by Chris Ames
It’s been pointed out before, not least by Iraq Body Count, that the Inquiry has not seemed that concerned with asking how many people died as a result of the invasion of Iraq, whose conequences are continuing.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, reporting from Baghdad, where a recent massacre killed at least 165 people, doesn’t think many people there will take much interest in the Inquiry’s outcome but does find a lot of bitterness towards Tony Blair and George Bush:
A chain of consequences that leads back to the invasion of 2003 caused Iraq’s perpetual war.
The Americans and Britain removed a hated dictator, and dissolved his army and state. But they had no real plan to rebuild the country they had broken. They improvised – and made matters worse.
Jihadists were not in Iraq before the invasion. Shia and Sunni Muslims, whose sectarian civil war started during the occupation, could co-exist.
The invaders did not have enough troops to control Iraq. Jihadists poured across open borders. Al-Qaeda established itself here, and eventually was reborn as so-called Islamic State.
Iraqis have often made matters worse for themselves, but it was mistakes by the US and Britain that pushed Iraq down the road to catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the Guardian has a couple of articles looking forward to the report tomorrow. A lengthy and thoughtful one from Andy Beckett includes a few comments from me while a rather pointless piece from Steve Richards tells us that we’ve all got it wrong and that Blair was just trying to keep close to Bush and used the issue of WMD as a pretext, to try to achieve UN cover.
Well, who’d have thought it?