Across the pond, rather than running bullshit investigations like our Benghazi hearings, the parliamentarian body did something useful and tried to discern how they got involved in a huge quagmire.
Sir John Chilcot delivered a devastating critique of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, concluding that Britain chose to join the US invasion before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted. His report, which amounts to arguably the most scathing official verdict given on any modern British prime minister, concludes:
- Tony Blair exaggerated the case for war in Iraq
- There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein
- Britain’s intelligence agencies produced “flawed information”
- George Bush largely ignored UK advice on postwar planning
- The UK military were ill-equipped for the task
- UK-US relations would not have been harmed had the UK stayed out of the war
For his part, Blair disavowed the conclusions of the report, but apologized anyway:
He began by describing the choice to join the US in military action as the “hardest, most momentous, most agonising decision” of his life.
Blair said he had wanted to set the Iraqi people free and secure them from the “evil” of Saddam Hussein, but instead they had become victims of sectarian violence.
“For all of this, I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you can ever know or believe,” he said, in a speech in which his voice cracked with emotion.
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The Labour politician went on to repeat that he apologised for the failures in planning the war and its aftermath, but was clear that he still believes the decision to remove Saddam was correct. Iraq could be in a worse state than Syria is now if the regime had not been stopped, he suggested.
“I did it because I thought it was right,” Blair said.
Pressed on what he was apologising for, the former prime minister named three areas where he would have done things differently: presenting the cabinet with an “option paper”; pressing the US to have better planning in place for the aftermath; and sharing the advice of the attorney general to senior colleagues.