Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Top Ten Questions for Chilcot

Appearing on BBC Radio Humberside this morning, Martin Deane, chair of Hull and East Riding Green Party, and former 8-year secretary of Hull Stop the War Coalition, hoped the Chilcot report would be forensic and honest in its conclusions. He hopes it would show what the vast majority of Britain knew at the time – that war on Iraq was going to happen, that WMD was a pretext, that Blair had decided many months previously that Britain would fight alongside the USA, no matter what the justification.
Top Ten Questions for Chilcot
1. Will the Chilcot Report be a £10m whitewash? – Will it let Blair off the hook, and blame, say, the intelligence instead?
2. Why did Blair choose dodgy intelligence over the clear wishes of the people?
3. Was Blair going to go to war on Iraq anyway, justification or not? - When and on what grounds did Tony Blair decide to follow Bush to war on Iraq?
4. Was the Downing Street Memo of July 23rd 2002 correct in saying "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"?
5. What earlier evidence is there showing Blair's likely intentions?
6. Will Chilcot reveal Blair as disingenuous in trying to justify the invasion of Iraq under the UN Charter?
7. Will Chilcot conclude the WMD argument was unjustified?
8. Will Chilcot conclude that the WMD argument was ultimately irrelevant to the determined pursuit of war? Ie, that it was a ruse, a pretext, an attempt at a casus belli?
9. Will Chilcot conclude that it was an illegal war that the UK military should never have been asked to fight?
10. Will Chilcot conclude that it was an immoral war, that the Iraqi people had suffered incredibly already (an estimated 2 million dead from sanctions, half of them children)?
"What was Iraq ultimately?" asks Martin Deane. "An aggressive war on our part, a power play for imperialism, for oil, for territory and control of the ME. It was illegal, it was immoral and it was a failure. The man who executed the UK's role
For the military families of the 179 British soldiers who died, their questions will be similar. Why, precisely, was this war fought? How was it that the safety of many soldiers was compromised through a lack of the right equipment? What were they fighting for, now that the Middle East is in flames ever since?
"Our role in Iraq has been an ignominious one. There have been millions of deaths -  the 1 million who died in the invasion and conquest, and the 2 million who had already died under sanctions.
Chilcot is a battle for the soul of Britain
"Chilcot is a battle for the soul of Britain. Has Britain in the 21st century committed the supreme crime of Nuremburg and committed the act of aggressive war?
"Will the truth come out? Will we clearly see in this official, establishment report what the British people have known all along – that Blair was going to go along with Bush's intention to make war on Iraq, and that therefore the then Prime Minister Tony Blair should be held to account as a war criminal.
"Or, like so many official inquiries before it, the inquiry into Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland – only recently exonerating victims from 1972 – or the Hutton report rubber stamping the intelligence used for war – or the Hillsborough report – only this year exonerating victimised fans from 27 years ago – will Chilcot be another whitewash?"
Martin Deane
Hull and East Riding Green Party
Hull Stop the War Coalition

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