The independent inquiry looking into the actions of the British government leading up to the start of the Iraq war finally started this week. But like many people who opposed the war in the first place, I fear that any evidence given may not lead to the desired result.
From the start, Sir John Chilcot, the man put in charge of the inquiry, had indicated that the government ‘isn’t on trial here’ -meaning that the people responsible for the British involvement in the war, from key members of the cabinet downwards, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his current successor, Gordon Brown, to key members of the Whitehall military and political establishment, will not be put on trial for war crimes any time soon.
This inquiry is cold comfort for the relatives of the 179 soldiers who died fighting a war which may be illegal under international law, and that over a million Iraqi civilians had died at the hands of US-UK weapons, with many more being captured, tortured against their will and wrongly labeled as terrorists.
Just about every other public inquiry held into the conduct of the present government has lead to the same result- a huge stage-managed whitewash in which embarrassing details of their dealings are routinely censored… and this one looks to head in the same way too.
What I can’t understand is that how many of the leading and former figures of the current government can sleep soundly in their beds at night. Not one of them has even had the nerve to apologise publicly for one of the biggest crimes against humanity in recent times…. and they still have the cheek to want our votes at the next general election.