Publié par Bernard Martoia le 13 juillet 2016

tony-blair-2

The Chilcot report, published on July 6, emphasizes the blunder of former Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Iraq war of March 2003. This report states the obvious about that meaningless war in order to topple a dictator: Iraq situation is much worse nowadays than before Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule.

John Chilcot was criticized for his participation in the Butler report about weapons of mass destruction hidden “somewhere” in the Iraqi desert, and for his delay and secrecy in elaborating that other report ordered by Gordon Brown on March 15, 2009. Despite these justified critics, Sir John Chilcot is a former high civil servant who has no political agenda.

The long overdue report is a concise twelve-page memorandum that anyone can read. (1) On the other hand, the 9/11 commission report was a daunting challenge with its 585 pages. It remained unread on a dusty bookshelf before I dumped it.
After the attacks on 11 September 2001, Blair urged President Bush not to take hasty decision against Iraq. However, his cautious stance dwindled in December when he suggested that the US and the UK should work on what he described as a “clever strategy” for regime change in Iraq. Remember his « clever strategy » for the end.

On 28 July 2002, Blair wrote to Bush that he would be with him “whatever.” He was mocked by cartoonists. However, Bush was not satisfied by his unquestioning poodle. He wanted also the approval of the United Nation Security Council before going to war. On 8 November 2002, the 1441 resolution was adopted unanimously. It gave Iraq the opportunity to disarm or face “serious consequences.” The weapons inspectors returned to Iraq at the end of the month. Fearing that the inspection would not find any weapons of mass destruction described forcefully by secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN, Blair was much obliged to air the “likelihood of war.”

In the meantime, France was doing its best to thwart the impending war at the Security Council. Blair and his secretary of state for foreign affairs Jack Straw blamed France for the “impasse” in the UN, and they ludicrously claimed “the UK government was acting on behalf of the international community.” It was exactly the opposite. France had won a landslide majority in the UN with its motto: “no war before inspectors make their report.

The crux of the Chilcot report is as much damaging as James Comey conclusion about Hillary Clinton last week.

In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the Security Council’s authority. Second, the Inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognized Court. We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory.”

On the eve of the war, Tony Blair said in order to win a decisive vote in the House of Commons: “The possibility of terrorist groups in possession of weapons of mass destruction is a real and present danger to Britain and its national security. The threat from Saddam Hussein’s arsenal cannot be contained and poses a clear danger to British citizens.”

After the war, Blair justified it by saying: “Although Iraq might not have had “stockpiles of actually deployable weapons, Saddam Hussein retained the intent and the capability… and was in breach of resolution 1441.” It contradicts the explanation for military action he had given before the vote. Tony Blair blatantly lied to members of parliament and 200 British soldiers were killed in the Iraq war.

The invasion of Iraq did not erase the threat of terrorism in Europe. Quite the contrary!

Brussels and Paris have learned it recently at their own expenses. The vacuum left after the toppling of Saddam Hussein did not bring also a stable democracy in Iraq as promised by neoconservatives like William Kristol, Lawrence Kaplan or Robert Kagan to name a few. It has exacerbated violence and chaos leading to a divided nation between Sunnites, Shiites, Yazedis, Kurds, and Christians. The last religious minority, which interests us, has been decimated in Iraq. They were 1.5 million Christians representing 6% of the Iraqi population in 2003. It has dropped to as low as 50.000 following the establishment of the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). What a success! Our parish in Rambouillet has welcomed a couple and their daughter two weeks ago. They lost everything except their lives in Mosul, Iraq, when ISIS annexed it.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the republican candidate Donald Trump has expressed his preference for keeping dictators in power in the Middle East. He said without naming Bush: “the U.S. should not have destabilized Iraq.” Will realism prevail on dogmatism if he got elected?

You may freely reproduce this article provided you make proper attributions to: © Bernard Martoia for Dreuz.info.

(1) http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/

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