A report that confirms what many suspected. The Iraq War was a hasty response by ill-informed politicians, who believed their intentions justified the means … 13 years on, that presumption is very questionable

 

The code word the Israeli army use for casualties is ‘flowers’. It was a term much deployed during their eighteen-year war with Lebanon between 1982 and 2000. It is also a word that is very much appropriate for July 6th 2016 with the release of the Chilcot Report, a two and a half million word enquiry into the actions of Tony Blair in the build up to the Iraq War in 2003. This war resulted in the deaths of 179 British military personnel. It is also a war that claimed the lives of 121,227 Iraqi civilians, at least according to the Iraq Body Count (IBC) study.

Whilst it is important to look in detail at the actions of one man who duped Parliament amidst faulty British intelligence, it is equally important to cast our gaze on the consequences of those actions. The invasion had implications not just for the British soldiers who fought, but for the thousands of Iraqi civilians who now live in constant danger because of it.

Iraq has fallen into chaos in recent years as a result of the instability in the Middle East. This instability has been caused primarily by the Iraq War which saw the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship; it also saw a peaceful community turned into a battleground.

We need look no further than Islamic State’s latest terror attack on July 3rd in central Baghdad. A lorry packed with explosives was detonated, killing 250 people and making it the deadliest attack since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It is also the sixth major attack on Iraq in the years after the invasion and one of multiple suicide attacks that has been launched against Iraq by the Islamic State.

It is possible in light of knowing the organisers of these latest attacks to manoeuvre blame away from Western political figures towards the Islamic State. But before we do this, we must remember that this is a group whose founding members first met in an Anglo-American detainee facility. This was a group whose members, once civilians before they thought themselves capable of conquering countries, were born out of the turmoil of the invasion of Iraq — the result of misguided political actions of two men trusted to steer two powerful nations.

Tony Blair said in a statement, hours after the report was released that, ‘My duty as Prime Minister … was to do what I thought was right however imperfect the situation … or process’. I wonder if this right and honourable gentleman would feel any different if he lived where so many Iraqi civilians presently exist in fear, because of a decision to enact that ‘ imperfect … process’.