After years of stalling, my administration finally caved in a few months ago and “allowed” a commission of wise men to investigate how we were led into the Iraq war.
Quick reminder: when the US started the 2nd Iraq war, we were asked to join the coalition. The administration cowardly refused to send our boys and girls in, but supported the invasion by mouth. The actual words were “we do not provide any military support, but do support the Iraq invasion politically. As soon as the “mission was completed”, read Saddam was pushed out of the way, our military did go in for “peacekeeping”, in the Basra area.
Last week, the commission produced its final report and concluded the principal argument to support the war (Iraq not acting according to the U.N. resolutions) was not enough juridical basis. One member insisted on stating that other reasons beyond i.e. self-defence might indeed condone going to war, but this argument was always firmly rejected by the administration.
The administration was not amused and after two days of serious political tensions issued a statement that “in hindsight, with the knowledge of today, another decision might have been taken”. A statement that was quickly dismissed by Davids, the commissions chairman, stating there were absolutely no new insights revealed to the administration by his commission.
This week, the same process is going on in the U.K., who did go in with the U.S. military. The Guardian:
Tony Blair’s decision to take Britain to war in Iraq was illegal, the Foreign Office’s former chief legal adviser will tell the Chilcot inquiry this week.
The Observer has been told that Sir Michael Wood, who was the FO’s most senior lawyer, is ready to reveal that, in the run-up to war, he was of the opinion that the conflict would have been unlawful without a second UN resolution. This will provide an explosive backdrop to the former prime minister’s appearance before the inquiry on Friday.
Don’t hold your breath: I very, very much doubt this will have any political consequences. The best we can hope is things will be done a tiny bit smarter in the future.