There’s been nothing particularly new so far in the Chilcot report into the Iraq War, just confirmation of what was already known to anyone who’s been following the war’s history.
Tony Blair spent two hours on live television telling everyone how dreadfully sorry he was for being right – which surely fooled nobody – and there was the expected group of protesters, many who’d lost loved ones in the invasion and subsequent occupation, calling understandably for Blair’s prosecution as a war criminal. It’s never going to happen. It would mean indicting George Bush and most of his administration, and America wouldn’t hear of that.
Perhaps more interesting than the report itself is the chitchat of the aftermath. In particular, that of Sir Jeremy Greenstock who was the U.K.’s ambassador to the United Nations in 2003. According to a BBC report:
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to the UN in 2003, said Mr Blair had wanted a UN resolution backing action.
But he told the BBC senior US officials thought it was a “waste of time”…
The 2003 invasion had not been the “last resort” action presented to MPs and the public, Sir John [Chilcot] said, adding that there had been no “imminent threat” from Saddam Hussein, and the intelligence case was “not justified”.
Sir Jeremy said he felt Mr Blair had wanted to wait longer before taking military action.
It would have been “much safer” to give weapons inspectors in Iraq another six months to continue their work, he added.
“I felt that at the time, the British felt it at the time, I think the prime minister felt it at the time, that the Americans pushed us into going into military action too early,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight…
Mr Blair had wanted to secure a UN resolution before the conflict but US officials were not committed to a resolution, he added.
“The Americans weren’t genuine about it – but the prime minister was genuine about it – because he thought there was a chance that Saddam could be made to back down before we had to use military force.
“And George Bush for a while agreed with him. But other people behind George Bush didn’t agree with him and thought it was a waste of time. [my bold]”
It’s long been known that the ‘other people behind George Bush’ were the then U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and a number of other members of the PNAC* (including Paul Wolfowitz) who had infiltrated the Bush administration. Bush was the stooge fronting the show and Blair was part of the double act.
Interestingly, though frankly unsurprisingly, the U.S. State Department is refusing to acknowledge the Chilcot report. The BBC continues:
The US State Department said it would not respond to the Chilcot report’s findings as it was focusing on present issues in the Middle East.
“We are not going to examine it, we are not going to try to make an analysis of it or make judgement of the findings one way or another,” a spokesman said.
“Our focus is on the challenges we have in Iraq and Syria right now.”
Sadly, but predictably, the United States is not prepared to learn from history – not even such recent history. Arrogance and superciliousness are so often the creators of failure. America’s war in the Middle East has now been ongoing since the Carter Doctrine of 1980. Thirty-six years of military meddling in that region, the outcome of which has been the understated “challenges” America has today in Iraq and Syria. Apparently, Somalia, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and the general threat of terrorism from all these countries and more, are not considered priority by the U.S. State Department.
Still, one job at a time, eh, lads?
It’s not an impressive record. The number of innocent civilians killed in those conflicts is astronomical, but totally unimportant – collateral damage – to the military industrial complex growing fat on the profits of the U.S. war machine.
It’s to be hoped that the U.K. will learn its lessons after Chilcot. It seems unlikely that America ever will.
 “Chilcot report: US ‘pushed UK into Iraq War too early’, says ex-ambassador” BBC, July 7th 2016
* Project for the New American Century.