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Opinion / OP Rana

Inquiry into Iraq war hides more than it reveals

By OP RANA (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-23 09:23

Inquiry into Iraq war hides more than it reveals

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves his office in London, Britain July 5, 2016.[Photo/Agencies]

The investigation by retired British civil servant and diplomat John Chilcot into the decision-making that dragged Britain into the war in Iraq is a postmortem, even though the inquiry report points the finger directly at former British prime minister Tony Blair for lying about the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and the Foreign Office's warnings of the overwhelming chaos that would follow an invasion of Iraq.

The world, at least those not blind and deaf to reason, already knew the unsavory, tragic truth. The conscientious world also knew that former US president George W. Bush-fooled he might have been by his advisers and profit-seekers from death and destruction-was the warmongering leader behind whom Blair found his true bearing.

The postmortem into the war, true to British virtue, was necessary to establish the role of the leading players who forced Iraq into an avoidable dance of death and destruction. But just like an autopsy cannot breathe life into a cadaver, the postmortem into the war cannot bring back to life the people who have died or restore the country to its former state-the homeless cannot get back their homes, the kids their childhood, the refugees the motherland they knew, and the environment and ecology their lost glory.

The more than half a million Iraqis, most of them innocent souls, who have perished in the vicious war unleashed by the whimsical US and British leaders, goaded by big business houses with vested interests, demand justice. But knowing the ways of the world and the loopholes in the international justice system, we can be fairly certain none of the leaders responsible for the carnage and chaos in Iraq will ever be held accountable.

Had the case been otherwise, Blair would not have audaciously declared he takes "full responsibility for any mistakes, without exception or excuse". As a former British prime minister, he knows full well the punishment for causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

One thing is certain, though, the British establishment has the courage of conviction to investigate into what most would describe as the war crimes of their former top leader. But the same cannot be said of the US administration, for none of its presidents in the past 60-odd years could boast of a clean slate. The list of the US' wars and dirty political conspiracies is indeed long-from the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam and Latin American countries to Afghanistan and Iraq with scores of others in between.

We can also rest assured that the Chilcot report will not change anything, because in the six years that monumental report was written, David Cameron, who recently resigned as British prime minister, used the same lies Blair had used to persuade parliament to bomb targets in Syria in December only that neither Britain nor the US did anything when the Islamic State targeted the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Cameron and US President Barack Obama also made the gullible world believe that 70,000 "moderate" Syrian rebels needed the West's help, when the truth is, they were apparitions created by the CIA and the very same Joint Intelligence Committee that Blair used to launch the Iraq war.

As soon as the Chilcot report was published Blair blurted: "I do not believe (the overthrow of Saddam Hussein) is the cause of terrorism we see today in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world". As if the IS group emerged out of thin air.

Or is this a ploy to deny he and Bush are squarely to blame for the refugee crisis in the European Union thanks to their invasion of Iraq and support to Syrian rebels, which, among other things, led to Brexit? Or is this a ploy to hide an even bigger conspiracy?

The author is a senior editor with China Daily. oprana@hotmail.com

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