by Chris Ames
I argue that, following the seminar, the committee can be in no doubt that the purpose of the invasion, from both a UK and US perspective, was regime change. The piece ends with a suggestion for the Inquiry:
“It has said that people like Blair will appear later in its proceedings, after the issues on which he might be questioned have been clarified. But perhaps it should now cut to the chase. Rather than have various witnesses prevaricating, dissembling and contradicting each other for months, perhaps Blair should be asked early on: “Did you, from early 2002 or earlier, give George Bush an undertaking that if he went to war to remove Saddam you would be with him? And did you then find that Bush remained determined to go to war and feel that you had no other choice?”
“You never know. He might just admit it. We’ll hear no more about intelligence failures and weapons of mass destruction.”
I do think that the Inquiry could potentially save a lot of time if it challenged Blair at an early stage on the mass of evidence that suggests he agreed early on to go support any US-led invasion and subsequently built a case around weapons of mass destruction. One way or another, Blair may end up justifying the war, as others have done, on the grounds that it is a given of UK foreign policy that we must be as close as possible to the US.
Read the rest of the CiF piece here.