Back in 2003, Tony Blair (Prime Minister of United Kingdom) had plenty of time to back out of possible invasion of Iraq. He had advisers warning him of the consequences that Iraq would have after a potential war. They also advised against invasion due to a lack of in-depth information that Blair claimed to have established. The House of Commons was convinced after a rousing speech, in which he mentioned,
This is not the time to falter. This is the time for this house….to give a lead.
And these words, would in turn be a catalyst to the devastation that would occur in the years to come.
Prior to this, Iraq and UK had a feasible relationship, in fact there was nothing wrong until Blair’s accusation came about. British “intelligence dossier” claimed that the regime had “beyond doubt” continued to produce chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Blair’s advisers warned him that he will be breaking the international law (which states that a regime cannot be overthrown unless it’s an act of self defence), and asked to consult UN officials. The UN found no evidence of any chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons in Iraq, but Blair decided that they didn’t need UN approval. UK’s keenness to invade Iraq could be simplified in a children’s analogy: it’s like poking at a friend at the other side of the classroom and accusing him of something that he didn’t do just to put them down.
But Blair’s actions (remorseful or not) cost thousands of lives: of Iraqi civilians and of US and UK serviceman. It was an unnecessary and illegal act of war. As Sir John Chilcot said, “military action was not the last resort”.
In the wake of the Chilcot report (06/06/16), a report which took seven years and cost £10 million, the final verdict was given in a shocking 2.5 million words. The report was ultimately a critique of the Britsh government, the military and the intelligence services. Blair (officially obliged to give a statement) did an Oscar winning performance. He was “deeply remorseful”, looked like he was crying, and then at the climax of the drama said, he is still right because he acted based on grounds of the intelligence given. And Bush further claimed to evade accusations by saying “world is better off” without Saddam Hussein.
After claiming hundreds and thousands of lives, displacing another million, both of the leaders are excused after apologising; like saying sorry is going to solve all the problems. Blair should be punished by law for dragging a country into an unnecessary war, a war to which three million British people marched against in the streets of London – which to this date remains as the largest protest march in UK history.
Today, when people outside the parliament chanted “Blair is a war criminal” and held up posters that said ‘Tony’s a liar’, I wouldn’t dare criticising them if I were you.