Chilcot and the UK in Iraq: Imperialist War Gone ‘Badly Wrong’?
A U.S. B-52 bomber crosses the perimeter fence at Fairford RAF base in Gloucestershire.Photo:Reuters
IN PICTURES: teleSUR takes a look at Britain’s role in a war that shattered a nation and continues to spread instability and pain across the Middle East.
The British Empire may have fallen into terminal decline long ago, but this didn’t stop former Prime Minister Tony Blair from thrusting the United Kingdom into an unnecessary and illegal war, with U.S. President George W. Bush at the helm, to militarily topple then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
While the long-awaited Iraq Inquiry Report, also known as the Chilcot Report, has denounced “an intervention that went badly wrong, with consequences to this day,” there will be no consequences for those who spearheaded the illegal war launched on a pretext of distorted intelligence and lies, nor will reparations be paid to families of the at least 1 million Iraqis killed, or for the generations of Iraqis whose lives and futures have been irreparably ruined.
As the British establishment and mass media wring their hands and debate the “lessons” of a largely toothless inquiry, teleSUR takes a look at the role of British imperialism in a war that shattered a nation, resulting in untold pain for innocent Iraqi civilians, and which continues to spread violence and instability across the Middle East and Muslim world.
Anti-war protesters in Hyde Park during a demonstration against the Iraq invasion on February 15, 2003. The impending war lead to some of the largest anti-war protests in modern history.Photo:Reuters
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) and his Foreign Affairs Secretary Jack Straw, who fully endorsed the decision to launch the imperialist war.Photo:AFP
A protester in London epitomized the sentiment against the former British prime minister, who was accused at the time of lying to the people to start the war in Iraq in 2003.Photo:AFP
In this iconic photo, smoke covers Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace compound during a massive US..-led air raid on Baghdad, Iraq on March 21, 2003. Allied forces unleashed a devastating blitz on Baghdad, triggering giant fireballs and deafening explosions and sending huge mushroom clouds above the city center. Missiles slammed into the main palace complex of President Saddam Hussein on the bank of the Tigris River, and key government buildings.Photo:AFP
The Chilcot Report strongly criticized the British leadership on a range of issues, saying the threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction had been over-hyped and the planning for the aftermath of war had been wholly inadequate.Photo:Public Domain
British Royal Air Force personnel wait in a bunker wearing full Nuclear Biological and Chemical suits after a warning of a Scud missile attack on their base in Kuwait March 20, 2003.Photo:Reuters
Palls of black smoke from raging oil fires billow over Baghdad, on March 27, 2003. The oil-filled trenches were set off by Iraqis to try and block the visibility of U.S.-led coalition warplanes and missiles.Photo:Reuters
British Household Cavalry Scimitar tanks drive past burning oil wells in Southern Iraq, on March 20, 2003.Photo:Reuters
A British Warrior armored combat vehicle knocks over a picture of Saddam Hussein in the city of Basra, in southern Iraq, on March 24, 2003.Photo:Reuters
A British Warrior tank bears down on a family in the major southern city of Basra a few days after crossing the Iraqi frontier from Kuwait on March 28, 2003.Photo:Reuters
The charred remains of dead Iraqi soldiers lay outside a bus hit by a tank shell on a highway between Baghdad’s international airport and the city center, on April 7, 2003.Photo:Reuters
A British soldier guarding Iraqi prisoners in 2003. Graphic photographs of the Iraqis that British soldiers are said to have ‘tortured and murdered’ in cold blood were shown to a separate inquiry into British war crimes in Iraq.Photo:Reuters
Al-Sweady Public Inquiry released shocking images which formed part of its investigation into the ferocious firefight, dubbed the Battle of Danny Boy, at a checkpoint near Basra in 2004.Photo:British Ministry of Defense Handout
This is a picture released by a British Court Martial, Tuesday, Jan, 18, 2005, in Osnabrueck, Germany allegedly showing Corporal Daniel Kenyon, top right, in the brown t-shirt, leaning over an Iraqi detainee.Photo:British Ministry of Defense Handout
Lance Corporal Darren Larkin standing on an Iraqi detainee and corporal Daniel Kenyon taking a photograph in the rear.Photo:Reuters
British troops are covered in flames from a gasoline bomb thrown during a violent protest in Basra, March 2004.Photo:Reuters
According to Karen Thornton, whose son Gunner Lee Thornton died in 2006 after being shot while on patrol in Iraq, Tony Blair should face war crimes charges: “I just think it was all based on lies, I think everything that comes out of that man’s mouth has been a lie regarding Iraq… I think the people who lied should be held to account for what they have done.” Continuing, she said: “Charged with war crimes. They are responsible for the deaths of so many people.”Photo:AFP