Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Chilcot Inquiry


Blair's 'psychological dominance' key in UK entering Iraq war, says Chilcot

From the Guardian: Author of devastating report on war tells MPs that cabinet did not dare to challenge PM in run-up to 2003 invasion

"Tony Blair’s “sheer psychological dominance” played a key role in the run-up to the Iraq war, and meant that flawed evidence justifying the 2003 invasion was never challenged, Sir John Chilcot told MPs on Wednesday.

Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, Chilcot said “sofa government”, in which ministers were not consulted on crucial decisions, reached a high point under Blair. This reflected Blair’s personal preferences, he said.

He said that on several occasions between 2002 and 2007 “things were decided without reference to cabinet”. They included the legal basis on which the UK went to war in 2003 as part of a US-led coalition and the decision, once Saddam Hussein had been toppled, for Britain to take over the administration of four of Iraq’s southern provinces.

Referring to the evidence given to his inquiry, Chilcot said he recalled asking the then foreign secretary, Jack Straw, why the cabinet had not “provided more of a challenge” to Blair or demanded more information.

“The answer that came back was that Tony Blair had, as leader of the opposition and in government, rescued his party from a dire predicament. I had the sense from Straw’s answer that he had achieved a personal and political dominance, a sheer psychological dominance."

From Wikipedia:

The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot) is a British public inquiry into the nation's role in the Iraq War. The inquiry was announced in 2009 by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and published in 2016 with a public statement by Chilcot.

On 6 July 2016, Sir John Chilcot announced the report's publication, more than seven years after the inquiry was announced. Usually referred to as the Chilcot report by the news media, the document stated that Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was "far from satisfactory", and that a war in 2003 was unnecessary. The report was made available under an Open Government Licence.

The full article can be read here.

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