“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”–Nuremberg Trial Proceedings
6 Jul 2016: The Chilcot report, the U.K.’s official inquiry into its participation in the Iraq War, has finally been released after seven years of investigation.
Statement by Sir John Chilcot:
We were appointed to consider the UK’s policy on Iraq from 2001 to 2009, and to identify lessons for the future.
In 2003, for the first time since the Second World War, the United Kingdom took part in an invasion and full-scale occupation of a sovereign State. That was a decision of the utmost gravity.
Saddam Hussein was undoubtedly a brutal dictator who had attacked Iraq’s neighbours, repressed and killed many of his own people, and was in violation of obligations imposed by the UN Security Council.
But the questions for the Inquiry were: whether it was right and necessary to invade Iraq in March 2003; and whether the UK could – and should – have been better prepared for what followed.
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.
Full report here: http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-report/
A huge amount of evidence was considered over the course of the Inquiry. Full details here: http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-evidence/
23 Jul 2002: The Infamous Downing Street Memo
The Downing Street Memo, sometimes called the “smoking gun” document of the Iraq War has now been declassified.
According to the Memo, the British cabinet…….including Blair………was informed by Richard Dearlove, then head of British intelligence, that the U.S. government was being consciously deceptive about its case for war.
Dearlove, the memo reads, “reported on his recent talks in Washington. … Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
28 Jul, 2002: An enlightening letter from Blair to George W. Bush
The noticeable first thing is its tone: It reads like an adult trying to placate a heavily armed 8-year-old. Blair wrote:
“I will be with you, whatever.”
“Getting rid of Saddam is the right thing to do.”
“Suppose it got militarily tricky.”
“Suppose the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded.”
“If we win quickly, everyone will be our friend.”
“We shouldn’t go in alone.”
24 Jun 2016: United Kingdom votes for ‘Brexit,’ toppling government, crashing markets
The United Kingdom voted to end 43 years of European Union membership after a divisive referendum campaign that prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he would resign.
The vote sent global markets crashing over the potential dismantling of a union designed to ensure peace and security for a continent ravaged by two world wars.
6 Jul 2016: Summary and Conclusions – The Role Of Tony Blair
The Report’s executive summary makes former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led the British push for war, look terrible.
According to the report, Blair made statements about Iraq’s non-existent chemical, biological, and nuclear programs based on “what he believed” rather than the intelligence he had been given.
The U.K. went to war despite the fact that “diplomatic options had not been exhausted.”
Blair was also warned by British intelligence that terrorism would “increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-U.S./anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”
4 Jul 2016: Leaked Emails – Colin Powell – Iraq War Architect – Jack Straw Expressed Relief That Brexit Distracted From U.K. War Inquiry (2 days before the report was published) !!!!!
Newly leaked emails show how Jack Straw, a key U.K. architect of the Iraq War expressed relief that the Brexit vote to leave the European Union would reduce media coverage of the devastating results of an inquiry into the United Kingdom’s role in the war.
On July 4, former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw emailed former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss the upcoming release of the Chilcot report ………..a document detailing the British government’s inquiry.
The report probed, among other things, the depth of private British commitment and support for the American-led war in Iraq.
In anticipation of coming press coverage, Straw asked Powell to review a statement in a Word document he drafted. (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3107008-ChilcotStatement169706Draft1.html).
He wrote that the “only silver lining of the Brexit vote is that it will reduce medium term attention on Chilcot…..though it will not stop the day of publication being uncomfortable.”
Powell told Straw he should also share the statement with Condoleezza Rice and that he would contact Richard Armitage……..two other Bush-era officials who were involved in planning and executing the war.
He showed scepticism toward a part of Straw’s statement that claimed that an additional United Nations resolution prior to the conflict would have avoided the invasion.
He wrote back to Straw, “I can’t agree or disagree with your judgement that a second resolution would have prevented conflict.
I doubt it, but I don’t know.” (In Straw’s final statement released to the press the claim remained (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/chilcot-report-blair-war-crimes-11570046).
Nearly a month later, on 3 Aug 2016, Powell emailed Straw to tell him that the Chilcot report “didn’t amount to anything over here” and that he assumed the inquiry simply “faded away.”
Jack Straw replied “Yes, the Chilcot story has faded altogether here too.
It was unpleasant on the day but almost all the focus was on Tony,”
He noted that “there is some stuff about some relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq trying to get a legal action started against Tony but it’s hard to see how that could work.”