No real surprises so far as the Chilcot Report is finally released, although nobody has had time to read all 6,275 pages yet. One useful summary is from The Mirror, which lists 13 key points. As we already know, the Saddam Hussein regime was not an imminent threat (I would say, not even a non-imminent threat) to Europe or North America; the case for war was based on intelligence which Chilcot calls uncertain (and I would call fabricated); and there was no plan for what would happen after the invasion, with the resulting chaos ultimately leading to the current disaster. But the most important takeaway is that Tony Blair and George W. Bush had discussed going to war in Iraq as early as July, 2002. [In fact, unless it's a typo, the Mirror summary says that they discussed invading Iraq before Sept. 11, 2001.]
While many Britons are today calling for Blair and his co-conspirators to face legal consequences -- and see also reactions of families of dead British soldiers, also here; and by various politicians including here, here, and here; and a chorus of politicians scathingly denouncing him without necessarily mentioning legal action, there has been no comparable response in the U.S. -- despite that everything the report says in condemnation of Blair and the actions of the UK applies precisely to the actions of the George W. Bush regime.
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump praises Saddam Hussein, saying "Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? ... But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read 'em the rights, they didn't talk. They were a terrorist, it was over." In fact Saddam tortured and murdered dissenters, and committed mass murder of Kurdish and Shiite civilian communities. His regime was classified as a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States, principally because of his support for attacks against Israeli civilian targets by Palestinians. Whether he killed people the U.S. considered "terrorists" is unclear, although he did engage in conflict with the Kurdish separatist group Ansar al Islam, which the U.S. considered a terrorist group. (Bush claimed that the presence of Insar al Islam within Iraqi Kurdistan, technically part of Iraq, was evidence that Saddam harbored terrorists. But in fact, as I say, they were enemies.)
I'll provide an update once we know more about the Chilcot report.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Posted by Cervantes at 6:39 AM