Chilcot Broadside For Tony Blair Over Iraqi War

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Written By Gholam Rahmani

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered a damning verdict from the Chilcot Report following a seven-year Iraq War inquiry ordered by the British government.

Report author Sir John Chilcot fell short of branding Blair a liar but claimed he had overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

Chilcot agrees Hussein was a brutal dictator and warmonger who attacked his neighbours with poison gas and harboured terrorists, but blames Blair for failing to pursue all peaceful avenues to contain the problem before going to war.

Blair was also accused of sending poorly prepared troops to war lacking the proper equipment to carry out their duties and of failing to plan for peace when the fighting stopped.

As a result of the war, led by the USA and Britain in 2003, close to 5,000 service personnel died along with an estimated 90,000 to 600,000 Iraqis.

Legacy written in blood

Blair’s legacy is written in blood as thousands more have died in the country since the end of the war as the aftermath left a power vacuum that triggered continuing civil unrest between war lords and terror groups.

Iraqi government controlled militia forces have just seized the city of Fallujah from Islamic extremists ISIS, which holds great swathes of the country.

Chilcot says Blair could not justify claims that Saddam was shielding terrorists and had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

Blair acted in concert with US President George W Bush in a campaign to oust Hussein by military force by invading Iraq with tens of thousands of soldiers with air and cruise missile support.

The Iraqi army was quickly defeated as Hussein fled only to be found hiding in an underground bolthole. He was killed during the attempt to capture him.

Secret meetings and memos

Chilcot claims Bush and Blair agreed to invade Iraq months before fighting started after a series of secret meetings and memo exchanges.

Controversially, the Chilcot Report does not focus on the legality of the war, although this is mentioned in passing.

Chilcot argues this was outside the point of reference he was given.

Many witnesses who went before the inquiry were critical of how Blair planned for the peace.

They slammed the Ministry of Defence for not giving troops on the ground the equipment they needed to make the provinces under their control secure.

Armoured vehicles were in short supply and as a result many troops were killed or injured by shrapnel from homemade roadside bombs.