I’ve just watched Sir John Chilcot reporting on the findings of his inquiry.
For me, it is an honest, well thought through report, with no hint of cover up. It justifies the response that so many of us had to the decision to invade back in 2003, and in many cases proves that our arguments against the war were justified, yet somehow, I feel empty.
There is no victory here, no joy to be found in saying “I told you so”.
Over 150K Iraqis are dead, most of whom were civilians. Many of our own armed forces paid the highest price and many more received life-changing injuries, believing they were defending our country from an iminent threat that we now know for certain didn’t exist.
There were options for peaceful resolution of the situation still available when we were told that war was the only option.
The intelligence was flawed, yet it was still acted upon.
The decision was taken months before it was put to parliament, yet parliament was still led to believe that it had a say in the matter.
The UK was part of the implementation of the flawed aftermath, yet we did not have a say in the policies.
This is utterly tragic and politicians of all colours, regardless of how they voted at the time must now take steps to ensure that this dictatorial style of engaging in conflict without any checks or balances never happens again.