Chilcot Inquiry

War criminals exposed

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The Chilcot report went further than many expected in condemning Tony Blair's role in the invasion of Iraq. As Judith Orr says, it also reinforced the need to be vigilant against all warmongers.

It took 12 days for the Chilcot report on the Iraq war to be read aloud non-stop at the Edinburgh Festival event last month. The 2.6 million words of the report were not the whitewash some had feared. In fact they were a confirmation of what so many of those who protested against the war at the time said.

No wretched apology from Tony Blair

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From one whitewash to another. The Iraq Inquiry heard more evidence from Tony Blair.

The Wikileaks cables have already told us that Britain reduced the scale and scope of the inquiry so as not to embarrass the US. We now know that Blair privately told George W Bush that he could "count on us" for support for the invasion, and that Britain should be "gung-ho" about doing so.

He then expressed some sort of regret for the small fact that the invasion and occupation left over a million dead, but qualified this by saying that Britain should abandon its "wretched policy of apology" over the war.

Tony's trials

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The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War reached a stage few may have foreseen as Socialist Review went to press, with Tony Blair poised to appear following damaging testimony from civil servants, lawyers and even the odd minister.

An inquiry that appeared as toothless as the establishment figures that comprise it nonetheless threatens to propel the architect of New Labour into the realms of the 2007 Channel 4 drama The Trial of Tony Blair, in which the war crimes of the ex-prime minister catch up with him.

Of course, we are a long way from seeing Blair on trial at the Hague. We are even quite a way from seeing any conclusions from the inquiry, which goes on hold ahead of the general election once - and if - Gordon Brown appears.

There remains little reason to expect anything more than a whitewash.

Warmongers, disloyal mandarins and WMD

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The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war opened amid widespread scepticism in Britain and internationally.

There is concern that the investigation - the fifth of its kind since 2003 - will be another whitewash. Critics argue that the British government will try to prevent the truth from coming out, fearing the serious political and legal repercussions that might follow.

Anti-war campaigners also cite the remit and composition of the inquiry team as pointers for a probable cover-up. Four knights and a baroness investigating a war crime to learn lessons for the future!

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