Tony Blair was wrong, and is wrong

Tony Blair was wrong to take the United Kingdom to war, The decision was flawed,  following a flawed political process using flawed ‘intelligence’ and was contrary to United Nations protocols and ignored United Nations advice on the lack of ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

The just released Chilcot report details all the flaws – see Chilcot summary – unanimous view.

In his reaction Tony Blair expresses regrets for some outcomes but defends his decision.

It’s a huge responsibility for the leaders of major countries in particular to take their country to war.

And the outcome has been awful.

For Iraq. Things were already awful in Iraq under Saddam Hussein but they don’t appear to be any better. I saw a quote from an Iraqi yesterday who said that one despot has been replaced by a hundred despots.

Over a decade later and after hundreds of thousands of deaths the country is still a mess. ISIS has inflicted the worst of radical Islam on the people of Iraq.

Today’s ODT editorial: Lasting damage from conflict

The Iraq war was an intervention that went badly wrong with consequences still being felt to this day.

The report says former prime minister Tony Blair overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, sent ill-prepared troops into battle and had wholly inadequate plans for the aftermath.

Sir John says the 2003 invasion was not the last resort action presented to MPs and the public.

There was no imminent threat from Saddam – the intelligence case was not justified.

And this has spread to Syria, which has been self destructing in a complex factional civil war, with ISIS a prominent factor.

And it has not worked out well for the world, with a number of terrorist attacks in a number of countries, widespread fear of attacks, and resulting from this has been a growing fear of Muslims in general and in particular Muslim immigration.

And now, as the ODT puts it:

For his part, Mr Blair remains defiant on the central decision to go to war.

The decision to commit troops was the most agonising and momentous decision in his decade as prime minister and something he will carry with him for the rest of the days.

Mr Blair admits the intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong, the aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than ever imagined and a nation whose people the UK and the United States wanted to set free from Saddam became instead victims of sectarian terrorism.

“For all of this, I express more sorry, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe,” Mr Blair said.

I think that Blair is wrong to defend what he did. As does the ODT.

The war overshadows the legacy of Mr Blair, who swept into power as a new-style Labour leader, one not reliant on union support for his time in Parliament.

His arrogance as leader, and his willingness to support Mr Bush through some brutal conflicts, will provide lasting damage to his reputation.

I guess it’s hard to bring oneself to say “I stuffed up, I helped stuff up a country and a region, and this has been stuffing things up around the world ever since”.

But that is Blair’s legacy, alongside George W Bush and Dick Cheney (supported by Australia).

At least New Zealand stayed out of it, but that just prevented us from bearing a part of the blame, it didn’t do anything to prevent the mass destruction over the past 13 years.

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5 Comments

  1. Nelly Smickers

     /  8th July 2016

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  8th July 2016

    170,000 civilians dead,thousands of soldiers,millions displaced,and Blair says….’sorry’!

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  8th July 2016

    The problem Blair has in saying sorry, I shouldn’t have done it, is that he’s then also saying sorry, Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld, and everyone else who went in with them, shouldn’t have done it either. The Chilcott report is an indictment on them all.

    Reply

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