How Tony Blair’s apology means the Chilcot report might be more damning than expected
Blair is accused of trying to soften the blow that the Chilcot Report may deal him. (AFP/File)
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In a surprise move, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has apologised for a number of Iraq War mistakes in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. But instead of being particularly helpful to the ex-PM, it's led the Internet to speculate on whether he may be preparing for an even bigger backlash—the Chilcot Report.
Sir John Chilcot was selected in 2009 to head a public enquiry into the UK’s role in the 2003 Iraq War, the findings of which are expected to be published next year. While the investigation and enquiries concluded in 2011, the publication of the report has been delayed for a number of reasons like the 2015 election and the right of those criticized to a fair chance to defend themselves.
On CNN, Blair said he was sorry the intelligence suggesting former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) ended up being wrong, and acknowledged that the 2003 invasion was partly fueled the rise of Daesh and sectarian violence in Iraq. He did not apologise for toppling Saddam, saying he finds it hard to do so.
Calls for a reopening of the Chilcot investigation flooded social media last week after new evidence suggested Blair supported the US's 2002 military action in Iraq he claimed not to be considering at the time. A memo from March of that year from Colin Powell to George Bush appears to show US confidence in Blair's support for the invasion, despite publically asserting he was seeking diplomatic solutions.
Now social media's alleging his comments are an attempt to cover his back in time for next year, should the Chilcot Report end up being particularly damning.
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