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Britain: Tony Blair unrepentant as Chilcot gives crushing Iraq war verdict - by Luke Harding

A defiant Tony Blair defended his decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 following the publication of a devastating report by Sir John Chilcot, which mauled the ex-prime minister’s reputation and said that at the time of the 2003 invasion Saddam Hussein “posed no imminent threat”.

Looking tired, his voice sometimes croaking with emotion, Blair described his decision to join the US attack as “the hardest, most momentous, most agonizing decision I took in 10 years as British prime minister”.

He said he felt “deeply and sincerely ... the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq”.

The head of the Iraq war inquiry said the UK’s decision to attack and occupy a sovereign state for the first time since the second world war was a decision of “utmost gravity”. Chilcot described Saddam as “undoubtedly a brutal dictator” who had repressed and murdered many of his own people and attacked his neighbors.

But he was withering about Blair’s choice to sign up to a military plan drawn up in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by the US president, George W Bush, and his neo-con team. Chilcot said: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

Overall, Chilcot’s report amounts to arguably the most scathing official verdict on any modern British prime minister. It implicitly lumps Blair in the same category as Anthony Eden, who invaded Egypt in a failed attempt to gain control of the Suez canal. Chilcot’s 2.6m-word, 12-volume report was released on Wednesday morning, together with a 145-page executive summary.

Note EU-Digest: Tony Blair needs to be put in jail together with Bush Rumsfeld and Cheney. They (the US) are the root cause for our European refugee and terrorism problems which came as a direct result of the IRAQ war and US's Middle East policies..

It is high time the US Congress also puts together an investigation committee to investigate Bush, Cheney and Rumsfelds role in the IRAQ war and their lies to the US population and the countries who were called upon to support the US in this disastrous war.

Read more: Tony Blair unrepentant as Chilcot gives crushing Iraq war verdict | UK news | Th

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