Yesterday, the Chilcot Report was published. An inquiry into the build up of the Iraq war, six long years in the making, it passed a damning judgement on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who led the country to invade Iraq in 2003.
The report concluded that George Bush and Blair did not exhaust all the possible options before resorting to military action in Iraq – and that the deaths of possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians were by no means necessary. It revealed an eyebrow-raising note from Tony Blair to George Bush in which he says he’ll “be with you whatever”, and stated that Blair had exaggerated the threat of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in order to make the case for war.
But in the face of the report, Blair himself has remained defiant – telling journalists “I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer.”
In the emotional speech, Blair remained unrepentant over the invasion but claimed he felt “deeply and sincerely” the “grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq”. He described the decision to go to war as the “hardest, most momentous, most agonising decision” he’d had to take in his ten years as British Prime Minister.
For the British press and public, however, the statement was far from sufficient. The day after the report’s publication the front pages of the UK’s papers pulled no punches in calling out Blair’s trigger-happy deception.
On Twitter, British pundits were unimpressed by Blair’s defence and insistent to stress the absolute devastation the invasion caused.
I don't know why Blair's response matters anyway. The facts in the inquiry are clear. We don't need his take on it to know what happened.— Ellie Mae O'Hagan (@MissEllieMae) 7 July 2016
Powerful and damning. pic.twitter.com/Hc6eTQTcrV— Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) 7 July 2016
Many commentators have long been calling for Blair to stand trial for his role in the Iraq war, but the Chilcot Report itself was inconclusive on the legal question of whether war crimes had been comitted.
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