CHILCOT REPORT AN INDICTMENT OF TONY BLAIR’S RUSH TO WAR IN IRAQ

IAWM Press Release, 07 July 2016

• IAWM WELCOMES CHILCOT REPORT ON IRAQ WAR
• REPORT AN INDICTMENT OF TONY BLAIR’S RUSH TO WAR IN IRAQ
• SHOWS THAT BLAIR MISLED CABINET, PARLIAMENT AND THE BRITISH PEOPLE
• CHILCOT MUST LEAD TO JUSTICE FOR IRAQIS AND UK MILITARY FAMILIES

The IAWM welcomes the publication of the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry and the fact that it is a serious indictment of Tony Blair’s role in Britain’s involvement in the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the subsequent sectarian blood letting.

The report finds unequivically among other issues that Tony Blair “deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Sadaam Hussein”, that “there was no immenent threat from Saddam” and that “Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information’”. It also highlights that Blair “ignored warnings on what would happen in Iraq after invasion” and that it had “no post invasion strategy”.

Tony Blair and Foreign Minister Jack Straw consistently misled the British Parliament and distorted the work of the UN and weapons inspectors despite the very clear assurances from inspectors such as Mohammed El Baradei of the International Atomic Agency who said that there was “no evidence of prohibited waepons programmes” and of Hans Blix, the leader of the UN inspection team, who “found no evidence of plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq”.

We can all remember the scaremongering of the 40-minute timescale in which Sadaam could launch one of these imaginary WMDs. In a disgraceful act of subterfuge Blair also distorted the intelligence when he omitted the qualifications noted by Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

The British people were cajoled into the US-led war on a series of distortions, misleadings and downright lies.

These are issues that the broad anti-war movement, including here in Ireland, has been saying for many years and in many ways the report vindicates the millions of people throughout the world who opposed the war from the outset. The inquiry would unlikely have come about had it not been for the work of nti-war activists.

“The Chilcot Report’s finding must not stop here,” Jim Roche, IAWM PRO, said. There must be retribution and justice for both the people of Iraq and the families of the killed British soldiers. This was a blatant war of aggression based on false information and hence an illegal war. While the report is welcomed it must be said that sadly it does not go far enough. Though being highly critical of Tony Blair and his aides for their roles in the war it does not call for their trials.”

“In addition it does not recognise, at least as far as is reported, the imperial intentions of both the US and Britain in their war of aggression in that they wished to strategically gain control of Iraq’s resources. Nor does it recognise the influence of the arms industry and the industrial military complex, which plays a decisive role in all western wars.”

He concluded by calling on the Irish Government and the Fianna Fáil party to respond to the report: “Both the main Irish political parties supported the war, both morally through statements or lack of, and physically by facilitating the US military machine at Shannon Airport,” he said. “It is now time for some serious soul searching by members of these parties in the wake of the revelations of the Chilcot Report and as the awful legacy of the invasion still creates havoc for the people of Iraq, most vividly witnessed by the suicide bombing in Baghdad last weekend which killed 250 people, across the wider middle-east and indeed the whole world. How can anyone claim that this war and invasion has made the world a safer place? The Irish Government could make a gesture towards peace by immediately stopping the facilitation to the US Military at Shannon Airport”

END
Contact:
Jim Roche, PRO, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 647 2737
John Molyneux, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 735 6424
Michael Youlton, Chair, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 815 9487
Edward Horgan, Steering Committee IAWM, 085 851 9623
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 124 9456
Memet Uludag, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 7919307
Marnie Holborrow, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 988 9244
Gearóid Kilgallen, Steering Committee IAWM, 01 2800866

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