Wednesday, July 6, 2016


It would probably take a while to read the Chilcot Report, and no doubt in my mind that very few will. The preference, I suspect, will be to glance at the précis provided through media by those anxious to demonstrate one or other of several points which will be examined minutely and then extrapolated upon for political advantage. And one has to wonder, why such cynicism. The answer has to do with yearning for a savior, someone to trust by finding someone to blame, and the Chilcot Report is several million words long. I understand it includes the round number of "at least 150,000" Iraqi casualties, a few of them soldiers.

In the matter of blame, there will be those who will claim that political will foundered and withdrawal was premature. And there will be those who will claim it should never have been started in the first place. At the time, in 2003, the latter opinion was a minority opinion. Those who held it were deemed unpatriotic, wooly livered and weak minded, probably socialist with no moral fiber. Saddam Hussein was an evil, guilty of something, and there was a whole thing accompanied by song and dance, and "OH Goody" let's cleanse ourselves of alternatives through a war that'll make us famous. There's no shame in the analysis of an error, but "shame on him who thinks evil of it." Not Socrates' dying words, a motto of the Norman Kings.

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