake Blair was strikingly unrepentant.
“I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer,” he declared.
He argued that he had acted in good faith, based on intelligence at the time which said that Iraq’s president had weapons of mass destruction.
This “turned out to be wrong.”
As I said, we need to grill GW, too, but…
He and his boys have already been found lacking — US Senate Intelligence Committee chairman John D Rockefeller, June 5, 2008: ‘“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.”‘