(16d) Chilcot report and PM Blair

The Chilcot report is severe for Mr Blair about his decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein to destroy his WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and topple the regime. The report says many errors were made, and certainly the unpreparedness of the post-war period was unacceptable.

Still, I think PM Blair is sincere when he says he wanted to get rid of dictator Saddam Hussein and his WMD. Indeed, that dictator was pure evil, killing tens of thousands of his own people, including with the use of gas and starting wars with neighbours such as Iran and Kuwait, resulting in more than a million people killed while supporting terrorists outside his own country. In the end, people would have risen against him and this would probably have been with disastrous effects as people have done in Syria against their own mass murderer with disastrous effects. PM Blair and US President Bush Jr went to war because they claimed and still do that they wanted to destroy Saddam's WMD and liberate the Iraqis from their dictator. And although after Saddam's removal people celebrated his removal, soon the country descended into chaos with tens of thousands of people killed because certain groups in Iraq's society turned against each other and Iraq's civilians while the US and UK administration were not prepared as they expected people would rejoice his removal. And recently more than 250 people were killed in suicide attacks so Iraqis become angry with their government who seems to be unable to stop the killings while possibly in future, Iraqis may direct their anger towards the West who invaded them as the period under Saddam seems to have been heaven-on-earth compared with the current hell.

For me, the main person responsible for the second invasion of Iraq was not even directly involved as he already retired from active politics. That politician is old US President George Bush Sr. Indeed, during the first Iraq war to liberate Kuwait from Iraq's invasion, then president Bush ordered the end of the invasion before Hussein was toppled. Why did he order this as there was a very large agreement that Saddam had gone too far? Mr Bush Sr claims it was because he hoped that an internal uprising would overthrow the dictator (indeed, the uprising happened as Iraqis saw an opportunity and President Bush should have given support so it would not have been crushed by Saddam). He also feared that the coalition could have fallen apart if the US tried to remove the dictator. However, maybe it was because he hoped Saddam would again be controllable after the war and sell cheap oil and gas to the West? (Oil and gas, the curse of our generation and the reason for wars and climate change and the loss of reason.) Before the war, we know that relations between the USA and Iraq were not bad.
Because the war was put on halt, Bush's successor President Clinton had to impose a no-fly zone above large parts of Iraq to protect people from attacks by Saddam. Probably we should have continued to have these zones instead of the second invasion. Or maybe we should have stopped protecting these zones so Saddam could have his final mass murder and the whole world would have supported his active removal via an invasion.
Whatever, as Saddam continued to misbehave, President Bush Jr, together with PM Blair, decided to reinvade Iraq to finally finish Hussein to stop his endless killing of opponents and being a treat to the whole region (as he was) by claiming Saddam's WMD should be destroyed although UN weapon inspectors didn't find any. Maybe President Bush and PM Blair should have said they were going to remove a murderous dictator and this may have convinced more people than what is now regarded as being a lie. And although Iraqis initially celebrated the removal of the dictator, soon after many of Hussein's loyalists but also opponents started a terror against each other and the Iraqi civilians. And maybe that is how we should see Saddam's WMD. Not as something visible but as something he prepared as he understood his rule was starting to come to an end. Maybe during his final years, while he could still continue being the dictator, he financed the future collapse of his society by spreading weapons amongst different groups so they would fight each other and beyond the borders of Iraq. If he was removed during the first Iraq war, maybe much fewer weapons would be present in Iraqi society and there would have been less chaos.

But the consequences were much larger than only chaos in Iraq and surrounding regions. Indeed, in the UK, the consequences were that still active Labour politicians were and still are unable to mention any good done by PM Blair's New Labour party and as a consequence the Tories have hardly any resistance to win elections and install their legacy. Indeed, he made errors as any politician does and may have had his own agenda; still, the current Labour party is hardly able to mention the investments in healthcare, education, research, an equal society, the fight against poverty in the UK and worldwide, the peace agreements in Northern Ireland and his intervention in Yugoslavia to end a disastrous war by PM Blair's New Labour government. If they could, corrections could be made to what he started to further improve British society.

Still, as current PM Cameron seems to acknowledge, sometimes wars need to be fought and probably more wars need to be fought before terror worldwide can finally stops. For instance: President Obama always wanted to end the war in Afghanistan and recall the American army. But he had to acknowledge that some troops needed to remain to help the Afghan army in its battle against al-Qaida and the Taliban or the Afghan population will probably suffer after their return into office.

Still, although I accept PM Blair wanted to liberate the Iraqis from their dictator and expected joy as was the case in Europe after this liberation from Nazi Germany at the end of WWII (although the presence of US troops prevented much worse revenge and further troubles), it is difficult to understand how after his career as PM he became the advisor of many dictators. Maybe it was because he wanted to moderate them or he became so blinded by what they paid that he closed his eyes to their actions. Who will know? Still, I hope he will accept whatever comes in future. Indeed, he is still a very influential and admired person worldwide. And the more he is driven in a corner, the more he may start acting in an unacceptable way to survive as he is still very convinced he was right to invade Iraq. I hope not but we should be careful that he will not, to stay out of the hands of justice, turn to powerful friends who may keep him in power on condition he will fight more 'just' wars. Because then, Mr Blair may rise again but in an undemocratic way. Indeed, Europe needs a strong leader and he has a strong personality so alleys over Europe may help him by offering him an international position that many people may oppose. Because, when you can't escape something, it can start to live its own life in someone's head.


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