Chilcot Inquiry Confirms Iraq War’s Blunders

This week, the British government released the official “Chilcot Inquiry” into British involvement in the Iraq War. According to Ben Wedeman of CNN the chairman of the inquiry, John Chilcot, determined that “military action in Iraq might have been necessary at some point, but in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.”

Furthermore, the legality of British military intervention is questionable. As Daniel Larison writes in The American Conservative, the report found that “Tony Blair committed to an invasion of Iraq almost eight months before receiving parliamentary and legal backing, and began military action before diplomatic alternatives were exhausted.”

While Wedeman spends some time discussing the decisions President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair made to pursue the war, he  focuses more on the long-term consequences of the Iraq War.

Over the last 13 years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and millions have been left homeless.

Despite arguments put forward to justify the Iraq War, particularly that the invasion would make terrorism disappear, “the invasion of Iraq opened Pandora’s box, out of which flew sectarianism, terrorism and violence,” as Wedeman writes.

Terrorism has hardly disappeared from Iraq. ISIS, Wedeman writes, “has created its own rogue state—in the process redefining terrorism to the point that al Qaeda has condemned it for being too extreme.”

It is unsurprising then that, as Wedeman reports, some Iraqis “reminisce about the good old days of Saddam Hussein, when terrorist bombings were rare … when you could travel almost anywhere in Baghdad or Iraq without fear of being shot or kidnapped or beheaded.”

Aside from some potential embarrassment, Tony Blair no longer has to deal with the quagmire he helped create in Iraq, but as Wedeman concludes, “the people of this unlucky land, however, must live—and die—with the consequences.”

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